This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your physical health and mood, just breathe.
The practice of breathwork, or the intentional manipulation of your breathing, has been gaining attention, thanks to the widespread popularity of yoga and meditation. However, researchers have been studying the benefits of breathwork for years.
“Breathing is not new — it’s the most essential thing we do for our bodies — but breathwork is a new approach to wellness,” says William Wesley Myers, Mather’s director of wellness strategies. Mather is a not-for-profit organization with three senior living communities that plans to open The Mather, a Life Plan Community in Tysons in early 2024.
Breathwork has many health benefits; you can use it to increase or decrease your energy, to calm your mind, and to help you focus, among many things.
“Physical benefits from deep breathing are often instantaneous,” explains William. “There is a direct relationship between breath rate, mood, and systems that activate our fight-or-flight or rest-and-restore responses, which directly affect heart rate, respiration, and digestion.” Research has shown that deep, mindful breathing carries benefits to these systems and more.
Emotional Health: One study showed that manipulating the breath can cause up to a 40% variance in emotions. Evoke joy by breathing and exhaling slowly and deeply through the nose. Other research shows breathwork can help to treat anxiety, PTSD, and severe depression, even in those who don’t respond well to antidepressants.
Blood Pressure: A regular practice of slow, deep breathing is an effective way to reduce blood pressure.
Stamina: An Italian study found that the lungs of mountain-climbers who practiced slow breathing an hour a day for two years maximized oxygen better, allowing the climbers to forego supplemental oxygen needed by others to summit Mount Everest.
Focus: Breath-focused yoga can sharpen participants’ attention spans and focus by changing brain chemistry.
Pain Management: Multiple studies have shown that slow, deep breathing can reduce perception of chronic pain, or help people cope with discomfort. Breathwork can be especially effective with back pain.
Longevity: Research has shown that breathwork improves metabolism and reduces inflammation — both of which contribute to longer life.
“People can all benefit from doing a little breathwork,” says William. “You can do some simple breathing exercises sitting on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Even five minutes of breathwork offers benefits!”
The Mather, projected to open in Tysons, VA, in early 2024 for those 62 and better, is a forward-thinking Life Plan Community that defies expectations of what senior living is supposed to be.
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
Reston Association is seeking candidates for its 2024 Board of Directors’ election. Four seats are open for the election, which will take place in March. Specifically, two at-large director seats…
Zombies, pirates and other virtual characters are about to be unleashed on Tysons, just in time for Christmas. Sandbox VR will launch its new virtual reality gaming experience at 1656…
Do the holidays have you stressed and busy? Worry not about what to wear as Live Fairfax has the Style Survival Guide for this season!
The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.