Nowadays, finding practices that help us cultivate calm and inner peace is more important than ever. Two popular methods for achieving this are breathwork and meditation. But if you haven’t tried either, you might be wondering: which one should you start with? Let’s explore both practices, their benefits, and how to choose the best one for your needs.

Understanding Breathwork

Breathwork refers to various techniques involving intentional breathing patterns designed to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It ranges from simple exercises like deep diaphragmatic breathing to more structured practices like Pranayama.

Examples of Breathwork benefits:

Immediate Stress Relief: Breathwork can quickly calm the nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety.
Enhanced Focus: Regular practice improves concentration and mental clarity.
Emotional Release: Deep breathing techniques can help release pent-up emotions and trauma.
Physical Health: Improves oxygenation of the blood, boosts energy levels, and enhances overall physical health.

Examples of Breathwork types:

Alternate Nostril Breathing: Breathing through one nostril while holding the other shut.
Coherent Breathing: Equalizing the duration of inhalations and exhalations.
Box Breathing: Inhale, hold, exhale, and hold for equal counts (for instance, 4-4-4-4).

Understanding Meditation

Meditation is a broader practice that involves focusing the mind and eliminating distractions to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional calm. There are various types of meditation, each with different techniques and goals.

Examples of Meditation benefits:

Mental Clarity: Enhances focus, concentration, and cognitive function.
Emotional Balance: Reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression, and promotes emotional well-being.
Stress Reduction: Regular practice leads to a significant reduction in stress and its physiological effects.
Spiritual Growth: Provides a deeper sense of connection and self-awareness.

Types of Meditation:

Focus attention meditation: Bringing attention to specific object and keep it there (mantra, breath, external object…)
Open awareness meditation: Observing everything that occurs inside and outside of us without pursuing them in thought or actions.
Special types: Meditations such as Visualisation, Body scan and Guided meditation.

Choosing Between Breathwork and Meditation

Consider Your Goals:

Immediate Stress Relief: If you’re looking for quick stress relief and a boost in energy, breathwork might be the better starting point. Techniques like box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing can bring about a sense of calm in just a few minutes.
Long-term Emotional and Mental Health: For more profound, long-lasting changes in emotional well-being and mental clarity, meditation could be more beneficial. Practices like mindfulness meditation can gradually rewire your brain to handle stress better and improve emotional regulation.

Assess Your Time and Patience:

Short on Time: Breathwork exercises can be done in just a few minutes and still provide noticeable benefits.
Willing to Commit: Meditation often requires a more extended period of regular practice to experience significant changes. If you’re ready to commit to a daily practice, meditation can be incredibly rewarding.


There’s no rule that says you must choose one over the other. Many people find a combination of breathwork and meditation to be the most effective. For instance, you might start your session with a few minutes of breathwork to settle your mind and then transition into a meditation practice.

Ultimately, whether you choose breathwork or meditation, the most important thing is to start. Both practices offer unique benefits and can significantly enhance your quality of life. Experiment with both to see which resonates more with you. Remember, the journey to inner peace and well-being is personal, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. Happy practicing!