What Happens After a Breathwork Session? Insights and What To Expect

a photo of a man experiencing a feeling of calmn after a breathwork session

Key points

  • Breathwork offers a range of benefits for body, mind, and spirit, including stress reduction, improved clarity, and even potential trauma release.
  • Post-breathwork sensations can vary from relaxation and fatigue to tingling.
  • Listen to your body after a session. Rest, hydrate, and integrate the experience through journaling or sharing.
  • Consistent practice unlocks breathwork’s full potential for ongoing wellness.


While each person may have a different experience both during and after a breathwork session, we know from research on breathwork that the practice has physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. People who have taken part in breathwork practices have reported everything from increased resilience and mental clarity, to improved athletic performance, trauma-release and improvements in physical conditions such as asthma – even after just one session. 

Throughout a breathwork session, different things occur within the mind and the body. When breathing consciously the mind slows down, stresses dissolve and a sense of tranquility emerges. Due to the physiological and emotional changes that occur during a breathwork practice, it’s important to practice breath flows that have been created by a certified breathwork facilitator.

a photo of a woman after practicing breathwork

The sensations you feel after a breathwork session depend on your own mind, body and mental perception. The technique used also has an influence on what comes up afterwards. The sensations you experience after breathing exercises can vary depending on a number of things:

  • Which breathing techniques are being used (fast vs. slow breathing).
  • How long the breathwork session goes on for.
  • How consistent and intensely you breath during the practice.
  • Your body’s reaction to these techniques.


This is often why many people have different experiences with the same breathwork exercises. However, there are a number of common feelings or sensations that can come up after a session.

A Feeling of ‘Lightness’ and Calm

Immediately after a session, you may experience a feeling of calm and tranquility. Breathwork can help regulate the nervous system, switching off your fight or flight response, and allowing your parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system to come back online; resulting in a feeling of calm.

Feeling Tired

Breathwork is a powerful tool that can help release traumas, suppressed emotions and pent-up energy, which can leave you feeling fatigued. This process triggers various changes in the body and mind that require rest and time to fully process.

Tingling Sensations

When certain fast-breathing techniques are used, such as superventilation, or holotropic breathing, the sympathetic nerve system is activated and you can experience tingling in the hands and feet. These sensations are completely normal and having that self-awareness of what you are experiencing can help you process these experiences.

Mental Clarity and Happiness

Through the purifying effect of breathwork, you can also feel mental clarity. Physiological changes that occur during a breathwork practice can result in increased alertness, creativity, inspiration, and clearer thinking. 

Specific breathing techniques also release endorphins into your system, increasing these ‘feel good’ hormones and helping to boost your happiness.

Feeling Present and In the Moment

Certain fast breathing techniques cause your ‘thinking’ brain to go offline during practice. As a result, you’ll likely finish the breathwork session feeling more present and with a calmer mind.

The sensations described above do not occur for everyone, and you will probably have some of your own unique experiences.

Emotions After a Deep Dive Breathwork Session

A transformational breathwork session is a deep emotive experience. It helps release emotions and traumas, helping you process these. It’s possible that certain breathing techniques may  bring back into your consciousness emotions, experiences and feelings that have not been properly dealt with or healed. 

As a lot can come up during these sessions, it’s important to listen to what your body needs and leave space for the integration work which happens at the end of a breathing practice. 

Integration is especially important when practicing fast-breathing techniques, as these elevate our nervous system. Taking time for integration allows us to process what has occurred and return our nervous systems to a parasympathetic state.

An experienced facilitator is crucial in guiding the process, ensuring safety, and providing support during and after a session.

a photo of a woman laying down after a breathwork session

Post-breathwork Self Care

Breathwork can release energy and emotions, leading to various physical sensations and emotional releases, urging you to trust the process and use your breath to navigate through these experiences.

After a breathwork session, be gentle with yourself and listen to what your body, mind and soul needs. Try to drink water to flush out the toxins and nourish yourself with some soul food. If you’ve had a group session, it can be good to share your experience and process. A group can also hold space and just be there as emotional support. If you don’t feel like openly sharing your experience, you can write about it in a journal. Putting the experience into written words can be a step for integration and reflection, making journaling a great post-session activity.

Remember that breathwork is not a one-off practice, it’s a journey best practiced regularly to get all the mental, physical, and emotional benefits on an on-going basis.

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Post-breathwork FAQS
Post-breathwork FAQS

What to do after breathwork?

It’s essential to gradually reconnect with your body using grounding and integration techniques. After breathwork exercises, take your time to process your experience without rushing off.Spending time in nature is another great way to extend the benefits of a breathwork session.

What not to do after breathwork?

To help maintain the benefits of a breathwork session, we recommend avoiding things that can negatively change the way we feel like caffeine, alcohol and inflammatory foods. 

How does breathwork release trauma?

When traumatic experiences are stored in the body, they can result in negative physical, mental and emotional effects. Specific breathwork techniques such as Breakthrough breathwork and Holotropic breathing activate the somatic-cognitive cycle, helping release unresolved trauma.

Do you feel sick after breathwork?

As mentioned above, fast-breathing techniques can cause you to feel lightheaded, tingling and even tetany in your hands and feet. However these sensations should pass after you have been through the integration phase at the end of a breathwork session.

Breathless Journal