This is a guest blog post from Brittany Lillegard, certified yoga teacher, Wim Hof Instructor, and microdosing coach here at Microdosing Institute.
As its own practice, microdosing can have a multitude of benefits ranging from improved mental states, increased creativity and focus, and decreased pain perception, to name a few.
When stacked with other substances and practices, the benefits gained from a microdosing practice can extend even further; and often, it is reported that the effects of combining something else with microdosing provides a synergistic effect – that is, the benefit gained from the marriage of substances or practices produces a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
Combining a microdose with other substances is becoming fairly common, with many people choosing to stack with Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, or other medicinal mushrooms. However, less considered stacking methods include combining your microdosing practice with well-being activities such as movement, meditation, or one of my personal favorites – breathwork.
What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is any intentional and mindful manipulation of the breath. At most moments of the day, our breath is on autopilot – controlled by our autonomic nervous system.
However, unlike our other autonomically controlled bodily functions (such as heart rate and digestion), we can choose to consciously control our breath throughout the day. Depending on how we choose to manipulate our breath, we can change the state of our nervous system to better support our needs in that moment.
In this sense – you can think of your breath as the remote control of your nervous system – if you know what genre you want to watch (i.e. what emotional state you want to tune into), all you have to do is select a breathing pattern that is aligned with that state, and the channel changes.
Below are three ways that you can tap into this directional power and guidance of your breath to support your microdosing practice.
Why combine breathwork and microdosing?
1. Breathwork can further amplify your awareness and connection to the present moment
One of the most common microdosing benefits reported in our community is greater awareness throughout the day and an increased connection to the present moment.
Simply shifting your focus to your current breath is also one of the most powerful ways to tap into the present moment – after all, there is nothing else more life-giving and now than your current breath.
Starting your microdosing day with a breath awareness meditation or taking small, intentional moments throughout your day to bring your focus to current breath can provide a significant boost to the increased awareness one already gains from a microdosing practice.
2. Breathwork can support uncomfortable or heightened emotional states that arise while microdosing
Microdosing can illuminate or exaggerate your current emotional or mental state. This increased connection to our emotions can sometimes cause discomfort, added stress, or even anxiety to show up on microdosing days.
Going back to the remote control analogy – our breath can be used to change the channel, or help shift us to a more supportive emotional state if and when things start to feel too overwhelming or challenging.
When this type of discomfort arises while microdosing, some believe that the plant medicine is pointing us towards areas of our lives that need our attention, support, and action. While this may be true, healing can hit a major road block when our nervous system lacks safety.
Utilizing your breath to “change the channel” of your emotional state is not equivalent to running away from the emotions that may need your attention; but rather, altering your breath in these moments provides safety to your nervous system, so that you can slowly start to accept and take action in the direction you are being guided.
3. Breathwork can fortify your microdosing intention
Microdosing psychedelics is often considered a “non-specific amplifier” – meaning that a microdose can amplify whatever thoughts, emotions, or feelings you’re experiencing.
The most impactful microdosing journeys take advantage of this by including an intention to guide the process. We can further fortify or amplify this intention by choosing breathing patterns that support our intention.
Is your intention to be more present, focused, energetic, creative, or loving? There’s a breathwork practice that can support and strengthen any intention you set for your microdosing cycle.
Ready to learn more about breathwork and microdosing?
Join Brittany Lillegard on Sunday, April 24 for a virtual breathwork and microdosing workshop.<this workshop is over, but a replay is available>
In this 90-min Zoom workshop, you’ll learn:
• What is breathwork and how it effects your nervous system
• How to choose a breathwork pattern to support your microdosing intention
• Easy and practical breathwork exercises