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Breathwork vs Meditation… Which One Is Right For YOU?

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Everyone knows that they “should” be meditating, right? But for people with anxiety, body insecurities, restless minds, or stressed and chaotic lives, meditating can be next to impossible to master. If you struggle with meditation, know that you’re not alone.

I’m about to break down why meditation just doesn’t work, what the difference is between meditation and breathwork, and the #1 (super simple) thing that you can do to make your meditations deeper, juicer, and longer!

A question that I get a lot is – “Sam, where do I start? Do I start with breathwork or do I start with meditation?”

When I was going through my healing journey, I had an eating disorder from 18-23 and everyone and their dog was like, “Sam, just meditate. Just sit and meditate!”

When you are in that much of a war with your body, sitting and feeling your emotions is like chewing on glass… it’s so painful. 

It’s like that feeling of – ugggh, I’m so uncomfortable in my body. I can remember when I used to always get out of my body, just escape my body. Whether that was overeating, or overexercising. And even things like overworking. I didn’t want to feel my emotions. I didn’t want to be anywhere near my body, or in my body – it was very uncomfortable. 

So when I went to go meditate, I would sit there and I would be in a state of confusion and pain. And my thoughts would be going a million miles a minute in my mind. And after 20 minutes, I would be like – I can’t do this. This is a waste of time for me…

Then I found Breathwork. And the beautiful thing about Breathwork, is that breathwork helps us to release the thoughts in the mind.

So rather than trying to think about not thinking, which is essentially what we’re doing when we’re meditating – right? It’s like: clear your mind, clear your mind, clear your mind… 

And then you just kind of get into a lot of busyness in the mind. 

So rather than that narrative, all you have to do is BREATHE… and the mind relaxes. The mind releases.

And when the mind releases, then we can feel deeper into our body. And when we feel deeper into our body, we begin to FEEL… so that we HEAL. 

So check this out – so much of personal development is about: let me think about how to feel better. Let me think about how to feel better. Let me overthink, overanalyze, make a checklist – right? We treat personal development like a checklist… “as long as i do ALL of these things, then I’ll feel better!” 

And you’re like, “Ugh! I know all of these things in personal development… but I’m STILL not feeling better.” 

It could be because it is still doing mindset work… right?

When we’re only thinking about it. If you’re staring into the mirror and you’re doing affirmation in the mirror, like: I love myself, i love myself, i love myself, i love myself!… But your body is telling a completely different story… it’s not going to be congruent, and then you’re just going to completely self-sabotage. 

So the beautiful thing about Breathwork is that it prioritizes embodiment. And that’s where the personal development industry is going. 

I actually started, back in the day – I was like 12 and my parents were super into self-development… so I used to listen to Tony Robbins tapes, and all that kind of stuff, in the car, because my parents were.

And so I totally get mindset work, and there’s places where it could be valuable. But when we’re talking about long-term, sustainable transformation… we have to address the energetics of the body. We have to incorporate the body. Because the body holds stories. The body holds memories. 

And so if we are not addressing it, and we’re not actually getting into our body… we’re just gonna be looping in the same crap that we’ve always been looping in. 

Soooo, Breathwork or Meditation? I love meditation, but I’ll only do it after breathwork. 

When we do breathwork first, even if it’s only 5 minutes of breathwork is POWERFUL. Because what’s that doing is releasing the mind, dropping you into your body, feeling your emotions – so then we can sustain our meditation way longer because we’re out of our mind. The monkey mind is one that takes us away and tries to distract ourselves – and we start thinking about Chelsea’s pet dog from grade 4… and we’re like, why am I thinking about that?!

So when you do the breath, even something as simple as the Pause Breathwork triactive breath

Something like that for 5 minutes, and then releasing the breath, and then dropping into the meditation… then you’ll be in a completely different frequency. And in this different frequency, you can stabilize the body a lot longer. 

It’s like, okay wow my mind actually is not here right now… 

Which is a really beautiful feeling. It’s a beautiful feeling when we realize that we’re no longer fighting the mind. The mind is offline, and the energetics of the body are just here. And when we reach that place of pure presence… your presence is actually healing your own body. You are your own drug. You are your own healer. But what happens is that the mind tries to get involved and the mind tries to hijack that process – and it doesn’t end up working very well. 

So really coming back to this whole narrative – this whole idea – that you are your own drug. 

And so my suggestion is starting breathwork first, especially if you struggle with the same things that I did. Which is – being in my body, the business of my mind. 

If you’ve never done breathwork before, or you want to check it out – check out this free audio. Lie down on the floor – palms up – and just feel what it feels like to really, truly get out of your own way… and be in your body. 

Something miraculous happens when we do that. And again, as I mentioned… do the breath first, and then incorporate meditation after. And you’ll realize that your meditations are actually so much deeper and juicer, so much longer, and you feel so much more fulfilled doing it. 

Because that amazing place of stillness is so valuable – especially in our busy, crazy, chaotic world – we have to optimize for stillness. We have to optimize for those moments…

So go do it now. Whatever you’re doing today, cancel it. Cancel your tinder dates, cancel all the stuff that you had going on. And go do that now. Spend some time with your soul. Spend some time with yourself. 

After you’ve tried the free audio, come back here and leave me a comment below telling me how you feel!

All love,

Samantha Skelly

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