Empowering people by guiding them with techniques that help them familiarise with their breath is not something I envisaged I'd ever be doing, but I'm kinda hooked. The breath is one mighty tool!
After years of dabbling in various breathwork styles I collated the techniques I found to be beneficial, but also fun to play with into an introductory course for those of you ready to master your breath, your life and (thanks for reminding us Wim Hof!) your chemistry.
Throughout each course it is not uncommon to hear people's fears, stresses and anxiety start to disappear and be replaced with confidence and empowerment. At the end of just one course session, Julia T commented,
"I was no longer nervous to speak to the group and I don't recall ever being this confident to speak in public."
Whilst breathing exercises are no doubt one of the easiest ways to calm your mind, there are many benefits to practicing a breathing technique on a regular basis. One such advantage in relation to physical training is an increase in energy and vitality and a reduction in muscle recovery time (less DOMs!)
For example, we can reduce fatigue when going for a run - running further, faster and becoming less puffed - simply by learning to breathe through the nose and utilising all 5 compartments of our lungs. The best way to achieve this? Start at rest, as often as you can!
James Nester has inspired many of us recently with his captivating story-telling of his research and self-practice to reveal the science behind the art of breathing. He speaks of mouth-taping at night to encourage nasal breathing while sleeping, so I just had to try it. The verdict results in a slightly uninspiring story as turns out I'm not a chronic mouth-breather. There was no waking in the night gasping for breath thinking I was going to die, which is common at the beginning for those who have slipped into the mouth breathing habit. If you discover or know that this is you, perhaps starting your journey to enhanced health and happiness via nasal breathing while awake and conscious will make for a smoother transition :-)
Another technique you can practice is to reduce your breath by learning how to breathe "less" or "quietly", so that if someone were watching you they could hardly tell you were breathing at all. This style of breathing is a relic from Butekyo, who used it as a means to retain more oxygen. Something else for which this method is also useful, (insert caption for seemingly random handstand pic above ;-P ) is to find your ultimate stability in a handstand, without holding the breath or gasping for breath and throwing you off your game!
Become the master of your breath, and make more things possible.