Let's talk about breathwork.
Here's what's up.
Breathwork is a practice that has existed for thousands of years, across many cultures. It is known by many names and comes in many flavours.
The core concept is simple - when you bring your attention to your breath, and connect to it, you tune in to your body. And when you do that, all sorts of wonderful things can start to happen.
Breathwork can help with many areas of your life...
Improved mental clarity - enhances focus and concentration
Emotional regulation - creates a sense of calm and emotional balance
Increased energy levels - enhances vitality and alertness
Better sleep - reduces isomnia and improves sleep quality
Enhanced physical performance and endurance
Increased elimination of toxins from the body
Immune system support
Improved mind-body connection, promotes self-awareness & mindfulness
Improved respiratory function
Spiritual exploration - facilitates a sense of connection and unity
REDUCES ANXIETY & STRESS
Breathwork helps reduce anxiety in multiple ways.
For starters, it helps us access the parasympathetic nervous system, creating more relaxation and reducing cortisol levels. You do some breathwork, you automatically feel more calm.
You also feel more present. And coming into the present moment can vastly reduce your feelings of worry.
Think about it - how much of your stress comes from worrying about the future that never happens? Or re-visiting past events that feel uncomfortable.
When we're going to these places, we experience self-created tension and can get stuck there.
Breathwork helps train our bodies and minds to keep coming back to the present moment. It's there that we can feel more peace, ease, freedom, clarity and power.
DECREASES CHRONIC PAIN
When you tap into your body through your breath, you will be able to recognize places where you've been unconsciously holding tension.
By breathing through the tension, combined with supportive pressure from the facilitator, you will be able to release a degree of the tension, slowly lessening the chronic pain it causes.
Over time the cumulative effects of this process can greatly lessen chronic tension, and the resulting issues it causes.
Our relationships with others are some of the most important - and at times most challenging - aspects of our lives.
It's proven that the quality of our relationships has a major impact on the quality of our lives. People with positive relationships enjoy life more, and isn't that what we're all wanting for ourselves?
Having great relationships with others starts with having a great relationship with yourself, and breathwork can help you get to know yourself deeper than you've ever experienced.
Knowing yourself leads to loving yourself well, and loving yourself well leads to loving others well.
Want to try it out?
Breathwork is one of those things that you just have to experience in order to understand the power it has to transform your life.
Get in touch with me to learn more about breathwork, and try it out for yourself with a personal session or a group class.
I'm a Level 2 Certified Breathwork Facilitator, and hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Alberta.
I am a parent to two of the most incredible children you'll ever meet, the proud spouse of a magnificent woman, and a part of a very large and diverse family network.
A great joy in my life is to see others light up, and I believe this happens when we find ways to show unconditional love and support. Breathwork facilitation is one way that I practice that, and I am honoured to support and guide others in this practice.
I am always working to learn how to create safer spaces for people to let down their walls and be deeply seen. I practice ongoing consent with my clients, and encourage open communication and respectful boundaries. I am learning how to decolonize my practice, and honour the many cultures whose land we practice on, and whose wisdom we benefit from.
I have always considered myself a student in life, and have studied many different subject areas relating to spirituality, relationships, emotions, wellness, and creativity. I love exploring these topics with others and learning from each other on this path.
And I play the spoons with friends!
Breathwork & Beats
Feb.16, 2024 @ City & Soul
Come experience the magical combination of breathwork and collective rhythm! In this class we will play some percussion together to get us into our bodies and finding joy and energy. Then we will sink into a gentle guided breathwork session to experience stillness and peace. You'll leave feeling lighter and more connected (and make some new friends along the way!)
When people hear about breathwork they have lots of questions. Here are a few answers.
How exactly do you DO breathwork?
Breathwork can be as simple as paying attention to your breath with more awareness than usual. Taking the time to regularly practice that basic act can make a positive impact on your wellness.
The type of breathwork that I regularly practice and teach to my clients is called Conscious Connected Breathing.
It involves breathing deeper and faster than usual, in and out through your mouth, with no pauses and with a relaxed exhale. This specific combo of breathwork moves creates an altered state of consciousness that helps you tap into your body in a powerful way.
What can happen during breathwork?
Each and every breathwork session is different, and each person will have a unique relationship with their breath. That said, here are some things that can happen:
Body sensations (e.g. tingling, warmth, chills, tension)
Emotional release & catharsis (e.g. crying, making sound)
Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in relaxation and stress reduction
Insight and clarity
Release of endorphins
Spiritual or transcendant experience
As you can see, there's a wide range of experiences that can happen! Sometimes people have a very physical experience, with lots of body-based sensations occuring. Sometimes they have very transcendant experiences, receiving insights or new awarenesses. Some sessions are intense, some sessions are quiet and peaceful.
Breathwork is going to give you exactly what you need each time, so you can trust that whatever happens is exactly right for you, right now.
What is a breathwork session like?
Different practictioners will offer different sessions based on their unique training and style. You can generally expect to be guided through a pattern of breathing for a set about of time, and will be monitored and supported throughout.
Here's a description of the breathwork sessions I take my clients through:
Explanation of Breathwork
We begin by talking about breathwork, the benefits, what to expect during the session, and have space for any questions so that you can feel comfortable and prepared for the session.
Before we begin breathing, I like to take time with my clients to have a little chat about what is bringing them to breathwork that day. During this chat we can identify areas that you'd like the shift in your life, notice patterns that are ready for your attention, or identify areas in your body where tension is present.
During this chat we aren't looking to solve any problems - this isn't talk therapy! We are just making some space to share and then decide what kind of intentions you'd like to set for our time in the breath.
After lying down and getting comfortable, we start with a grounding exercise to bring our awareness to the body, and to prepare ourselves to breathe.
Then we start the music! During the sessions I do with clients we listen to a curated music playlist designed to help guide you through the breathwork journey. It's both highly enjoyable and highly effective!
Once the music is playing you begin the breathing pattern, and I guide and support you as you do.
It's usually a pretty quick once you start breathing that you'll begin to feel something - whether that's new sensations in your body, emotions rising, or changes to your consciousness. As you keep breathing these experiences will rise and fall like waves, and we allow them and move through them.
An optional practice I offer in my sessions is intuitive touch and pressure. While you're breathing I will press and hold on areas of tensions to help direct your attention to them. As you keep breathing, these areas of tension are able to be witnessed and released. This aspect of the session can be very supportive and powerful. It's how we work together as a team to move through what comes up as you breathe.
Relaxation & Integration
The breathwork portion of my sessions typically lasts an hour, and you'll be surprised how quickly it goes! As we come to the end, you will relax your breathing and it will return to normal. You will have time to rest let everything settle.
Then there is space to discuss together what you experienced, and any insights you might have from it. This is also optional - some clients prefer to go home and journal about their experiences!
What benefits are there to practicing breathwork?
Every person will get something different from breathwork - that's the beauty of it. Your own breath and body will give you exaclty what you need. There are general areas that tend to see improvement with breathwork:
Stress reduction and relaxation
Improved mental clarity and focus
Emotional regulation and balance
Increased energy levels and vitality
Better sleep quality and insomnia reduction
Enhanced physical performance and endurance
Detoxification and elimination of toxins
Support for the immune system
Mind-body connection and self-awareness
Anxiety reduction and calmness
Improved respiratory function and lung capacity
Pain management and tension reduction
Emotional release and processing
Spiritual exploration and self-discovery
Improved digestion through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system
Mindfulness and presence cultivation
What if I can't get the breathing pattern right?
This is a common worry, but the great news is that it's impossible to get it wrong! You'll learn a simple pattern that will help facilitate you dropping into your body, and you'll be coached through using it. But ultimately the magic happens when you spend time breathing consciously. Everyone figures it out. You just have to show up, start breathing, and see what happens.
Are there any risks involved and how are they addressed?
As with any activity there are risks to practicing breathwork. All appropriate measures are taken to ensure that clients are kept safe and within their zone of tolerance.
A few potential risks involve:
Physical Strain on Respiratory Muscles
Challenges with Psychiatric Conditions
Unpleasant sensations like tingling, cramping or numbness
All clients are informed of potential risks and outcomes before each session and concerns are discussed thoroughly before proceeding.
In order to make breathwork as safe as I can, I center my practice around empowering my clients to make decisions for their own comfort and needs. It's in the small details like choosing whether to have a heater on or off, and feeling safe and empowered to ask for what would feel best. All touch is consent based, with a reminder each time that consent can be revoked at any time.
All clients are constantly monitored by a breathwork facilitator, guided through any intensity, and encouraged to slow down if things progress beyond what is within the client's capacity that day.
Ultimately a large reason to practice breathwork is to learn a new tool that will help you during discomfort - physical or emotional. Breathwork is sometimes uncomfortable, and we learn to breathe through it, and then get to see it pass. That's the growth.
Where did you learn breathwork?
I received my Level 2 Breathwork Certification from Journey Into Breath based in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
How do I get started with breathwork?
Breathwork is as simple as taking a minute to pay attention to your breath with more awareness than usual. Try it now and see how it feels!
If you're interested in trying it out with me, you can attend one of my group classes, or have a one-on-one session together.
Contact me with any further questions or if you'd like to explore your options for trying breathwork!
Want to try it out?
If you're interested in trying out breathwork, I'd love to support you! You can contact me for more session details and availability, or if you have any questions.
I'd love to hear from you!