All Posts By


The Essence of Breathwork

By Blog

You may have noticed that Breathwork is coming of age! It is being applied by more and more people in the fitness, sports and peak performance world, in medicine and psychotherapy, in martial arts and the military, in the creative arts and in the corporate world.

My friend Leonard Orr once said: “Breathing for healing and growth is so easy, it’s like cheating!” After over 40 years of study and practice, teaching and learning, the essence of the practice has become quite clear to me, and it explains why so many people are getting such amazing results from Breathwork.

In the first place, people who come to Breathwork have a desire and an intention to heal and grow, to improve and develop themselves in some way. Add action to that the power of intention, and the results and benefits are guaranteed!

You see, breathing is an action. It’s a primal action. Breathwork involves focusing on and consciously directing our awareness and our energy. Breathwork gives us a handle on our awareness and on our energy, and so with it, we awaken our natural inherent healing and creative powers.

Breathwork awakens heart intelligence and body intelligence. The practice connects us and aligns us with our source and with our purpose. It fuels our grand desires and helps us to manifest our heart’s deepest intentions. And for many people, it makes certain drugs and medical procedures unnecessary. It also puts a lot of therapists out of business!

The physiological effects of conscious breathing techniques are unarguable. And Breathwork allows us to manage our emotional and psychological states. Breathwork opens us to a rich and deep inner world. It helps us to access our unconscious mind, and it connects us to each other, and to the world around us in a direct and powerful way.

When you become more conscious of your breathing, you become more conscious of everything: your body and mind, your thoughts and feelings, and those of others; and it brings to light your unconscious habits and patterns.

When you take control of your breathing, you take control of yourself, your awareness and your energy. With it you can determine your results and your outcomes in life. Breathwork is nothing short of transformational! In fact, it ultimately leads us all to spiritual awakening, spiritual enlightenment, and spiritual liberation.

No wonder so many people are jumping on the bandwagon! No wonder everyone is talking about it! No wonder Breathwork is spreading like wildfire around the world! I am so honored, so grateful, and so blessed to be part of this worldwide movement!

Breathwork is the new Yoga! It is modern meditation. It’s spiritual purification. And it doesn’t really matter what style, school, method, or approach you try: there are certain basics, certain common denominators, certain fundamentals that apply.

That’s why I am so excited about the recent launch of our new Online Breath Mastery Fundamentals Course. It provides a solid body of knowledge and a set of skills that will help anyone on the path of Breath Mastery.

If you are a beginner, the course will dramatically shorten your learning curve. And if you are a seasoned practitioner, it will deepen and broaden your practice, and give you lots of coaching tools and strategies. It is like adding a whole new set of colors to an artist’s palette!

I invite you to sign up for the Course and join the growing number of people who are becoming masters of their awareness and energy, in body, mind and spirit!

To sign up, please visit:

Control Your Breath to Control Yourself

By Blog

There is no longer any argument about it: the practice of Breathwork enhances performance in sports and business. It improves health and increases enjoyment in everyday life.

It is being used everywhere—from the battlefield to the playing field, from the classroom to the courtroom, from the boardroom to the bedroom.

When you control your breath, you control your energy and your awareness. When you control your breath, you control your body and your chemistry. When you control your breath, you control your attitude and your emotions.

You can use Breathwork to control the anxiety that comes before or during a stressful event. And you can use it to recover from a shock or trauma, or after a stressful experience. You can use breathwork to stimulate the brain and nervous system, or to calm it down.

The quality of your mind and your emotions is determined by the quality of your breath. In other words, by controlling your breath, you control yourself. By controlling your breath, you can control everything else. It’s that simple. For example, by controlling your breath, you can control your blood pressure and your heart rate.

If you take in a quick deep breath and hold it while locking up your neck, jaw and shoulders, you can create a sharp rise in blood pressure and heart rate. This can be useful for example in an emergency, or when you need to brace yourself to survive a crisis or meet a challenge.

On the other hand, when you exhale slowly and allow a relaxed pause after the exhale, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your heart rate. Slow deep breathing strengthens the heart, while shallow breathing actually makes your heart work harder.

And when it comes to performance, a long exhale and a relaxed pause will increase your precision and accuracy. Ask any leading surgeon, diamond cutter, archer, billiard player or marksman.

Here are some quick tips for athletes and performers:

When you want to calm yourself down, slow your breathing down. When you want to ramp up your energy, turn up your breathing. When you want to focus your mind, focus on your breath.

When you want to take advantage of a break in the action to quickly recharge and recover, use quick sharp exhales, squeezing the air out, and then allowing passive, reflexive inhales.

When you want to charge your system with energy without ramping up stress and tension, give yourself a few strong sharp exhales through the mouth, and allow the inhales to be reflexive.

It seems counter intuitive, but when you need more oxygen or energy, when you feel short of breath, it’s often best to focus on the exhale rather than the inhale.

Another useful practice is to shake and wiggle your body and limbs while breathing consciously. Lift your shoulders and drop them in synch with the breath. Shake your arms and hands while deliberately releasing the breath.

This is a great way to flush all the chemicals out of your system that build up when you are tense or anxious, or engaged in high intensity activities. Notice that boxers and ball players intuitively do this.

Breathwork is the new yoga! It is the new meditation! If you are ready to discover, explore, and develop the power and potential of Breathwork for your own benefit, or to help your clients, students, or patients, then I have great news:

Coming on March 1st is the global launch of the all new Breathwork Fundamentals Course. It includes a textbook, a workbook, and a collection of audio-video training materials.

Whether you are new to breathwork or a seasoned practitioner, you will want to master the principles and practices in this course. The course is only $267 USD. And if you purchase it right now, this month, you can take advantage of the outrageous pre-launch offer: just $168 USD.

All the info is here:

The other great news is that we are organizing a live Fundamentals Tour beginning in California, and I am inviting two of the best breathwork trainers I know in Australia to join me on the tour!

Visit:é-california and check out all
the details!

Start the Year with a Walk: A Breath Walk!

By Blog

We are into the new year… filled with promise and possibilities… Many people start the year with the intention to get more exercise. A simple start in this direction is to take a daily walk. Maybe you already have that habit. In that case, I invite you to make it a ‘Breathwalk’.

Maybe you have decided to take your life in a new direction, to change your pace—to speed up or to slow down.Maybe you have reached a comfortable plateau and this year is about settling in or settling down. I invite you to use conscious energy breathingto express, reflect and fuel your intentions.

I invite you to make this year the year that you get into the habit of ‘Breathwalking’. That is the practice of consciously breathing in rhythm to your footsteps. It’s a great way to calm and quiet,relax and energize body, mind, and soul.

The principle of combining movement and breath is an ancient path to better health, higher performance, spiritual development. Breathing mindfully while you walk is a perfect way to apply this ancient principle. And of course, this practice can be applied to running or jogging.

Start with a 3-3 pattern: inhale for three steps and exhale for three steps. Inhale three, exhale three.Once you get into the habit of breathing consciously in rhythm to your footsteps, you can begin stretch and adjust the basic 3-3 pattern in the direction of comfort and ease. Perhaps shifting to a 2-4 or a 3-6 pattern: in other words, make the exhale twice as long as the inhale.

You can try stretching the inhales and exhales out. For example, practice a5-5,6-6, or 8-8 pattern. Or, perhaps you feel like adjusting to adjust the pattern so that the inhales are longer than the exhales. Perhaps a 4-3 or a 4-2 pattern.

Experiment. Be creative. If you climb stairs at home, at school or at work, get in the habit of playing with your breath as you go up and down any staircases.

Breathwalking is a great way to clear your head and get in touch with your body. Mindful breathing increases the natural pleasure that comes with movement. Many people combine Breathwalking with affirmations, mantras, prayers, or power statements.

Breathing in and out through the nose during your breathwalk is a good idea, and it’s a good idea to breathe in the nose and out the mouth. This is a particularly effective practice.

It’s also a good idea to use your breathwalk to practice diaphragmatic breathing. And you may even practice the ‘full yogic breath’ when walking in rhythm to your footsteps. In the beginning, use comfort and pleasure as your gage. And if you like, you turn your breathwalk into a fitness challenge.

Make it a goal to get moving and to get into breathing this year. Do some walking—some Breathwalking.

Here come the Holidays!

By Blog

Expect stress levels to be high for many if not most of us over the next few weeks!

As if we are not busy enough. As if there aren’t already more than enough things to do. I just breathed with a guy who was pressing to finish a number of work projects before year’s end. And after work, it’s all about shopping and cooking, office parties, religious duties, and family gatherings…

Between traffic jams, packed airports, and long lines everywhere, there’s the traditional increase in credit card debt. Heck, just trying to figure out what to get certain people can be a source of great stress! When will you find the time to send out all the Christmas cards? And at Christmas dinner, do you hold your tongue as usual or do you finally speak your mind to your Aunt Lucie or your Uncle Harry?

For many, the holidays will be marked by lost loved ones. And yet, under it all, behind it all, after all, it is a very special season of appreciation and celebration. It is a time to connect more deeply with our family and friends, to spread peace and good will in the greater community.

Where will your attention be this season?
What will be your focus?
What will you be doing with your energy?

Here is a simple lesson from the soon-to-be-released Breath Mastery Fundamentals Program. A way to help you coast through the holiday season with a relaxed body, a quiet mind, and a peaceful heart!

Inhale, exhale, pause…

Inhale, exhale, pause…

Inhale, exhale, pause…

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And it is! In fact, it is nature’s way of breathing us when we are at rest. It’s the way your body breathes itself when nothing is disturbing your comfort or peace.

Try it now. Do it consciously. Breathe the “Triangle Breath.”

Inhale, exhale, pause…

Inhale, exhale, pause…

Inhale, exhale, pause…

Practice a 4-4-4 pattern for a minute or two right now.

Count 4 on the inhale.
Count 4 on the exhale.
And count 4 on the pause.

How do you feel doing after six to twelve Triangle Breaths where each side is equal?

By the way, if you have been counting in seconds, that’s a rate of six breaths per minute—a proven “therapeutic zone” guaranteed to trigger relaxation and to release stress.

At our live breathwork events, I train participants in two directions: comfort and challenge. And so, I encourage you to do the same. Discover what is comfortable, and explore what is challenging.

Start with a 3-3-3 or a 4-4-4 pattern, and then adjust it in the direction of ease and comfort. Change the size or shape of the triangle. Maybe you make the inhale longer or shorter, or the exhale longer or shorter. Maybe you adjust the length of the pause.

Go ahead and practice right now. Breathe the Triangle Breath for a full minute or two, and adjust the inhale, exhale and pause in a way that feels easy and natural, interesting or pleasurable, relaxing or energizing.

Practice now for one or two minutes and identify your most comfortable Triangle Breath. Is it 5-5-5? 4-2-6? 8-4-4? 3-6-3? Whatever it is, it could be your unique way re-focus and destress, a way to clear your head, settle your stomach, and calm your nerves!

The second direction of training is challenge. For example: is it difficult for you to enjoy a long pause after the exhale? Then practice in that direction! If your comfortable pause is only 2 or 3 or 4 seconds, then practice until you can enjoy a comfortable pause of at least 6 or 8 or 12…

Some training tips:

1. When you breathe, don’t use any unnecessary muscular effort. Make the inhales conscious but not forced.

2. While inhaling, consciously enjoy the feelings of expansion. And while you are exhaling, focus on deliberately relaxing your body.

3. And as for the pause, let it be like coming home. Make that pause after the exhale a comfort zone. Don’t rush into the next inhale! Linger in the quiet open feeling of inner stillness.
Good luck in your practice, and many blessings on your path!
May your holiday season be filled with healthy comfort, and natural joy!


By Blog

Pace, Space, Intention

I love it when someone digests what I teach, blends it with what they have learned from others, integrates it into their own experience and practice, and then passes it on in a clear, effective and powerful way.

This is exactly the case with Shane Saunders, one of our One Sky Practitioners in Australia. And so, this month I would like to share with you what we could call a 20-minute “Breathing Workout.” A great way to start your day!
This unique Breathwork Protocol focuses on three aspects of Breath Mastery Training:

1. Space.

Notice that you have three breathing spaces. You can breathe into the lower belly (all the way to the floor of your pelvis). You can breathe into the center of your chest (into your heart space). And you can breathe high up into your chest (under the collar bones).

2. Pace

Think in terms of three breathing rhythms or rates: fast and full; slow and full; fast and shallow. These are of course general directions. What one person calls slow and full or fast and shallow can be very different for another person.

3. Intention

Breathing with a conscious intention engages our natural healing and creative abilities. For this exercise, we focus on: a) clearing the head and energizing the mind; b) opening the heart and generating love; c) relaxing and releasing physical tension from the body.

Start your workout in the upright seated position. Take a couple of long inhales and a few big sighs of relief to gather your focus and to settle in.

Breathe slowly and fully into the lower space for a minute. Then breathe quickly and fully into the middle breathing space for a minute. Finally, breathe very quick small breaths into the upper space for a minute. This is to free up the breathing mechanism, zero in on the three spaces, and get everything open, alive, and working.

Now lay down on your back with legs extended or with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Begin breathing fully into the lower breathing space at a slow pace for one minute. Your intention is to relax and release physical tension from the body. After about a minute, turn up the pace: breathe full breaths more quickly. And for the third minute, breathe very quickly and fully into your lower belly. Remember your intention.

Now take in a very deep breath, and exhale, emptying yourself completely. Take in one more deep breath and then just let go and let the breath out. Now hold the breath at that neutral point. Continue to relax and focus on your intention to relax and release tension from your body.

After a minute or so, or when you are ready, take in a deep breath and hold it in for ten seconds. Intensify your intention. Then just relax and let go. Meditate on your body, your energy, and your feelings for a minute or so.

Next, hold the intention to open your heart and generate love, and begin to breathe slowly and fully into the middle space. After a minute, notch it up a bit and breathe more fully and quickly. After another minute, accelerate and intensify the breathing even more. Breathe very fully and quickly for a minute. Remember your intention.

After that third minute, take in a deep breath and then empty yourself completely. Take in one more deep breath and just relax and let it out. Then hold the breath at that neutral point. Focus on your intention.

After a minute or so, or when you are ready, take in a deep breath and hold it in for ten seconds. Then just let go, and relax, and feel… meditate on your body and your energy.

Finally, focus on the upper breathing space. Breathe slowly and fully up under your collarbones. Hold the intention to clear your head and energize your mind. After a minute, turn up the pace: breathe more quickly. And after another minute, turn up the pace even more: breathe very quickly and fully into the upper space. Remember your intention.

Take in one more deep breath, and exhale and empty yourself completely. Then take in another deep breath and just let it out. Relax and hold the breath at that neutral point. Focus on your intention.

After a minute, or when you are ready, take in a deep breath and hold it in for ten seconds. Intensify your intention. Then just let go and relax. Focus on your body, your feelings, and your energy.

Sit up. Do several “Sufi” breaths to energize yourself. The Sufi breath is two sharp quick inhales, followed by a quick full exhale. Now you are ready for your day!

Take a Deep Breath. It’s Back to School Time!

By Blog, Uncategorized

Hey kids! Hey teachers! Are you feeling a bit nervous about the start of a new school year? That’s a good, healthy thing, you know! It is perfectly normal to feel anxious when facing a challenge or beginning a new adventure.

The nervousness we all feel at times like these is simply the awakening of our creative energy. It’s fuel for life. If we resist it, we feel fear, but if we welcome it, we feel excitement! You can learn to channel your life force in ways that not only help you to overcome fear and anxiety but assist in meeting and mastering any challenge.

The secret is to practice conscious breathing combined with deliberate relaxation, and positive imagery. Elite warriors do it, Olympic athletes do it, yogi masters do it, great artists and peak performers in every field do it, and so can you! Breathe slowly into your lower chest and belly. While you do, imagine beautiful scenes and wonderful feelings, like joy and success. Consciously open and expand, and deliberately relax and let go with every breath.

Practice “Triangle Breathing”



Breathe in for a count of four; breathe out for a count of four; then pause for a count of four. Count to four on the inhale, count to four on the exhale, and then count to four before breathing in again.

Inhale 1… 2… 3… 4… Exhale 1… 2… 3… 4… Pause 1… 2… 3… 4….

Practice this while waiting for the bus or when standing in the lunch line. Use it before an exam. Do it when negative thinking begins to cloud your mind or make your body tense. In this way, you’ll gather all that nervous energy and channel it in a very healthy and productive way.

Remember the ancient Chinese proverb: “Where consciousness goes, energy flows.”

Imagine breathing into your brain to calm and clear your mind and to fuel your thinking before a test. Breathe into your legs to give them energy before you run, jump, or play. Breathe into your hands before art class. Breathe in rhythm to your footsteps when climbing stairs, or when walking to and from class.

Take a long slow breath in through your nose when you want to commit something to memory: a geographical map, an historical date, a chemical or mathematical formula, or a musical phrase. This simple practice has been proven to improve recall.

Give yourself energizing and relaxing breaths from time to time throughout the day, because as Mark Divine, my friend and Navy Seal Commander, says: “It’s easier to keep up than it is to catch up!”

One last tip: Place your hands on your chest for a few minutes every day and breathe positive, loving energy into your heart. Do this to honor yourself for being the best you can be, and as a way to generate gratitude for every beautiful challenge life brings you!

Breathe Your Stress Away With 4 Simple Techniques

By Blog

Dan Brulé, author of Just Breathe, is a pioneer in the field of Breathwork, and a world-renowned leader of the Spiritual Breathing movement. A former US Navy Deep Sea Diver, he is one of the originators of Breath Therapy, a Master of Prana Yoga (The Hindu Science of Breath), and an expert in Chi Kung (Chinese Medical Breathing Exercises). His new book, Just Breathe, is on sale now from Atria Books, an imprint of our sister company, Simon & Schuster.If you are among the more than 40 million Americans who suffer from an anxiety disorder, or if you are one of the 75 million who have high blood pressure, I have good news for you. You can make stress and anxiety—and even high blood pressure—a thing of the past! How? Through conscious breathing, also called breathwork.

Ancient monks, masters, mystics and yogis have long used breathwork to overcome stress and anxiety. Today, corporate executives, professional athletes, Navy SEALs, and peak performers in every field use conscious breathing to manage and control their physiological, psychological and emotional states.

The fact is anyone who is willing and able to learn and practice breathwork can significantly alleviate their stress, reduce their anxiety and lower their blood pressure to some degree. You can actually reduce your cortisol levels—that’s the stress hormone—by as much as 20% in as little as five minutes!

Having trained over 100,000 people from every walk of life in more than 50 countries over the last 40 years, I simply don’t have the luxury of doubt. The secret is to combine conscious awareness, deliberate relaxation and paced breathing. This stuff works, especially if you develop a regular daily practice. Here’s what you need to do:

Practice Breath Awareness
Tune into your breathing. This is called mindfulness training. Is your breathing fast or slow? Deep or shallow? Smooth or irregular? Focus your attention on the feelings and sensations of the breath as it comes and goes. Where do you feel those sensations? What moves when you breathe? What muscles do you use? Begin to observe your breathing from time to time though the day, especially when you feel anxious or stressed.

Practice Breathing Low And Slow
Learn diaphragmatic breathing and get comfortable with a rate of four to eight breaths per minute. This is called the “therapeutic zone.” You may want to aim for six breaths a minute to start, and then adjust your pace as needed or able. Breathe in through your nose and out through pursed lips, or make a “shushing” sound.

Lean Into Your Exhale And Turn The Pause After The Exhale Into A Comfort Zone
This means lengthening or extending your exhale. Slow the exhale down, and don’t rush into the next inhale. Breathe in gently, breathe out slowly, and then linger for a time in a state of quiet stillness before breathing in again. Practice this three times a day for at least 5 minutes.

Yawn And Sigh
If you feel anxious or stressed, shake your body while you yawn and give yourself big sighs of relief for a minute or two. Loosen your muscles and wiggle your joints to release physical tension and blocked energy as you breathe in and out. Make pleasurable sounds.Forget about how you look or what other people might think. With practice, you can learn to get more from a few minutes of breathwork than most people get from a weekend in the Bahamas!

References/Further Study:

  • Just Breathe: Master Breathwork For Success In Life, Love, Business And Beyond by Dan Brulé
  • The Healing Power Of Breath by Drs. Richard Brown and Pat Gerbarg
  • 365 Heart Coherence by Dr. David O’Hare

Dan Brulé, author of Just Breathe, is a pioneer in the field of Breathwork, and a world-renowned leader of the Spiritual Breathing movement. A former US Navy Deep Sea Diver, he is one of the originators of Breath Therapy, a Master of Prana Yoga (The Hindu Science of Breath), and an expert in Chi Kung (Chinese Medical Breathing Exercises). His new book, Just Breathe, is on sale now from Atria Books, an imprint of our sister company, Simon & Schuster.

The Art of Spiritual Breathing

By Blog

Do you want to open to something higher in yourself? Use your breath. Are you ready to make room in your life for something greater? Use your breath. Are you ready to let go of something that no longer serves you, or that has been holding you back? Use your breath. Are you ready to unleash your creative powers? Use your breath!

I have taken the Art of Spiritual Breathing to over 50 countries in the past 35 years. And one of the most powerful spiritual breathing techniques that we have developed can be summed up in a breathing mantra. And that is: “Open and Expand. Relax and let Go.”

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And it is. It also describes what naturally happens in us every time we breathe. Our diaphragm contracts and our chest expands as we inhale, then it relaxes when we let go of the exhale. We do that between 10 and 20 thousand times a day. In other words, we open and expand and relax and let go every time we breathe.

What do you need to open to? What would you like to open to: patience, compassion, discipline, courage, prosperity? More health, more love, more joy? What are you ready to let go of: criticism, self-doubt, anger, fear? A negative thought, a limiting belief, the past?

Ordinary breathing becomes a powerful spiritual practice when we add conscious intention to it. The spirit of breath is always right there, ready and willing to support us with real and powerful physical forces. All it takes is for us to bring conscious intention to this natural process we call breathing.

Over the years, I have noticed that the most spiritual people I’ve ever met have also been the most conscious; and the most conscious people I’ve ever met have also been the most spiritual. So maybe there is no difference. Maybe they are the same. To be spiritual is to be conscious, and to be conscious is to be spiritual.

One thing is for sure: a heartfelt intention powered by the breath can do wonders. It can make magic! Breathing consciously awakens powerful creative healing and energies in us. Forming an intention while focusing on the feelings of expansion and relaxation as you breathe in and out, can create rapid positive changes in your life.

We all know about the power of intention: the secret is out! But very few people have discovered, explored, or developed the power of conscious breathing to create change in their lives. If you want to attract, manifest, or create something, or if you want to free yourself of something, the spirit of breath is standing by ready to help you.

The spirit of breath is flowing through you right now. All you have to do is consciously turn to it, focus on it, and put it to work on your behalf. You can use conscious breathing to strengthen your resolve or re-ignite your passion. Breathing is an action—a primal action. You can use spiritual breathing to bring in energy from a higher source, and you can use conscious breathing to release physical, psychological, or emotional blocks.

What is your fondest dream? What is your highest aspiration? What do you need to realize, achieve, or experience? What is stopping you? What is holding you back? Practice spiritual breathing and all the doors will be opened for you. Everything will be revealed. Put the power of your breath to work for you and you will quickly find yourself well on the way to success and fulfillment!

In my soon to be published book, Just Breathe: Master Your Breath for Success in Life, Love, Business and Beyond, we will explore this practice and many others in more detail. But you can begin to apply this spiritual breathing technique right now:

As you breathe in, focus on your heart and feel yourself opening and expanding as you consciously affirm or declare your intention. Then relax and let go as you exhale, and feel yourself receiving, achieving, enjoying the fulfillment of your desires.Try it. Play with it. You will be surprised at how well and how quickly this works for you!

Good luck in your practice, and many blessings on your path!

Leaning into the Exhale: How to Use Your Breath to De-Stress

By Blog

With the hectic holiday season just around the corner and with all the craziness going on in the world, we need a way to stay calm, centered and relaxed. So this month I want to talk about using breathwork for preventing and eliminating stress, work-life balance, and relaxation.

My friend and multiple world record holder Stig Severinsen sums up the anti-stress, anti-anxiety breathing rule of thumb in this way: “relaxation is in the exhalation.” What that means is, if you want to relax, stay calm, or reduce your anxiety, you need to learn how to “lean into the exhale.”

You see, when you inhale, you automatically activate the sympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system (the fight or flight response); and when you exhale, you naturally activate the parasympathetic branch of your ANS (the rest and recover mode).

In Chapter 2 of my upcoming book, Just Breathe, I talk about the connection between breathing and the nervous system; and in Chapter 3 we go more deeply into it. Here, I’d just like to give you a couple of quick tips on how to use your breath to counter stress, tension, nervousness or anxiety.

Have you noticed that when the pressure is on, the top athletes and artists in the world take a conscious breath? Have you noticed that they breathe just before they shoot, swing, throw, kick, or dive? That’s not a coincidence. High performers and people who work in high stakes or life or death situations use their breath to manage their psychological, emotional, and physiological state. And you can do the same.

When you notice yourself becoming stressed or upset, tense or anxious, do this:

1. stop and focus on your breath for a few moments

2. then give yourself a couple of deliberate sighs of relief

3. loosen your jaw, neck, and shoulders as you exhale

4. use the exhale to drop into a place of stillness and peace within

After a few of these soothing sighs of relief, focus on lengthening the exhale, and relaxing more deeply as you do. Begin to make your exhales at least twice as long as your inhales. Then take the relaxation even further: when the air stops coming out, continue to exhale mentally or energetically. Imagine that you are continuing to exhale.

From the outside, it will seem that you are holding your breath after the exhale, but on the inside, your experience should be that you are continuing to exhale. The idea is to “ride” the exhale down into a place of peace and stillness. Remain soft and loose as you drop deeper into this place of open relaxation.

If you make your inhale fuller or bigger, if you gently give your inhale a little extra stretch or expansion, then you will trigger a more powerful release on the exhale, and you will trigger the relaxation response.

Practice making the exhales longer. Start by inhaling for a count of 2 and exhaling for a count of 4, then continue to mentally exhale or rest in the pause after the exhale for an additional count of 4… Then maybe inhale for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 6, adding an open pause at the end of the exhale for an additional count of 6.

Remember to continue to exhale energetically or imagine exhaling mentally after all the air stops coming out. Remaining relaxed and open, and continuing to lean into the exhale… letting go more deeply…

With practice, you can get free of stress and tension and return to a state of peace and relaxation, of comfort and calmness, with just one or two of these conscious breaths.

Good luck with your practice and many blessings on your path.

Ceremonial Breathing

By Blog

This month I would like to share with you a unique breathing practice taught by Michael Brian Baker. He is an independent breathworker, and has not trained with any of the well-known Rebirthing or Breathwork schools. I love his approach, and I love him. Michael is very conscious of energy, and he understands how breathing can ignite vital force in the body. He is devoted to guiding as many people as possible toward an experience of this universal life force.

Like many of us, Michael had a spontaneous awakening to the Spirit of Breath. And more than that, he embodies a sacred tradition that began in prehistoric Africa, spread to ancient Egypt, and then inspired the early yogis of India. His teachings bring together the modern consciousness movement and personal growth seminars like EST (the Forum) and Insight, with the Shaktipat experience and South American Medicine Ceremonies. He refers to his work as Ceremonial Breathing, and as a journey of emersion into self-realization.

He is dedicated to guiding people into witnessing their own spiritual awakening. He is also devoted to inspiring and supporting large group initiations. I feel that Michael is responding to the need for genuine rites of passage and the lack of them in the western world. The results of his practice are like ayahuasca or peyote ceremonies, but instead of ingesting substances, he turns people on with the breath.

His approach is based on sacred geometry and numerology, and before his sessions, he does invocations and he asks Spirit for permission and guidance. He is also up to date on the latest research in neuroscience and brain plasticity, and he is passionate about teaching medical students and young doctors about breathwork and other natural healing methods.

Michael is particularly skilled—gifted in fact—at “singing” people through those periods when spiritual evolution and personal transformation cause our egos to go into a panic. And although he talks about alchemy and animal totems, and he makes use of earth, air, water and fire rituals, he does not want to be known as a shaman. In fact, he prefers the term showman. I smiled when he referred to himself “Spirit’s errand boy” or as “Spirit’s bitch!”

Here, I ‘d like to give you a very brief description of his Breathing Initiation. First, understand that the breathing pattern he uses is a two-part breath. The first part of the inhale is in the belly and the second part is in the chest, then simply relax and release the exhale all at once. Breathe this way in a continuous rhythm.

Next, he suggests incorporating the “ocean breath” also known as Ujjayi breathing. By tightening your throat slightly, you create a sort of “Darth Vader” sound. This is an ancient yogic practice with a number of health benefits, not the least of which is that it helps to bring more conscious awareness to your breathing.

  1. While looking at a clock, breathe the two-part breath continuously for 7 minutes.
  2. Then inhale and hold your breath for 1 minute.
  3. Release the breath, rest, relax, and breathe normally for 1 minute.

That completes one round of Michael’s Ceremonial Breathing technique. Do two more rounds like this.

As I said, I am only giving you a small taste of this unique breathwork practice. Still, I know that you will have a valuable experience if you try it. To recieve all the benefits of this beautiful method, I suggest you contact Michael, check his schedule, and plan to attend one of his events. Visit:

Good luck in your practice and many blessings on your path!

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software