Breathless® is well established as a global leader in the field of breathwork.
The Breathless® approach is grounded in science and we are recognised worldwide for our unique and multidimensional approach to breathwork training.
We draw from the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and physiology and it is this scientific underpinning that allows us to understand the mechanisms behind the breath and its effects on the body and mind. With this knowledge, we can tailor our approach to meet the specific needs of each individual, providing a personalised experience that is both effective and transformative.
We believe everyone can and should have access to the power of the breath, and with years of research and development, we have honed our methodology to provide you with the tools you need to achieve optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
At Breathless®, we believe that the breath is a powerful tool that can unlock your full potential. Our approach is designed to help you connect with your breath, harness its transformative power, and achieve a deeper level of self-awareness and understanding.
We stand out for our innovative and evidence-based approach to breathwork, and our commitment to helping you achieve optimal health and wellness through the breath.
For us, breath is an adventure, a way of life, and a solution to the problems of the modern world.
Breathwork is an ancient practice that has evolved alongside human development and potential for thousands of years. The history of breathwork is so vast and complex that it spans many epochs, many disciplines and many cultures.
Breathing practices are central to many ancient traditions including Yoga, Tantra, and Shamanism; and in all cultures throughout recorded history, one thing remains constant: conscious breathing is considered a major factor in physical health as well as emotional stability and spiritual development. In fact, the latin root of the word “spiritual” comes from the verb “to breathe”.
Yogis and meditators have benefited from various forms of breathwork for millenia and scientific and medical researchers have studied the field of conscious breathing for half a century. Today we see scientific evidence from a growing body of recent studies that clearly show the incredible benefits of breathwork.
Yet, conscious breathing has not been brought into the fold of our education system, or perhaps more importantly into medical education, clinical care, or psychiatric work to date. In fact, it’s received almost no attention whatsoever in these vital areas – the places where it could potentially have the largest positive influence.
Our breath is the most available and effective tool for improving our health and wellbeing that we have, and we have it with us all of the time. Conscious breathing can not only help us to feel better, perform at a higher level, and live a more healthful and productive life, it can even help us to live longer and more consciously, as evolving human beings – because we all breathe, and we can all learn to breathe better.
More than four decades of scientific research, including two new studies published in Nature and Brain Sciences earlier this year, have shown that breathwork is a powerful modality with enormous potential.
The range of benefits for both physical and mental health are vast and range from improving memory and cognitive function, to activating the peripheral nervous system, unblocking the nose and lowering blood pressure, all the way through to improving respiratory function, relieving symptoms of depression, improving cardiovascular and respiratory function, and even aiding in healing.
Studies also show the benefits of breathwork include improved sleep, relief from menopausal symptoms, relief from chronic pain and PTSD, and better post-surgery recovery – but it’s not just about treating ailments; intentional deep breathing can also enhance cognitive and athletic performance, creativity, and overall well-being.
We recently collaborated with a group of researchers, practitioners, and experts in psychiatry to publish a research paper on breathwork and anxiety in Brain Sciences, an international, peer-reviewed journal on neuroscience. The study was published in January 2023 and you can read more about it here.
Deep breathing has been found to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Breathwork can improve lung capacity, oxygen intake, and respiratory efficiency.
Some studies suggest that breathwork can improve immune function by increasing the production of natural killer cells and reducing oxidative stress.
Breathwork techniques have been found to enhance athletic performance by improving endurance and reducing fatigue.
Breathing exercises can help improve sleep quality by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
Mindful breathing practices can help increase self-awareness, improve emotional regulation, and enhance overall well-being.
Certain types of breathwork have been found to improve cardiovascular health by reducing heart rate and improving blood flow.
In the recent past, breathwork was either prescribed as an intervention for people with respiratory conditions, or relegated to the realm of spiritual practitioners who kept its transformative power veiled from the Western world.
The importance of breathing quality as a tool for assessing our well-being, performance, and ability to heal was often completely neglected or simply overlooked.
Many people have experienced practices such as yoga, meditation or qigong that have an aspect of breath oriented work. However, breath focus is sometimes only introduced as an afterthought. This speaks to a longstanding separation of body and mind, of spirit and psyche, of internal work and external change.
Our mission is to bridge this gap by exploring the rich history and cultural traditions of breathwork while incorporating contemporary science, somatic therapy, and neuroscience.
By accessing the dualities of right and left, intuitive and logical, we believe that breathwork can restore wholeness and support people from all walks of life. Our research-based breathwork school has taken on the daunting, yet exciting, task of blending the old and the new to create something better than either in isolation, utilising both slower and faster than normal breathing patterns as appropriate. As one of the fastest emerging tools in alternative medicine, we are committed to unlocking the full potential of the breath for healing and personal growth.
In this exciting time where science is catching up with spirituality we believe the breath is here to bridge the gap and support people from all walks of life.
Many paths lead to the foot of the mountain,
but at the peak, we gaze at the single bright moon.
– Ikkyu, Zen-monk poet 1394 – 1481
The potential for Breathless® techniques and methodologies is vast and we have already enjoyed promising results across a range of diverse settings.
Our techniques have been integrated into school classrooms and school learning programmes, from kindergarten through to high school. We are proud to work and collaborate with a broad spectrum of individuals and organisations, including universities, addiction recovery programs, corporate environments, and athletes and sports teams.
Breathless® has had the privilege of working with a range of clients, including world-renowned figures like David Goggins, Ludovico Einaudi, and A-League Sports Teams, as well as some of Australia’s largest companies.
Our next steps involve developing targeted breathing techniques for specific programs and collecting data from the fieldwork we have conducted over the past five years. With such widespread interest and positive outcomes, the future has never looked brighter for Breathless®.
Breathless® methods and techniques have been instructed to top-tier professional teams like England Rugby and the NZ Warriors, as well as high performers, olympians and artists, including Layne Beachley, David Goggins, Ludovico Einaudi, and numerous others.
As we continue to embrace the digital age, we seem to be drifting further away from nature, reality, and even ourselves.
This disconnect has wreaked havoc on our well-being, causing a range of issues such as stress, anxiety, self-doubt, and poor health, with dysfunctional breathing habits at the heart of the problem.
Studies have shown that up to 25% of people today are chronically over breathing, and it is estimated that up to 90% of the population has poor breathing habits. These patterns have been linked to our modern lifestyle and may be significant contributors to the negative outcomes so many of us face.
The following elements may seem miles apart, not just in time and space, but in approach and technique: the earliest documented yogic texts on breathing, the rigid protocols of Russian doctors, and the opinions of prominent contemporary sports physiologists. In many ways, they diverge, but there’s an important point upon which they all agree, and that is: the key lies in breathing less.
Why, you may ask? The answer: because people who experience stress and anxiety disorders tend to chronically breathe faster and more erratically; and research shows that slow breathing practices (which have received most of the attention in research so far) are an effective way of reducing stress and mental health issues.
During stressful periods, we tend to take a greater number of breaths per minute or we tend to breathe in a rhythm that is unnatural.
Poor breathing habits and over-breathing (i.e. taking too many breaths, and taking in too much air) are linked to poor states of health, stress and anxiety, and depression.
The delicate balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide levels can be disturbed after excessive periods of stress.
The faster you breathe, the faster you take in oxygen and remove the gas Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from your system, which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (otherwise known as the stress response). This has the effect of invigorating your body.
Prolonged stress can disrupt the fine equilibrium between oxygen and CO2. Conversely, slow and deep breaths initiate a series of reactions that induce a deeper and more complete state of relaxation in the body.
Our approach is a fusion of ancient practices, modern science, human performance, personal healing, and the expansion of consciousness.
We firmly believe that restoring proper breathing is paramount in attaining optimal well-being, and it should be a fundamental aspect of mainstream education and discussion, rather than viewed as an alternative option.
Despite being an instinctive process, breathing patterns and habits can be modified to enhance our overall health. Breathing techniques are no longer considered “new-age” or dismissed as just another fad; they have been proven to be highly effective in addressing impaired breathing habits, periods of stress and trauma, or feelings of disconnection from the body.
Regardless of where you are in your breathing journey, there is always room for improvement and an opportunity to unwind tension and establish a better relationship with your breath.
What sets Breathless® apart from other traditions is our selection of techniques and principles backed by decades of scientific research and rigorous testing. We provide detailed explanations of how and why each method works. We believe breathwork should be easily accessible and seamlessly incorporated into daily routines.
The Breathless® Process:
Using breath and lifestyle assessment tools, we look at the physiology of stress and how breathing techniques used by freedivers, yogis, and spiritual seekers alike can help you to handle stress more effectively and become a more well adapted, highly functioning human being as a result.
Mouth breathing is a typical characteristic of overbreathing. So are big, deep breaths and an increased rate of breathing. When a person overbreathes, too much carbon dioxide is lost from the blood and this results in reduced oxygenation of tissues and organs.
In contrast, when breathing volume is reduced towards normal, through nose breathing and breathwork, higher carbon dioxide in the blood promotes oxygenation of all tissues in the body.
“…Methods of performing Pranayama: 12. In the beginning, there is perspiration, in the middle stage there is quivering, and in the last or third stage, one obtains steadiness; and then the breath should be made steady or motionless.” Hatha Yoga Pradipika
By restoring the natural flow of breathing, the body’s ability to balance and our acute sense of being in the world, we gain more awareness, make better choices and live in a more harmonious state.
Research has verified that changing breathing habits over time can reprogram the respiratory centre in the brain and that retraining the way you breathe is uniquely possible and available (it’s an automatic function that can be voluntarily controlled).
You could say that it’s as though ‘there’s a manual option next to the automatic function’, with override and reset buttons, and all that’s required is for us to press the right buttons, at the right time.
Interesting fact: in a study from 1964, M. Reivich demonstrated how blood flow to the brain decreases by 2% for each 1 mmHg reduction in carbon dioxide pressure. In layman’s terms, this means that poor breathing habits that cause heightened CO2 sensitivity also reduce blood flow to the brain and thus negatively impact cognitive ability!
Formal practice: Setting aside time to actively engage in a breathwork technique by making it your single point of focus for the duration of the practice. This helps establish a gentle, rhythmic, and diaphragmatic flow of breath and at the same time reconditions the ‘set point’ or benchmark of breathing.
Informal practice: Exploring ‘baseline breathing’: bringing awareness to your breathing at rest and when you are engaging in day to day activities where breathing would ordinarily occur outside of your conscious control.
Learning to tap into secret sources of insight and clarity hidden in the untapped chambers of your ribcage as you expand your lung capacity, which is linked to life expectancy and longevity, whilst refining the dance between oxygen & carbon dioxide. We will teach you how to apply breathwork to sports and athleticism, the boardroom and artistic endeavours.
We’ll explore how stress and changes in your environment can affect your homeostasis; and how your breath becomes an essential moderator in your conscious and unconscious reactions. We look at how your nervous system can impact every part of your body, and especially your immune system.
You will gain an understanding of how breathing incoherently activates your stress response and can cause an inefficiency in your cellular machinery and bodily function. Breathing in too much oxygen at a time can cause oxidative stress which can be thought of as the rusting of your arteries and veins. Just like oxygen reacts with metal causing corrosion over time, so too does excessive oxidation of your cells.
We dive into how regulating and restoring your breath to its natural state can help with everything from stress to asthma, eczema, autoimmune conditions and restoring harmony in your body.
We apply methods that allow science and spirituality to walk hand-in-hand towards the goals of personal healing, expanding consciousness, tapping into flow states on demand and eradicating held tension from the body.
Breathwork is an immensely powerful therapeutic modality, so we explore set and setting, safety and the essential components that are necessary to lay a foundation for a deeply healing experience of emotional release.
*When Stan Grov could no longer use LSD, he explored shamanic traditions that used breath to induce trance states. He found ancient lineages that used breathwork as the means to achieve states of connection to a greater self, a sense of ‘knowingness’, outside the rational side of the brain. We explore how to open this doorway together.
We believe that integration is almost as important as the practice of breathwork itself. Whether that’s the integration of breathwork into your daily life as a personal practice, or the integration of the experiences, breakthroughs and transformations you’ve had during a guided breathwork session. We will give you guidance on how to integrate breathwork, so that you can benefit from a higher level of overall functioning including improved performance, regulating your nervous system, reducing stress, and improving your mental clarity and overall well-being.
We see many practitioners from varied professions who are incorporating breathwork into their practices today. These include psychotherapists, occupational and physical therapists, nurses, medical doctors, dentists and orthodontists, massage therapists, body workers, and energy workers. The breathing patterns of a practitioner as well as that of their client tell a great deal about ‘moment to moment’ state of ease and resourcefulness in their lives.
We know that when you’re stressed, your body and mind are not communicating well with each other. We’ve found that certain breathing techniques can improve that communication and help you feel better.
Deep breathing affects the vagal nerves which send messages between the body and brain. The more active the vagal nerves are, the better it is for our health, emotions, and thinking abilities. When we breathe slowly, our parasympathetic nervous system is more active which helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Breathing can also help different parts of the brain communicate more effectively and help us achieve a state of calmness.
We breathe about 5-6 times per minute when we’re relaxed, and studies show that breathing at this rate can help improve our health and reduce stress. It can even help synchronise different parts of our brain to work together better.
Interestingly, some fast-paced breathing techniques can also be beneficial for our mental health, as temporary, voluntarily induced stress can help us handle stress better and become more resilient in the long run.
21st Century humans are chronic over-breathers, and one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to restore the natural flow of our breathing.
Once breathing is restored to its natural flow, it should stay there, providing there is no return to poor breathing habits and certain lifestyle adaptations are made to ensure a balanced environment. This in and of itself can be incredible motivation for the client or individual. No subscriptions, no rules or boundaries and a gradually decreased amount of effort required. Unlike say, a fitness goal, where the benefits might wear off after a period of inactivity.
To connect with the breath is to connect with what is most vital in you. Whatever process you are in, if you find yourself needing to feel more at home in the world and in the body that carries you through it, let a slow, low lungful of oxygen fill you up and a long, steady exhalation purify your spirit.
Breathless® Mastery of Breath takes us to the intersection of science and art, we assist participants to learn intuitively and to reinforce their learning both experientially and environmentally, for real lasting chance.
Breathless® provides both clients and guides with:
A heightened sense of self and life long relationship to the breath, as well as an enhanced ability to self regulate, find coherence and act effectively under high degrees of stress.