Late last year, I came across Dr. Jeffery Martin’s work on fundamental wellbeing. He interviewed over 1,000 people who said they felt fundamental wellbeing most of the time, to study what they did and how they showed up in the world. His research is solid and important, as his programs are teaching people how to create a greater sense of peace in their worlds.

Since January, I have been on a quest to settle into a deeper sense of wellbeing and each month this year, I have been using this space to reflect on the experiment, with you along for the ride!

This is month eleven and this month my reflection is about breathing.

We all breathe so this can seem obvious, but just like we can all talk and we all listen – the mastery is in diving deeper into what might seem like only one layer exists to find multi-layers.

Breathwork the intentional use of breathing to enter into an expanded state.

Why would we want to do that?

For one, there are multiple times a day (an hour?) that we become stressed or anxious about something. Whether existing in reality, or just manufactured in our heads, we are regularly primed to be dysregulated in our emotions and body.  So, taking time, throughout the day every day, can greatly counteract that state.

Breathing with intention is also pleasurable, as we turn our attention to the waves of in and out that is a constant for us, waves of calm allowing us to relax.

There are 4 types of breathwork to consider:

1) Connected breath. This is a breathing that has no pausing between inhale & exhale or exhale & inhale. I do this kind of breathwork in my kundalini yoga practice and in certain guided meditations, including Soma mediation, which I enjoy.  Energizing to do intentionally and with awareness.

2) Interval breath. This is a counted breath with a holding pattern on the inhale or exhale. I do this kind of breath when I practice Qi Gong and when guided with a Dr. Joe Dispenza meditation.  It’s also the type of breath that is called “Box breathing”  – popularized as it’s been used by Navy Seals, first responders & high performance athletes to calm their breath & focus the mind as a powerful stress reliever.

3) Deeper breath (often combined with another practice like yoga, meditation, movement, sacred sexuality, pleasure practices or shaking)…The Wim Hoff breathing I’ve done would be akin to this I think…  Could be about breathing the other in… Or massage…

4) Embodied breath – (Focusing on a particular area of the body with the breath to get a specific response).  Classic example: one hand on chest concentrating on moving breathing in and out of that area – or focusing our breath and minds on other areas…

All these breathing patterns bring us more into the generous present moment. Choose one, set the timer on your phone to go off at least 3 times today, and practice one of these breathes – even if only for 3 or 6 breathes.

I hope you find some moments of fundamental well-being riding on the waves of your own breathing.

“One conscious breath in and out is a meditation.”   …. Eckhart Tolle