“How often should I do breathwork?”
“How often can I do breathwork?”
These are the questions I get most often after a breathwork class. My response is usually something along the lines of…
“How fast do you want your life to change? How quickly do you want to clear out your stress, anxiety, depression, anger, and heal your past traumas?”
There are no hard and fast rules about when or how often. I have found that making a plan and sticking with that plan works best.
Everything worthwhile requires a little bit of focus and a little bit of discipline. With breathwork, as with most things in life, you need to show up to get the benefits. Try it once in a blue moon, and it will relax you in the moment, but it probably won’t transform your entire life.
That being said, it’s been my experience that even a minimal effort put into breathwork yields such massive results that everyone in the world should be doing this. The only reason they’re not doing breathwork is that there isn’t enough awareness around it yet.
For me, real change came from doing breathwork every day. It might not be exactly the same for you. But I do recommend doing it as often as possible until you reach the “maintenance” phase.
How to Change Your Life With Daily Breathwork
When I first discovered conscious, connected breathwork over a decade ago, there were so many things I did not like about the class. However, the results were immediate and undeniable.
As soon as I got home, I wanted to know if breathwork would have the same effect on me if I did it on my own (without having to attend some hippy-dippy woo-woo class). Not only did it work, but the results were even greater.
So, I started doing circular connected Breathwork every day. Was it easy? Absolutely not – especially at first.
The Obstacles And A Simple Technique To Overcome Them
Circular connected breath is achieved by breathing in and out through the mouth. There are several variations, but overall, this type of breathwork can be intense physically and emotionally.
I want to make a special note here to say that you should be focused on nose breathing 99.9% of the time. In fact, you should always be breathing through your nose unless you’re doing this type of breathwork – or doing an extremely intense type of exercise. Nose breathing is so important for health, that I use mouth tape at night to make sure I’m breathing through my nose. And even though I mostly breathe through the nose without the mouth tape, I still notice a big difference when I tape.
Circular connected breathwork is done strictly by breathing through the mouth and into the diaphragm (the main muscle for ventilation, found in your abdomen).
When I tell people that I practiced this type of breathwork technique every day for a year, they’re usually surprised. “How could you do this every day for a year?”
Come on! It’s 28 minutes or so of lying on the floor breathing. It’s not harder than working out. But it is challenging mentally. Your brain doesn’t want you to do it. Doing breathwork might even be more challenging mentally than going to the gym.
I faced these obstacles too, especially during the first few weeks. Then I developed a way to trick my brain.
|I would tell myself: “It’s just three songs Jon Paul. You can do anything for three songs!”. The average length of a song is between 3 to 5 minutes, so three songs go for 10 to 15 minutes. And that’s exactly how long it takes to overcome what I call “the hump” in breathwork. That’s the part where your brain resists and does everything it can to get you to stop.|
Why does the brain try to stop you? Because it doesn’t care about your happiness. The job of the brain is to keep us safe. So it wants us to do nothing at all because that’s what’s safest.
So what exactly happens during breathwork to override the brain’s programming?
There’s this incredible thing called transient hypofrontality. It’s part of the prefrontal cortex where our inner critic and ego reside. This type of breathwork can sometimes turn off the prefrontal cortex and give us a break from our egos and self-criticism. The resistant part of our brain gives up after around 10 to 12 minutes, and the breathing technique becomes so much easier to do. Usually about three songs. Often by the time I got to the end of the third song I wanted to keep going and so I did.
The first time I felt this sensation, it was incredible. It was the feeling I was looking for with drugs and alcohol (and although sometimes I would find it, there were often bad consequences to pay).
In my class, the “Active Circular Breathwork Technique” lasts for about 28 minutes. That’s what I consider a “full session”. Three songs are NOT a full session. However, even if I decided to stop at the end of the third song, it was still enough to shift my perspective, clear out fear and make me feel better in some way.
Transformation, one day at a time
Just doing breathwork every day changed how I went into my day. It changed how I interacted with the people around me. It changed me and my relationships. And that changes EVERYTHING. That’s how it changed my life right away. It did much more later, in terms of changing my life, but that’s a whole other post.
It also shifted my relationship with myself. This is one of the most incredible things that happen to breathwork. The longest most important relationship you’re ever going to have is the one with yourself, but most people don’t work on that.
When you work on your relationship with yourself, all the relationships around you change. So essentially every time you lay down to do breathwork, you are working on the relationship with yourself. If you spend some time on that every day things have to shift for you.
Wherever focus goes, energy flows
Creating a regular breathwork practice is creating a self-care practice.
People think that self-care is a bubble bath or a massage. Those are gratifying rewards for doing the work on yourself. And “the work” like breathwork or going to the gym can sometimes be uncomfortable. Like the cliché: Everything you want is on the other side of your comfort zone.
Over the last decade of doing this work, I’ve seen a lot of people come to my classes and have a massive experience in their very first class. They tell me it was “life-changing.”
However, people who do breathwork on a regular basis are the ones who experience the the most profound changes. The ones that make breathwork into a regular practice and use it as a tool are the ones I can tell you incredible stories about.
I Want Real Transformation – How Often Should I Do Breathwork?
At least one full session a week, like my Sunday class online, is great for that. Why? Because it’s like having a personal trainer. You have someone to push you. You’ve paid and you’re committed. Otherwise you’re wasting money! This works for most people, myself included.
I’ve gone to students’ classes and they said “You don’t need to pay” and my response is “Yes I do! If I don’t pay, I don’t pay attention.”
If one guided breathwork session per week is not in your budget, I totally understand. In this case, you don’t have to go to my class.
I’m just here to be a guide. My mission is to change as many lives as I can with the incredible power of breathwork. Not everybody can afford classes, so if you can’t, I totally understand. Make a playlist and do it on your own. That’s exactly what I did in the beginning.
If you can afford it, then this will be one of the most incredible investments you’ll ever make in yourself. It will pay off tenfold in every area of your life.
|Do one big breathwork session a week (Sunday’s online class or the replay, for instance). Then commit to a daily program of three songs first thing in the morning. If you feel like you want to keep going after the third song, then do that – but do at least three songs and commit to this for 30 days.|
Now here’s a massive game changer that seems obvious but it isn’t: Whenever something challenging happens in your life, stop what you’re doing and do breathwork as soon as possible. This alone can be huge. It can help you respond rather than react to life.
What we often do is carry challenging events around with us, telling everyone about them. We choose a “woe is me” approach to get attention. It’s nothing but a learned pattern. If we can break it, this will be one of the things that changes us.
I should also note that sometimes good things happening to us can be very stressful as well. I’ve experienced this myself, and I had to do some breathwork just to get grounded.
What’s The Best Time Of Day To Do Breathwork?
In my experience, first thing in the morning is ideal. Because you’ve been sleeping and fasting essentially.
Before you have breakfast is the best time to do a breathwork session. However, if that doesn’t work in your schedule for whatever reason, do what works for you.
I don’t recommend doing breathwork right before bedtime. It tends to elevate your heart rate and make it harder to get to sleep.
Conversely, if you do breathwork a few hours before going to bed, people say they sleep like a baby and have vivid dreams. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to get your heart rate back down before you go to bed.
30 Days To Release Decades Of Trauma And Transform Your Life
Is that even possible? Yes, it is. And you won’t be paying a fortune in therapy bills or doing ayahuasca and puking in a bucket.
With breathwork, you can transform your life from the comfort of your own home.
Breathwork is one of the few things (if not the ONLY thing) that sounds too good to be true – but then overdelivers.
If you’re skeptical, I get it – and I think it’s a great thing. It means you’re willing to discern instead of blindly following what others tell you to do.
So the invitation here is not to just believe me. I’m not some sort of guru with secret knowledge of the universe. I’m just a guy who dealt with a lot of pain and trauma and found a way out that doesn’t involve 20 years of talk therapy (because seriously, who has time for that?).
The invitation here is to try breathwork, and see for yourself.
To this end, I’ve created a 30-day program to help you experience the transformation. Do this for an entire month and you will never look back. Here it is:
|Start Here: 5-Day Emotional Detox|
The 5-Day Emotional Detox is the fastest way I know to release deep-rooted trauma. It can clear out decades of emotional baggage. This is why I recommend you start with this approach. It will accelerate your healing and transform you. You can access this course online here.
Weekly Schedule – Repeat this schedule for three weeks
After you’ve completed the 5-Day Emotional Detox, follow this structure over the next three weeks. You may want to give yourself a break from breathwork for a couple of days and then come back to it. You don’t need to be extremely rigid with this. You’re exploring what works for you and what doesn’t.
Take my Zoom class online. You will likely be completely rocked by the incredible power of breathwork.
Bonus: Record in your journal what sensations came up for you during breathwork.
Do the replay from the online Zoom class – or just do three songs. Pick three songs that motivate you.
Zoom class replay, or just three songs again.
Bonus: Journaling – if you want a better life, ask yourself better questions.
Topics for journaling
What is my purpose?
Where do I feel most alive?
What things bring out the best version of me?
What matters most in my life?
What do I need to let go of in order to move forward?
Where do I feel stuck right now and what do I need to do to move out of it?
Breathe for three songs or more. I strongly encourage you to try to push past your limits this time, even if it means doing five minutes more than the previous day!
Breathe for four songs or more.
Take today off from breathwork. Try to meditate for 10 minutes or more.
Do my Sunday online Zoom class or the replay of it if you can’t make the time. Or make a long playlist and do breathwork for 26-30 minutes.
Repeat the same weekly schedule for three weeks.
For most people, this 30-day plan is so transformative, that they only need to do breathwork once a week, as a maintenance plan.
Hopefully, you will have cleared out all your “stuff“ in the first 30 days. However, you may be like me and have had a lot more trauma. That’s all right, don’t be hard on yourself. Just the fact that you were doing the work now means everything.
How Breathwork Changes Us
It’s not so much that we become someone else. It’s that we become the best version of ourselves. The version without worry, fear, anxiety, stress, and depression. The version of us that can show up and be present and compassionate towards others and ourselves. The version of ourselves that gets clear on what our purpose is, and starts living in that.
We become the truest and best version of ourselves
The reason we’re so hard on others is that we’re so hard on ourselves. If we can be more compassionate towards ourselves, then we can find that same compassion for others.
You’re going to make more mistakes in your lifetime, I can guarantee that’s going to happen! But if you can learn to NOT beat yourself up over those mistakes then that’s going to be a game changer for you.
Are you ready to try breathwork? Sign up for the 5-Day Emotional Detox and begin your 30-day journey!