Yo! My name is Oli and I’ve been involved with WPN since 2017. The reason I choose to stay so engaged with the brand is because of what this brand stands for. The team, product, and event they run (WPN Sessions) are all authentically intended to serve men’s mental health, and that’s an intention I can get behind.
The team at WPN have asked me to share some information on breathwork and how powerful this practice can be. First, some background. I first experienced what you would call ‘breathwork’ 2 years ago living in Perth, WA where I ‘accidentally’ entered into a specific style of breathwork called ‘conscious connected breathing’. I intuitively found myself laying on the grass in my front garden ‘looping my breath’, experiencing an empowering nervous system activation. Basically, I was breathing deep and fast which completely changed how I was feeling and blew my mind. A few months later I moved to Bali, and during that time, became a breathworker (long story). The journey to learning and embodying this practice was intense, between catching mad waves and drinking a shit ton of lattes.
A little safety announcement: Breathwork is safe when you have an experienced Breathwork Practitioner by your side. It’s OK to quiz your practitioner before you begin working with someone. You can read about these here: https://www.instagram.com/safebreathwork/
Breathwork is simply the process of consciously breathing in a specific way to achieve an outcome. You might have heard of the Wim Hoff Method or Box Breathing. The outcome of these practices is to train the body and nervous system to withstand and regulate stress, while also controlling your emotions. Conscious connected breathing on the other hand is all about:
- Releasing trauma and stored emotions
- Retraining your breathing pattern to create consistent states of calm or ‘groundedness’
- Opening the heart, and
- Having a mind-blowing experience (it’s pretty cool)
Throughout your life you will have experienced a wide variety of traumatic experiences, both large and small. Some of these experiences you will not have ‘released’ and will be ‘stored’ as energy in your body.
This is scientific language for the chemical and physiological changes that occur in your body with this style of breathing.
Science proves that the nervous system dictates how you experience life. Your nervous system also changes over time based on what it’s exposed to. When something painful happens, your nervous system adjusts, resulting in your world looking different and after the painful experience. Consider that horrible break up you went through. When you were all loved up, the world looked pretty rosey, right? Then after the break up, I bet you felt considerably different, right? Breathwork is like changing the lens that you see the world. It’s not avoiding the uncomfortable emotion, or creating a shortcut to love, it’s allowing your body to do what it wants to do naturally by getting your mind out of the way. This is how the energy is then encouraged to leave the body. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.
As blokes, especially in Australia, its common to hear expressions like:
“Only girls cry”
“Don’t be a pussy”
“Get over it”, and my favourite…
“Be a man”.
All of these imply that feeling (negative) emotions is not part of being a bloke. What a load of shit. Men, like women, have the capacity to experience a wide range of emotions. Therefore, being a male qualifies you to feel your emotions too. The challenge is that through what we call ‘conditioning’, you may have been taught not to cry, to suppress anger, or avoid uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Especially if your father, or circle of friends, don’t have the emotional capacity to hold space so you could ‘let go’ in the moment. So instead, your body unconsciously holds onto it. This withheld energy, like tears you held back when you tripped on the pavement in high school so the cute girls didn’t laugh, takes up ‘energetic real estate’ in the body – basically, you turned off the tap to those feelings which are now clogging the pipes.
Breathwork unclogs your pipes so you can experience more love, joy, and appreciation.
In short, guys, conscious connected breathing = GOOD. Pretty fucking simple.
Some love the spiritual elements, while others enjoy the experience of the natural high. It’s different for everyone, but what’s common for men is this. Most of us grew up holding back our tears and sometimes anger. Those feelings didn’t just disappear, they were held in your body, and with some practice, can be released using a variety of methodology’s, including conscious connected breathing.
I do breathwork because it’s a healthy method for developing emotional stability. You don’t talk your way into releasing your tears, you feel your way into doing so, and I can say that I’ve seen A LOT of blokes look a whole lot lighter after going through this process with me.
Now it’s not all anger and sadness. You may experience deep love, expanding appreciation, or your experience may be very calming. I do not know for sure until after the process, but if you’re curious about it at this point, I invite you to give it a crack.
My bros; emotions are normal. All emotions are accepted and valid. You are a human being. And it’s safe to feel. Remember that. I know the boys at WPN feel the same way. Love you, dudes.
I’d like to leave you with a simple, yet powerful, tool. It’s called box breathing.
It goes like this:
- Breathe in 4 seconds
- Hold 4 seconds
- Breathe out 4 seconds
- Repeat 10x
Compare how you felt before and after. You’ll notice a difference. This alone is evidence of the power of the breath.
When in states of stress, fear, anxiety, or when you want to feel some calm, try this process. You will experience a positive emotional shift.
Brothers, please hit me up if you have any questions about breathwork. Educating men on this practice is important so that we can all evolve together, and I’d be happy to help.
If you’re in Perth, I’d be stoked to guide you as a part of the WPN Brotherhood – I’m typing this while sitting comfortably in a pair of WPN trackies and a t-shirt. To the WPN Team, you make an epic product and are delivering an incredibly positive impact on the world. Thank you. I fucking appreciate you.
Take care of yourselves, go have fun, and remember to breathe 😉
Breathwork Practitioner, Alchemy Breathwork