Teaching people to breathe might seem redundant. You do it on average 20,000 times a day, mostly without thinking. And a good job, too. You can’t exactly afford to forget.
Within wellness circles, however, “breathwork” practitioners are blowing up, from Dutch guru Mr Wim “The Iceman” Hof and his disciples, who huff and puff according to his Method before jumping into ice baths or running up mountains in shorts, to Mr Stuart Sandeman of Breathpod, who coaches everyone from Olympic athletes to corporate clients, including JP Morgan and Virgin Money, Nike and lululemon, Wilderness and Lost Village festivals.
“Conscious, connected breathwork has been going on for years,” says Mr Sandeman, a judo black belt and former banker and DJ, in his Scottish lilt. “I think it’s getting the limelight because of people saying, ‘Wow, this works.’” The method of controlling or becoming conscious of your own breathing can activate or deactivate physical, mental and emotional states. Mr Sandeman says it is “the most remarkable tool we can use that’s free, accessible and legal”.