Life is stressful. Everyday you’re faced with stressors ranging from work-related struggles to serious situations that require more than a deep breath. Breathwork is the calming strategy of using various breathing techniques to improve mental, emotional and physical being. In reality is there are dozens of breathing techniques at your disposal. They have been used around the world for thousands of years. As a certified yoga instructor and meditation coach, I’ve guided thousands of people through various breathing techniques.
My journey to teach yoga and meditation started seven years ago, but I’ve practiced for well over a decade. And, side note, I have asthma. So, it’s safe to say that I’m always using a breathing technique. I use them to deal with stress, get through a cardio workout, and even process grief. That said, I encourage everyone to learn at least one breathing technique. Why? It immediately helps your scattered, stressed-out mind focus on one thing, your breath. And, after you’re done breathing intentionally, you’re more likely to approach your stressors from a responsive mindset instead of a reactive one.
One way to learn how to breathe is with a breathwork app. While techniques vary between apps, all of them are relatively a more affordable way to learn how to breathe effectively. You do not have to book private lessons with a coach. Instead, you get access to a digital library of resources. There are exercises, explanations, and even visual guides to teach you different breathing styles. Plus, several apps offer an option to set training reminders. So, you never forget to breathe deep and unwind.
Breathwrk: Breathing Exercises
Do you only want to learn about breathwork? Check out the Breathwrk: Breathing Exercises app. From my experience, it’s one of the few apps soley focused on teaching you how to breathe. You’ll be learning the same techniques used by Olympic athletes, sleep doctors, navy seals, and yoga teachers. There are exercises on breathing calmly, for sleep, to help you wake up, to increase your stamina, and much more.
The app offers breathing tests and trackers along with the exercises. That way, you can track how far you’ve come in your breath training. There’s a breath counter, timer, streak system and levels within the app. Plus, its able to sync with Apple Health to track your progress (when you use this app on Apple devices).
Download Breathwrk: Breathing Exercises on the Google Play Store, here.
Aura: Meditation & Sleep, CBT
Aura: Meditation & Sleep, CBT is an all-encompassing wellness app that includes several areas of broadening mindfulness. Within this app are personalized mindfulness meditations, sleep stories, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), breathwork, and more. In relation to breathwork, the app provide techniques for nearly every situation in life. Plus, there’s a global roster of instructors to choose from.
You’ll be asked a short series of questions to get to know you and what you’re looking to learn when you first enter the app. If you want to learn more about breathwork, you’ll select it during this process. You can even set a reminder for you to breathe.
Download Aura: Meditation & Sleep, CBT on the Google Play Store, here.
Wim Hof Method Breathing & Cold
“The Iceman,” Wim Hof created the app Method Breathing & Cold. Wim Hof is known for jumping into cold natural ice baths and breathing under those conditions for a long time. His actions are the original version of a cold plunge. Some say that submerging in cold water for several minutes is a quick way to boost your energy, along with other general health benefits.
“A cold plunge tub is like a one-man hot tub, but it’s freezing,” orthopedic doctor Tracy L. Zaslow, MD said in a Cedars Sinai post. Personally, I’ve used the Wim Hof method when doing a cold plunge, and I stayed in for upwards of 10 minutes.
Disclaimer: By the time cold plunged for the first time, I already practiced breathwork techniques for over a decade. So, I strongly recommend speaking with your medical provider before taking a plunge.
Back to the Wim Hof breathwork app. The legendary breather presents numerous challenges and exercises to practice his breathing techniques in a cold shower. Basically, you’ll be learning how to breathe under intense and stressful conditions. That way, when you’re out of the water, it’ll be easier for you to access your breath and calm down enough to process your emotions.
Download Wim Hof Method Breathing & Cold on the Google Play Store, here.
Core Meditation is an app and a device that work together to guide you through breathwork exercises and meditations. You can use the app solo or grab the Core Premium Bundle that includes the device and a year long app subscription. There are series of lights on the training device that tell you when to breathe in and breathe out. Plus, the surface measures your heart rate variability to show you how relaxed or focused you were throughout the exercise.
Now, within the app itself is a catalog of breathwork techniques and exercises from a range of trainers, including yours truly. You’re even able to customize the amount of time you spend on each breathing exercise. Plus, there are several calming soundscapes that inspire you to breathe easy.
Download Core Meditation on the Google Play Store, here.
iBreathe – Relax and Breathe
The iBreathe – Relax and Breathe app is a teacher in many ways. This breathwork app has a library of classes guiding you through exercises and also educating you on the benefits of practicing that particular exercise. You have the option to create your own breathing exercise based on the app’s guided customizer. Plus, you’re able to set reminders each day.
The iBreathe app is not available on the Google Play Store at this time.
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