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Here’s A Simple Breathwork Routine for a Calmer, More Centered Day

A few minutes of deep breathing may be just the thing for what ails you

By | EMILY ABBATE | www.gq.com

Few fitness and wellness trends have taken over my feeds as comprehensively as breathwork has in the last few months—it’s all guys calmly sitting cross-legged or plunging into ice baths while talking about the Wim Hof Method as far as the eye can see.

Now, if you don’t know Wim Hof from Wim Wenders, I’ll refrain from criticizing your under-rock lifestyle. Created and named for the Dutch extreme athlete (also known as the Iceman), the method pairs breathing and meditation techniques with cold exposure to influence the autonomic nervous system to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Given that I live in a fourth floor walk-up with a freezer the size of a large shoe box, ice baths weren’t in my future. But a calmer, more relaxed me through just breathing? I needed to know more.

This brought me to a coach named Richie Bostock, the self-proclaimed “Breath Guy.” He’s an author and speaker who has made this “free medicine” his whole thing. By incorporating breathwork into my day, Bostock told me, I’d be able to operate more from the parasympathetic nervous system—the automatic systems that govern relaxation and recovery.  I’d be more centered and less reactive to the environment around me. This is a more important skill than ever, given the state of the world, he pointed out. 

“Breathwork involves controlling your breath in a certain way if you’re feeling anxious, or perhaps if you’re feeling tired,” he told me. “Or, in more advanced forms, it can be used for medical conditions.” 

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