Have you ever wondered ...
These questions are valid and it can get confusing once you take a trip down the breathwork rabbit hole.
It's normal to stop moving forward. You think you're on the right path. Then you get stuck. It's called "paralysis through analysis."
And that happens to everyone.
But what if I were to help you choose the right type of breathwork for you and your goals ... not just blindly following what all the cool kids say?
Shall I show you now?
Yep! That's the answer you seek when you ask which method of breathwork is better than the other.
If that's frustrating (and I know it can be) ... let's ask a different question ...
What's the goal?
What are you trying to achieve with your breathwork sessions?
I believe once you're clear on your goals, you'll choose the right method for you.
Mad props to Wim Hof because if it wasn't for Wim, breathwork would probably be a lot less popular these days.
The Wim Hof Method consists of vigorously breathing in and out through your mouth for 30 repetitions (plus or minus), holding your exhale, holding your inhale, then breathing normally until you recover. Depending on your level, you may repeat this process up to 5 times.
WHM is used in conjunction with cold therapy to help you overcome life's stressors (among other benefits).
Of course, this is an over-simplified explanation. It's beyond the scope of this blog post to delve into every detail. However, you can check out Wim's book to learn more about the method, the science, and the benefits.
So is The Wim Hof Method right for you? Maybe. If you can tolerate the stress of hyperventilation and exposure to cold, it may be right for you and your goals.
Full Disclosure: I am a certified SOMA Breathwork Therapist. But I've had decades of experience with all types of breathwork. Everything from pranayama, free-diving techniques, and The Wim Hof Method.
I will do my best to be as objective and as factual as possible. In other words, I'll do my best not to lead the jury :)
SOMA Breathwork was created by Niraj Naik (aka "the Renegade Pharmacist").
In simplest terms, the SOMA Breathwork method combines rhythmic breathing, visualizations, and specialized music. The biggest differentiator is the variety of breathing techniques. SOMA is not a one-size-fits-all method.
The breathwork is just one aspect of a holistic way of life.
So, is SOMA Breathwork right for you? More than likely, yes, because you can customize your experience. You can take it easy and gradually build your way up to more vigorous breathwork or stay right where you are.
Full Disclosure: As I'm writing this blog post, I'm on the brink of being certified in the Oxygen Advantage method. I will do my best to be as objective and as factual as possible. In other words, I'll do my best not to lead the jury :)
The Oxygen Advantage was created by Patrick McKeown.
It may sound strange, but the goal of Oxygen Advantage is to get you to breathe less ... a lot less. This helps facilitate better oxygen intake into the lungs as well as getting more oxygen into your muscles and organs.
There are 26 breathing techniques a certified instructor can draw from to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
For the most part ... the Oxygen Advantage exists to help you develop proper, functional breathing and to help you increase your sports performance.
So, is the Oxygen Advantage right for you? More than likely, yes, because you can customize your experience. You can focus solely on improving your functional breathing. You can focus solely on improving your sports performance. Or you can combine the two for the best of both worlds.
Kundalini is a type of yoga that was brought to the US by Yogi Bhajan.
Pranayama means breath control (more or less).
The object of Kundalini Yoga is to get your energy centers unblocked as fast as possible so you can have what's called a Kundalini awakening.
A big part of that process is different types of pranayama.
Each Kundalini class will be different from the next. Sometimes you'll breathe quickly. Sometimes you'll breathe slowly. Sometimes it's a roller coaster ride of different breathing techniques combined with different dynamic yoga poses.
So, is Kundalini Pranayam for you? Maybe. If you can find a qualified teacher to work with, it will help a lot. As mentioned earlier, the goal of Kundalini Yoga is to elicit changes ... quickly! That may be overwhelming for folks who aren't prepared for such intense experiences. Having a guide can help give you an amazing transformation.
You've got a systematic approach to help navigate the confusing world of breathwork.
Begin by asking the right question ... the question that will get you headed in the right direction to fulfill your goals.
Now choose the method of breathwork that will get you there. You can choose from the 4 systems listed in this blog post or you can do your own research. PS: be sure to bookmark this post so you can come back to it when needed.
You've got this!
Brian, Co-Owner, Winter Garden Yoga