Breathwork is a set of breathing practices that you use to shift your breathing pattern from a stressful kind to a more relaxing one.
Breathwork improves your overall well-being while helping you deal with long-term issues that you never got around to addressing.
It relies on the concept of putting you in an altered state of consciousness, in which you can access and move past trauma that you’ve been holding on to for a long time.
It really is something that can strongly influence your life for the better.
In breathwork, like with meditation, music plays a big part. This is why we at Mahakatha, were immediately drawn to breathwork.
We wanted to use our expertise as one of the best meditation mantra producers, and apply it to the breathwork space.
We thought it’ll be great if we took the time to tell you a bit about Breathwork in detail.
So we came up with the idea of a breathwork resources page. A place where someone new to breathwork, like you, can find everything you’ll need to know about it and how to get started.
So we’ll cover everything basic like the best courses on breathwork and the influencers you should follow. This will give you a good idea of what all breathwork can do for you.
Then we put together books on breathwork, if you’re the kind of person who likes to dive deep into a new topic.
But if you’re ready to jump in straight away, we have guided meditations that you can start off with.
There’s also a section on the various techniques in breathwork that have emerged since this discipline was started.
We suggest you go through our recommendation for mantras, music and how to set up a breathwork space in your own home, if you’re still interested.
A quick guide
- 1 Breathwork Resources in Brief
- 2 Best Music for Breathwork
- 3 Best Mantras for Breathwork
- 4 Best Breathwork Trainings, Courses
- 5 Best Breathwork Teachers & Facilitators
- 6 Best Breathwork Techniques, Exercises
- 7 Best Books on Breathwork
- 8 Best Guided Breathwork Meditations
- 9 Steps to create a Breathwork Space
Breathwork Resources in Brief
These are the resources we've made on the topic of breathwork, so far:
- best mantras for breathwork
- best music for breathwork
- best breathwork practitioners facilitators
- best breathwork training courses
- best guided breathwork meditations
- best books on breathwork
- types of breathwork techniques
- music for holotropic breathwork
- steps to create a breathwork space at home
- most popular breathwork techniques
Music has always been a very integral part of Breathwork sessions.
Facilitators use it to make the experience a lot easier for breathers. It has the power to calm you down or push you to emotional extremes.
The type of music you use depends on the kind of breathwork you’re doing.
For instance, music for holotropic breathwork will differ from the music for Shamanic breathwork.
For now, we have great music recommendations that could work across breathwork styles.
Here are 10 that we absolutely recommend from our favorites.
1. Wrinkle in Time
Michelle D’Avella’s Spotify playlist is perfect for a solo breathwork session.
This track by Berlin pianist Nils Frahm is hypnotic and euphoric simultaneously.
3. Only Questions
This track is a major reason for the success of the HBO show The Leftovers.
This track works because of the vocalist Azam Ali’s enchanting voice.
A truly spectacular album from E.S. Posthumus, full of tracks great for breathwork.
6. Comptine d’un autre été
You will remember this accordion music from the globally loved French film Amelie.
7. Gopala Lullaby
This track comes from the dynamic duo of Jai Uttal & Ben Leinbach.
This track comes from the wonderful album Where we Were by the artist Greg Haines.
9. Inuit Wedding
It incorporates bovine canter rhythms and breathy vocalizations in the song.
10. Tabla Talk
From the album, Angelika Unveiled by Raul Ferrando will be perfect for the second half of a breathwork session.
This is a section that we have some experience in. We have been, for the last 5 years, producing mantras for yoga & meditation.
We’ve researched, created and shared 50+ mantras and other non-mantra tracks.
And now we’re looking at Breathwork as a new and exciting space to expand into.
We are starting off by rounding up some of the best mantras for breathwork, including some of our own.
1. Ganesha Mantra
The Ganesha Mantra is an ode to Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
2. Om Namah Shivaya
Om Namah Shivaya gives praise to Lord Shiva and the universal consciousness.
3. Samudra Vasane Devi Mantra
A mantra to ask for forgiveness from Mother Earth for touching her with your feet, each morning.
4. Om Japa Kusuma Mantra
Om Japa Kusuma Mantra is a Hindu prayer to the Sun god. It is considered the perfect mantra to play along with Surya Namaskar.
5. Nirvana Shatakam
One of the most powerful Hindu mantras, dedicated to Lord Shiva, helps you destroy your yoga.
6. Om chanting
Om, the sound that reverberates in the entire cosmos and in every cell of our body, is almost tailor-made for breathwork.
7. Sudarshana Ashakam
A powerful Hindu shloka dedicated to Lord Sudarshana, with the power to cure any illness.
8. Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
A mantra dedicated to Lord Shiva, that asks to take you beyond death towards immortality.
9. Shiva Gayatri Mantra
The Shiva Gayatri Mantra is a Hindu prayer to Lord Shiva, sung in the Gayatri register.
10. Vakratunda Mahakaya Mantra
Vakratunda Mahakaya is an ode to Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. In fact, this mantra is usually played at the beginning of any important venture.
These are the top 10 mantras in our roster, for the purposes of breathwork. For our full library, go here.
One of the best ways to get familiar with Breathwork is to take up a course.
With this popularity of breathwork on the rise, a lot of great breathwork practitioners and academies have put in the time and effort to perfect their art.
So we went through all the options out there and came up with a list of eleven. Eleven courses that will give you a thorough understanding of breathwork.
In some cases, these are teacher training courses. This is in case you already love the idea of breathwork, and can’t wait to spread the idea to others.
We’ve curated courses from some of the most respected and loved people in the breathwork space now.
For example, Alchemy of Breath is a reputed academy started by Anthony Abbagnano, that specializes in entry-level breathwork. It is approachable.
But the BioDynamic Breathwork Trauma & Release system specializes in removal of long-term trauma through breathwork.
Here’s a list of the 11 courses we loved.
- Alchemy of Breath Facilitation Certification
The Alchemy of Breath academy provides training to completely new and semi-professional practitioners.
- BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System Training
Giten Tonkov specializes in using breathwork to release trauma.
- Rebirthing Breathwork Foundation Diploma Course
Learn the theory of Rebirthing, fundamentals of breathwork, and then a more comprehensive approach.
- Alsu Kashapova Breathwork for Daily life
Breathwork meant to be used anytime, anywhere on a busy day.
- Gwen Dittmar Ultimate guide to Breathwork
Training to find your emotional center and not be shaken by whatever life throws at you.
- The Life Centre Breathwork and Pranayama
A practical combination of Breathwork and the ancient art of Pranayama.
- Jon Paul’s Breathwork Teacher Training
Learn from a celebrity life coach and breathwork practitioner.
- Global Breathing Awareness Breath and Life Mastery Level-1
Take part in rebirthing sessions and creative exercises to take you deep within yourself.
- Breath Mastery fundamentals
The trainer Dan Brule is the breathwork coach to none other than Tony Robbins.
- Breathworks Teacher Training Program
Learn how to enrich the lives of others with mindfulness and compassion.
- Pushing Beauty’s Grounded Soul
4 months of breathwork and life coaching from LA-based Michelle D’Avella.
As Breathwork enthusiasts, we have been blessed with a diverse, driven bunch of Breathwork masters.
Each of whom develops their own version of breathwork. This leads to unique benefits from these styles.
For example, holotropic breathwork has diverged into quite a few different variants.
So we have a massive pool of people we can follow, with their own unique take on this breathing practice.
Here, we list some of our favorites that we’ve followed and learned from.
- Jon Paul Crimi
He’s one of the most sought after Celebrity Trainers and Sober Coaches in the country.
- David Elliott
He helps people reconnect to the power of love, and has influenced other teachers with his style.
- Anthony Abagnano
He started Alchemy of Breath to spread the idea of Breathwork.
- Daisy Kaye
She’s a Breathwork Facilitator, Universal Tao Instructor, and Herbalist.
- Gwen Dittmar
She focuses on helping people find their emotional center.
- Michelle D’Avella
She uses her own breathwork journey to help others through their trauma.
- Jay Bradley
His belief is to breathe day-to-day and the rest will follow.
- Levi Banner
He combined breathwork with yoga and astrology, to form his own style.
- Wim Hof
He’s responsible for the sudden surge in interest in breathwork, because of his Guinness book heroics and YouTube channel where he posts guided breathing videos.
- Leonard Orr
He was the founder of the Rebirthing style of Breathwork, which is now a major technique.
- Eckhart Tolle
Author of ‘The Power of Now’, a powerful spiritual book referenced commonly by Breathwork teachers.
- Giten Tonkov
He uses a traumatic experience to open a doorway to the spiritual path in his students.
- Jim Morningstar
He’s authored 4 books in the field of spiritual psychology, that have contributed directly to Breathwork.
- Ashley Neese
Combines yoga, meditation, medical intuition, and somatic therapy to make a unique Breathwork experience.
- Rebecca Kordecki
She’s an advocate of overall fitness, and breathwork is a huge part of her classes.
Wim Hof of Wim Hof Method fame
Breathwork has seen fascinating changes and ideas come and go in the last 3 decades.
A lot of breathwork masters have taken a swing at improving the practice.
What this means for you and me, is that we have a lot of excellent options.
We can pick Holotropic breathwork, which has been around for decades.
You could also go for the Wim Hof method which burst into popularity after Wim Hof broke records for tolerating sub-zero temperatures, after mastering his style of breathwork.
Whichever way you go, you are guaranteed to improve your quality of life.
That being said, we have curated the 7 major types of breathwork currently available.
- Holotropic Breathwork
A combination of accelerated breathing with evocative music in a special set and setting.
- Shamanic Breathwork
It combines the idea of breathwork with an extreme focus on the inner healer or the Shaman.
- Rebirthing Breathwork
It attempts to unravel the birth-death cycle and the trauma of it, using breathwork.
- Clarity Breathwork
It deeply supports the clearing away of old energies, patterns, conditioning, negative thoughts, and emotions.
It is a physically pleasurable type of breathwork process.
- Transformational Breath
This technique increases oxygenation throughout the body and your overall energy levels because of it.
- Wim Hof Method
Follow the practices Wim Hof has lived by to release your inner fire.
Some of you might prefer to learn about breathwork through books.
That’s a great idea because a lot of ideas for breathwork started with a book.
There are many Stanislav Grof books that are fundamental to the school of Holotropic Breathwork.
SImilarly, Linda Star Wolf’s book is essential to Shamanic Breathwork.
So we figured a reading list is pretty crucial to make a good resource page.
Here are the 10 we think are essential reading.
- Just Breathe
This Dan Brule is one of the definitive books on Breathwork, read by 100,000 people from 45 countries.
- Feel to heal
Giten Tonkov is a trauma-release therapist who puts relief in reach for the public with a multi-modal practice.
- Shamanic Breathwork
The definitive book on Shamanic Breathwork based on Linda Star Wolf’s stories, experience, and insights.
- How to Breathe
Ashley Neese boiled down breathwork into 25 simple practices for calm, joy, and resilience.
- Holotropic Breathwork
In this long-awaited book, Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof describe their groundbreaking new form of self-exploration and psychotherapy.
- A Little Book of Self Care
Nathalia came up with 50 simple breath practices and visualizations you can do at home.
- Rebirthing and Breathwork
Use the power of your own breath to bring joy to your life, after reading Catherine’s book on Rebirthing.
- Healing Our Deepest Wounds
This landmark book from Stanislav Grof tells us that the deepest roots of trauma often lie in experiences from birth and human history.
- The Power of Breathwork
Learn 25 simple exercises to enhance the connection you have with your partner, and the joy you get from life.
- Break Through with Breathwork
Clinical psychologist Jim Morningstar, shows therapists, bodyworkers, and other health care professionals how to achieve remarkable breakthroughs.
Guided breathwork is probably the most approachable way into Breathwork.
Most breathwork teachers like to give a proper taste of their main course or class through a quick guided breathwork.
These videos will be anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes long, and it can give a newbie a pretty fulfilling experience.
The teacher gets their word out, and we get a great intro to breathwork.
We went through a lot of such breathwork videos, and settled on ten that we think are the best.
- Guided Wim Hof Breathing
The most powerful guided breathwork that we've come across.
2. Guided Breathing Meditation With Kim Eng
A relaxing ten-minute breathing practice from Kim Eng, as a starter class for beginners.
3. Pushing Beauty
Michelle D’Avella shows us how one of her 1-on-1 sessions would go.
4. Mastering Mind, Body and Life through Breath
A holistic approach to improving the individual.
5. 13-minute Meditation
The author of Calm: Choosing To Live Mindfully walks us through 13 minutes of breathwork.
6. Guided Breathwork Meditation for releasing stuck emotions
Nancy Ananda used Breathwork to deal with a broken relationship, and she teaches us how to do the same.
7. Beginner’s Guide to Breathwork
Nicole breaks down the science behind the effectiveness of breathwork.
8. Erin Telford
Erin gives us a comprehensive look at the way she goes about her personal breathwork session.
9. Feel more love
Alisha believes that the world should discover breathwork, and this video is her attempt to help that along.
10. How To Do SOMA Awakening Breathwork
Niraj Naik is the founder of SOMA breath, and he uses this video to introduce the concept behind his academy.
Something you should probably do at the start of your breathwork journey is to ensure you’re well equipped for it.
Your first step is to put aside some space in your home for breathwork specifically.
We’ve used our experience with meditation to figure out what 4 steps you have to go through while setting it up.
- Figure out how much space you’ll need
Will you have a partner? Will you sit down or lie down?
- Pick the space
Pick the actual room or side area that you’ll put aside.
- Set up your space
Place one of a cushion, pillow, mat, or bench you’ll be using.
- Sanctify your space
Do things like burning incense or sage.