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How to use rhythm to enhance your breath practice

One of my favorite tools for enhancing a breathing practice is by using instruments. Being an musician from an early age I’ve come to learn to play quite a few instruments.
One of my favorite instruments to use while guiding breathing sessions is this magical UFO you see in the thumbnail, AKA the handpan.

Furthermore I’ll talk about how to use rhytm to enhance your breathing practice.

Also, if you are interested in my playlist with all kinds of ambient tracks which I use to guide and practice breathwork click here.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THIS VIDEO

what is this magical ufo that i use to

guide breathwork

why do i use it and how can you use a

rhythm to guide

your own breathing practice for yourself

what up humanoids my name is casper at

casper’s focus aka the breathwork

biohacker and i would love to

share some of my thoughts on these

frequently asked questions

let me start with the first one this is

called a handpan

it’s a percussion instrument hand

hammered

notes on a metal ufo

shaped sheet of um metal like i said

and it is melodic and percussive so you

can play melodies

and tones in rhythm it is

tuned in a certain key so you can’t hit

any wrong notes so literally

all of these notes match

um so it’s very difficult to play a

wrong note on this

it is an extremely joyful instrument to

play it’s very meditative it sounds

beautiful especially if i use it

to guide breath work in a live setting

with a full room of people

it really sets an atmosphere and really

almost like

sucks people into the practice you don’t

need to have somebody guide you with a

handpan in order to use

rhythm to enhance your breathing

practice and today i want to talk

a little bit more about how and why to

use rhythm

for your breathing practice whether

you’re a coach teaching breath or

whether you’re just a practitioner who

wants to

improve their breathing practice with

rhythm especially self-guided rhythm

now i first started teaching breath work

about six years ago

i started practicing about seven years

ago and when i started i realized music

is a great way to enhance a breathing

practice just like a meditation practice

and the first kind of frame of reference

i had

to think about in regards to using music

for breath work was ambient music and

ambient music is very well known

in as meditation music maybe you’ve

heard it in a guided meditation

video or even in a meditation workshop

it’s this really long

slow drones there’s not much enough of

an attention curve it just

sets a beautiful atmosphere it’s very

spheric this generally works way better

for meditation and breath work than for

example pop songs because pop songs are

made with attention curves and they’re

made to kind of hijack your attention to

listen to the song while

ambient music is there to kind of just

support um

i won’t go into much of ambient music

right now but if you’re interested in

practicing breath with

ambient music i have collected all of my

favorite ones that i use to guide and to

practice breath work

in a playlist on spotify and just search

for casper’s

breathing playlist and you can find it

and i’ll link to it below also

but for now let’s look at rhythm because

when i started

teaching breath work i was using these

ambient soundtracks and it was very

powerful it really provided a great

space for people

to focus on their breathing but after um

a few hundred uh sessions like few

hundred people in my sessions and my

in my group work i wanted to

find something that really invites

people to

enter a very specific rhythm because i

realize

the more you can control the rhythm of

your breath the more you can control the

rhythm of your heart rate but also the

state of your nervous system and the

rhythm of your brain even right

so breath is in itself a rhythm and

you know your heartbeat is in itself a

rhythm and those two are very intimately

linked to each and every

state that you can experience so every

um emotional state has a breathing

rhythm right you can

at a very large distance like around the

corner you can hear a breathing rhythm

and you know

whether that person is crying like

everybody can recognize the breathing

rhythm of crying or

of laughter or of a relief or you know

so you can go on about this for hours

but the point is

states mental emotional physical states

go with breathing states with breathing

rhythms so i was like if i can

use rhythm to get people in sync then we

can all enter a state together and this

was for me a very breakthrough insight

when i started to use it in my breathing

sessions and the first thing i used to

guide that was

the the shaman drum and the frame drum

which one of which you can see behind me

this very big thumping sound i also use

the gem bay which i really loved

and i started to use it for breathing

practice and i just noticed that

as soon as you start to invite people

into a specific rhythm

they find it much easier to tag along to

focus on it and they kind of just

surrender to it

and let their body breathe in that way

which means that their those states are

much more available

to them and this is also available to

you in your practice now

the most well-known breathing technique

that uses rhythm is box breathing it’s a

very simple breathing rhythm where you

go in

two three four and hold

two three four and breathe out

two three four and hold

two three four now this is something you

may know

you can kind of try that for yourself um

one way that you can enhance a breathing

practice like that with rhythm is to

actually tap your fingers but you can

also do a little bit of body percussion

this is something that i really love to

do like for example

um put a hand on your chest and just tap

your chest as you’re doing this

and i mean i have a microphone here

so it’s probably very loud but i like to

tap my chest as i breathe in and they go

for example like that or i like to stand

outside in the morning

and do a breathing practice where i

bounce my feet on the floor

and that creates a rhythm of just kind

of like standing and shaking it out

and then i breathe for example

like that or even go in out in out so

there are many ways to do this and then

the question is what is the ideal rhythm

what is the ideal pace and uh how do you

determine this well

there’s not one specific answer to this

and i know like i’m known for using

science and like very uh specific

pinpoint

precision to say exactly use this

breathing technique for this amount of

counts in and for that amount can’t hold

and yes

it is possible to work with precision

like that and to kind of explain that

scientifically but it’s not necessary

for your own practice

so what i love to do is i like to see

where my body is in the moment and how

it likes to breathe

so for example if you want to calm

yourself down with a breathing technique

you can first of all take a breath that

feels calming to you

like a sigh of relief

okay let’s do that again and just do a

few counts with it and see what happens

okay so that was three well actually

four counts in

three of which were nasal one of which

was mouth and six counts out

okay so now i have a breathing rhythm so

let’s say i make a little metronome for

myself

or i tap my hands or i tap my chest or i

tap my whatever right so let’s make a

rhythm

and now i’m going to repeat that

same breath that my body wanted to

breathe right so i start where i am

see what my body feels like is relief in

that moment

and then i patronize it with rhythm so

now it goes

and i can repeat

so what i like about and this is

incredibly simple right

but it is a paradigm shift for a lot of

people because many people think

i need to know exactly how many counts

to breathe i need to know exactly how

long to inhale how long to exhale

precisely what the ideal rhythm is but

your body knows this

and if you practice this way then you

can start where you are listen to your

own body really tune in with your

biology

what do i need right now what to me

right now

in my body feels like a calming breath

well you take that breath

you count it out you turn it into a

little pattern right you create your own

little rhythm it’s a very creative

process

and then you repeat it and you will

notice that

it can take a little bit of time to

coordinate your motor skills of tapping

or

drumming or whatever with your breath

control but if you do it you’ll notice

that you’ll

very easily link into that rhythm and

that your body will kind of glide

into that pattern like i said it takes a

little bit of practice but the more you

practice with this

the better you will get at really

locking your system

into a rhythm and especially if you

learn

which of your personal states fit which

specific breathing rhythm

you will have way more self-regulation

and self-control

over how to enter those states at will

by using a breathing technique in rhythm

now this is just one example

i can talk about this for hours i

definitely suggest you try it out if

you’re a breathing coach

try this out with your clients it’s an

amazing way to give people their own

personalized breathing technique and

especially

pick up a drumming practice if you’re

not making music yet especially if

you’re a breath coach

it’s so important to be able to guide

music with your clients this is why in

my breathwork master class i even teach

people how to build their own drum and

play it

for their clients because it really

expands

your awareness of breath your ability to

guide breath and especially the impact

that you have on your clients and

if you’re not a coach the impact you

have on your own breathing practice

and if you want to go next level pick up

a handpan

develop your rhythm because the more you

develop your motor skills your breath

control

your self-regulation your ability to

self-guide breath

with rhythm the more you can master your

breath and this is really what it’s all

about well actually it’s about mastering

life

but it starts with mastering breath

alright that’s enough for today thank

you so much for watching

don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube

channel and i will hopefully see you

very soon

 

Written by kasper

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