Breathwork is my passion, as in “pass-I-on” and my profession, as in “profess-I-on”. And Today, I am celebrating the fact that I have not failed to write at least one breathing report/article every month of every year since September of 1976!

At times over the years, I waited on the muse or myself or inspiration until the last minute, and as a result, several times I was a day or two late in meeting my self-inflicted moral obligation!

And this month it seemed that I was doomed to failing. My mind was either swinging back and forth between false starts and dead ends, or simply being completely blank or empty. (I think that’s called writer’s block.)

For two weeks, I have been trying everything: searching my notes for ideas, scanning past articles, reviewing questions people have sent me, and forgetting about the task completely. But nothing worked. Then I decided to read my working definition of Breathwork:

“Breathwork is the art and science of applying breath awareness and conscious breathing exercises, techniques and meditations for health, growth and change, in body, mind, and spirit. Breathwork is a tool, a force, a path, and a bridge to peak performance, optimum health, and ultimate potential.”

Then it hit me: I was stuck in the “work” part of “Breathwork!” Playing is nature’s way of teaching and learning. “Work” is a four-letter word! And growing up, I was often accused of being allergic to it! And so, I decided to play with my breath—to do some Breath Play instead of Breathwork. And now, my spirit is dancing!

(I just checked my thesaurus and found this list of synonyms for the word work: “effort, exertion, labor, toil, slog, drudgery, grind…” Oy! Let’s play instead!)

By the way, if you ever feel resistance to doing a breathing session when you know you need one, then do this: Dance. Dance wildly. Dance like a madman or a madwoman. Dance until you are completely exhausted, totally spent: so much so that you can no longer stand. Then collapse on the floor, melt into your heartbeat, and dissolve into the breath. Ahhhhh ecstasy!

And so, how can we play with breathing? Oh Spirit of the Breath! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Play with the breathing channel: Breathe thru the nose then breathe thru the mouth; breathe in the nose and out the mouth, or breathe in the mouth and out the nose; breathe thru both the mouth and the nose at the same time; breathe out thru one nostril and in the other.

Play with breath sounds: Make wind noises, ocean noises; make throat noises, whistling sounds, or buzzing sounds. Make an “ooh” sound in and out; make an “ahh” sound in and out; make an “ooh” sound on the inhale and an “ahh” sound on the exhale. (Hoo Yah!) Make an “eee” sound, an “oh” sound, a “shhh” sound, a “szzz” sound… hum…

Play with the rate and volume of breath: Breathe fast then breathe slow; breathe deep, and breathe shallow. Make the inhale longer or faster than the exhale; make the exhale longer or quicker than the inhale. Make them exactly equal.

Play with different breathing rhythms: Invent different breathing patterns—from subtle to intense. Breathe in rhythm to your footsteps. Synchronize your breathing to simple movements and repetitive activities. Mix it up. Reverse it. Find a rhythm or a pattern that you like, then invent and experiment with the opposite.

Play with the Location: Aim the breath high in the chest; aim the breath low in the belly. Breathe into your back; breathe into you head; breathe into your hips and genitals; breathe into your fingers and toes. Breathe thru your skin and pores. Breathe into every cell of your body. Breathe into your aura.

Play with Breath Energy: Breathe prana, chi, ki, life force. Breathe fire. Breathe light. Use your imagination: breathe love, peace, joy, courage, patience, compassion: these are real living energies that you can command and control, or direct and channel, generate, release, or radiate!

Play with Breath holding: Hold the breath in; hold the breath out. Hold it half way in, or half way out. Hold it and tense your muscles. Hold it and relax every fiber of your being.

Play with others: Breathe in while your partner breathes out; breathe in and out together. Mirror or copy someone else’s breath, secretly or openly, close up or at a distance. Breathe emotions. Breathe the plants. Have breath-holding contests. Breathe with the cosmos.Use your creative imagination.

Ahhhh! I love my work! And so, that concludes my Breath and Breathing article for the month of February 2015. I somehow managed to “unlock the word hoard!” And I got thru my writer’s block or my resistance to work.

How often do we resist what we love? And why is it we crave things that are often unhealthy? (That’s a topic for another day.)

And so, I have gone from having no ideas to suddenly getting an idea for a new book: “Playing with the Breath” or “Games Breathers Play”. Here’s another idea: Let’s create a collection. Let’s conspire on a list of games breathers play—different ways to play with the breath!

Crowd sourcing works for many other things: why not a book? Will you join the conspiracy! Send your ideas to:!

Love and thanks to the all and the small!


Author's Bio: 

Dan Brulé has studied and practiced breathwork with more than 80,000 people in over 40 countries since 1976. His travel and teaching schedule is posted at