As promised in the Video, what follows is a written version of what I said in the Video with some additional information, quotes and links that I think you'll find relevant and interesting.
Firstly, I’d like to tell you a bit more about me and why I'm qualified to help you correct any Breathing problems
and teach you what I call The High-Performance Breathing System
My experience with breathwork started when I was an up-and-coming professional squash player in my mid-20s. I decided to learn a meditation technique called Transcendental Meditation (TM)
to see if it would help me improve my game. I told my TM teacher that I was playing squash professionally and he recommended I read a book called Body, Mind and Sport
written by a former triathlete named Dr. John Douillard
. In the book, he made some pretty bold claims about what breathing using a form of yogic breathing called Ujayi could do for any athlete or sportsman's endurance, performance and enjoyment of their sport.
I was looking for ways to improve my game and get an edge over my competition, so I applied the breathing techniques and exercise methodology in the book over a period of 3 or 4 months of summer training in England, where I was based at the time. It wasn't easy, but by the autumn, I had trained myself to breathe through my nose when I was playing squash competitively or just training intensively
, which dramatically improved my endurance and performance.
I found that when I breathed through my nose, I could get through training sessions that had previously been really exhausting for me when I was breathing through my mouth fairly effortlessly
. I also started to enjoy my training
a lot more and I had no more psychological resistance
to it because of the pain I knew I was going to have to go through.
I remember one day playing a league match that lasted about 45 minutes, and then, not being tired at all, going to an empty court next door and ghosting (moving around the court fairly quickly simulating shots without the ball) for half an hour with no rest. When I finally came off the court - more because I needed to get showered and changed before the club closed than because I was tired - I remember thinking how effortless and enjoyable the whole experience
had been. It hadn't felt like hard work or training at all, whereas as a mouth breather, doing the same workout would have absolutely shattered me.
I knew I had opened the door to something profound that would help me to perform at a much higher level with less effort and stress than I could have dreamed was possible before then, and so it has proven to be over the last 20 years. When I stopped playing professionally, I was able to compete at a high (provincial and Gauteng first league) level for over 10 years without doing very much training because my fitness was based on the efficiency of my breathing rather than the amount of training I'd done, and this I could never lose
because I had mastered the art of nasal breathing while exercising at high intensity.
About ten years later, a chance encounter with an eccentric old guy named Barry really opened up the whole field of breathwork for me. We got chatting and after hearing that I was a former professional squash player and still playing at a high level, he told me that he’d learnt some powerful breathing techniques that boosted athletic endurance and performance
when he'd lived in Monaco and trained with the Monaco Olympic team 20 years earlier
(he wasn't an Olympic athlete, but he was a very persuasive lawyer who somehow managed to gate crash their training sessions!) and he offered to teach me everything he knew about breathwork at no charge.
That was an offer I couldn't really refuse, so I went to his house that Saturday morning and he taught me a Power Breathing technique
he’d learned in Monaco from their Olympic trainer, who’d learned it from the head Russian Olympic trainer in the 1960s and 70s. He also taught me an ancient breathing technique called kriya yoga
that I eventually mastered to the point where I could hold my breath for more than half an hour
to prove to myself that the supposed limit of 5 minutes of breath holding before a person passes out or dies is nonsense!).
I've also done thousands of hours of yogic breathing during yoga sessions, trained with some of the world's leading experts on Breathwork, including Dr. Barry Spitz, Dan Brulé
(the world's leading breathwork expert) and The Art of Living Foundation
, and learnt more than 20 different breathing techniques over the years
, including many different yogic breathing techniques as well as holotropic, transformational and rebirthing breathing.
I've taught many of these techniques to hundreds of ordinary people over the last 10 years in breathwork workshops and retreats, as well as to mentally ill patients, a soccer team in the PSL (the top professional soccer league in South Africa) and several top professional and junior sportsmen.