The Power of Breath | In conversation with Nicola Price

Eimear O'RiordanCampaigns & Product Marketing AssociateHuckletree7/9/2021

"People live their life how they breathe"

Ahead of her upcoming workshop series, I caught up with breathwork guru and genuine wellness inspiration, Nicola Price, founder of Inspirational Breathing.

We started our catch up with an impromptu (and I must admit, extremely effective) breath pattern analysis. Nicola gave me a quick diagnostic rundown on where my breathing was out of whack and the potential emotional response-related reasons. Spoiler alert, like most of us living in a post-pandemic world, I’m stressed. With a few quick fixes and within about 5 minutes, I was breathing deeply again and feeling more calm and collected than I have in months. 

With my zen fully restored, we sat down to chat about all things Inspirational Breathing, the full lowdown on her upcoming workshop and the life-altering effects of breathwork.

How would you explain/describe inspirational breathing to someone who’s never heard of it before?

Well, starting off, it’s important to know that most people have dysfunctional breath. On a physical level, Inspirational Breathing shows you how to breathe properly with a diaphragmatic breath. On an emotional level, once we start retraining the breath to a fully functioning pattern, that supports the whole system emotionally. The rewards on an emotional level are enormous. It’s also a way of helping people stay connected to themselves. Spiritually, a lot of people who have a spiritual element to their lives feel very connected through meditation and a breathing practice will help open that up. So it works on three levels: the physical, the emotional and the spiritual or connection to self.

Could you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in the world of inspirational breathing?

I’ve been in breathwork for 10 years now and the moment I came to it, I was in a workshop myself, I realised it was my vocation. Before that, I was a corporate coach for 18 years working in leadership. When I came to breathwork, it just seemed to be the most efficient way of manifesting and creating change individually, which then, in turn, translates to creating it in teams or in an organisation. I now train people. I like efficiency so the way I turn up in the world is to train people in inspirational breathwork. I use breathwork in my own life every day. An example is I’ve just started driving a Kawasaki 650 (motorcycle), which is the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do. I don’t know what I would have done without breathwork. I was able to really control my physical being and my emotional being through the whole process. Relating breathwork to real life situations is really important. 

Why do you think it’s important for people to prioritise finding a place for mindfulness and wellness in their lives?

I don’t think that the physical and emotional human being is designed to manage the amount of information that we have in the present day. We’re bombarded by all sorts of desires of other people to take our attention and it’s really hard to carve out our own, personal space. To do that, it makes sense to have something so that when we do get to our personal space, it’s really effective. That we have support to process difficult emotions. If people have their own meditation practice, I know that sometimes, it can be really hard to show up. That’s why yoga classes or something like Slimming World works because we hold ourselves accountable to someone else. We have a process or a way to help us manage those moments we can carve out for ourselves, to make them super efficient and make them work for us. Hundreds of people come to breathwork and they say it genuinely changes their lives. They feel more in control, they feel able to manage things physically and emotionally. 

Have you noticed that COVID has affected the way we breathe?

Enormously. In both adults and children. Adults’ breathing has altered due to the extra stress COVID has added to our daily lives but I see it altering children's breathing too, through their parents. If you think about children, they copy mannerisms; children are so observant and without even noticing it they’ll pick up on a stressed adult’s breathing pattern and copy it. Children are just so present and they notice the smallest shifts. What I find when I get to children’s breath patterns is that they will reflect the parents’. We know that breath and emotion are connected, so if the children are mirroring the breath, they’re most likely mirroring the stress.

Is your technique based on a particular school of breathwork or is it a combination of practices? 

It’s a combination of things. I trained personally for 2 years with an organisation called Transformational Breath. As my background was in training, I then took that and expanded it. I use different techniques like sound vibration and heat/cold in the work I do. I use different affirmations or a different way of turning up in presence. I’m quite a small organisation so it can be much more intuitive. The way that I train practitioners is that I only like to train a small number at a time, so there’s a lot of personal and individual work. It’s much more responsive to the present moment and to most modalities.

As it’s a digital session, is there anything attendees should know/ prep beforehand?

You should make sure you have enough space to lie down where I can see from the top of your head to your pelvis. It’s important for me to be able to see your breath pattern, not only as you're sitting but also lying down. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes that allow you to breathe comfortably and a drink of water. If you decide to join us for the more advanced session after the preliminary one, we can discuss that in our session. 

Feeling fully restored and genuinely inspired, we chat monetarily about Brighton, the welsh countryside and Nicola’s time spent in Goa before we say our goodbyes. Nicola was off to take a dip in the English Channel with her cold water swimming group, which she lovingly calls “The Rottingdean Swirlers”. I’m now fully convinced that she may be a genuine, real-life superhero. 

Interested in seeing what all the fuss is about? Book your spot to join Nicola’s next session here, or find out more about Inspirational Breathing:

Instagram: @inspirationalbreathing

Eimear O'Riordan

Eimear started in the Huckletree White City community team before moving into Marketing as our social media and videography lead. You'll find her in our spaces shooting content and mingling with members. Superpower: karaoke powerhouse.


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