Regulate your Mind and Body by Paying Attention to All Four Parts of Your Breath

Finding Your Power in the Pause with Breath Retention

Did you know there are four parts to the breath? Most conversations centered around breath are broken into two parts: inhalation and exhalation. The space between the inhales and exhales is equally as important. Without the pause that comes at the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale you would be breathing much too fast. Hyperventilation is an example of how breathing looks when the pause is removed. 

As you breathe throughout your day this pause is minimal, almost unnoticeable. Every day you breathe in and out over 20,000 times while giving zero thought to the significance. A function of the respiratory system that happens automatically and is vital from your first breath to your last. 

Paying Attention to the Pause

The Navy Seals understand the power of the pause probably better than any other organization. They use it as part of their training because it is an optimizing breath practice that helps you stay calm while improving concentration. It’s no surprise this technique is used by a group of high-performance individuals who are known for being put in extremely tense situations. They understand the importance of all four parts of the breath and how it aids in lowering blood pressure. The Seals need to think clearly at all times and slow, stable breaths help them do just that. 

Breath retention practices help you focus your attention on the pause both at the top and bottom of your breath. By consciously extending the pause to create a breath hold you bring your attention inward. This concentrated activity focuses the mind intently on what’s happening in the body. 

Your breath is your life force, and when you practice breath retention you are cutting off that life force in a controlled manner. Training your autonomic nervous system to stay calm in high-stress situations. 

Regulate Your Mind & Body

This incredibly efficient tool not only teaches the nervous system to remain calm, but it also improves concentration as unnecessary mind chatter becomes less important when your breath is on the line. Your mind begins to devote all attention to the activity at hand. When you are practicing a 30-second or one-minute breath hold your mind has only one focus: a desire for breath. 

Plus you are training your body to be less reactive to strong needs and desires. Slowing the breath and practicing retention from a controlled space helps you to show up more intentionally. Reminding you how good it feels to be in control. And that nice inhalation of air after a retention hold is the best breath of the day. Energy pulses through the body sending a sense of relief to every cell. 

Your breath and your brain are interlinked. One will always follow the other. If you can calm your mind, your breath will follow and if you can calm your breath, the mind will follow. This, of course, works the other way too. If your mind is spinning out of control in rage, lust, or uncertainty, so will the breath. Forcing it to be short and shallow. Moving you into that hyperventilation state where no pause is accounted for. 

Practicing breath retentions help us recognize when we are out of balance and guide our mind and body back into regulation.

Box Breathing

Box breathing is my all-time favorite breath practice. It has been the single best practice for me to clear my mind, feel into my body, and find inspiration. It is as simple as it is effective. 

Conscious breathing does wonders for our health as the respiratory system is connected to all aspects of the body working properly. 

Dedicating time to not only notice your breath but also to pay attention to the pause is incredible healing. It has helped me to see my intrinsic connection to all things as I receive breath, hold breath, offer breath, and am breath. 

Simple 5-minute practice

  • Set a time for 5 minutes
  • Find a comfortable seat, crisscross or hips to heels on the floor, or if in a chair: move to the edge so your feet are firmly planted and your spine is straight.
  • Soften your gaze
  • Bring your attention to your breath.
    • Notice where your breath naturally wants to travel
    • Allow your body to move gently with the breath
    • Guide your breath through your lungs and into your abdomen
  • Exhale all the air out through pursed lips
  • Seal off the lips and inhale deeply through the nose filling up your belly, ribcage, and chest as you count to 4.
  • With your body full of air, hold as you mentally count to 4 again.
  • Exhale slowly and unrushed as you once again count to 4
  • At the bottom of the exhale close off the mouth and hold as you count to 4
  • Inhale and repeat the 4x4x4x4 cycle until the 5-minute alarm sounds.

The first few rounds might feel uneasy or lopsided. But if you stick with it the process begins to be something you can feel. You become calmer and relaxed.

If a 4-count feels easy, count to 5. If it feels tough, count to 3. There is no rule. The best way to begin working with breath retention is to start. Teach yourself how to control your breath. Notice where your breath is traveling. Get curious about what comes up both emotionally and sensationally. These are all clues that will help you better understand yourself and your connection to the world around you. 

5 Minutes a Day

Breathwork is a meditation, and in 5 minutes a day, you will set yourself on a path to health, insight, and growth. Breath retention becomes a fun and relaxing activity that you won’t want to miss. You will begin to notice that moment when your inhale becomes an exhale, and when your exhale becomes the wave of the next inhale. There is a powerful connection between your breath and the world around you. If you are looking to deepen your practice and want some guidance along the way, check out my 4-week self-led online course, Breath Mindset, and feel free to leave me a note here as well. 

Is Too Much Social Media Putting Your Nervous System on High Alert?

It Might be Time to Take a Stimuli Break. Here’s How.

The Internet has brought the world into our homes and has inundated us with a constant thread of news to absorb or ignore. Social media platforms have become a hub of information designed to fit our personal lens on reality. With the average of 3 hours a day spent on these platforms, one must question if this constant dopamine drip is a healthy activity or a complete waste of time.

It’s so easy when you have 15 minutes to spare to just open the apps and see what’s happening with your friends and family. It’s fun watching all the kids grow up and having cherished family moments. It’s nice to see friends sharing adventures and all the pets they love. As you mindlessly scroll you begin to drown out the ads that pop up in between every third post you see. But they must be having some sort of affect on your brain chemistry. Ad after ad sprinkled in with family and friends you get to appreciate from afar. Nothing too close, nothing too real, nothing to sincerely and honestly engage with. 

It’s safe to judge and like from your couch while your brain feels scattered and your concentration dwindles. 

Nervous System on High Alert!

This constant stream of stimuli has a direct affect on your nervous system. And as we are becoming more and more programmed by our devices to feel that immediate dopamine high, we are allowing side effects to creep in. Things like…

  • Spending more and more time on social media.
  • A quick 15-minute check-in turns into an hour-long scroll.
  • Jumping from one social media account to the next out of boredom.

Today we can’t focus on one thing too long without looking for a new distraction, and this causes stress. And stress creates unhealthy pathways in your nervous system. 

Stress and the Nervous System

We are all wired differently based on a variety of things from our past and our general demeanor, so these stress patterns will look different for everyone. 

Stress enters our body as a result of our natural (and programmed) reactions to… 

  • How safe you feel
  • Your sense of belonging
  • Your sense of Identity
  • How well you create or state personal boundaries

Social media platforms are a great place to express yourself with easy access to quotes and memes and images that can easily be shared. But only when someone feels safe to do so and this comes as a result of how our needs were met or not met during our developmental years. 

When threatened, our body goes into a fight or flight state, and our stress skyrockets! When this sympathetic side of your nervous system is triggered you might find yourself easily frustrated, annoyed, and irritated by what you see online. 

When you post something you might feel anxious or overstimulated by the responses. Or you may find yourself completely frozen in what to do in life so you use social media as a numbing agent to avoid responsibility and keep you in a procrastination mill. 

These are all emergency responses caused by trauma in the body. In our busy modern world, we are becoming more and more accustomed to living in a continuous state of stress.

We need to allow our nervous system time to find balance. 

It’s time to push against our social media habits and use our time and energy towards the pursuit of becoming a more present and calm human. 

It’s time to take a break from social media. 

Taking time to step away from the constant momentum of social platforms is challenging because self-care doesn’t come with any instant rewards. It takes time to slow down and tune in to what you need. 

For the next seven days instead of continually checking your phone, challenge yourself to take a break. It’s a great way to find out if you have an addiction and a refreshing way to identify where some self-care is needed. 

Here are 3 tips to help you break the habit for seven days and unplug.

Create a Goal

We are so programmed to mindlessly check our social accounts that we may find ourselves on an hour-long drone without even realizing it. That’s why it is practical to create a goal for your social media break. Make it simple and write it out where you can see it. Consider things like…

When I feel the urge to check social media I will…

  • Go for a walk
  • Pick up an old hobby
  • Write out the grocery list
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Call a friend
  • Read

Depending on how much time you find yourself on social media it is a good idea to have a list of things to do instead to keep your mind productive. Try things that keep the phone out of your hands to avoid any accidental peeking.

Delete the Apps!

Okay before you freak out, I’m not suggesting deleting your accounts, just remove the app from sight. Create steps between you and the platform. If Instagram isn’t on your phone then you have to log into your computer to get into your account, and who checks Instagram on their computer? 

At the end of the week, you can simply re-download the app and sign back in. (If you decide you want to.) 

At the very least, turn off all notifications for the week. Set yourself up for success by removing those beeps, buzzes, and flashy notifications. 

Announce the Break

This is helpful because you are openly letting others know of your intent. You can include things that let your support group know that you need their help. Encourage them to reach out to share news or go for a walk. It’s always nice to share your challenges and successes with others, and a break from social media is no different. 

Find Your Breath

Taking a break from the socials helps you to be more present in your life and breathwork is a great way to help you engage in the moment. It’s simple and effective. 

As part of your seven-day detox, I invite you to try breathwork. In my online course, Breath Mindset,  I have students do breathwork 3 times a day, every day for one month. 

  • 5 minutes of energizing breathwork in the morning.
  • 5 minutes of balancing breathwork in the afternoon.
  • 5 minutes of calming breathwork in the evening.

By doing 15 minutes of breathwork a day you start to create a more balanced nervous system and the brain fog seems to dissipate into clarity. 

If you are interested in learning more about breathwork, reach out! I have a ton of resources and it’s a great way to set your phone down and stay present in the moment. 

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable with a Glacier Dip at Mount Rainier

Experience the Transformative Power of a Cold Plunge with Lynar DeLuca

When was the last time you treated yourself to a day at Mount Rainier? The lustrous mountain that can be seen from almost all points of King County. We live so close, yet can go years without a visit. Join Lynar DeLuca of The Breath Academy, and myself, for a day of exploring the Naches Loop Trail with an added Glacier dip down at Dewey Lake. A day that won’t soon be forgotten. 

There is a reason that this is one of the most popular trails on Mount Rainer: 

  • The stunning views
  • The light elevation gain
  • Wildflowers galore
  • Easily accessible

Every time I find myself here I am captured by the beauty of Tahoma. A stunning reminder of this place we call home and a humbling reminder of how small we really are. 

When you join us on Sunday, August 14th, you too will experience this stunning hike, as well as the added bonus of a trip down to Dewey Lake.

Dewey Lake

This is the most challenging part of the trail and almost doubles the length of the hike from 3.2 to 6 miles in total. The added elevation gain keeps most explorers from traveling down. 

Not us! 

This is the fun part, not to mention the cooling-off part. 

Because we will be starting early, to beat the crowds and enjoy the peaceful morning, we will miss the midday heat. That being said, the trail does have some stretches of full sunshine. Proper sun protection should be considered as well as sturdy hiking shoes for the descent, and climb from the Lake. The summer sun also brings one other element…


Lynar and I decided to do a trial run of the event this past week and found to our chagrin that the lake hosted an abundance of tiny (and not so tiny) bloodsuckers. This did not stop us from enjoying our time at the lake, but it did put a damper on our breathwork. Because of this we strongly recommend a mosquito hood for protection as well as lightweight long sleeves and long pant attire. 

Time To Take The Plunge!

Once at the lake the fun begins! Well, I mean besides the army of mosquitos. The hot August sun has warmed this lake, but the melting snow keeps it at a refreshingly cool temp.

Here in this scenic retreat, you will be guided through some circular breathwork. Preparing your mind and body for the refreshing, cold glacier waters.

The breathwork will help to calm your nerves as your adrenaline begins to rise. After which you will have an opportunity to get your suits on, (yes, there will be a private changing space), and take a horse stance with us in the shallow end. As your feet take in the cold your mind will settle into focus. 

Now you are ready to take the plunge. 

Lynar is a 200-hr Certified Yoga Teacher and Breath Coach who has a passion for cold exposure and sharing its incredible benefits with other people. She has been practicing cold dips since moving to Washington almost 15 years ago and has been practicing breathwork for 5 years. Various breath practices have helped her relieve stress and anxiety, while cold exposure has helped her push past the limits of what the mind thinks is possible. 

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! And your opportunity to get comfortable being uncomfortable. During your 2 minutes submerged in the lake, Lynar and I will be with you the whole time. Breathing, humming, focusing, and guiding you through. Allowing you the time and space to find your inner stillness and come out stronger on the other side. 

After everyone has had an opportunity to feel the power of the cold, we will dry off, get dressed and head back up to the main trail to be rewarded by panoramic views of the mountain. Together we will enjoy some snacks and good conversation before finishing off the loop and heading home. 

Breathe in Nature

If you are looking for something fun to do this August and want to stretch yourself in a powerful way then this is the adventure for you!

This is the 5th installment of the Breathe in Nature series and one that all the members have been looking forward to. There are only a few spots remaining and we would love for you to join us. 

Read more about Breathe in Nature here and join us before it’s too late.

In A World of More is Better, Choose Less and Find the Clarity You Seek 

Finding Clarity By Clearing Out the Junk!

Our breath is such a vital part of our health and yet we rarely stop to notice or observe how it’s affecting our lives. Oxygen is essential and how you breathe is directly linked to how you feel. If you are looking to bring more clarity into your life then it’s time to clear out the junk both in your environment and in your head.

Today we are surrounded by devices designed to hack into the way we think. Data collecting is so effective that computers know what you want before you do. Information is more accessible than ever before and we have endless knowledge today at a click of a button. A world where information is power has passed. Today the internet has us drowning in too much information and with so much knowledge at our fingertips, it can be hard to know what is true and where we should direct our focus. We have become a society of wondering generalities, making us the most depressed people in history. 

Everyone is vying for your attention, and yet we cannot seem to focus on anything for too long. Remember going to see a double-feature in the movie theaters? Who has time and attention for that these days?

If you want to separate yourself from the crowd, then get clear about what you want and where you’re going. Clarity is power. The more clearly you can focus your attention on where you want to go the more success you will draw into your life. 

It’s time to filter out the junk!

We humans like things. We save up and work hard to acquire things. We fill our lives with things. We fill everything!

  • Our homes
  • Our cars
  • Our offices
  • Our phones
  • Our minds
  • Our bodies

We have so much stuff that we have created a multi-Billion dollar industry just to store our things. We seem to think that all these things will fulfill us. Parting ways with something locked away in a storage unit seems like more work than paying for the storage unit to hold it.

In reality, all these things are doing the opposite. They are weighing us down and causing stress and overwhelm. 

It appears Tyler Durden of Fight Club was right when he said, “The things you own end up owning you.”

All of these things we are lugging around with us have a mental, emotional, physical, and even spiritual effect on our livelihood. 

  • Digital junk is scattering your brain in the form of thousands of unread emails, and too many apps on our phones.
  • Clutter around our home is piling up and being stuffed into the closet or room that you never seem to have the energy to go through.

All of these things are keeping you in a state of overwhelm and it’s preventing you from moving forward in your life. It’s time to start downsizing. The more you have to manage around you the more clutter forms in your thoughts. 

The more you let these piles and papers, and old tucked-away treasures eat up space in your life the less space you have in your mind to find the clarity you need to be productive and peaceful. 

Breathing out the Junk

Your nervous system is constantly sending messages from the brain to the body about what’s happening in your world. When you are caught up in a stressful moment your breathing changes. It becomes quick and shallow and your heart rate steadily increases. This causes you to tense up and affects your breathing pattern more. Now if you are constantly living in stress this short, shallow, tension becomes the norm and leaves you more susceptible to disease. 

One factor adding to your stressful life is that closet or room or drawer that we all have that we continually stuff things into that “one day’ we’re going to go through. It’s the emails you saved to read, and all the other lists of to-do’s that you are constantly putting off. It’s building up in your home and in your mind all the while affecting your health. 

By simply learning to breathe properly you can start to release 70% of the toxins currently running through your body. This will elevate your mood and invites in more focus and clarity.

Breathwork has become a mindfulness practice that is used worldwide. Intentional breathing helps clear out the mind-clutter and creates space for better decision-making. Numerous studies have found that conscious, slow breathing has a direct effect on the chemical levels in the brain. It has been shown to…

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Decrease pain levels
  • Promote better sleep
  • Increase focus
  • Strengthen the immune system

There are a ton of practices out there that are used for a variety of purposes that range from better sleep to athletic performance, and even to induce a psychedelic experience. 

The act of controlling your breath helps center your mind. The calmer you feel in the mind the more receptive you are to notice the subtle body. As you relax you begin to make space for clarity. 

Linking the Internal and External World

One of the things about the breath I absolutely love is this give-and-take relationship it provides to your outer and inner world. Every inhale is accompanied by an exhale. You cannot give without also receiving. Your breath is constantly showing you messages about what’s happening inside and what’s happening outside. 

The less you have cluttering your mind and environment the more you can use your breath to focus on getting clear about your life. 

The truth is you don’t need more things. You need less. You need to create space for clarity to come to you. This is an inside job. Conscious breathwork will shine you up from the inside, and clearing your things away will shine your environment on the outside. 

You may not think that all the things are adding to your stress, but it is the micro stressors in life that add up to big issues down the road. We all know the importance of taking care of the big issues but it’s the subtle things that add stagnation to our bodies and mind. Subtle things like clutter. 

We all know that a clean environment helps soothe our minds and helps with production levels. So give it a go, and take it in baby steps. If thinking about cleaning up a whole room seems too overwhelming then start by clearing off a counter, or a drawer. Tiny steps that lead to big rewards. Accompany this by consciously breathing and directing your mind and breath into a space of more clarity. 


One of the more popular breathing techniques popularized by Dr. Weil is 4-7-8 breathing. It’s easy to see why. This is a great stress reliever that focuses the mind and promotes high levels of concentration and relaxation. I suggest practicing this method once a day just after tackling your baby step clearing of clutter. This method will calm you and give you a greater sense of clarity. 

One of the best things about 4-7-8 breathing is that you can do it sitting, or laying down. It’s a great way to put yourself to sleep and reset your nervous system. So how is it done?

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your back free from support OR sit in a meditation seat on the floor OR lay flat on your back in bed.
  2. Exhale completely 
  3. Through the nose inhale deeply into your belly for a count of four
  4. Hold your breath at the top for a count of seven
  5. Exhale through the mouth completely with a big whooshing sound as you count to eight
  6. Pause for a moment, empty of breath, and repeat for 10 rounds

That’s it. It just takes a few minutes for you to relax your mind and think more clearly. 

In a world of more is better, choose less and find the clarity you seek. 

In Search of Your Person? They Could be Closer than you think

The Time Has Come to Reframe How We Look for “The One”

A friend of mine is going through her second divorce. Ugh. What an incredibly hard thing to witness: This beautiful soul is broken. Feeling like a failure, unsure, ungrounded, and embarrassed. She has put so much pressure on herself to be a perfect image of happiness and success. All the while dying silently inside and scared to reveal her hand to the world. Now she is at a crossroads once again. 

Last time was a fight and no love was lost in the battle of all things as they separated the kids, their lives, and possessions. This time is cordial, there is a lot of love, and things feel amicable. 

She said to me that she loves this person, she’s just not sure if it’s her person

This got me thinking…

  • Am I with my person? 
  • Do I have a person?
  • What if I don’t have a person?
  • What does it mean to be someone’s person?

I’ve never thought of my relationships in this way. It suddenly felt like a lot of pressure. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t breathe. Is this how my friend feels? Spending time wondering if she is with the right person instead of enjoying the person in front of her? 

This felt constricting and left me with a sense of abandonment. I began reflecting back on the past loves and romances of my life. Forgotten dreams, broken expectations, and a young heart unaware of the beauty in it all. For me, the truth is I could have made it work with any of these humans. Some felt hard and heavy, some felt light and fun, but ultimately I always felt as though finding my person was a choice. 

The wonderful human who I share my life with today is a gift. A gift I understand only because of the broken dreams from my past. And after almost 15 years together I do, on occasion, lose sight of the big picture and wonder what the heck?! No doubt that sentiment goes both ways.

It’s even true to say that the person I expected to be spending my life with is not the person I am spending my life with. 

He is but a dream.

A dream that I like to fantasize about from time to time. Wondering what he’s up to and how I could have been so blind to let him go. But then the fantasy dies and I remember the hurtful words and life choices that feel so unforgivable. 

But for a time, he was my person. And so I understand. 

Your person is who you choose it to be. And if it doesn’t work with this person you can go and find another, but at the end of the day, your person is you. 

You cannot truly be open to loving another if you are not willing to love yourself. 

Our society puts a lot of pressure on us to find our person, when the answer is, that person is within. The answer is slowing down to connect to your breath. The answer is learning to fall in love with yourself. 

Then whoever you decide to bring into your life can accentuate your beauty and love, not define it. It’s time to take the pressure off. 

Ask the right questions

Committing to sharing your life with another human is a huge deal that we often rush into because of lust or infatuation. We get so lost in the feeling of new and exciting love that it’s hard to step back and see a picture of what the future may be. During this time in a relationship, everyone is showcasing their best selves, and you can only see the positives about this glorious person before you. You start to dream about your life together and what it will be like. 

Then you find yourself a couple years into a relationship and you start focusing on what your partner isn’t doing and a cycle of external validation begins. But it’s not about the relationship, it’s about you. It’s about what you see as missing. This might be a sign that it’s time for your growth or change and you might not want to take that action so you throw it on your partner and your partner does the same thing in response to you. It’s time to stop expecting your partner to meet your every need and time to start meeting your own needs so you can show up wholly in your relationships.

What if instead of concentrating on finding that perfect person (just to be let down) you started asking yourself more insightful questions. 

  • Who have I been as a partner?
  • Who do I want to be as a partner? 
  • How am I choosing to show up in my relationship every day?
  • How do I want to show up for my partner?

Make the journey about you! Ultimately it is anyway. Both staying in a relationship and walking away from one are hard choices that come with their own times of growth. But before you give up or walk away from a relationship simply because you’ve lost sight of that wonder and magic, ask yourself what are you truly walking away from?

Disagreements are good, it means you are growing and willing to argue. But in order to do that effectively, you need to be able to open your heart and assume your partner has something of value to offer. Only then can you decide if the relationship should be maintained. 

Breathwork is a tool that helps put you in your body. 

When relationships are new and fresh you are breathing from an open heart and the potential is endless. It’s during this state of blooming possibilities that we strive to be better, and it is in the striving that we come alive. Maintaining relationships takes more work because the shiny exterior has worn off in the attainment of the relationship. Now, in a time of growth, you need to decide to keep loving from an open heart. The goal is no longer securing the relationship, but alleviating suffering for another human being by loving them. Not creating more strife. And your breath can guide you to understand what your next best step should be. 

You know when things are off. You can see the way your ego plays games to make any situation feel the way you want it to. 

If you are constantly looking to be saved, found, or rescued then you are missing the opportunity to breathe into your own power and save yourself. 

Right now you can decide to own your relationship, your job, your financial situation, Anything! You can decide to place gratitude there. You can decide to act like you have it all when you don’t. You can shift your lens to see what you love about your situation and own the story you’ve been telling yourself. Simply by using your breath.

Belgian psychotherapist Ester Perel says…

“The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.”

And the quality of our lives can drastically change by how we breathe. 

When you are frustrated, living in blame and resentment your breathing is fast and shallow. You are not fully nourishing your cells. This affects your thinking, decision-making, and energy levels. Pile that on top of all of the other daily stresses and it’s easy to see how the person we share our lives with can become a target for our own sense of lack and uncertainty. 

When it comes to finding a partner I’ve tried them all on. The rebel, the partier, the much too good looking, the romantic, and the unique. They were all just a reflection of myself. 

Today I can 

  • Sit with my breath and be the rebel of solitude in the face of hardship.
  • Use my breath to bring energy to the room and reflect on the party girl inside.
  • Be still and breathe deep into the beauty of who I am.
  • Control my emotions to say what needs to be said and be the vulnerable romantic I am.
  • Express my unique spirit without worrying about what others may think.
  • Inhale my truth and exhale my fears. 

I can breathe out all of this because I am my person. Nobody gave these qualities to me. Romances of my past just allowed me to find them in myself. 

My friend is lost in the external search and has lost control of her breath. Her power has been put into the approval and expectations of others. She has forgotten that she is the person she is in search of. 

My friends, I invite you to look inward. Be your person. 

Fall in love with yourself so fiercely that the love you hold inside attracts only that which you are. 

***Interested in learning more about connecting to your breath as a way to make conscious decisions from an open heart? Watch Maintaining Positive Relationships One Breath at a Time on my youtube channel and check out my 4-week online course, Breath Mindset, to start using your breath as your greatest tool.

Immerse Yourself in a Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse Gong Bath

Treat Your Senses to a Full Spectrum of Sensation

If you love the great outdoors, then you don’t want to miss this rare opportunity to get under a full moon during a lunar eclipse to experience a soothing gong bath. 

There’s no comparison to the healing elements of Mother Nature. Few things are as relaxing as sitting under a canopy of trees, feeling grounded to the earth, closing your eyes, taking a couple of slow deep breaths, listening to the water streaming by, and allowing all your senses to open to the healing powers of nature.

With all your senses heightened and relaxed, you open up space to connect deeply with the world around you. 

This event is designed to be a totally immersive experience. Jill Mattern will be our guide and she’s prepared every detail. Allowing you time to unwind and engage in this stress-relieving gong bath. 

This is an event for those looking to find a deeper sense of mindfulness through a variety of sensory experiences focusing on deepening your connection to the ever-present now. 

Let Nature Be Your Guide

Connecting with nature is as simple as getting outside, but Jill is aiming to guide you deeper on this journey so you can fully experience all the benefits.

The grounding sensations of nature have a profound effect to tune you into your own wisdom. 

On Sunday, May 15th, Jill will work with the elements by engaging all your senses

  • Hear the sounds of nature working in perfect harmony
  • See the ancient wisdom flowing naturally as one
  • Smell the essential tree oils, and healing river essence
  • Taste the natural freshness that surrounds you
  • Feel the perfect unkempt soil beneath you

Jill’s guidance will have you soaking in all the flavors of the forest so you can become one with the joy and calm inside you.

It is in this stillness that the restorative sounds of nature begin to mix with the elusive gong. Bathing you in the mix of deep resounding vibration, running water, rustling leaves, and opening you up to the wonder of it all. Reminding you that you are indeed a part of a larger whole.

An Inviting Invitation

This awakening experience has the potential to inspire new ways of being and connecting to others. Helping you to see the world beyond your current experience and expand how you think about your place and purpose here.

Universally nature is seen as a way to enhance our health, but there are other benefits as well. Add the healing sounds of the gong and you have entered a new form of meditation. 

Sound is an ancient form of healing that can aid in…

  • Relaxation
  • Emotional Release
  • Thought Processing
  • Sleep 

Sound healing allows your brain to move into slower wave states. In these more theta states your brain has space to process in a way that promotes a more parasympathetic nervous system response. Better known as “rest & digest”.

Opening Your Subconscious Mind

Bathing in nature paired with healing vibrations can stimulate an altered state of consciousness. Creating a trance-like state can be extremely healing when you are fully absorbed. 

This may feel a little woo-woo at first, but once you give yourself over to the power of it all you will feel the harmonics of the gong move through every inch of your being and like a wave of release stress slowly disappear. Leaving you calm, balanced, and mentally clear.

After about 45 minutes of gong therapy under the full moon, Jill will guide you back to body consciousness. This is a rebirth into the sights and sounds surrounding you. The journey will end as everyone makes their way to the warming fire. In silence, we will arrive together, and just like people have done throughout time, we will share in our experience collectively while enjoying hot tea. 

Your Innate Knowing of What is Needed to Uplift and Clear You

This can be a moving and powerful experience. Shining our souls from the inside is a fantastic way to detox the negative energy stuck in our minds and body. Each individual is likely to have a personal experience ranging from deeply emotional to extremely energized. 

About your Guide

When Jill Mattern moved to Washington State from the Midwest for a service year with AmeriCorps. It was during this time that she sought the question: what does it mean to be free and to live a life of purpose and joy? 

With this question in mind, she started a journey. 

  • She sought mentorship by Indigenous Women while studying and taking part in Native American rituals, including a Vision Quest
  • She studied and worked with Civil Rights activists, earned a certification in Kingian Nonviolence
  • She developed and facilitated mindfulness practices for elementary-aged students, becoming a certified Kid’s Yoga Teacher
  • She worked at the university level focusing on social justice, and in elementary schools serving diverse populations.

But it wasn’t until the summer of 2017 during a solo 100-mile hike that she realized the answer to her question was inside all along…

True sovereignty comes from within, and we all have the internal resources to tap into our own joy and potential. 

Jill’s yoga practice was instrumental in this realization. Finding her own inner peace, she began studying this ancient technology eventually becoming a certified yoga teacher and outdoor mindfulness guide. She is thrilled to be able to share the practice with others. 

Her workshops weave together ancient yogic traditions with modern science to give students a holistic understanding of the mind and body connection. Being in nature, immersed in sound, postures, and breath, students will strengthen their nervous system allowing them to feel more vibrant, alive, and ultimately, free.

What Jill has to say about this event

You’re invited to experience the healing vibrations of sound and nature. Blending the power of nature to renew and restore, and the gong, an ancient ceremonial instrument used to heal the body and mind, you’ll enjoy a powerful sonic and sensory experience.

We will meet during the full moon total lunar eclipse, just before sunset. An eclipse is known as a Full Moon on steroids and happens when the moon is opposing the sun, and the earth’s shadow is cast upon the moon. During a lunar eclipse, the shadow of the Earth falls across the face of the moon bringing unconscious feelings to the surface. Lunar eclipses are culminations of emotional cycles that have run their course, and they encourage us to let go of emotions and attachments that are no longer serving us.

Endings are necessary in order to make way for the new and a lunar eclipse is like the final purge or cleaning of an emotional cycle, if something needs to come to an end, an eclipse can help you set the intention of completion in concrete.

After a year of Trauma, we have a lot stored in our system.  Let’s use this auspicious day to release what is no longer serving us by using nature, breath, the moon’s energy, and sound.  There are numerous scientific benefits to spending time in nature including increased feelings of well-being and lower stress and anxiety. This healing is enhanced through the use of a 4ft foot gong. Laying in nature, under a full moon, the deep tonal frequencies of the gong ease the mind and physical body into a state of total relaxation. The gong tones allow for inner exploration and self-guided healing and can help reset the nervous system to its optimal function. 

The session begins by setting an intention, gentle stretching, followed by breathwork, a guided meditation eventually leading into a gong bath meditation.

The full moon energy is used for releasing old habits, patterns, behaviors, and energies. To support your healing intentions or release and renewals, participants will be gifted a curated set of gemstones to supercharge the evening’s intention. 

Looking for more information. Check it out here. It is the second of 6 in a series called Breathe in Nature. 

Happening Sunday, May 15th.

5pm meet-up

6pm start time

9pm wrap up

Undisclosed location along the Snoqualmie River

What Does Embodiment Mean, and Why Is It Essential to Our Happiness?

Breathe Deep to Let Your True Essence Shine

As you grow in your mindfulness practice you probably hear the word embodiment thrown around. But what does it mean? And why is it essential to our happiness?

For as much of a body-obsessed culture that we live in, we actually spend very little time in our bodies. We have cut ourselves off at the neck, using only our thoughts and bouts of pain or pleasure to feel into our bodies. We let our minds take the wheel and drown ourselves in images and data of what the outside world has determined we should look and feel. We have left the joy of feeling our bodies at the door. 

For many women, this cut-off begins around puberty or earlier as we have been trained to see the images of women that represent something we are not. This kind of body dysmorphia leaves us depressed and we hide our bodies for fear of rejection. We learn about pleasure from movies and TV so we can “perform” for the boys. 

We have trauma and abuse from our society all with an underlined virtue in the importance of being sexy for our lives to matter. 

Camille Rainville wrote a moving poem, “Be a Lady They Said” in 2017 that two years later became one of the most heart-wrenchingly profound pieces of art I’ve ever watched about what it means to be a woman. 

Unfortunately, men are falling into this trauma more and more as pressure to look a certain way increases while our lifestyles become more relaxed. We are busy, and sitting, and traveling in automobiles to get everywhere we go. We have our food and everything else delivered so we can stay home and dump more and more data into our minds about the world around us and our place in it. 

This modern lifestyle is super convenient. It’s convenient for all the companies out there who use their time and energy to invest you in them. To help you feel alone, like an outsider, and in need of what they offer. Whether it be a pill, or simply your attention, the goal is to keep you in your head and in mercy to them. 

Breathe into your Body

One of the easiest ways to start feeling your body is through breathwork. You’ve heard it a million times: Just Breathe. And our bodies are craving it, but our mind is in control and doesn’t see the point.

So let’s do it together now.

  • Take a nice deep inhale through your nose
  • Exhale with a sigh
  • Do it again.
  • Now close your eyes and inhale one more time, and feel the breath rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. 

Feels good right?

  • Continue to breathe consciously like this. 
  • Feel the air move into your belly on the inhale and notice the subtlety of movement as you exhale.
  • Continue with this feeling. 
  • Follow your breath 
  • With each exhale find yourself relaxing through your shoulders, your jaw, your belly. 
  • Perhaps even placing one or both hands over your heart and just being present in this moment.

If you are taking time to do this, even as you read, you are probably noticing a feeling of ease come over you. You may notice your mind has slowed and there is a sense of joy and connection within your body. 

This is how the embodiment experience begins. It begins with slowing down and becoming aware.


The first time I did a breathwork session my entire face was tingling and my hands morphed up into claws. I was numb and completely vulnerable. Once the hour-long session ended I realized I had streams of water flowing from my eyes and I was feeling such a powerful release of energy and emotion that I didn’t understand what the hell had just happened. 

The only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to feel more. 

At the time I didn’t understand what was happening or what embodiment meant, but I started to see the power breath was bringing into my body. Every time I consciously started to breathe, and let the breath guide me into my body, I felt more open and expansive. I started to reconnect to dormant information within my body and gradually I have been able to release that stagnant energy out of my body using my breath. 

We store emotion, hurt, trauma, and feelings of shame in the body. We bury it within us and then cut off access to feeling it because it feels too painful. We lose that connection and rationalize it through our thoughts. 

When we talk about embodiment it’s not really a question of what you’re thinking, but where you’re thinking. 

Inner Intuition

With so much information being thrown around daily it’s hard to keep up and decipher truth from deception. The media is doing a great job of telling us what we need or don’t need, what’s important or unimportant, whom we should hate and whom we should adore. All we need is that seed to be planted for an idea to take on a life of its own. 

Breathwork helps us travel inward. It helps us take pause in the questions of the day so we can tap into our inner intuition and start deciding for ourselves what feels right in our bodies. 

Once our body is engaged we begin to feel into situations in our lives instead of analyzing them. We begin to grow up feeling more confident and in control of our body and thus our emotions. 

Embodying our perfectly imperfect bodies helps us to stand confidently when life feels hard and our insecurities are revealed. 

Taking ownership of your body is a huge step. Taking ownership means you are ready to breathe into the pain and air out old emotions and trauma. It means you are going to deal with uncomfortable emotions, people, and situations in the moment. It means becoming whole. Dancing in the rain, feeling the cold breeze hit your back, moving your body in new and challenging ways, and allowing yourself to illuminate from the inside out. 

Embodiment asks you to breathe into the spaces you’ve covered up early in your development and allow room to shift and move through that discomfort. Mindfulness is a daily practice and body awareness asks us to join this daily practice to listen, to observe, to notice. Your breath is your anchor. It’s the portal from the outer world to your inner experience. Whole-body living is connecting your breath to your mind in a way that opens you. In a way that helps you feel alive, rested, and in control of your life and your experience. 

The outside world will always find ways to showcase what is wrong with you and what you need to be doing. Embodiment is feeling into which of those messages are right for you and which you can throw by the wayside.

As you walk this path that is your life you will be continuously challenged and questioned about your choices. How you decide to show up and live is all about how you embody those choices. Anchor into your breath, feel stillness from deep within and walk confidently towards your true potential. 

***If you are interested in going deeper on a journey into connecting with your breath, check out my online course, Breath Mindset, and begin your embodiment journey today. 

Take Massive Action to Live a Life You Love Living

Only with true authenticity can your abundance flow

We all have that friend whose life looks like a total dream. They have the family, the house, the amazing job and from the outside, you’d say they have it all. But after spending an afternoon with them you realize that they feel empty or aimless in their journey. They have checked off all the boxes but something is missing and it’s leaving them wanting more. 

Maybe this is a friend, or perhaps it’s you. 

A dear friend of mine has lived a rich and full life despite being to hell and back. He’s maintained a truly healthy outlook and the wisdom he holds can seriously change the trajectory of many young men’s lives. He’s passionate and he has an incredible story about overcoming personal demons and breaking old patterns. Whenever we get together he tells me he wants to write a book, but he’s never put pen to paper. 

The reason?

He’s worried about what his family will think. He’s worried about the backlash from people he loves for being open and honest about his journey. He has within him the power to help and mentor thousands and he knows it, but he’s too afraid of being seen. 

Sound like someone you know? 

So many of us struggle with similar challenges. Passionate people who are afraid of their own truth. People live lives that look good on paper while their true identity lies dormant inside. 

I know people who have far more money, influence, resources, and experience than myself who say they wish they could do what I do. Well, maybe not be a breath coach, but live life on their own terms. And they absolutely can! But instead they…

  • Stay stuck at a job for the money or benefits even though they have plenty to get by while building their dream career. 
  • Buy a huge home in the suburbs then drive 2 hours to and from work every day and never get to enjoy it.
  • Commit to an unhealthy relationship because they’ve been with the person so long it’s easier than separating.

We’ve all struggled with letting our true nature shine through in order to “keep the peace. But here’s my question to you…

Do you honestly believe that true abundance flows to someone who is not living in line with who they truly are?

You must be willing to share and embrace the uncomfortableness of who and what you are in order to truly shine and for abundance to flow. 

You can live your whole life doing everything right and by the book, but if it doesn’t align with who you are on the inside then you will feel empty.

You will walk through your everyday life feeling like something is missing and this will leave you bitter with regret. 

But there is a way to turn it all around. 

Start taking massive action. You can’t think yourself out of a mindset or limiting belief, you must act. Move! Get that energy flowing. Let it be messy, let it be uncomfortable, let it be full of raw emotion and mystery, just start taking action. Don’t get stuck in the “one day” mentality. 

  • Start writing one page of that book
  • Buy the school bus and start converting it. (seriously I want a skoolie)
  • Make a budget for a year off work to pursue your dreams
  • Start sewing that jacket
  • Create space for yoga in your home
  • Invest in that workshop

The fastest way to push out the stagnant air is to push yourself into action! Your future life is waiting for you on the other side. And that new life comes with true abundance. 

Stop living the dreams of your parents. Stop striving for goals you aren’t invested in. Start doing things that align you with your dream life. Get that momentum going.

And here is where my online course, Breath Mindset can help. 

  • Carving out time each day to create space in your head to see clearly. 
  • Helping you to put your gifts into action towards a life worthy of you. 
  • A program that helps hold you accountable for your goals and sees you through to the finish line. 
  • The power of breathwork aligned with a healthy mindset can transform your life into an abundant one. 

Although people are joining our online community all the time, the beginning of the month is ideal because every Monday I show up and demo the weekly breathing with a group of members all dedicated to helping each other succeed. 

You have something inside you that is longing to get out, you just need tools to help you stand in your power and speak your truth. Breath Mindset is a simple, not easy, way to help you break free from the traps of scarcity in your mind and guide you forward into abundance beyond comparison in your life. 

So what do you say? Are you ready for real change? Then join me, and I’ll see you on the inside. 

Creating a Life that is Emotionally Rich by Connecting to Breath

You Are the Source!

Did you know that every single emotion you have has a breathing pattern to match? It’s true. When you’re happy your breathing pattern is different than when you are sad, or angry. We see evidence of this all the time. In fact, breath is so intertwined with our emotions that we’ve created all kinds of figurative language around it. 

  • It took my breath away
  • A breath of fresh air
  • Don’t hold your breath
  • Catch my breath
  • Wind knocked out of me
  • My dying breath

Emotions add richness to our lives. We lean towards joy, elation, and love to keep us healthy and content. But anger, fear, sadness are equally important emotions to understand. When you begin to understand that all emotions have an effect on our breathing patterns, then you can see the power you have to change it.

When you are aware of your emotions you can change how you feel by changing your breathing patterns. 

Emotions are what tie us to the past. They remind us of the love and experience that binds us to another. Emotions can become so intense that we feel controlled by them. Sometimes we get stuck in a certain emotion far beyond the actual experience that caused the emotion in the first place. Because our minds are constantly working to protect us they can begin to drown in sadness and sorrow. Our minds do this to keep us safe. A perfect example would be two strangers fighting over social media to prove their point by being nasty to another. They get stuck in ego and anger, feeding off the intensity. 

Emotions aren’t bad, they are healthy and should be expressed and felt, but what happens is we tend to repeat certain behaviors based on the emotions we feel, and through time we become addicted to these emotions and patterns. Too often we get so addicted to negative emotions and thought patterns that we find ourselves living a life we don’t even like. This leaves us feeling powerless because our emotions are running our life. 

Learning to manage your emotions connects you back to source. 

Managing your breath is the necessary skill to bring your body and emotions back into alignment. 

Scarcity of Breath Vs. Abundance of Breath

Conscious breathing actually shifts the chemistry of your body. It impacts…

  • Our physiology
  • Our state of consciousness
  • Our mental state
  • Our emotional well being

By paying attention and making subtle changes to your breathing habits and patterns you are opening yourself up to access more choices in your life. You begin to pay attention to things happening around you in a new way. 

Using your breath helps you to show up in your life in a responsive way vs. a reactive way. 

When you can respond instead of reacting to all that life throws at you, you move your mind from a place of fear to a place of abundance. When you approach life from a place of abundance your breathing is deep and full. Your body is feeling nourished and your nervous system is in balance. All these things help us to make more productive clear choices in how we respond to the situations of our lives.

Whereas when you feel stressed, depressed, or anxious your breathing tends to be shallow, mechanical, and fast. In turn, your body isn’t going to get the nutrients it needs from the oxygen you breathe and that is reflected in your decision making. You start making quick, reactive decisions based on the idea of scarcity. You act out of scarcity because you are breathing out of scarcity. 

Returning to source

Trauma in the body, family behavior, and lifestyle are all factors in how a person develops their breathing patterns. Everyone has patterns unique to their personal experiences, so the key is to manage our emotional state through our breath.

You can learn to anchor into the present moment using your breath. The more you practice this the more access you will have to witness what is happening around you. The more you are a witness to the world around you, and open to seeing it as it is, free of judgment and old stories the more connected to the infinite source you will be. 

Source is within you. All you seek is within you. 

Algorithms on social platforms like Instagram use your likes as a guide to creating an experience tailored to you. Your mind has the ability to do the same thing. Everything you think and do is creating the reality you live in. The reality you live in is based on emotional cues you have selected and gathered around you to create this experience. Now that you can see this you can use this information to begin breathing into a life you consciously tailor for yourself. 

You are consciously creating your own algorithm all the time. 

Invite conscious breathing into your daily routine and you will start seeing significant changes in how you arrive in your life. Conscious breathing helps you to become more aware of your emotions and return to the source of all that dwells inside of you today. 

5X5 Breathing.

A great way to start becoming aware of your breathing patterns is through 5×5 breathing. 

  • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, or if on a chair move away from any back support so you can have a straight spine. Plant your feet on the floor, a hip-width distance apart.
  • Round your shoulders back and let your chest feel open.
  • Tuck your chin slightly.
  • Soften or close your eyes.
  • Bring your attention to your breath. Make no effort to change your breath pattern, simply notice it.
  • Begin to slow the breath by inhaling to the count of 5, and exhaling to the count of 5.
  • Bring your attention to the inhale. Feel the breath flow in through your heart center. 
  • Exhale and notice the breath leaving your heart center. 
  • Do 10 rounds of breathing like this, focused on your heart. If it feels good you can place your hands over your heart to help keep your focus and attention there. 
  • After 10 rounds or so let the 5×5 pattern go and continue to breathe with ease keeping your attention inside. 

Notice how quickly you can change your emotional state just be doing 10 rounds of this simple and effective practice. Notice how it anchors you into the moment. Helping you to be more present with yourself and your surroundings. Notice how much clearer your mind feels. 

Simple breathing patterns like this can have a profound effect on your day. Emotional management begins with the breath. The breath connects you to source, and you begin to breath in a whole new way. 

The Connection Between Breathwork & Cold Exposure

Reset Your Nervous System by Doing This Chilling Practice

If you’re paying attention to the breathwork community at all then you’ve no doubt heard of Wim Hof. Better known as the Ice Man, this multiple world record winner has a passion for life and turned his own healing into a powerful method used around the world today. 

If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to boost your immune system, then look no further than this chilling therapy technique. 

The Wim Hof Method (WHM) uses cold exposure to trigger your sympathetic nervous system. Then you use your breath to calm it back into a parasympathetic state. While your mind races your blood slows. The temperature drop in the body puts your nervous system on high alert; focusing on your breath, you learn to control the experience. Once out of the cold your body starts pushing blood out to the extremities and inflammation is reduced. 

The release of adrenalin has been a huge draw for admirers worldwide who are also finding relief from auto-immune disorders, inflammation, injury, and blood circulation. 

An experience that sounds uncomfortable becomes euphoric through your own self-regulation. 

Controlling your core temperature and your breath helps drop you out of the constant mind-chatter we find ourselves in and into our bodies that we are all so disconnected from. 

Why You Should Do It

By exposing yourself to this extreme discomfort for a short amount of time other things begin to shift inside. 

  • You find that using your breath to calm yourself under this immediate threat helps you strengthen your ability to handle stressful situations. 
  • You find your endurance and patience are more accessible through breathwork used to calm the mind. 
  • You find your body temperature is more regulated and that a sudden shift in temperature doesn’t feel so scary anymore. 

The results: more energy and lower stress the natural way. Something pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to hear, but it’s true. Popping a pill for discomfort in our mind and body is sometimes necessary and helpful, but if you’re looking for long-term support– the more natural way– this approach helps you connect to a deeper mind-body connection. Drugs separate us from our bodies. They don’t take away the pain, they disconnect you from it. This detachment only leads to more detachment and more pain down the road. 

A year ago I finally took the leap. After months of avoiding The Hof-Man, thinking no way and that he was too macho for my taste, I gave in and I haven’t looked back since. 

You might be wondering, What does the WHM look like? Here’s a simple breakdown of what to expect. 


1. Get comfortable – you can either perform the method in a seated or lying position. If you’re new to breathwork I recommend lying down. Be sure your head is flat, with no pillow or support so you can breathe fully.

2. Perform 30-50 deep breaths. Inhale and exhale through the mouth. Inhale as far as possible, and then release the air without exhaling fully. Don’t take a pause between the inhales and the exhales. This might cause a tingling sensation; that’s normal.

3. After the last deep inhale, exhale all the air out and hold your breath with no air in your lungs, for 1 minute, or until you experience the gasp reflex. 

4. Take a deep breath, inhaling fully, and hold your breath again, but this time only for 15-30 seconds.

5. Repeat the first four steps 2-4 times.

6. After that you will return to your normal breath and start meditating on it. Try for at least five minutes focusing your attention on your breath. 

Cold Therapy

Your breath is now warmed up and you are ready to go. 

You can start training at home in your shower. I like to get in and get the water going at a comfortable temp first. Then I go from cold to hot for 20 seconds each. At least 3 rounds. 

You are in control here so you can start with just exposing a leg at a time, then your arms, and build up to full immersion. 

Or you can just go for it.

I am not great at cold showers and prefer the full immersion of an ice bath or a nice alpine lake. This version doesn’t allow for any cheating on my part and I’m all in. 

You will most likely find the initial shock to cause some hyperventilation to occur. Here’s where you focus back on deep breaths. Allow your body to shake and concentrate on calming your core. 

It takes practice to get out of your head, but the deeper your breath the calmer your mind will become. 

By doing this you are strengthening the small muscles around your veins. When these muscles are working your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood around your body. 

We all know that our true character comes through in times of stress and discomfort. And we humans do not like to be exposed and vulnerable, yet it is inevitable for growth to accrue. The WHM is one way to train yourself to be ready for these life stressors and help you to grow with more ease because you are comfortable in the discomfort.

The renewed sense of empowerment you get every time you get out of the cold is also good for your self-esteem. Again and again, you prove that you can do hard things, and stay in control when things get tough. 

I suggest heading over to youtube and check out one of Wim’s videos. He is dynamic and crazy, and you can’t help but love the guy. 

Give it a go, and when you’re ready to try an ice bath let me know and I’ll put you on my waiting list for my next Breath, Mindset, & Cold Exposure Workshop.

Note: for safety, don’t perform this technique while driving or in the bath (or anywhere else you might pass out). Also, consult a doctor if you’re pregnant or have another medical condition, to check if this approach is suitable.