We believe in the power of wellness to transform our lives. At Aéde, we harness this power through bespoke supplement formulations to contribute to your overall wellbeing, but we recognise this as part of a much larger scope of wellness practices.
We deeply value a holistic approach to health and seek to tap into multiple touchpoints to contribute to your individual journey.
Last month we began our weekly Self-Care Sessions offering complimentary online classes across the areas of yoga, pilates, meditation and breathwork. As we approach our second class with local breathwork expert Rory Warnock this week, we took some time to speak with him about the practice and its benefits.
Rory Warnock is a mental and physical performance coach passionate about helping people navigate their way to healthier, happier lives. After having a profound personal experience with the effects of breathwork on his mental health, Rory has found his niche in teaching the practice across studios and workplaces in Sydney.
What is breathwork and how does it differ to other wellness practices such as meditation?
Breathwork can be thought of as "conscious breathing" or "breathing in a certain way to create a desired outcome". We can use the breath as a tool to improve mental and physical health. By breathing in certain rhythms, rates and depths, we can shift our state from high stress to low stress or low energy to high energy. This has all been proven in modern science.
Looking at breathwork and meditation, breathwork is active whereas meditation is usually passive. If you tell an anxious person to sit with their thoughts for 20 minutes, it can sometimes be more detrimental than beneficial. This is what I personally tried to do and my anxiety consumed my mind. As breathwork is active, it takes you out of your head and into your body. It’s a great gateway to being able to meditate too.
During my breathwork sessions, we usually dive into 2-5 difference techniques with music throughout. I’m super passionate about using music to create a certain internal environment.
What are the key benefits of breathwork?
The key benefits include reducing stress, anxiety and depression, and improving focus, sleep, clarity, creativity, the immune system, athletic performance, oxygen delivery, lung volume and diaphragm function.
How often would you recommend practicing the technique?
I’d recommend some sort of breathwork practice every day. There are many techniques you can use, depending on what you’re looking to achieve! For example - it’s 3pm, you’re tired but don’t want caffeine, you could use the breath to up-regulate the nervous system to increase your energy and alertness. Personally, I like to focus on functional breathing and breath holds every day, but will use a deeper connective breathing technique maybe 2-3 times per week. During times of stress, I’ll use a 4:6 breath, where I breathe in for 4 seconds and out for 6 seconds. This helps down-regulate my nervous system and allows me to find relaxation.
What are some common misconceptions about breathwork?
We often don’t give our breath the attention it needs and deserves, maybe due to its accessibility. Many people think of breathwork as a spiritual practice, but for me it plays an essential role in optimising daily life. The most fascinating and exciting area within breathwork for me is the profound experiences it brings to those with mental health concerns. I work with people who suffer from addiction and people with severe anxiety who have ended a session in tears and said it’s the first time in their life where they felt peace. This brings me a huge amount of purpose and fulfilment in sharing the practice with others.