June 16, 2022 4 min read

What exactly is guided breathwork and how do you do it?! 

 
BY JESSICA COLLINS FOR HEAT HEALER

 

With Co-Founder and partner Amanda Laine, Harry Taylor created the Othership guided breathwork App. They also run heat and cold therapy sessions at their physical space in Toronto, Canada. We spoke to Harry about guided breathwork, up/down-regulating, and how he became a Sauna Master. 

 

 

Hi Harry! For anyone who is new to this, could you tell us what guided breathwork is, and what are some of the benefits of doing it?

I certainly can. Guided breathwork is the practice of following various breathing techniques to achieve different nervous system states.

A guided breathwork session can either increase your energy and focus (called up-regulating), calm you down and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (down-regulating), or it can take you on a deep, inward journey where you’re able to access stored and unprocessed emotions and memories, and then create the space to release and process them.

There are countless benefits of breathwork that span the physical, mental, and emotional level.

From a physical  perspective, breathwork helps:

  • Increase lung capacity + build Co2 tolerance
  • Increase longevity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Boost your immune system
  • Aid digestion

On the emotional  front, breathwork can:

  • Alleviate stress
  • Improve mood
  • Helps to release + process emotions
  • Helps to work through trauma
  • Assist with overall emotional regulation

From a mental  standpoint, breathwork supports:

  • A clearer mind + enhanced focus
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Expanded consciousness
  • Increased creativity
  • Greater presence + awareness

 

 

Tell us a bit about your personal breathwork journey and what it has helped you achieve?

My journey first began with a psychedelic experience that grew into a deeper awareness of my purpose, my gifts, and how I’m supposed to show up in this lifetime. I’ve learned my dharma is tied to acts of service to others.

Part of my journey was to complete Sauna Master training in the Netherlands. I learned how to build a beautiful sauna, learned the elements that take the sauna experience to the next level, and soon started leading my own retreats. I also feel in love with the practice of breathwork and felt the combination of breathwork within hot + cold environments was truly transformative. I became a certified Breathwork Facilitator and also started to incorporate breathwork into my offerings.

A huge turning point was meeting the love of my life, and fellow Co-Founder of Othership, Amanda, around 4 years ago. 

What started out as competition and, if I’m honest, love at first sight! - turned into collaboration. We immediately started to dream about what we could do together, to better ourselves and our community, which led us to found Othership.

When I look back, I’ve experienced so many highs and lows, and ups and downs in my life and they all led me perfectly to where I am today.

 

When did you move from the physical into the digital space (with the Othership App)?

When the pandemic happened, we started doing sessions on Zoom for our sauna community, for those who no longer had access to the small sauna + ice bath space we’d created in Toronto. 

We started to really hone in on the profound potential of breathwork to help people during those times. Our Zoom sessions started with 10 people, then grew to 100, then 1000, and it just kept growing!

It felt like a breakthrough, and we just naturally and very, organically started producing breathwork sessions that evolved into the Othership App. We now have over 500 unique, music-driven guided breathwork sessions for people to choose from to shift their nervous system state.

 

 

Can you share with us the outline of a typical day in your life?

My life varies day to day, but some things are consistent:

  • Mindfulness - I start and end my day with a breathwork session and time in reflection.
  • Sauna and ice bath - I love to get into the sauna and ice bath every day, either as a personal wellness practice or to guide a class at our physical space.
  • Business - I have dedicated my heart and soul to Othership, so I work on some component of the business every day. This could be creating new content for the app, developing our breathwork training program, working with musicians and artists to incorporate their music into the app, creating sauna classes, editing scripts from our facilitators, or brainstorming the launch of our US physical spaces!
  • Love - of course, I always make time each day for Amanda. We also work on most of the business and content creation together.
  • Nature - It’s also so important for me to spend time outside every day, even a short walk, or stopping to smell the flowers on my street. Nature is a powerful teacher and healer in my life.

Thanks for sharing your story today Harry. We’re huge fans of the Othership App and can’t wait to hear more about what you guys will do next!