Bedtime Breathwork with Rory Warnock

 Lead image by Jack Gibson

 Additional lifestyle images by Lillie Thompson, Annika Kafcaloudis, Monroe Alvarez

As we usher in a new year, we invite breathwork specialist, performance & wellness coach Rory Warnock to share his practice with our community — a practice that has transformed his life. Rory shares his story, along with the knowledge of how conscious breathing practices can improve our health & wellbeing, 'morning, afternoon & night'. 

On how you discovered breathwork… 

“Breathwork, an ancient practice re–emerging into the modern world, has a wide range of evidence–based benefits. Personally, I fell into breathwork during a time of crisis in my life. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2017, prescribed antidepressants and sent on my way. I remember many people recommending meditation to feel calm, but I struggled to feel an instant relief from the negative thoughts my mind would create. When a friend said I should give breathwork a go, I instantly turned my nose up and thought it sounded ridiculous..."You're telling me that I'm going to breathe in a specific way, and it'll change how I think and feel? yeah right." But I had nothing to lose, so I reluctantly attended my first session in London, which ended up changing my life.

“After the hour long experience, I felt calm, joyful, euphoric, strong, empowered. Feelings that I could have only dreamt of prior to the session. I now know through breathing in certain ways we can directly tap into our physiology (the body) and psychology (the brain) to down-regulate the nervous system to feel calmer in real–time.”

Breathwork specialist, Rory Warnock


On how has it become part of your daily practice… 

“Over the months that followed, I found myself becoming hooked, obsessed with feeling more 'me'. I attended multiple breathwork sessions per week and dove deeper into the literature. It became increasingly apparent that breathwork could support my health morning, afternoon and night.”

It became increasingly apparent that breathwork could support my health morning, afternoon and night.

Can you share a breathwork routine for a peaceful night’s sleep…  

“Bed for many is naturally a place of relaxation, but for me it's often a place of anxiety. Like many of us, I often find my mind continuing to work through the various tasks from that day and attempt to work through my to–do list for the next.

“As a breathwork coach, and as someone who's practiced breathwork for the past six years, I've realised how difficult it can be to control the mind with the mind. Rather than attempting this, we can use our breath as a tool to directly tap into the brain, body and nervous system to help switch into the relaxation response.

“Instead of lying in bed and allowing your mind to take over, take conscious control over your breath and breathe in for 4s and out for 6s. When you bring your attention purely to your breath, you're not thinking about the past or the future, you're in the present.

Take conscious control over your breath and breathe in for 4 seconds and out for 6 seconds.

“This will help you drift off to a relaxed sleep. This technique is also an incredible tool as the longer exhale will help move from sympathetic (high arousal, high stress) to parasympathetic (low arousal, low stress).When you practice this technique, use the nose, breathe deep diaphragmatic breaths and remember to relax your whole body.

“This is just one simple example of how you can use breathing to shift your internal world.”


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