Dr. Liara Covert

Breathwork Psychotherapist
Speaker, Workshop Facilitator 

Sunshine Coast, Queensland 


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  • Saturday, Sept 21 from 1pm-5pm


Caloundra Community Centre
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Saturday, September 28 (1pm-5pm)
Caloundra West


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Entries in Thich Nhat Hanh (3)


7 Steps to breathe more consciously

Breathing fully and consciously implies normalizing our breathing pattern. Mindful breathing enables us to be more aware and connected to core vibration and natural behaviours.  How do we know whether we are over-breathing or underbreathing? How can we breathe for maximum oxygen cell content? If exploring any new meditation or breathing technique, if it doesn’t feel right, stop doing it.  Trust your intuition. Consider these 7 steps to breathe more consciously;

1. Know our goals

Before embarking on any breathwork, it is wise to know our goals; is it to ease chronic illness? to promote  rehabilitation? to achieve peak athletic or public (stage/vocal) performance? to reduce stress? to manage grief, anxiety, depression? to identify and release emotional trauma? to maintain or restore homeostais? to enrich quality of life? to extend life span? When our intention is clear, the path presents.  By taking initiatives, we have the power to shift our life experience.  We may choose to taste greater confidence, deeper peace or, feel revitalized in unexpected ways. 

2. Invite revelations

Eureka moments change everything. Although the respiratory system of the body is itself involuntary, we actually have control over the rhythm of our breath.  We breath on average, 25,000-30,000 times per day. Yet, many people are fortunate if they breathe up to 70% of their capacity. The other 30% is wasted. How we breathe determines how we feel. What we put in, we get out. If we breathe deeply, we live deeply. If we are shallow breathers, we live a shallow life. Rest assured, we can change our oxygenation efficiency through breath training. This requires growing conscious of our thoughts and feelings and realizing we can change them.

3. Get comfortable

Before engaging in breathing techniques,  it is important to relax and get comfortable, preferably be sitting or laying down.  Silence is important (no speaking) to focus attention. Listening to soft music or mantras are assumed to be soothing yet can also be distracting. It is not advisable to be standing, operating a moving vehicle, machinery or engaging in any activity that requires your full attention. Many breathing techniques are best performed on an empty stomach but we also want to be well-hydrated. Be in a place where fresh air is abundant and the body is at normal temperture (not too hot or cold). Different breathing techniques benefit from different postures during the breathing session.

4.  Make connections

Every moment we inhale a breath, that air is translated into life energy. Its called Chi (China/Japan) and Prana (India). Most people know how it feels to breath freely although some of us only dream about that.    How people breathe around us affects us when we allow it.  When we do not breathe properly, the body breaks down. This affects us energetically, even if we do not see it, we feel it.  It may affect us emotionally, physically, mentally, or on many levels simultaneously. We can even connect our changing breathing rhythm to our emotions and issues arising. In the ancient Indian system, the length of life was measured in number of breaths. Conscious breathing has long been linked to longevity and a mroe fulfilling existence.

5. Choose the technique

If we already have knowledge of a pool of techniques we can draw from, then the next step is to intuitively use the technique best suited to the situation at hand and practice consistently.  If active in a group, we may choose to share what is going on in our life with peers, ask for guidance  from someone we trust about which breathing techniques best suited to help us.  How can we narrow our focus? grow aware of the muscles we use when we breathe,  Are you eager to extend your breath retention? Are you concerned with recurrent shortness of breath? Perhaps Buteyko breathing, with the aim of breathing slower and less, if for you?  pursed lip breathing and diaphramatic breathing would be worth exploring.

6. Repeat 

The key is to follow what feels right and just breathe. For some techniques, it doesn’t matter whether you breathe in and out through the nose or out through the mouth.  In those cases. it’s what works for you.  In other cases, such as rebirthing, cathartic breathing, nasal and mouth breathing are more or less dynamic, have different purposes and effects.  When we practice multiple rounds of the breathing techniques, the effect can be more noticable. It can be very powerful to breathe in a group.  One can move beyond counting the breaths, to completely get out of the head and enter a deep meditative state.

7. Rescan

We can also rescan the body to see the effects of the breathing technique. We can be more aware of how we breathe. We do not wish to waste another breath.  We all have the power to heal ourselves in a more effective way, to perform better, to move our body with more ease. There are so many diseases related to stress. We each have the power to shift the focus when we breathe. Inhalation through the nose tends to be most effective. (Cathartic breathing through the mouth for  is one exception). We take up nitrogen oxide through our nose which is a secret benefit to nose breathing.


 With mindfulness-the practice of peace-we can begin by working to transform the wars within ourselves.  Conscious breathing helps us to do this. - Thich Nhat Hanh


Revert to nothing

Whatever you feel the creator is, it is forever speaking through you. What is essential is never forgotten. The force is in you and it is you.  Love created you in its natural image.

You choose to be controlled by ego and the fear it evokes or, listen to soul. This voice of truth replaces everything the ego echoes.  Your role as you dream in this body is not to change others in the pursuit of happiness, but to revert to nothing. That is, be willing to systematically let go of everything you think is you. Get out of the way. Be empty. Do nothing. Allow presence to make itself known.  Embody the unconditional love that is.  Notice what you are willing to relinquish. Notice what is already gone.  What remains?

"We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness."  -Thich Nhat Hanh


Digest the possibilities

What does the desire to goal-set mean about you? This concept has different meanings for each of us. Some people feel the need to identify a target to self-motivate or make anything happen. Other people recognize value in committing to a series of goals that are supposedly leading to longer-term conditions.

Whatever your mindset, goal-setting can play a beneficial role in your life, if you choose to evaluate what courses of action would suit you, and what you will have to contribute to the process to get something desirable back. Consider these aspects of the process:

1)How would you like your life to change? Goals can be like the signposts you outline to guide you through your own evolution. You may not realize your attitude, mindset and thought process all influence how you think you would like your life to change and also what you really want. Reflecting on why you desire to aim to create certain experiences will help you understand this. This phase is the time to self-examine, determine wht may be missing and what you could do to fill a void in your life. Only after you discern something is missing might you act to change that.

2)What will be possible implications for whom?Its easy enough to voice a desire to create change in your life, but you may not be used to recognizing how change will affect other areas of your life. Your commitment to one thing may require sacrifices and compromises elsewhere.  Are you ready to deal with the reactions of people in your life to yoru desired changes? What if they disagree with your priorities? Communication with people oustide of yourself may be a beneficial part of the goal-setting process. Who will your new goals affect and how? Would you be willing to spend less time with loved ones? Are you ready to sacrifice part of your life or disrupt family routines to care for sick friends or relatives? If so, for how long?

3) Are you aware of possible physical tolls? When you claim a desire to accomplish something, you may not factor in the physical exertion it will require to reach your goal, and also what you will have to manage afterwards. These are not matters meant to scare or deter you, but rather, to remind you that goal-setting is more than an emotional planning exercise. If physical training will be required, do you plan to keep this up as part of a long-term change in lifestyle? Would gaining weight as the result of having children be something you would later take steps to lose?

4)Where will new responsibilities lie? You may come to associate a level of responsibility with the process of goal-setting as well as following through. To devote yourself to a cause or dream is not something you desire to abandon during growing phases. Acquiring a pet, seeking a new job, developing new relations, having children, working on your self-image, health, fitness or entrepreneurial skills, are but some of the goals that involve an ongoing learning process. Your existence may be set to connect with other people, creatures and circumstances. To step back and recognize the profound terms will contribute to new fulfillment.

"We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize." -Thich Nhat Hanh