The Vale do Lobo Wellbeing Showcase, was a week-long celebration of self-care. It combined Vale do Lobo’s most loved wellness experiences with workshops by visiting international experts. Here you were be able to find activities such as yoga, clinical pilates, meditation, and breathwork workshops - which this article is about.

From a beginners point of view, the most interesting thing about breathwork is being able to relax, while learning how to change our state of mind in afew minutes through becoming aware of our breathing - something that we do all the time, but we don’t pay enough attention to.

“The rate of dysfunctional breathing affects between 80 to 90 percent of people. In fact, it’s very rare to meet someone who is breathing well”, said Richie Bostock, who is known as “the breath guy” and was one of the main guests of the Vale do Lobo showcase and was also present in the class that I attended.

I recognise that I might belong to that number, as I’ve realised that it’s not easy to follow conscious breathing for more than maybe 20 seconds.

One-hour session in Vale Real

Over an hour, during a session at the beautiful and peaceful Vale Real in Vale do Lobo, we did three different techniques in a session called Breathwork to boost energy & focus, guided by Matylda, a breathwork coach and psychologist.

The first technique was called coherent breathing and the second was extended ex-hale, which Richie in his book ‘Ex-hale’, calls “twice the calm”. These nose breathing exercises are great for anxiety and stress. Then, the last technique was a breathing exercise through the mouth that was very powerful – there are people, who have experienced very different sensations after this.

For Matylda, breathwork is more than an exercise, it is a passion that she brings from her heart and that makes her life a little bit easier even during business meetings and is able to change her state of mind within minutes.

How?

“Sometimes when I do presentations for hundreds of people or business meetings I do breathwork just to slow down the breath. Basically I used that to switch my mood and that’s what the session was today about. Reducing your anxiety, becoming calmer. These are tools that you have and you don’t need any pills - only the breath to quickly change your moods”.

“The Breath Guy”

After the very relaxing breathwork, it was time for a talk with Richie, known as “the breath guy”, who had attended Matylda’s morning class.

Richie Bostock was one of the most high profile guests and is a main figure in the field of breathwork. This was his first time in Portugal and Richie had travelled from the UK to present and teach breathing techniques that are increasingly popular worldwide.

The benefits are endless

“Breathwork can be used in so many different ways. There are people who are using the breathwork to help with physical diseases, chronic illnesses, and there are people who are struggling with anxiety or depression. Furthermore, the breath can be used as well as an incredible form of therapy - the progress you can make in a single breathwork session you might not be able to get in six months of therapy, it’s a very powerful tool that we all have for free”, said Richie.

Richie has done a lot of work in hospitals where he helps very sick people. “The benefits are endless. Even for people that are in their hospital beds recovering, we can give them breathing techniques. You can even use breathing techniques as a form of cardiovascular exercise”.

Besides all the physical and psychological positive effects, there are also emotional benefits that we should not underestimate. Richie is a living proof of that.

“The Richie before breathwork is very different from the Richie after breathwork”. Eight years ago, Richie was a management consultant. As a result of his busy corporate life he was always very worried, always thinking “what could happen?” or “what the future might hold?”.

“I had a ten year plan that I constantly changed every two months. So I was very much in this state of feeling that I’ve to create structure in my life. For me breathwork help the most”, he told The Portugal News.

“Through the breath, I’ve become aware of the various traumas and conditions of my life that made me feel like I had to be constantly in a state of alert. Now I trust in life a little bit more and assume that the best is going to happen”, he concluded.

Coming days in Vale Real

The new wellbeing space, sponsored by SPRY, GUTSY CAPTAIN and 226ERS, will host Vale do Lobo regular experiences falling into categories of wellbeing, active, sustainable and meaningful living. All activities can be found at www.valedolobo.com/events and are open for everyone – Vale do Lobo’s owners, guests and general public - and can be booked online.