With a focus on Mental Health Awareness this month, we interviewed breathwork practitioner and coach Artur Paulins.
Join us as we discuss how using your breath properly can relieve anxiety and stress and increase your performance and focus. Breathwork is applicable to everyone, from children to the elderly and it is a tool that you have access to all the time.
There are different types of breathing for different situations, and a consistent daily practice can help you to cope better in stressful situations. Being able to reconnect with yourself helps with emotional reactivity and can alleviate symptoms like panic attacks.
With this in mind, Artur has shared with us his free Bite Sized Breathwork which is a five minute audio that you can download and use anytime, anywhere. You can download this here.
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Interviewer - Farnaz Fazaipour | Property Investment & Ownership
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Farnaz Fazaipour 0:16
Hello, and welcome to London Property, Home of Super Prime. It's mental awareness month. And we are in conversation today with Arthur Paulins, who is a breathing expert. Welcome to our show. So Arthur, please tell us about how you moved on from a very topical subject for London property being architecture to breathe works.
Artur Paulins 0:44
Yes, it's been a long journey. And so I I'm originally from Latvia, I grew up in Latvia, and then moved to Denmark to study architecture, construction. And all along the way, I had a fascination and passion for martial arts. I've been training, competing, enjoying and alongside of interest in martial arts, there's been always a curiosity in eastern philosophy, and meditation. And when I was in university already in Denmark, living in Denmark at the time, I had a training routine, it was training competing in mixed martial arts. And also having a part time job, going to university, all of those pressures, and stresses were adding up. And because I had the understanding of how to train my body, but I didn't really have the knowledge of how to deal with my mind with the stress with anxiety that it was coming with everything that it was facing in combination with performance sports, right. That's when I got curious about learning about meditation, and how I can use some of those tools and techniques and find out about them. And that was my initial exposure to this practice. It was finding ways how I can deal with my mind. And first was reading books on breathing technique, yogic breathing techniques, called pranayama, or actually reading books and freediving, because it's so that those guys who are doing the diving, they are applying the knowledge of the breath and of their mind in a really pressure situations. And I maintain the practice, I continued the practice on my own, sitting down every morning for 10 minutes. But that never was a really deep exploration of it. But only when I was already living in London working property development company. With a pressured stressed job, I was still competing and training in Brazilian jujitsu and actually gets injured in competition. So I dislocated my knee, I basically was sidelined. And I didn't have my escape physical training movement that I loved for me to clear my mind. And that's when I realised there was this thing that that was kind of practising but never really exploring, truly deeply. And that's when I actually decided to use the time when I couldn't barely walk to go deeper and started learning about breathwork different breathing techniques. That was the first time I went in, actually studied with a teacher. And that was kind of the first domino that actually this injury that happened when I was overreaching with my capacity that made me slow down, and made me curious again, and to dive deeper. And now I'm basically somehow along the way it created this into my, into my career and what I do.
Farnaz Fazaipour 3:36
So you put all the property related business aside, and you're fully focused now on breathwork. And it's interesting that you say that. So when we're younger, we kind of use exercise for that release. And it was using that exercise for the release that led to the injury that then brought you all the way around to realising that what we do every day, naturally is actually got all the answers.
Artur Paulins 3:58
That's true. And we have this simple practice simple tool right under our nose, right? The breathing. And I found that to be as one of the most effective ways how I can take care of my mind at the time. Some of my motivation was looking for performance, right to be better, more focused, more alert. But then over time, I learned that actually, biggest help I needed with is actually my mental health, my anxiety, the stress I was facing and just coping with all dogs. And that was probably the biggest performance enhancer, actually just learning to chill out learning to use something that I already have the breathing to take care of my mental state.
Farnaz Fazaipour 4:42
Yes, I think a lot of people know that this is the solution, but actually most people don't exercise it today. That that's really the problem. So who is who's breathwork applicable to I mean?
Artur Paulins 4:54
I really believe it's applicable to most of us to all of us. Even kids, even elderly people, right? Everyone can deal with a bit of regulation of their nervous system. And, and especially, it's applicable for people who are working high pressure jobs, or to have to take care of others or of their loved ones. And breathing has a unique property to it that we can use a breathing to influence the state of our nervous system. And by addressing how our nervous system is reacting to stressors, we can actually be more calm or present to respond to situations that are presented to us, instead of reacting them and being reactive and short tempered, we can actually be more grounded and more present to choose the right things to do.
Farnaz Fazaipour 5:50
So to to control your reactions really, you've got to be aware of when it's time to stop and breathe.
Artur Paulins 5:57
Absolutely. And breathing is fine. It's like training wheels to really master your mind to really master your responses and your internal dialogue. Because with breathing will really influence the nervous system. And when we can calm down our nervous system, we can really access that stillness of the mind that so many of us are struggling these days.
Farnaz Fazaipour 6:21
I mean, the two most fundamental things for us as human beings, right are oxygen, and hydration. Yet, people don't realise that if they incorporate that into their living properly, the benefits that it has. So what are the potential benefits of working with with Breathworks can can you tell us? You know, sort of from top down.
Artur Paulins 6:48
And then because I've worked with so many individuals, private clients, lead a community group online courses, where I share these techniques or come in contact with people who come to me with desire to learn these techniques. And it's oftentimes anxiety, the pressures that we're facing day to day their constant bombardment of form. With distractions, people fighting for attention. And we can reclaim that by simply practising a little bit of more of a self awareness and it doesn't take much takes five minutes in the morning to sit down and pay attention to your internal state. So then, firstly, become more familiar with how you feel on the inside. You don't need any external substances or distractions to regulate yourself. And then with time you learn to influence that more consciously, more intuitively as well.
Farnaz Fazaipour 7:46
Recently, I had some some some issues in my life and grieving my father. And what happened with me is out of desperation, I turned to breathing. But I guess there's different types of breathing that, you know, people can use for getting through their problems.
Artur Paulins 8:07
Yeah, I see it, there's a big spectrum of different approaches. To use your breath. On one side, it can be really functional way of using the breathing to improve respiratory conditions like asthma, or help athletes with their performance. Somewhere in the middle, it could be breathing techniques, like something that can help you access that meditative state where you're calm, where you're grounded, at least for those five to 10 minutes a day you are centred in your own present state and on other hand, it can also be a powerful form of therapy that can help access deep stored emotions and patterns to integrate them. So I don't prescribe to subscribe to one particular type of breath practice and, but I really feel that there are many different ways of using it and apply it is just finding the right tool for the right application.
Farnaz Fazaipour 9:10
Somebody told me once that you know, no matter how you're feeling, if you actually breathe 10 times, there's no way you can go back to how you were feeling before you started the breathing. So when can we use breath work? I mean, how should we consider it's time to pull in on that resource that we all have,
Artur Paulins 9:31
sort of find the probably the biggest difference. Learning and practising breathing techniques can can be made with actually using it as a daily routine as a daily practice where every morning or evening you sit down and have your five minutes 10 minutes to really familiarise yourself with your breath. So then when the situation hits, you're prepared, you know how to apply those tools and techniques. Of course there are different To hacks, what I would call really short breathing techniques that can be used in those moments, but they're really find the biggest benefit can be had from actually putting into practice really learning the ins and outs of your own your own mind. So then you can be more prepared, more, more equipped to deal with anything that life throws at you.
Farnaz Fazaipour 10:22
So having a set routine kind of puts you in the right mindset for the day. But that doesn't mean that you're going to avoid the stresses that are going to come through the day, you need to be able to create that awareness to actually then pull in when you need it. Absolutely. And from a medical perspective, again, you can breathe away some ailments, can't you if something's actually,
Artur Paulins 10:44
So probably the most simple and obvious example is to asthma. So there are a lot of ways how dysfunctional breathing patterns can lead to respiratory conditions, asking the right and adjusting the way you breathe, perhaps breathing less through the mouth, breathing through the nose, making sure you breathe with your belly, diaphragmatic. Ly, all those things can can really change the pattern of the breathing and influence the state like asthma can also help improving sleep quality. And if we improve our sleep quality, and there are simple ways of doing that through adjusting the way you breathe. It has like a cascading effect. Once the sleep has improved. So many other conditions and ailments can go away, because we are realigning the system to be in a more optimal state than allowing it run, of course, for forever.
Farnaz Fazaipour 11:39
And for somebody to start this journey. Obviously, we're going to guide them towards your website, and you're going to make available to our listeners outside sort of five minutes a day breathing exercise, but how does that journey start for somebody? Can you just briefly talk us through?
Artur Paulins 11:57
Everyone can benefit from learning about their breathing and about their mind, essentially. And to start the journey? The simplest way is the five minute Bitez breathwork techniques, but it doesn't have to be only with me, right? There's so many different teachers, different approaches would teach meditation teach breathwork. And I really would recommend taking a look around and finding the teacher that people connect with and they can trust and learning from them. Because that's the best way to to really speed up your process and, and get those perhaps confusing questions answered early on, and really learn the fundamentals. Well, so then you can build on that foundation, because that's a lifelong skill that can be developed, developed and used for a long time.
Farnaz Fazaipour 12:50
Just before we say thank you very much, and goodbye to you. There is actually breathing is nobody's ever taught how to breathe, right? We're born and you just do it naturally. And there was that we actually taught how to breathe. And there is a line of thought that says that panic attacks actually can originate from breathing too quickly and getting yourself into a state. So is that a subconscious anxiety? Or is that actually a mechanical thing from not breathing correctly?
Artur Paulins 13:19
It can be adding, so if someone feels anxiety, someone is prone to having these panic attacks, if they don't know how to breathe correctly, breathing can add to the problem. So oftentimes, dysfunctional breathing comes with breathing through the mouth quite often and breathing in the upper chest. And that adds to increasing the nervous system arousal. And when someone is going through a rough patch in their life, they already have high nervous system arousal and if their breathing is not optimal, and in a state that could just add to the problem. And oftentimes, when you see someone in panicking state when they are having a panic attack, right? The advice usually is take a breath. But what does this mean? Take a breath because person is already on full lungs, they're gasping for air, but sometimes more effective is to tell them exhale, breathe out, because inevitably when person breathes out, that creates that prolonged exhalation that triggers this parasympathetic response in their nervous system that helps to calm down the nervous system. And inevitably, when someone breathes out, they will have to breathe in. So that's probably the more effective way to calm down is focused on exhalations, instead of focused on breathing. And that's where knowing some simple techniques, simple principles, foundational principles of your breathing can be can make a really big difference for anxiety and conditions like that.
Farnaz Fazaipour 14:53
So we're all walking around with the biggest defence in our own control and really getting into a habit of learning how to use it is is where you can help.
Artur Paulins 15:02
And perhaps learning how to or relearn how we used to breathe when we were kids when we're babies because oftentimes if we see small babies they breathe, breathe with soft bellies, relaxed stomachs and, and that's diaphragmatic. Breathing, that's a breathing, more effective breathing, as we shouldn't be breathing at rest. But oftentimes through our life when we are stressed, maybe we sit at a desk too much. Maybe we suck in our bellies to appear thinner, we stopped, we stopped breathing with our bellies, we stopped breathing with our chest, and that leads to that over activation of the nervous system. So simply, we're learning to breathe like a baby, it's probably the best advice you can get.
Farnaz Fazaipour 15:43
Yes, well, there's a lot to learn from babies. The other thing is when they pick things up from the floor, they always go down properly, and then pick it up and stand up and then we have to relearn to do that after we all hurt our backs. Brilliant. Well, thank you so much for talking to us. I'm really looking forward to doing your five minute exercise. I'm going to make a point of doing that. And hopefully you can help some of our listeners with further work with everything.
Artur Paulins 16:07
Thank you for having me. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 16:16
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