Breath for Life

Modern science and ancient yogic tradition meet in a series of fascinating workshops that share the most important discoveries in breath research.

Breath For Life

In South London

An astonishing 95% of our energy comes in from the breath; 70% of what the body eliminates goes out through the breath. The breath, then, is the first place we should look to affect change. If a car isn't running properly, we check the engine. Science shows nearly everyone in our society is currently over-breathing, making this a number one culprit behind stress, insomnia and disturbed sleep, anxiety, depression and negative thinking, chronic pain, asthma, migraine headaches, panic attacks and even back problems and weight gain. 

The optimal rate for adults to breathe is between 3 & 6 breaths a minute. We typically are taking between 12 and 20. The result is, we are clinically 80 per cent stressed before we've even got out of our chairs. By balancing the breath we can bring back balance to our systems and bring a balanced breath back to balance our lives. Researchers have found that most people use less than 20% of the surface area of their lungs. Simple practices can increase this three or four fold over a year. Its like having five gears to your car and never getting out of first. Learn how to effortlessly switch on your own personal cruise control, bringing with it a greater control over everything that life presents. After all shallow breathing leads to shallow thinking and panic breathing leads to panic. As the buddha said "the path to enlightenment begins and ends at the breath". This is Breath For Life. 

In this series of workshops we share the most important discoveries in breath research. Neuroscience shows that there is a breath rate for you that is your own personal sweet spot where head, heart, lungs and the major organs of the body all resonate and a coherent, syncronised rhythm waves and pulses throughout all your systems. This brings with it a harmony, wellness and great feelings of relaxation, zest, energy and control quite unlike anything you're currently experiencing. It's simple. It's effective. It's life changing. 

Whatever it is you'd like to improve in life, there's a breath for that. Be it general health improvements, better sleep, reducing stress, pain management, increasing strength, optimising performance, stopping intrusive thoughts, bringing a greater depth to meditation or simply upping the quality of life and its longevity, there are easy ways of achieving what you'd like by working with the breath. 

Brought on by his recovery from serious illness and three years of continuous research and investigation, Ben Wolff shares his findings from both ancient wisdom traditions and modern science in ways that are open and accessible to everyone. In each workshop you can expect to hear what's most useful, rapidly effective and easy to learn and participate in simple and safe breath practices that have worked in over 150 countries around the world. Find out how to do what you'd like to in sessions that have literally changed countless lives. After all, you are how you breathe...  

Breath for Weight Change | 3.30–5pm 9 July

It's a little known fact that the same part of the brain that registers food hunger also registers air hunger. Think about that for a moment. Do you honestly know the difference? If you're air hungry and you think you're food hungry you're putting the wrong fuel in the engine and you'll never be satisfied. What you're hungry for is not what you're feeding yourself. The part of the brain that Professor Bud Craig located as the sense of "how you feel right now" is called the Anterior Insular and it is not mentioned in any diet you're probably aware of. Professor Beatrice Golomb tells us that its not an energy surfeit that's the problem, it's an oxygen deficit. This is called "Starving Cell Theory" and re-calibrating this balance is not only possible through the breath, it is essential, and indeed the only way to successfully combat weight gain or reduction. The answer isn't about not eating, it's about breathing properly. It is a known fact that diets don't work and that is because we've been looking in the wrong place. This is not an invitation to eat things that we know are not good for us, it is an invitation to learn a technique for not feeling hungry for the wrong things. Remove what's holding you back and get out of the diet trap and into a healthy well adjusted balanced body. Your ideal weight is a possibility through the breath. It is easy, satisfying and effective.

Breath for Insomnia, Inducing Rapid & Regular Sleep | 19 November

Discover the breath practice that after practicing 3 minutes, twice a day for a week allows people to master not only going to sleep but also the getting back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night feeling wide awake. By practicing for less than 3 minutes twice a day, this invaluable breath can let you conquer sleep once and for all and has been known to get people to sleep within 60 seconds! Insomnia can, once and for all, be considered a thing of the past.

Breath for Accelerated Healing | 19 November

Learn how to heal better, quicker and more effectively simply by harnessing the breath to stimulate the body's natural healing systems. Discover what we can learn from cats, the champion healers of the animal kingdom. Find out why a cat's purr is so healing and how to do the human equivalent of 'ocean breathing' that science has shown heals injuries, reduces inflammation and swelling, reduces incidence of heart disease, lowers blood pressure and repairs muscles, tendons, joints and bones. Hear experience of how Ben has successfully accelerated healing in others with a range of conditions from back, shoulder, knee and foot pain and conditions like angina, IBS, heart problems including atrial fibrillation, side effects brought about by cancer treatment, aneurysm, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease and neurological conditions.

Breath for Increased Strength & Fitness | tbc

It's not complicated. Less oxygen equals less available power. A simple and safe breath technique routinely increases strength 30 per cent in athletes. When shown to more everyday people often they double their press-ups personal best just with 5 minutes of breathing. You're only as fit as until you're out of puff. Whilst cardiovascular exercise is great for elevating heart rate, it's cardiorespiratory fitness that really measure not only how long you can keep going and how much strength you have but also how long you're likely to live. This is the difference that makes the difference and you can boost it massively with no running or traditional 'cardio' involved. Even marathon runners routinely use only 20 per cent of the surface area of their lungs. It's possible to be able to deploy up to 80 per cent. Imagine that as battery life on your phone. If what's stopping you is a lack of battery power it would make sense to understand how to charge the thing. In this workshop there will be an opportunity to experience this for yourself, whilst learning about the science behind it in a clear and light manner. Hear how Professor Luciano Bernardi trained the first group of people to get to the summit of Mount Everest without added oxygen through a simple everyday breath technique of 6 breaths a minute. It's stunning what you can do when you know how, and shocking how restricted you are when you don't. Not just for athletes, this workshop is for anyone who would like to be effortlessly fitter in all aspects of life in the easiest way possible. You don't even need an exercise regime to benefit. If it sounds too good to be true that's because as Einstein said "if an idea doesn't initially sound absurd then there is no hope for it". Nobody said it has to be hard work for it to work. Indeed here we make light work of dramatically improving your performance and your quality of life. It begins with the breath.

Breath for Depression, Negativity, Brain Fog, Self Criticism & Worry | 1–3pm 15 October

Worry, rumination and self-blame are major contributors to depressive conditions. The breath can be used to reduce and alleviate negative self-talk and intrusive thoughts. Use the breath to re-balance key hormones and neurotransmitters that may be contributing and perpetuating unwelcome and unhelpful states. See how the breath can get you unstuck and moving again in a more positive direction.

Breath for Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks | 1–3pm 3 December

See and feel the massive role the breath plays in controlling the 'orchestra of anxiety' and the 'tsunami of stress and tension' that's sweeping through our modern 'always-on' lives. Understand how you can turn parts of the brain on and off via the medium of breath techniques to completely change your own personal climate. Notice how the breath tells the mind what to think, why and how this is so and what you can do about it to put yourself back in control. Learn from the latest neuroscience research how your mindset can improve your breathing and your attitudes to stress. Any condition that has a stress component, that is to say either caused by stress or causes stress, estimated to be as many as 80 per cent of all cases that are presented at GP surgeries, can be substantially and rapidly improved. 

Breath for Asthma, Allergies, Shortness of Breath & Respiratory Conditions | tbc

Asthma, allergies, shortness of breath and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorders are readily helped by slower, more relaxed breathing. Reclaim unused areas of the lungs and loosen the accessory breathing muscles in order to make significant and measurable improvements. Break the vicious cycle of shortness of breath leading to ever greater feelings of breathlessness by turning it into a virtuous circle of free and easy unobstructed breathing.

Breath for Inner Strength, Motivation, Willpower & Self Control | tbc

The science is clear. Self control is a champion amongst virtues and it is causally connected with how you breathe. Directly quoted from teachings personally received from Kelly McGonigal Phd at Stanford University: "We may all be born with the capacity for willpower, but some of us use it more than others. People who have better control of their attention and emotions are better off almost any way you look at it. They are happier and healthier. Their relationships are more satisfying and last longer. They make more money and go further in their careers. They are better able to manage stress, deal with conflict and overcome adversity. They even live longer. When pitted against other virtues, willpower comes out on top. Self control is a better predictor of academic success than intelligence, a stronger determinant of effective leadership than charisma and more important for marital bliss than empathy". So the question may be "how am I supposed to do that?" Well the facts are that control of the breath leads to control of the mind leads to control of the self. Learn how to do it and how breath power increases mind power increases willpower, strength, calmness, energy and self control. Brand new teachings, brand new skills - from neuroscience to your nose, see how we can all breathe our way back to control.

Breath for Meditation, Elevation & Enlightenment | tbc

Throughout history the secret to higher states of consciousness has always been breath based. Some 3000 years ago it was written that the first four ways into enlightenment are through the breath. Indeed, The Buddha said that the path to enlightenment begins and ends at the breath, as does your life. If you are seeking greater depth and ease to your meditative or mindfulness practice, looking for elevation up the ladder of consciousness, or wondering what enlightenment even means for you, allow the breath to come wake you up and take you up to where you're ultimately heading. Come and learn the secret breath that Pramahasana Yoganada famously taught Gandhi that showed him the path and the way. Up where you belong.

The Breath is the key to Meditation and Mindfulness 
The Breath is the way to Elevation
The Breath is the path to Enlightenment
How is your breathing and where is it taking you? Let Ben Wolff show the way in this most spiritual edition of Breath For Life. 

Upcoming Schedule


These workshops are open and accessible to all ages and abilities.

The medical information in this workshops is just that - information not advice. If in any doubt whatsoever please consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional to check that these practices are suitable for you and your condition. No diagnosis is being offered at these workshops. 

We advise booking at least a week in advance as these workshops are regularly fully-booked. 

Students on our monthly membership receive a 20% discount on this workshop.

We are situated on the third floor and do not have a lift. If access could be an issue for you, please contact us to discuss.

If you are suffering/have suffered from a serious medical condition, please first consult your doctor before joining this workshop. 

  • Purchases for workshops are non-refundable 
  • Cancellations may be made online up to 24-hours before the start of the workshop in which case your Shala account will be credited and you will be able to rebook for a workshop of a similar price
  • Late cancellations and no shows will be charged as if you had attended
  • In the event that a workshop is cancelled by the Shala you will be offered a refund or the option to be transferred to an alternative event