“…Alan Dolan, otherwise known as the ‘Breath Guru’, agrees. ‘You can survive without food and water for days. The world-record holder in free diving can hold his breath for something like nine minutes, but mere mortals can manage only a couple of minutes,’ he says from his swanky Lanzarote pad, where he runs Breathing Space retreats. ‘We’ve got these amazing lungs, but we’re not accessing them.’”
“…I feel in control of myself, my future. Everything in my life has slowed right down and I can not only manage it all again, but do so with ease. I am lighter. It all seems so much simpler; I can almost taste the positivity coursing through my system.”
“…With panoramic volcano sunsets visible from the sky-blue swimming pool and pink, flowering cacti in the garden, it’s certainly an idyllic setting…there’s a beaming smile on my face I haven’t seen since I was in my 20s”
“…Misgivings abandoned, I leave Lanzarote carrying what I arrived with, including the chocolate raisins. But I bring something back that I can honestly say is up there as my personal moon-walk. I’ve discovered something amazing, and it’s right under my nose.”
“The sense of calm is profound. It is, for want of a less hippy word, blissful… Where meditation failed, transformational breathing succeeded. It’s the pill I wish I’d had all along.”
“…‘Be careful over the rest of the day,’ [Alan] says. ‘You might feel different.’ He’s right. Walking back to the office I feel dazed. Oddly obscure memories flit into my brain and there’s a sense of altered frequency, that the world is a subtly different place…”
“‘The Bhastrika Breath energises you instantly,’ says Alan Dolan, of Breathing Space Holidays. ‘Try inhaling through your nose as you stretch your arms up. Now clench your fists as you exhale through the mouth with a “ha” sound, while bringing your hands down to chest level…’”
“…When Dolan comes to my side, I am tight and nervous. He softly, intuitively feels along my clavicles, ribcage, abdomen – and I am surprised when he touches a spot that makes me gasp. I feel embarrassed and try to hold it in, but it’s no use; and, instead, he guides me in breathing through it. It is uncomfortable but, as I learn during my stay, discomfort and resistance are telling us something, and we need to get better at listening.
I spend 30 minutes struggling with the process – feeling light-headed, as though the breath pattern is too shallow, which makes me feel anxious. And then, unexpectedly, everything loosens up: my neck relaxes, my jaw stops feeling taut and tense, and I just breathe. And lose time. Twenty minutes later, I become conscious of feeling light and happy – and rested. Remarkable…”
“…Where? Lanzarote (there are also sessions and workshops in London, Cambridge and Dublin). Best for? Spiritual types – you’ll meet ‘breath guru’ Alan Dolan, who has a villa in the hillside village of Oasis de Nazaret, and learn how to breathe properly to boost health and wellbeing. What’s involved? Two breath classes a day, plus a one-on-one session in which you learn new breathing patterns to reduce stress and increase energy. What’s to eat? Health-conscious Dolan favours organic and local produce…”
“…While this ‘connective breath’ is billed as a form of self-healing, the best way to master the technique is at an introductory workshop. They take place regularly across the UK, with trained ‘facilitators’ on hand to whisper affirmations in your ear and gently apply pressure to areas such as your shoulders to help release what are termed ‘blockages’.
A one-to-one session with breath coaches can make for a more powerful practice, but to experience TB in true style, head to one of Dolan’s retreats in Lanzarote. They take place in a stylish villa with views of the island’s volcanic landscape. Guests who have raved about their stay include Bond star Naomie Harris and England international rugby ace Paul Sampson, who credits TB with helping him combat exercise-induced asthma…”
“Conscious breathing is one of the most liberating therapies I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a few… If you have an issue to sort out, or just an underlying feeling that something in your life just ain’t quite right, you can book a private retreat in the village of Oasis de Nazaret with Alan Dolan, the man who brought conscious breathing to the UK… During a conscious breathing session, you’re asked to breathe in and out through an open mouth (‘to access 100% of your respiratory system’), while the therapist does a spot of acupressure and encourages you to release any blocked physical, emotional or psychological trauma by making sounds or moving your limbs. The idea is you move through an emotion that comes up, rather than getting stuck in it. It feels odd at first, but because the combination occupies you on both a physical and mental level, you can’t just switch off or rationalise your feelings. It was so powerful for me that, during one session, I re-lived the birth of my now five-year old daughter in a compelling, all-consuming, tear-filled experience.”
“It sounds crazy. How can breathing be a trend? Well, no doubt people said that about guided meditation when it first arrived on the wellness scene. Besides, this isn’t about unconscious breathing in and out. It’s more about how techniques such as alternate nostril breathing (pranayama) and detoxifying transformational breathing can be used to regulate stress, improve immunity and increase wellbeing.”
“Breath therapy, which Dolan says has been referred to as ‘turbo psychotherapy’, is designed to infuse the body with increased oxygen and refuel the cells. The method, which Dolan compares to “taking your breath to the gym” allows greater access to the respiratory system and is designed to induce tangible positive effects on the physical, mental-emotional and spiritual levels of our being as well as inducing a higher state of consciousness.”
“Think you already know how to breathe? Think again. Join the growing group of people ditching yoga and heading to breathing retreats all over the world… Alan Dolan is the breath guru based in Lanzarote – he’ll teach you how to do it properly by controlling your breath and increasing your oxygen intake. So take a deep breath, relax and head to a retreat near you.”
“Remove yourself from the demands of everyday life by heading to ‘Breath Guru’ Alan Dolan. Run from his private villa in Nazaret, retreats consist of one-on-one ‘breath sessions’ each day, plus optional yoga, massage and personal training. The format can be as flexible and informal as you want, so you can spend the rest of your time enjoying the shady terraces and hot tub with a view.
Insider tip: Head to nearby Famara beach for surfing and kiteboarding.”
“…Breathwork is a powerful and safe way to infuse the body with much-needed oxygen and energy thereby enabling our own (often depleted) healing systems to bring about physical, emotional and/or psychological healing”
“…The shift he and his clients have experienced from conscious breathing is not simply one from sad to happy or weak to energetic, but one that changes the way you live. Dolan describes it as going from “black and white to full technicolor, 3D, hi-def.”