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‘Breathwork is the new black’: Meet Ireland’s answer to Wim Hof

What if someone said you could de-stress, improve your sleep and have a deeply personal experience – and you could do it without getting out of bed? Enter Limerick man Ronan O’Brien of Breathwave Ireland

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Ronan O’Brien of Breathwave Ireland, who teaches guided breathwork sessions. Photo: Sean Curtin True Media.

Ronan O’Brien of Breathwave Ireland, who teaches guided breathwork sessions. Photo: Sean Curtin True Media.

Guided meditation is a long way from the rugby scrums where O'Brien spent his teenage years. Photo: Sean Curtin True Media.

Guided meditation is a long way from the rugby scrums where O'Brien spent his teenage years. Photo: Sean Curtin True Media.

"Breathwork like this tunes you out of our fight or flight response." Photo: Sean Curtin True Media

"Breathwork like this tunes you out of our fight or flight response." Photo: Sean Curtin True Media

Dutch breathwork guru Wim Hof

Dutch breathwork guru Wim Hof

"The new year is a great time to start a self-care practice and this one means all you have to do is get into your own bed and commit." Photo: Sean Curtin True Media.

"The new year is a great time to start a self-care practice and this one means all you have to do is get into your own bed and commit." Photo: Sean Curtin True Media.

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Ronan O’Brien of Breathwave Ireland, who teaches guided breathwork sessions. Photo: Sean Curtin True Media.

It’s Wednesday night and I’m in bed with Ronan O’Brien. There’s a lot of heavy breathing and that’s OK — there’s about 100 other people there too. This is where Zoom comes into its own. We are pulmonauts, deep diving into a guided breathwork session with O’Brien and Breathwave Ireland.

Breathwork is the new black; some might say it’s the new sea swimming except you don’t have to get wet. It’s the thing that’s being talked about in wellness circles the way yoga was being talked about maybe 20 years ago.


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