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Breathe in Breathe Out with Breathwork Coach Rebecca Kordecki [INTERVIEW]

Breathe in Breathe Out with Breathwork Coach Rebecca Kordecki [INTERVIEW]

Breathe in. Breathe out. It is a automated function we live with every day, breathing. Shouldn’t the act of breathing just be fundamental? Does it require classes or workshops, and how much does breathing benefit our health anyway? As it turns out…it is not only imperative for survival, taking a deep breath can have a positive impact on overall health. To learn more about Breathwork a colleague introduce me to Breathwork coach Rebecca Kordecki and she kindly extended her time and expertise for an exclusive Luxe Beat Magazine interview. She is so full of life and vibrant! I walked away from this interview with a better understanding of the value of Breathwork and have been working on my own breathing exercises since!

My Personal Relationship with Breath

While living in Raleigh, N.C. I spent some time doing Bickham Yoga. I enjoyed the heat, the repetition of the same 26 poses during each class and I loved how delicious it was to simply breathe the next few days, following class. It was why I kept going back for more. Eventually, I found Pilates and prefer a reformer workout. I gave up hot yoga and experience the same post-workout results, when I do a reformer jumpboard class. When asked Rebecca about her preference she said, “I love Yoga and practice sporadically but every time I do practice I say – I really need to do this MORE!” 

With all that said, I must say, that as I sat down to start working on this piece, I found myself holding my breath. I caught myself on several occasions, not breathing at all and I tend to do that when I am stressed or, in this case…writing about Breathwork. To clear my head, I took a short walk to get the blood and breath flowing and jumped back to it. 

Did you know that the practice of Breathwork eases anxiety and elevates mood?  People conducting online searches for meditation and breathwork have tripled during this pandemic. Rebecca Kordecki works with people to support their overall health and energy through breathwork.

Who is Rebecca Kordecki?

As a 26-year veteran in the wellness space, Kordecki recently shifted her hard core workouts to a slower pace – “I saw my clients unable to get out of their heads  – I witnessed them struggling with extreme anxiety.  I needed  to get them back to their hearts.”  Rebecca is well-known for her Booty Slide work-outs and recently made a major shift in how she works with her clients.

As she launches into a new phase of her work and purpose, Rebecca has launched The Breath Zone, which offers breathwork meditation classes, breathwork teacher certifications AND a new class called BreathPlay which teaches clients and students how to “play” with their breath and use it as a tool to change their mood or state in an instant!  

Rebecca’s breathwork and coaching courses help clients from all walks of life feel less anxious, less stressed and more alive. 

Her approach of blending a very real past with positive, realistic change is what the world needs right now. This is more than trending self-help courses, and her credibility is backed by people of all types.

Her inspiring backstory involves overcoming 7 years of drug addiction, homelessness and near death before transforming her life at 30. Ever since she has served as a wellness coach to countless celebrities including The Rock, Rebel Wilson, Jim Carrey, Dakota Johnson, Anastacia and many others.

and Breathe sign

How did you become interested in breathwork? 

A friend suggested I try it when I was going through a pretty rough breakup and all the other usual “tools” i.e., meditating, movement, journaling, being in nature, among others weren’t helping. And to say it was love at first breath is an understatement. I instantly understood the healing potential this modality had and realized it was the next iteration of my work in the world. 

Shouldn’t we inherently know how to breathe properly?

Ha! This is the question I get all the time – people say to me “wait, what, you’re going to teach me to breathe, I know how to do that!?” And yes, of course, we all do, it’s an involuntary action in our bodies BUT to understand how to voluntarily breathe to manipulate (I use that word in the best way possible) for our benefit and a desired outcome is where breathwork gets interesting and can truly improve the quality of life and our health!

How does breathing impact our overall health? 

The list is long for the benefits of breathwork and breath awareness! 

Here are a few from the list:

An overall sense of “lightness”, inner peace and tranquility, emotional healing, greater clarity (e.g. regarding purpose, life goals, what’s really important), feeling more grounded and calm, reduction in anxiety, a deeper sense of connection – to self, others, nature, and the Universe or higher power, improved self-confidence, better sleep, greater self-acceptance and self-love, more positive body image, release of chronic, toxic emotions (e.g. grudges, resentment, self-loathing, anger)

What does a healthy breath “workout” look like? 

Well, it depends on what the desired outcome is that someone is looking for – so for instance, for someone who comes to me looking to calm anxiety – I might give them a breath awareness “workout” which is simply taking in a long slow inhale and long slow exhales – in and out through the nose while focusing only on the sensations of the breath as it enters and exits the body.  

Is the breath cool? Or warm? Where do you feel it as you breathe elsewhere in your body? Does the breath evoke a color or texture? Etc. This can be an exercise for anywhere from 5-10 minutes to help calm anxiety. 

Another healthy breath workout would be experimenting with breath holds for short to longer periods – over time (only if this is something that there are no contraindications for you to do this) The benefits of breath-holding or breath retention are: 

  • Increases lung capacity and strengthens the diaphragm
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Activates the respiratory center to improve oxygenation
  • Purifies the energy pathways and respiratory system
  • Cleanses and unblocks energy to create a joyful mind
  • Stillness of the mind

breathe out sign

Why would someone need to work on their breathing? 

Many different reasons could lead someone to want to explore working with their breath or on their breathing in general. Everything from health reasons (high stress, anxiety, weak lung capacity, poor immune system) to overall well being (wanting more clarity, self-confidence, improved relationships, more self-love, and self-forgiveness, etc.)  

How do you help your clients? 

By sharing with them a tool that offers an instantaneous way to shift their state. For example, a client comes to me feeling depressed or stuck in fear, and literally in one 45-minute session or less – they can shift into gratitude, hope, and excitement about life again. 

I also work with women over 40 who want to feel stronger, sexier, and more soulful as they age — I help them “age in reverse” mentally and physically using fitness, mindset, and breathwork.

Who is your typical client? 

Anybody who wants to feel better in their life or wants to be more in charge of their day-to-day feelings and emotions i.e., stress, anxiety, confidence, mindset, etc.

How does one become a breath coach? 

I actually offer a Breathwork Teacher Training Certification course through my company called The Breath Zone. So, like a Yoga Certification, a potential teacher signs up with a reputable company and one they vibe with to learn the fundamentals and foundational elements of teaching breathwork as well as the science behind the breath and anything else the course/certification developer thinks is relevant to add to the training.  

Have you ever worked with a smoker to get them off cigarettes? (I ask this question because I heard a radio interview about a study that showed a good portion of smokers enjoy smoking because of the deep inhalation. They ultimately get addicted to nicotine.)

No I haven’t — but yes, there is a direct correlation to the deep breath inhale and the long exhale that takes place during smoking and the sense of calm, relief, and satisfaction that happens from smoking – which is why people will “need a cigarette” when something stressful is happening, after sex or when drinking. But yes, unfortunately it becomes an addiction to nicotine but I would venture to say an addiction also to the routine/ritual of smoking. 

How does breathing impact weight? 

There are several studies now showing that better breathing can in fact help with weight loss. Proper breathing can increase leptin, the hormone that regulates the feelings of fullness which in turn helps to balance and regulate the appetite. And deep full breaths also lower stress levels which decreases your stress hormone levels and increases metabolism. But keep in mind that this needs to be complemented with a healthy diet and a consistent exercise routine. 

How does breathing impact focus? 

A breath session or breath exercise is one of the most helpful tools for improving focus as it clears all the gunk from the mind, the chatter, the judgments, the to-do lists, fears, etc. and brings everything to a single focus – on the breath. Once connected to the breath – we can then begin to reframe our thoughts and focus deeper and gain more clarity.  Additionally, we can just get out of the mind altogether and drop into our hearts.  This can often be a better place to operate from and is the goal of heart coherence.  

How long is a typical breathwork session? 

The styles of breathwork I teach can be done in a session from 15-20 minutes to 60 minutes long but there are practices where the breathwork can last up to 3 hours. 

How much time should one invest in their breathing each day? 

I think the best way to answer this is “Well, how quickly do you want everything in your life to be more amazing!?” And that is how much of a priority a breath practice should become, which could translate into as little as 5 minutes a day to 60 minutes a day (depending on the breath style). 

Each person is unique in their reasons for wanting to work with the breath and should base their practice on the desired results they hope to achieve. 

What is the best exercise to improve your breathing?

The best exercise for improving your breathing is breath awareness – simply becoming aware of inhales and exhales, are you a breath holder? (meaning you are just constantly holding your breath throughout the day) are you a shallow breather? (meaning your breaths aren’t full or deep) are you a reactive breather? (meaning your breath changes based on the state you are in always) I think just starting here, starting to notice the type of breather you are and then working to breathe more consciously with deeper, slower inhales and exhales throughout the day is a great beginning. 

Also, another tip I have for breathwork newbies is to put a “Take A Deep Breath” alarm on their phone every 60 minutes for a few days just to start to create a new habit around connecting to the breath. 

How do you define luxury? 

Luxury is a feeling of freedom, an escape from everyday life without guilt or judgment, and enhanced by elegance and quality of selections. Whether it’s in regards to traveling or the purchase of material things.

Linda, thank you for the amazing interview. I will be doing my Breathwork before bed to ensure a good nights sleep! 

To learn more about Rebecca’s private and virtual Breathwork classes or about becoming a Breathwork Coach visit rebeccakordecki.com.

breath sign

Feature Photo Rebecca Kordecki ©Jerry Metellus


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About The Author

Sherrie Wilkolaski

Sherrie Wilkolaski is the Editor-in-Chief of Luxe Beat Magazine and CEO of Luxe Beat Media. She's a luxury lifestyle journalist, bestselling author, speaker, radio talk show host, content strategist and Publishing Architect™. France is her favorite country to visit, her most memorable travel experience was walking the Great Wall of China and she is looking forward to making her inaugural visit to Ireland soon! Her column Cookies & Cocktails is Luxe Beat's most popular. She’s a former International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association board member and treasurer. Her most recent book, Publishing Architect’s Blueprint: Self-Publishing Fundamentals is a 2017 Indie Book Awards Finalist. She's currently studying for her first Sommelier exam. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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