HRV, Flow States and Embodied Breathwork

Embodied Breathwork: a Movement for Magic & Flow

If yoga is all about steady heartbeat and calm, Embodied Breathwork is all about raising your HRV and flow states - meaning: juice, magic, and success as well as opening portals into the unknown.


So what is HRV, how does it relate to juice and magic, and exactly how does Embodied Breathwork raise HRV and bring flow states and magic?


HRV: Heart Rhythm Variations

HRV is short for Heart Rhythm Variations - say your heartbeat is 60 beats per second, so 1 second or 1000ms per heartbeat, it actually varies: 985ms, 1005ms, 992ms etc. When in 1628 William Harvey discovered the circulation of blood driven by the heart, people were so excited you could measure heartrate that they replaced older theories that the heart is the place of love, emotions and courage by the new theory of the heart as a pump. Those small variations in pump rhythm couldn't be measured at the time and if they had, they probably would have been brushed aside as "human error".


It took nearly 4 centuries for the HRV to be measured and for people to understand it was actually highly relevant - and it turns out the ancients who connected the heart to love, emotions and courage were more right than science realized!

HRV and Appropriate Responsiveness

Now, it is well researched that higher HRV ( more variations in heart rhythm) means bigger capacity to give appropriate responses - without going into overdrive or passivity. Think: act with kindness, gratitude, courage, creativity. Meaning more flexibility and resilience.


Low HRV means low coping ability. Think: autopilot, agression, running away, hiding. Meaning rigidity and exhaustion.

Polyvagal science and ventral state

Though the debate of why HRV has this effect is still ongoing, polyvagal theory seems to come closest to explaining this. Polyvagal theory is a modern branch of neurological study, starting with the discovery that actually there isn't one parasympathetic system - there is several (poly), with ventral and dorsal being the two most important.


While in the past the parasympathetic was connected to getting the body back into a calm state after the sympathetic had uprooted everything, in polyvagal science it was discovered that it is actually way more interesting than that.


A bit parallel to how for centuries women were seen as "the complement to men", and only recently women have come into their own right - and we are discovering all the amazing unique gifts of women that nobody had noticed for all those centuries (like opening portals into the unknown).


Qualities that make life worth living

It turns out the ventral state opens up to us when we feel safe and connected, and in that state we access flow, intuition, creativity, humor, awe, compassion, courage and a host of other "qualities that make life worth living".


And how, do you ask, do we know if a person is in ventral? Well... by measuring their HRV, and how that relates to breath variations!


Bringing us back to the view of the ancients: the heart IS directly related to compassion, courage, creativity etc - through not the heartrate, but through the variations in heartrate.

From Trigger to Presence

What this all means, is that traditions which work on getting you back in peace (yoga, mindfulness, ...) work on lowering your heartrate, but don't take HRV into account. Meaning, as soon as you leave your meditation cushion and are back facing your triggers - whether it is giving a live webinar, doing your pitch, or even going on a date - you get right back into fight & flight.


BUT when you find a way to bring your HRV up as well, there is a resilience to your state - the same situation now doesn't trigger you, you respond with a light touch, with warmth, and a vibe of connection grows. And who knows, maybe instead of posting negative reviews, that same prospect now becomes your best client, and maybe instead of shrugging his shoulders and walking out of your life, that date now becomes your soulmate partner.


Imagine a moment how your life would uplevel when all those tiny moments where things went "wrong", now they go "well"... not just once, but mulptiple times a day. Adding and adding, creating exponential growth in your business and life.


High HRV means not getting triggered. It grows your presence. It changes your life.


So what we need, is not just the existing conscious modalities that lower heartrate, we need a new modality that also raises your HRV. And that's exactly what Embodied Breathwork is designed to do.

What makes Embodied Breathwork unique

Polyvagal theory is based on measuring HRV and variations in breath rhythms. So the connection is obvious. Yet before we draw further conclusions, more study is needed.


But even if we are conservative, four things seem obviously clear:


#1 HRV correlates to polyvagal or neurological state, and higher HRV means ventral state.


#2 It seems likely there is not one ventral state, but as the HRV rises further, new layers of the ventral state open which are "higher harmonies of good". This is experienced as portals opening to sacred, temple-like or even divine spaces.


#3 Because the ventral state is connected to feeling safe and connected, we can also rephrase this as: when we feel safe and connected it is more easy to reach higher flow states


#4 The old focus of "bringing the body back to calm after fight & flight" turns out to be misleading, more accurate is: "being in flow so an appropriate response is available and there is no need for fight & flight".


Embodied Breathwork works with these 4 principles: it sets clear goals, works with safety and connection, raises HRV, opens up ventral state, and takes the client into a flow state where they have the resources to make and execute a plan to reach their goals.


Embodied Breathwork works with higher states, where both client and coach access full blown intuition, creativity, clarity and courage, creating magic like flow states and opening up higher levels of awareness. These states are resilient, and we can bring the focus back to the client's challenge or problem without losing these expanded states - this is what sets it totally apart from existing mindfulness and coaching modalities.

For who is HRV and Embodied Breathwork


Working with HRV is especially relevant for - to quote Steve Job's famous words - the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently. The ones that are here to push the human race forward.


Because these ones - we - don't walk the trodden paths. We need to find our own path. We need uncanny intuition and clarity. We need to see how to zig when the whole world zags. Even, we need to still see how to zig when the whole world tells us to zag.


We are leaders who often operate under pressure of mainstream not believing in us - and we more than anyone else need to be resilient, need to access flow states when others get stressed. We need presence, we need a high HRV.


Embodied Breathwork is here for you.

Being part of life

Embodied Breathwork is the first modality that focuses not only on heartbeat, but on HRV. This means Embodied Breathwork doesn't see the heart as a pump. It sees us people as being part of life.


To create the resilience of the ventral state, Embodied Breathwork approaches emotions differently.


Instead of seeing emotions as "the troublemakers" that need to be kept down, we welcome them. All of them. The anger, the sadness, grief, ecstacy, desire, hope, dismay... all.


The Embodied Breathwork coach is well trained be with all emotions without getting thrown, she will help the client feel both the big intensities and the subtle nuances, creating a space where the client maybe for the first time experiences what it really means to be part of life - creating uncanny clarity, courage, awe, inspiration to such a level that it feels sacred.


The coach is also trained to help the client turn this light of her expanded awareness to the challenge she is working on, discovering new paths that never have been walked before and creating true leaders and changemakers.

Experience & Training

To experience Embodied Breathwork for yourself in a group setting, check here to see if there's Immersions planned.


To train to become an Embodied Breathwork coach yourself - and help your clients access these flow states and have a life with more juice, flow and success - check here when a new training is coming up and whether there is a waitlist.

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