Theoretical Foundations


Breathwork refers to all therapeutic or sports postures that use breathing as their central element. Although to date there is no official theoretical model for the breath construct, Victoria and Caldwel (2013) mention that most approaches can be inserted into four models: 1) the relational one: breathing as a social and individual process; 2) the energy model: respiration as a mean to recover the natural state of energy and vitality of the body; 3) the regulation model: respiration as a mean of regulating physiological, psychological and emotional states; 4) and the consciousness model: breathing as a process to reach higher states of consciousness.

AWAKE program is primarily part of the regulation model, which aim people to use breathing as a conscious mean to maintain a physiological, psychological, and emotional balance during the different stages and moments of their lives. To achieve this objective, the program takes and includes five recurrent theoretical-practical themes in respiratory work: abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing, training of the breathing muscles, hypopressive exercises, slow-paced breathing, and fast circular breathing style or holotropic breathing (Brulé, 2017; Mckeown, 2015; Vranich, 2016; Vranich y Sabin, 2020).


During the last 30 years, several scientific studies in the clinical, social, sports, and labor fields have endorsed the benefits that can be obtained from the daily practice of mindfulness. This approach cultivates in people the ability to live in the present moment with an attitude of openness to the unfolding of life. This is achieved, directing the attention to the sensory plane and developing the ability to observe the psyche (Desrosiers, et al., 2013; Feldman, et al., 2010; Hwang y Kearny, 2015; Kabat- Zinn, 2013; Malinowski and lim, 2015).

AWAKE program takes and adapts three of the core tools from mindfulness: sitting meditation, body scanning, and certain yoga exercises. One of the main objectives of sitting meditation is to observe the thoughts (their quantity and content) and regulate them through the body, in this case with the breath. In the second meditation (body scan) attention is focused on certain parts of the body. These parts are used to stay in the present and to feel the body. Finally, the yoga exercises seek to relax or strengthen certain muscles, especially, those related to the Core. These three elements could enhance the ability to detect subtle signs of stress in the body, control intrusive or negative thoughts, and respond to the demands of the environment reflectively.

Interoceptive Awarenes

Interoceptive awareness refers to the ability to pay attention, differentiate and feel certain physiological processes and the emotions or sensations that may be with them. It involves the development of body awareness. This ability, let people detect and observe the information coming from the body and could enhance the capacity to regulate their emotions, not be overwhelmed by them, and respond better to internal and external demands (Hanley, et al., 2017; Mehling, et al., 2009; Mehling, et al., 2012).

AWAKE breathwork program takes and adapt from this perspective one of the most studied meditations in this field: gratitude or heart meditation. Which, firstly, seeks to direct attention towards the heart and, secondly, to generate elevated emotions such as love or compassion towards oneself, towards others, and towards our planet. All this, regardless of the context or situation in which the person is. The regular practice of this type of meditation could help people to be kinder to themselves and others, and to prioritize gratitude and love over hatred or resentment could increase the capacity to regulate their emotions


Brulé D. (2017). Just Breathe: mastering breathwork for succes in life, love, business, and beyond. New York: Enliven. ISBN: 978-1-5011-3438-8.

Desrosiers, A., Klemanski, D. & Nolen- Hoeksem, S. (2013). Mapping mindfulness facets onto dimensions of anxiety and depression. Behavior Therapy, 44: 373-384.

Feldman, G., Greeson, J. & Senville, J. (2010). Differential effects of mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and loving kindness meditation on decetering and negative reactions to repetitive thoughts. Behav res Ther, 48 (10): 1002-1011. Doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.06.006.

Hanley, A., Menhling, W. & Garland, E. (2017). Holding the body in mind: interoceptive awareness, dispositional mindfulness and phsychological wll-being. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 99, 13-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.05.014.

Hwang, Y. & Kearney, P. (2015). A mindfulness intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. Mindfulness in Behavioral health. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-18962-8_2.

Kabat- Zinn, J. (2013). Full Catastrophe Living. London: Piatkus. ISBN: 978-0-74995841-1.

Malinowsky, P. & Lim, H. (2015). Mindfulness at work: positive affect, hope, and optimism mediate the relationship between dispositional mindfulness, work engagement, and well- being. Mindfulness, 6: 1250-1262. Doi: 10.1007/s12671-015-0388-5.

Mehling, W. E., Gopisetty, V., Daubenmier, J., Price, C. J. Hecht, F. M. & Stewart, A. (2009). Body Awareness: Construct and self-repot measures. PloS ONE, 4 (5): e5614. doi: 10.1371/Journal.pone.0005614.

Mehling, W. E., Price, C., Daubenmier, J. J., Acree, M., Bartmess, E. & Stewart, A. (2012). The multidimensional assessment of interoceptive awareness (MAIA). PloS ONE, 7 (11), e48230. doi: 10.1371/Journal.pone.0048230.

McKeown, P. (2015). The Oxygen Advantage: the simple, scientifically proven breathing techniques for a healthier, slimmer faster, and fitter you. London: Piatkus. ISBN: 978-0-349-40669-5.

Vranich, B. (2016) Breathethe simple revolutionary 14-day program to improve your mental and physical health. London: Hay House. ISBN: 978-1-78180-753-8.

Vranich, B. & Sabin, B. (2020). Breathing for Warriors: Master your breath to unlock more strength, greater endurance, sharper precisión, faster recovery, and an unshakable inner game. New York: St. Martin´s Essentials. ISBN: 978-1-250-30822-1.

Victoria. H. & Caldwell C. (2013). Breathwork in body psychotherapy: Clinical applications. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 8 (4), 216–228. doi 10.1080/17432979.2013.828657.

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