Who would have thought that the simple mastery of breathing can result in physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual well-being? In this episode, Certified Divorce Specialist (CDS)™ Jennifer Hurvitz chats with Lauren Chelec Cafritz, Integrative Breathwork and Transformational Breath Specialist, and Founder of Experience Breath. Lauren shares how breathwork goes a long way in helping people achieve optimal health, mental clarity, renewed energy, spiritual connection, and joy. She talks about her experience and expertise that allow her to lead classes and workshops in various public and private niches. She shares all of this and more in her book, Breath Love.
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Breathwork And How It Can Give You Emotional Mastery With Lauren Chelec Cafritz
Lauren Chelec Cafritz, I am happy to have her because I got to breathe. I’m calm and I’m ready to go. Lauren is an internationally-known breathwork teacher. If you don’t know what breathwork is, you’re about to learn. She has a new book out called Breath Love, and I’m excited to bring her on. She is the Founder of Experience Breath. She brings guidance, compassion and joy to her clients in both individual and group breathwork sessions as they explore and deepen their breath and improve their health and well-being. She is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health, mental clarity and joy using the power of breath.
Lauren brings a wealth of experience to her breathwork practice. She is trained and certified in integrative breathwork and transformational breath. She has studied many other breathing modalities. Lauren’s journey into breathwork began after her son was born and she was unable to move her neck. Through working with a breathwork teacher, she was able to release the tension and pain with specific breathing patterns. She also felt a renewed sense of energy and spiritual connection. She works to share that rejuvenation joy with others. Welcome, Lauren. How are you?
I’m excited to be on with you. Thank you so much.
I’m glad to have you. The first time I heard about breathwork, I was sitting in my office when my editor said to me, “We are talking about breathwork because we have this fabulous new book that’s coming out that we’re working with this fabulous author, it’s called Breath Love.” I said, “What is breathwork?” She’s like, “Let’s figure it out.” Lauren, share with my followers what breathwork is.
If you want a dry definition, breathwork uses various breathing techniques individually and in groups to bring about physical, emotional and cognitive and spiritual well-being. Breathwork uses conscious connective breathing to help release trauma, clear emotional blockages and heal the body. That is the dryish definition, but to me, your breath is powerful and many people are shocked once they start doing this, how much they use it all day long.
I had no idea. I still am excited to hear all this because I feel like I’m never breathing, I hold my breath so often. How is it different from yoga? What is the major difference?
The fun part is I started many years ago doing yoga. I use yoga and breathwork every single day to keep me aligned, grounded and flowing. That’s my secret sauce, those two things. Yoga uses breath and motion. In breathwork, especially a laydown session, either private or in a group, you’re lying down and consciously connecting your breath from anywhere from a half-hour to one hour. I love my job. I get to breathe into microphones.
Being with you makes me feel calmer. I’m hyped up, as you can tell and I feel breathing. I was like, “I felt better already.” It works.
I was at an event at a friend’s house and a woman came up to me and she’s like, “You’re with me in the middle of the night.” My husband was sitting there looking at me. She then went on to explain to my husband that she wakes up with palpitations. I had taught her breathwork and she says she immediately connects to her breath and she feels safe and gently calms down. Every Tuesday, I take an art class. It’s another piece of my secret sauce. In art class, my friend Patsy walked up to me and she’s like, “Lauren, I have to tell you, I woke up with palpitations last night, the second one in two days. I used the breath. This morning when I woke up, I didn’t have energy, and I started doing the breath that brings me energy. I’m using it all day long for different things.” It’s beautiful that I travel around and I get to hear the feedback on how the breath has helped people.
I’ve never even known to find a class on breathwork. Can we find you? I know you have a website and you have this book, is it in your book? It’s called Breath Love.
Breath Love is the book, you can either go to LaurenChelecCafritz.com or to ExperienceBreath.com. That will give you a listing of what I have coming up. The book has got me going to Philly and New York. I’ll be moving around. People can contact me if they want to bring me to their city. I’m also the national representative for the International Breathwork Foundation. We are a group of global breathwork practitioners.
Mastering Breathwork: If we love ourselves, we end up taking care of ourselves. From that space, we have more to give, and a better place to receive.
This is called Doing Divorce Right (or Avoiding it Altogether) and my followers are going through a divorce, trying to stay married or trying to work on their relationships. I’d love to tie this into that a little bit if we can learn. It’s stressful being a mom, being a single mom, being in a relationship, going through life in general. I love that this is something that you can use to practice, to be able to function daily. This will help all of my followers, don’t you think?
100%. Divorce is nothing more than a transition in life, and we go through transitions all the time. When you feel that pinch, that tightness starts to show up, it’s like a bell goes off to say, “Take a slow big inhale and start to begin to open up some of that tightness from the inside.” Every morning, I do not get out of bed before doing at least five minutes of connected breathing. As we heard from two different people who breathe with me, during the night we might have tight dreams or what we don’t process during the day shows up at night. When we take a couple of minutes, we first open our eyes and connect our inhale and exhale. We will raise our vibration, all that stuff that was in us, the negative dreams or tightness starts to melt away and then we become open and flowing again.
That’s important because I know that a lot of anxiety that I have, it does come up at night. Is that just me? I wake up and I’m like, “Was that a dream?” Is it a male thing? Woman thing? Is it normal? I can’t wait to read your book, I’m excited. It has a beautiful cover, too. If we could have a tool to help us get through those transitional things, that’s great.
Breath by itself helps you. In a divorce, almost at any time, you’re in a stressful situation. A lot of times when we hurt inside, our immediate reaction would be to hurt back. It’s not in our most enlightened self. The minute you can get three breaths in, even teeny tiny ones, it allows you to go to the balcony where you can regroup and then respond from your highest self. Whether it’s an ex, kids or present partner, breath has helped me many times ride the waves with a smile. Back in the day, in my twenties, I was not in my enlightened self. Breathwork did give me emotional mastery.
I don’t know if this is just me but I’m impulsive. I feel if I could say to myself, “Take a breath.” I can’t wait to read your book and learn a little bit about what this is about. It would maybe make me take pause, and I’m impulsive still. I say quickly what’s on my mind. Maybe if I breathe, I could chill a little.
Many people I know have something going on in their life, no one can focus on what’s at hand. In my case, I have the book coming out. It went on Amazon and my mom is in rehab after a big surgery and giving her love and support takes time and energy. The kids are coming back from college. Many things are coming in that it’s easy to get stressed. When you go to bed, if you don’t have a way of clearing, then you process during the night and you wake up tired and stressed out and then it becomes this cycle.
I have the little toolkit that I always tell my clients. The first thing is to take those three breaths, take twenty even better, and drink water. Water should be in every bar. Water, like breath, helps move emotion. We’ve got, breath, water, walk in nature. The color green does something inside, it soothes you almost immediately and it also helps you get in your body. When you’re stressed and you can feel the wind on your cheeks and feel the sun on your skin. You can smell the air and you feel your feet walking on the ground or pavement, it starts to slow you down and you can reconnect your breath in a more easeful way. Any movement, that’s where the yoga comes in. A lot of my clients will tell you that I won’t speak with them before they do ten pushups.
I need to get connected with you. I’m going, “I need to get outside. I need to breathe and I need to get back to yoga.” I’ve not done yoga and I used to do it almost 3 to 5 times a week. I haven’t been to yoga in a year, and I feel my body and soul, I’m disconnected from everything around me. I can’t get there, I make an excuse after excuse and I miss it.
Even a simple yoga class, you don’t even have to go to a level two or three. You can even go to a beginner yoga class. Think of emotions as energy in motion. In a divorce or when you have a rocky relationship, there’s a lot of emotion there, those waves are high. You can’t deal with it right away sometimes and what we ended up doing is stuffing it in our bodies and then the bodies get tight and they hurt. Even going to one yoga class a week will begin to open that. I stretch every day. I don’t have a choice. I go to two yoga classes a week, that’s part of my secret sauce too. That movement and breath will help you get into a calmer space to be able to handle in a more beautiful way all that you’ve got going on.
We all make excuses, but there isn’t an excuse to take care of your body and self-care and be mindful of what’s important with yourself.
It’s all about self-love. If we love ourselves, we end up taking care of ourselves. From that space, we have more to give and a better place to receive.
That’s another conversation. You also do private practices and group practices, but you also give a lot back to the community.
I go into school systems and they have me work with the kids and parents. They have these parent meetings, I’ll come in and do about 10 to 15 minutes with the parents. My favorite is I get to do it with the teachers. I love working with teachers because when I teach teachers, they go and teach. Every teacher I’ve ever taught has used the breath in some way, and it’s come back to me either through email or if they see me at the grocery store, they’ll tell me, “My kids come in all bouncy. By the fifth breath, they’re there landed and ready to learn.”
Isn’t that feedback great? It’s actually working.
You put this stuff out there and sometimes you’re like, “It works for me.” It is fun when you hear how it works for others. My favorite story is a dad came up to me one day and he said, “I want to tell you this story.” I had worked with his six-year-old. He had come home from work and he was stressed out and she said, “Give me your hand.” She took her dad’s hand and took him to the sofa and she breathed with him for ten minutes. She was six.
When my son was younger, we say he fell off the spectrum. We all know he could but you would never know, he has Asperger’s. When he was younger, I didn’t know it was breathwork at the time, but now that I’m listening to what you’re saying, it was breathwork. We’d get him close to the ground, he sits criss-cross applesauce and we’d do a lot of intentional breathing with him when he needed to calm down. I used to sometimes lay on him to apply pressure and we breathe together. I never realized that’s what I was doing but now I know.
You were already introduced.
The therapy was early on that you would never even know that he had anything wrong, thank God. Now, he’ll breathe sometimes, but I don’t even know he’s doing it.
I want to say this about kids and divorce because I have worked with kids going through their parents’ divorce. Kids have trouble observing, they just observe. What we do is I have the moms, especially for the young ones, get little Beanie Babies, those heavier stuffed animals. They put it on their kid’s belly before bed and they give the little animals a ride up and down before they go to sleep. It’s simple as that. The teenagers, they take in. During my own parent’s divorce, my mom slept next to me during the divorce and I didn’t have any of these techniques. I’m big on getting everyone what they need.
You don’t realize how many resources you have when you’re going through a divorce. People don’t utilize this thing because they think that it’s sometimes woo-woo. This is what’s important, healing little kids’ minds, their souls and their well-being. Going through the emotions is not enough, sometimes you have to take care of their little bodies. Divorce is hard. People sometimes forget that their souls and spirits are as important to you. You’re awesome, lovely, kind and good-spirited. This work is important. Your book, I can’t wait to read it. It’s called Breath Love, and it’s available now on Amazon. I posted on Jennifer Hurvitz, my Facebook page.
They may have to put in Lauren Chelec Cafritz for it to pop up, but what I learned is that pretty soon, they just put in Breath Love and it pops up.
This is the funny thing, I didn’t know how to spell your last name. I’m like, “I’ve got to find it, I’ve got to find the link.” I put in Breath Love and it popped right up. The cover is beautiful and everything about it is fantastic. Tell everybody where they can find you, your website name.
It will be all over my Facebook page and my Instagram. You will be able to find this fabulous woman, do not worry. I loved having you, Lauren. You’re awesome. I’m going to connect with you after this because I would like to do some breathwork myself. I need to get back into yoga. I decided sitting here that I’m going to yoga class and that’s all there is to it because I need to do it. I need to take care of myself.
I have a big woo-hoo coming out of me.
For the audience, go out and get your copy of Breath Love. It’s got beautiful colors in the front, pink and big blue, with clouds. Your Instagram is?
To the audience, thank you for following Doing Divorce Right (or Avoiding it Altogether). You can find me at www.JenniferHurvitz.com. My book is Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda: A Divorce Coach’s Guide to Staying Married. I am all over the place. Be happy, be good to yourself. Peace, love and truth.
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About Lauren Chelec Cafritz
Lauren brings a wealth of experience to her breathwork practice. She is trained and certified in Integrative Breathwork and Transformational Breath® and has studied many other breathing modalities. Lauren’s journey into breathwork began after her son was born and she was unable to move her neck. Through working with a breathwork teacher, she was able to release the tension and pain with specific breathing patterns. And she felt more than that – she also felt a renewed sense of energy and spiritual connection. Now she works to share that rejuvenation and joy with others.
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