Our Latest Review – Breathing Lessons Works!

I was more than a little leery about this app’s value to me when a good friend recommended it. I have a healthy yoga practice, am an athlete and am in good shape. I write to report I am amazed at the benefits this app bestows. It is safe to say I actually have more energy in that I was not even conscious of my reactions to stressful situations, namely to stop breathing. I now have a much greater consciousness of breathing, which frees my mind up, as well as opens up channels of energy, and consequent freedom, which I did not know existed. Who knew I needed to LEARN how to breathe?! Certainly not I. Highly recommended.



BREATHING LESSONS has been recommended for alleviating Anxiety and enhancing General Health by The American Counselors Association and Talk To An Expert, Inc. It has been written up in The Huffington Post, Massage Magazine and Natural Healthcare of Canada as well as applauded for it’s effectiveness and simplicity by the iPad Guy and HellaWella just to name a few.

We all know that deep breathing is crucial to our health but few of us actually know HOW to practice deep breathing.

Finally, BREATHING LESSONS, an app that explains clearly and simply HOW to breathe better.

See and feel what it means to take in a deep, full inhalation and learn the importance of posture, as BL takes you through your body, from head to hips and guides you through the movements and mechanics of unencumbered respiration.

There are eight brief and easy to follow lessons that will have you breathing better after just one viewing. At any stressful time, or ideally once per day, you can utilize these therapeutic breathing techniques to help lower your breathing rate and put you in control of your health and fitness by balancing the vital systems of your body.

You will be able to practice what you are learning anywhere and at anytime and will want this app as your companion whenever you need to be calm and focused.

A free weekly tip will help to keep you curious and inspired.

Included are:
4 videos demonstrating the mechanics of deep breathing.
4 videos demonstrating the effects of poor posture vs. proper posture.
Basic cued breathing practice with user control of timing inhalations and exhalations as you work towards a 13 second exhalation and a 7 second inhalation.
Verbally cued practice to enhance awareness.
Relaxing music to accompany your breathing practice for the purpose of reducing stress.

The following are just some of the benefits of optimum breathing:

Strong variable heart rate
Healthy blood pressure
Improved Lymphatic System
Balanced autonomic nervous system
Increased lung capacity
Eliminate anxiety
Aid digestion
Relieve chronic pain
Alleviate menopausal symptoms
Eliminate vertigo
Relieve back pain
Improved Focus
Better sleep

If you want to talk to us directly, or have any questions, find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LifeBreath.inc


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Interview With YogaCity, NYC

Carla Ardito, an emotional-energy teacher, is the voice of Breathing Lessons, an award-winning app she created that uses animation to illustrate mindful respiration techniques. Carrying a favorite book, The Body Never Lies, Ardito arrived 10 minutes early to meet YogaCity NYC’s Ann Votaw, in a Union Square cafe, and immediately set her at ease with her wit and terrific head of brown hair.

Ann Votaw: I read your Huffington Post article about “tight asses” contributing to poor breathing. I was just at the farmer’s market trying to ungrip my butt by the peaches.

Carla Ardito: [Laughing.] It’s hard, isn’t it? Most of us don’t often, if ever, check in with those muscles, and they are the cause of much anxiety in the bodies. The muscles and nerves around our heads and hips are associated with our fight-or-flight response.

AV: Why did you develop an app?

CA: One of my students got off blood pressure medicine while working with me. She kept telling me, “You have to make an app.”

AV: How do you work with your students?

CA: I’m just there to help them process emotions. I do a lot of visualization. I work with students anywhere from two to five years. I see about 15 a week. I teach a lot of yoga teachers. I also get a lot of artists.

AV: What’s your philosophy?

CA: My one professional statement is that anything problematic that happens in the present is a repeat of something that happened in the past that didn’t get resolved. It’s meant to be worked out in order to feel better and let yourself love more. In 30 years, I’ve never seen this fail.

Here’s an example: My husband and I were driving in Rhode Island when a turtle was crossing the road. The turtle stopped traffic. I went out and snapped photos. My husband and I were laughing. Then everyone started honking.

I got back in the car, and my husband was mad at me and wouldn’t talk about it. For me, I was upset because my mother used to freak out, which made me feel uncared for. For my husband, he felt frustrated he couldn’t make everyone happy. We were both reliving our childhoods.

AV: You have a son, do you think about these things with him?

CA: Yes. He’s 20. Swami Satchidananda at Integral used to say that the most yogic thing you can do is to have a family and make it work. When you are a parent, you often get to heal some part of your childhood. Then you have to continue the work because parenting can’t heal us completely. We’re attracted to the people who make us face our issues. It’s the real law of attraction.

AV: Say more on that.

CA: It’s about to get confusing. I learned this from my teacher Julie Motz who explains the science behind what I noticed in my practice.

AV: Go ahead.

CV: All of us have preferences to one of the four undesirable emotions: fear, anger, sadness, and need. These four emotions have corresponding desirable emotions. They are: excitement, desire, relief, and love. My body is used to being afraid, but it doesn’t like to surrender to sadness. Because I am comfortable with fear, I am equally comfortable with excitement, but because I block sadness, I don’t get much relief. People who favor desire and anger are uncomfortable with need and love. It’s all about balance.

I can’t decide which one you are, excitement-fear or desire-anger.

AV: You’ve been assessing me?

CV: I was watching your eyes when I talked about mothering, so I’m guessing that much sadness is unprocessed. Because I am excitement-fear, I am married to relief-sadness.

AV: Discuss fear.

CA: It’s good to be fearful in a dark alley at 3am, and it’s good to admit that someone feels unsafe to you in a relationship. But if we are fearful at times when we could easily label the situation “exciting,” then that’s the object of yoga, to learn why.

Some people have to allow themselves to feel afraid and let things be explosive before they can get unstuck and open-up to compassion. But you don’t need to, and shouldn’t do so, in real life. Everything can be worked out in your mind because what the mind sees happening, the body processes. It’s a beautiful design of the psyche that allows for healing the body because it puts mind and body in sync.

AV: I love that.

CA: I ask students to imagine a beloved child crawling into a painful situation from their past. It makes students weep because in this way they can easily see that the child is them. Allowing anger and protective thoughts can relieve tightness in the chest and create more blood flow, better health, and more love. Love is when I see you’ve got issues, but I am able to love you anyway because I can trust myself to protect myself, even from you. But if we haven’t worked out our childhoods, we don’t trust ourselves.

AV: How does our past play in our present?

CA: Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen once blew my mind when she said, “The egg that made you was in your mother when she was in the womb of your grandmother.” We inherit trauma in the womb. To me, many diseases are the result of deep wounding we inherited.

I ask students to visualize their grandmothers taking care of their mothers. If this doesn’t work, I ask them to pick another woman, from a book or a movie. Then my students weep and let go. I’ve seen my students transform beautifully. I’m honored they trust me.

To learn more about Carla Ardito, visit her website, or download her breathing app.

Her next workshop is at 12:30pm, Sunday, November 1, at the Integral Yoga Institute.


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Integral Yoga Institute

Are There Tensions Hiding In Your Body?


Check for these 3 subtle tensions that cause shallow breathing and learn how to let go of them with these 3 effective tips.


I don’t mean to be rude; it’s just that your butt muscles were not intended to be tense 24/7, and believe it or not, a good number of us are going through life with a tense butt and we don’t even know it! Any tension in the gluteus shortens our breathing. It’s one of the ways our body gets stuck in “fight or flight” mode. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try it. Grip your buttocks muscles and then try to take a deep breath. Our diaphragm muscle is not free to descend into the body as long as our butt cheeks are tight. If your butt is even slightly tense, you are unknowingly preventing your body from breathing well.

TIP #1
Close your eyes and actively try to completely release your butt muscles. Imagine that the deepest layers of muscle are relaxing; the ones right near your butt bones. It may help to visualize these muscles as a fisted hand that is slowly unfurling each finger until it becomes an open palm. Visualizations are a great way of connecting the mind to the body. If you can discover and let go of any tension in your seat, your inhalations will become deeper and fuller.


Jaw tension is a syndrome that plagues many of us and unfortunately, tension in the jaw is always accompanied by tension in the throat and the back of the neck. It’s a fact that even our smiles can be a form of jaw tension. According to the book The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris, the baring of teeth in simians is a fear response. Even when we are nervously smiling and not really feeling happy, we create jaw tension. When muscles connected to joints get tense, we can find ourselves, once again, inadvertently stuck in our “fight or flight” response. One of the main reasons jaw tension creates such a problem for our breathing is that any time the upper body becomes locked, so too does the lower body. Our cranial and sacral nerves signal our parasympathetic system; the system that tries to help our bodies get through the “fight or flight” response with as little damage as possible. If you grit your teeth you will feel a corresponding sensation of tension in your lower body. The good news here is that if we can begin to release our jaw tension then subsequently the rest of our body will relax. We can reverse the negative domino effect, bring back peace and restore deeper, fuller breathing.

TIP #2
I have found that the most effective way to soften the jaw hinge is to imagine that the muscles from the temples to the jawbone have gone completely limp. Ideally you want to create a feeling of complete softness that pervades the entire head, in particular, the back of the neck, the jaw and the throat. If you’ve ever received Novocain at the dentist, then that sensation of complete and utter numbness will come in handy. The idea here is to allow your jaw hinge to literally be hanging from your skull and then observe your breathing body. Observe any differences in your breaths ability to affect movement in your lower body. Gradually bring your jaw back to a more normal position but without the tension.


Your heart resides under your breastbone and this area of the body is very susceptible to emotional wounding. When something takes our breath away, it has either offended our soul or reminded it of its origins. The holding of the breath from emotional wounding can cause a permanent tension in our chest. Even with all the attention being given to deep breathing these days, I find that many people are trying, but not succeeding, because of hidden tension in the chest cavity. Our chest contains our most precious internal organ. When we feel emotionally wounded, our breathing becomes shallow. If we were never afforded the opportunity to release that hurt, then it’s likely that our breathing is still being affected by that moment in time.

TIP #3
Place your hand over your heart and let out a long sigh. Sighs, are exhalations that soothe, and are wonderful for restoring movement to our chest cavity. It’s not just the belly that should be moving when we breathe. Even our most gentle breathing, as when we are resting or wrapped up in a good book, should involve subtle movements throughout the body. Good breathing is a holistic experience.

And so, in a nutshell, these three tips will help all of your muscles, joints and organs reap the benefits of good breathing. When a body breathes well, the natural movements that occur, promote oxygen-rich blood flow to each and every cell and in turn keep our muscles and joints strong and supple.
With a little attention and practice, our breathing is really the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. The difference between breathing and good breathing is the difference between being alive and truly living life.