Do You Control Your Breathing When You Meditate?

John Wood, Founder of Rageheart

by John Wood

Daily Rage subscriber Jon says:

Loved doing Rage 19 just now. After meditating and doing mindfulness work for 10+ years, I just realized that most times I “observe” my breathing I’m actually controlling it or altering it almost every time.

Yerrrrrrrrp ☝️

That was me.

I meditated daily for almost 10 years before I discovered the world of nervous system healing… and I quickly realised the same thing Jon did 🤔

That I’d been controlling my breathing the entire time without realising it.

Not a big deal, right?

What’s so bad about controlling your breathing?

The problem is that if we control our breath, we block the organic release of stored survival stress from decades gone by… as well as a smooth, natural return to baseline parasympathetic rest-and-digest.

That’s why I still felt stuck after 10 years meditating.

Great place to control your breath 💪

I wasn’t actually fixing the root problem – nervous system dysregulation. By controlling my breath, I was blocking the body’s natural way of healing.

Jon continues:

Also, I’ve done multitasking awareness before but never making such small movements and stopping at friction points to observe what’s going on. From 1 mm to the next, I had completely different internal experiences. Wild!

Jon’s talking about some of the movement practices in Rageheart.

I remember when I first started playing with these techniques.

I could not believe the effect that slow, gentle movements had on my nervous system and sense of myself.

There were more “holy shit” moments than I could count 🤯

That’s another drawback of meditation:

No movement or embodiment.

Sure, you might figure out how to stay calm with meditation (I know I did)… but if the only time you actually feel safe, calm and relaxed is when you’re sitting perfectly still with your eyes shut and observing (and controlling) your breath, what’s the point?

Unless you plan to spend your life in a cave, it’s a waste of time.

That’s why I quit meditation.

Because it became more of a dead weight and a hindrance instead of the magic bullet most people seem to think it is.

If meditation’s not cutting it for you, try something new. Do what I did and what Jon did.

Learn how to work with your nervous system and fight-and-flight response instead:



John Wood

P.S. Know anyone who meditates a lot but still isn’t getting their shit together? Maybe they’re still totally caught up in their head despite years meditating? Maybe they still get in their own way no matter what they do?

Refer them to this daily email newsletter (The Daily Rage) and help them get better tools for feeling healthy, happy and whole.

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