Keep Calm and Breathe On

By | Mon 9 Mar 2020

In an attempt to escape the smog during the pollution season, Free Bird Cafe hosted a workshop that focused on deep breathing. Complete with air filters that could have granted the cafe the title “Cleanest Air in Chiang Mai,” 30 air junkies gathered to learn the tips and tricks of breathing well.

The workshop was run by Hunter Lafave, a 32 year old cancer survivor. In 2017, Hunter was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. In one year, Hunter went through 40 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation. In search of a method to heal his body and mind from cancer, he learned about the Wim Hof breathing techniques. Lafave has since moved to Chiang Mai and seen dramatic improvements in his mental and physical wellness.

During the workshop, Lafave led participants in four rounds of 30 deep breaths followed by periods of breath holding, concentrated breathing, and meditation. This process is designed to awaken the body. Technically speaking, it oxygenates your blood and expels your body’s carbon dioxide to make the body more alkaline. Experientially, participants can feel the spiritual, ranging from an emotional release to a full body vibration, thought of as a “natural high”. The method aims to reduce stress and increase physical capability. In the midst of the pollution season, Hunter reminds us to “give your body what it needs to heal itself”.

The event was put on by the Thai Freedom House. All proceeds supported the 2,000 civilians in conflict with the Burmese military force. They have been forced to flee the Karen State of Burma/Myanmar and are living in isolation without adequate food and proper supplies.

Participants learn the benefits of taking the time for breathing and meditation

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