By Nevşah F. Karamehmet
My journey—the one that brought me here to New York City—began 20 years ago. I
was in my 20s, healthy and successful. I’d gone to the best schools in Turkey, and I
had a great social life. My family and friends supported and loved me. I really had it
all, yet I was unhappy and didn’t know why. Although I had everything in my life, I
felt unfulfilled and disoriented. I had no motivation and no energy, I could not
control my negative thinking, and I did not know what to do.
When I look back now, I can see that I was searching for something I already had but
couldn’t connect with because of my breathing habit.
We frequently read and hear about the importance of connecting with our truth,
with our inner selves, but nobody shows us how to do it—I mean, how to really,
really, really have a deep relationship with ourselves. Yoga, meditation, self-
education and coaching can help, of course, but they did not help me.
In fact, I was a yoga teacher. I meditated every day, tried all kinds of breathing
techniques and went to India twice a year, meeting all kinds of gurus, but I was still
thinking too much, still creating a hell inside my head, still disoriented and not
wanting to live anymore.
I know there are people out there like I was—people who really want to change,
who want the real thing, not toys that will make them feel good for a while and then
go away. When I would practice yoga and do my meditation and breathing
techniques, I wanted to stay in that centered, calm, perfect state forever, and I could
not do it. Why? Because like most people, I had a dysfunctional breathing habit.
My habit would be triggered by different situations in my life, and my respiratory
chemistry would ruin my psychological state without me even realizing it. It would
happen automatically, without my control, and I would be left with dissatisfaction,
unhappiness and lots of negativity. So I would meditate to calm down, then revert to
stress and dissatisfaction, and then go back to the yoga mat again.
It was a vicious circle, and that’s not what I wanted. I wanted something sustainable.
I wanted to wake up calm and centered and go to bed like that, without needing to
practice a breathing exercise, yoga or meditation.
Oh, I knew it was possible to get there, because I’d been there when I was a child.
However, I didn’t know how to get there, because dysfunctional habits are learned and triggered unconsciously. But the moment I got some support from breath analysts and started working on my dysfunctional habits, everything started changing.
Now I am not only healthy and full of energy, but also centered, positive, calm,
happy and fulfilled—and I do not need any technique or practice to be those things.
This is it!
As a breath coach, Nevşah F. Karamehmet is an authority on emotional and physical
healing through breathing. She is a best-selling author, a faculty member at the
Graduate School of Behavioral Health Sciences, a consultant to Better Physiology,
founding president of the Breath Coaching Federation and a national representative of
the International Breathwork Foundation. For more information, visit Nevsah.com or