Workshop will give the ins and outs of pranayama breathing |

Workshop will give the ins and outs of pranayama breathing

Pulmonologist Dr. Amit Anand will lead session

Breathe Pranayama RX workshop

Dr. Amit Anand, a Tufts University professor, sleep specialist and pulmonologist, will lead a pranayama breathing workshop facilitated by Autumn Bear Acupuncture on Oct. 9.
Courtesy of Amit Anand

Humans can’t obviously live without breath and breathing, but what if breathing added other health benefits such as improving the quality of sleep, increasing mindfulness and reducing high blood pressure?

Participants in the upcoming Breathe Pranayama RX workshop on Sunday, Oct. 9, will learn about this breathing method that has been around for more than 6,000 years, said facilitator Autumn Bear, whose Autumn Bear Acupuncture clinic will host the event.

The workshop will be led by Dr. Amit Anand, a Tufts University professor, sleep specialist and pulmonologist, who has been studying the effects of pranayama breathing on all different aspects of the human condition, according to Bear.

“Pranayama breathing has different forks of styles, and the style we will focus on is a slow-frequency, big-chest breathing,” she said. “Dr. Anand may go over the other facets, but this will mainly be about controlled breathing with an understanding of both inhalation and exhalation that will trigger certain effects in the body. He’s the most delightful person, and said he would love to come to Park City.”

I feel that breath is so valuable on so many levels, especially for people who are struggling with immunity, physical health and mental wellness…” Autumn Bear, Autumn Bear Acupuncture owner

The day will begin at Silver Lake at Deer Valley with a lecture by Anand, lunch catered by Nosh and a hike, Bear said.

“The morning lecture covers the mechanism and benefits of pranayama, and we will really get to learn about it,” she said. “After lunch, we’ll do an afternoon hike to a scenic vista to practice our pranayama breathing outside among the fall foliages. We do have a plan B and will adjust the hike for participants’ abilities. We want to make sure everyone is included based on what their capabilities are.”

Bear also has another plan in case of inclement weather.

“The space we have at Deer Valley will still allow for breath work inside if it rains,” she said.

In addition to Anand, Dr. Andy Taylor, a Harvard Medical School professor and leading exercise physiologist, will also be on hand during the workshop, according to Bear.

“We felt like Dr. Taylor would be an amazing fit, because Park City has so many athletes, professional and amatuer, who would really benefit from his knowledge,” she said. “Plus, Dr. Anand has partnered with Harvard Medical School, and works with exercise physiologists and cardiologists. And they look at how breathing affects sleep, immunity and sports performances.”

The Oct. 9 workshop will also be the first time Bear will get to participate fully in a pranayama breathing workshop.

“I dipped my toe in pranayama breathing when I did yoga, but never as a stand alone,” she said. “I feel that breath is so valuable on so many levels, especially for people who are struggling with immunity, physical health and mental wellness as we try to find out what to do with ourselves after coming off this big COVID pandemic.”

Autumn Bear, owner of Autumn Bear Acupuncture, says facilitating a pranayama breathing workshop that will feature Dr. Amit Anand on Oct. 9 is a way for her to give something back to Park City.
Courtesy of Autumn Bear

The Breathe Pranayama RX workshop is one of the ways Bear can give back to the community through her clinic.

“I really love Park City because of how strong the people are and how supportive they are,” she said. “I feel like this is one way for me to add value and give something back that I know is wonderful and beneficial. That’s how I can support and bring in something new and fresh and hope people like it.”

Bear, who has been a practitioner for 15 years, trained with Jeffrey C. Yuen, an 88th-generation Taoist priest, established Autumn Bear Acupuncture for a list of reasons.

“First, I feel like I’ve always had a calling to work in medicine, but I love the combination of art and science that comes together with acupuncture,” she said. “After studying with this amazing master, I felt it was part of my duty to be able to bring that to the forefront and be of service to the people.”

Another reason Bear decided to set up her own clinic is for a selfish reason, she said with a laugh.

“I have always been independent, and I’ve liked the flexibility of working for myself while weaving in and out of interests, hobbies and vacations,” she said. “I felt I didn’t have that in a corporate setting.”

Bear has treated a range of individuals with autoimmune conditions, digestive disorders and traumatic brain injuries, and she is grateful to have the opportunity to help.

“It’s an interesting space, because they usually come to me after they’ve tried everything else first,” she said. “So I feel like my job is to help people through transition — helping people move from one space to another in their lives — whether that’s spiritually, emotionally or physically. I don’t discriminate between those aspects, because it’s really an honor to walk with someone as they go on their journey.”

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