Body 2.0 Review: MyBreath Mobile App

Overall score: 4 out of 5

MyBreath is an iPhone app by Breath Research designed to help people learn to breathe more deeply, fully, and calmly, thereby alleviating stress and improving athletic performance. It also analyzes your breathing patterns and shows you the difference between how you typically breathe and the ideal.

I will be honest, at first I found the app confusing, and I wish I had known before starting that you need headphones with a built-in microphone on the cord. You also have to hook the cord over your ear so the mic sits right under your nose and records your breath.

But then I watched the tutorial video, and all was clear!

The app records your breathing patterns and then analyzes them. My first recording was deemed “strained,” but this was before I sorted out the headphone-mic issue. You can record your breathing as is, or while listening to pre-recorded, soothing music included with the app. And Dr. Nirinjan Yee, with a softly accented and very calming voice, gives you instructions on how to breathe. You can also listen to your own music from your iPod collection.

I liked checking out how my recordings varied while listening to pop music, sitting in quiet, walking around, and listening to the MyBreath “house” music. The app provides an actual picture of your breathing in the form of a continuously moving sound wave graphic. Being able to visualize how I unconsciously changed my breathing in different settings was actually fascinating.

Ultimately, my favorite part of the app, and the one I think is most useful as a yoga teacher and as a doctor, is the “Optimize” feature. In Optimize you strive to match your breathing with the almost unbelievably slow pace of the instructions “inhale” and “exhale” rising and falling with the graphic of a feather floating in the night sky, set to the sound of an ocean wave rolling in and out. If you don’t fall asleep first, you will really change your breathing.

Score details: 4 out of 5