International Breathwork Foundation

A Global Movement for Conscious Breathing


The International Breathwork Foundation (IBF) is a non-profit global network dedicated to promoting the practice of conscious breathing and breathwork. Founded in 1994, the IBF has grown into a vibrant community of practitioners, researchers, and enthusiasts who believe in the transformative power of breath. The foundation aims to support health, well-being, and spiritual growth through a heart-centered approach to breathwork, fostering both personal and global transformation.

Understanding IBF:

The International Breathwork Foundation (IBF) was founded in 1994 by a group of pioneering breathwork practitioners who saw the need for a global network to promote the practice and benefits of breathwork.  By hosting international conferences, workshops, and events, the IBF fosters a community that explores the therapeutic benefits of breathwork in physical, emotional, and spiritual health, aiming to enhance global awareness and holistic healing practices.

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International Breathwork Foundation

About The Founders:

The IBF was conceived during the first Global Inspiration Conference (GIC) in Sweden. The success of this initial conference led to the establishment of the IBF as a formal organization dedicated to connecting breathwork practitioners worldwide.  Among the key founders were Bo Wahlström and Lena Kristina Tuulse. Bo Wahlström, a Swedish breathwork practitioner, began his breathwork journey in 1979 and has since been instrumental in developing breathwork training programs and organizing global breathwork conferences. Lena Kristina Tuulse, introduced to breathwork by Leonard Orr, has been a significant figure in the breathwork community, contributing to personal development and holistic health practices.

Mission, Vision and Goals:

The foundation’s mission is to promote a greater understanding of the benefits of conscious breathing and to support the global breathwork community through education, training, and networking opportunities. The mission of the IBF is multifaceted, focusing on the promotion and integration of breathwork practices worldwide. The foundation’s vision includes the following key objectives:

  • Promoting Health and Well-being: By encouraging the practice of conscious breathing, the IBF aims to improve physical, emotional, and mental health.
  • Expanding Consciousness: The IBF believes that breathwork can lead to profound spiritual growth and expanded consciousness.
  • Global Transformation: Through various initiatives, the IBF seeks to contribute to positive global change, fostering a more connected and compassionate world.

Core Activities and Initiatives:

The IBF engages in a wide range of activities to promote its mission. These include organizing events, conducting research, and supporting educational programs. Some of the key initiatives include:

Global Inspiration Conference (GIC):  One of the most significant events organized by the IBF is the Global Inspiration Conference (GIC). This annual gathering brings together breathwork practitioners from around the world for a week-long celebration of breath. The GIC features workshops, lectures, social events, and opportunities for networking, providing a platform for sharing best practices and learning from one another. Each year, the conference is held in a different country, offering participants a unique cultural experience.

World Breathing Day:  World Breathing Day, celebrated annually on April 11th, is another major initiative of the IBF. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of conscious breathing and its benefits. Events and activities are organized globally to encourage people to experience and share the power of breathwork.

Conscious Breathing in the Classroom:  The IBF also focuses on integrating breathwork into educational settings through its “Conscious Breathing in the Classroom” initiative. This program aims to equip teachers with the tools and knowledge to introduce breathwork to students, promoting better focus, emotional regulation, and overall well-being in schools.

Conscious Breathing For Trauma Recovery (CBTR):  Recognizing the therapeutic potential of breathwork, the IBF has developed the “Conscious Breathing for Trauma Recovery” program. This initiative provides support for individuals recovering from trauma, using breathwork techniques to help manage stress, anxiety, and post-traumatic symptoms.

IBF United Nations Workgroup:  IBF has been granted the Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) since July 2016.

Breathing Circles:  Breathing Circle is a network of people who are committed to health and healing through breathing practice.

Science And Research Advisory Group:  The Science and Research Advisory Group is a special task force workgroup of the International Breathwork Foundation formed with the specific aim of supporting the IBF community and general public with a deeper understanding of the science of breathwork based on research and a body of evidence.

Breathwork Development Fund:  Through the IBF Breathwork Development Fund, we offer outreach to individuals and to communities who might otherwise not be able to access breathwork.

IBF Breathing Arts Group:  A workgroup to promote all forms of artistic expression in the breathwork community and to encourage artists to get involved in IBF events and projects.

IBF Core Values:

The IBF practice principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. They celebrate and nurture the rich diversity within their communities including people who live with or are impacted by disability, our LGBTQIA+ members, BIPOC members and displaced peoples. You can learn more here.

By Law's And Ethical Standards:

IBF is committed to promoting the highest levels of professionalism and integrity in the practice of breathwork. At registration and on annual renewal, all IBF Members are required to agree to follow the IBF code of conduct and ethical guidelines and recommendations as stated in the IBF By-Laws. These help us navigate difficult situations by providing clear expectations how we should behave and defining lines of unacceptable behaviour: See IBF By-Laws, section 10 ‘IBF Core values’, and section 11 ‘Guidelines, standards and qualifications for Breathwork’. 

IBF does not devise standards or qualifications for Breathworkers, neither does it certify practitioners or supervise that the standards/qualifications set by each country are met by Breathwork professionals or schools listed in the IBF directory. IBF works in partnership with GPBA, the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance which is responsible for the accreditation of professional breathwork practitioners. You can learn more here.


Membership and Certification:

IBF offers various membership options catering to individual & Professional members.  You can learn more here.

Finding a Practitioners & Schools:

The IBF website offers a comprehensive directory of breathwork practitioners and schools worldwide. This resource makes it easy for individuals to find qualified breathwork professionals in their area, facilitating access to personalized guidance and support.

Addressing Common Misconceptions:

The IBF is inclusive of all breathwork techniques. It does not adhere to a single tradition but embraces a variety of methods, promoting diversity in breathing practices to cater to different needs and preferences​.  (IBF Breathwork)

The IBF is a non-profit organization. It was founded to promote the practice and benefits of breathwork for personal and global transformation, not for commercial gain​.

The IBF actively supports and conducts scientific research through its Science and Research Workgroup. This group collates existing publications and curates new research on the benefits of conscious breathing​.

Beyond workshops and the annual Global Inspiration Conference (GIC), the IBF runs numerous initiatives, including World Breathing Day, Breathing Circles, and various projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The IBF is a truly global organization, with members, events, and initiatives spread across various continents. The Global Inspiration Conference (GIC) is held in different countries each year, and the World Breathing Day events take place worldwide, underscoring the foundation’s international reach and inclusivity.

The IBF upholds high professional standards for its members. Professional members must adhere to the IBF Code of Conduct and the standards set by the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance (GPBA). This includes rigorous training, ethical guidelines, and continuous professional development​.


The International Breathwork Foundation is a pioneering organization dedicated to promoting the practice of conscious breathing and breathwork globally. Through its diverse initiatives, the IBF supports personal and collective transformation, fostering a healthier, more connected world. Whether through its annual conferences, educational programs, or research efforts, the IBF continues to inspire and empower individuals to harness the power of their breath for greater well-being and spiritual growth.

For more information about the International Breathwork Foundation and its activities, visit their official website.

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BreathFinder Editorial Team

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and are for informational purposes only. This information is not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult your physician / doctor and read the warnings before joining or participating in any published breathwork information on our website.

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