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Blog_Archetypes and States

Find out how archetypes and states in integrated breathwork techniques, movement, and cold immersion can help your body with growth and healing.

In breathwork and movement practices, "states" refer to different physiological and psychological states that one can enter into through intentional breathing and movement. These states can range from relaxation and calmness to heightened energy and alertness and may be associated with specific emotions or mental states.

"Archetypes," on the other hand, refer to universal patterns of human behaviour, thought, and emotion that are present in various mythologies, religions, and cultures. In breathwork and movement practices, archetypes may be used as symbolic representations of different aspects of the human psyche and can serve as a framework for exploring and understanding one's own thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

Together, states and archetypes can be used as tools for personal growth and transformation in breathwork and movement practices. By intentionally entering into different states and exploring archetypal patterns, individuals can gain insight into their own inner world, develop greater self-awareness, and access their full potential for healing and growth.

Here’s what went down at a breath work, movement, and cold immersion session held at Core Collective by Wim Hof coach, Chun Yih Tan, and breathing and mental wellness coach, Luke Tan. 

Key Takeaways


  • Explorer - The archetype of the explorer is to learn new movements and find out the limits of one’s mobility through curious inquiry.
  • Warrior - The archetype of the warrior is developing mental and physical strength to push through pain by reframing. Facing adversity in stride, with a smile and a “yes, I can do this…I love this!” mentality.

Primal Movements

  • Bear crawl – Builds strong wrists and shoulders, is low impact while it engages the whole body and challenges the respiratory system.

  • Frog squats – Open up your hips and loosen your hamstrings while building strength and endurance in your quads.

  • Hindu push-up – Builds strong shoulders and core while opening up the hips. This is a dynamic and efficient compound that is a killer for muscle building and body flexibility.


For breath work exercises, techniques were centred around the Oxygen Advantage methods to boost Carbon Dioxide (CO2) tolerance. CO2 is the stimulus for us to breathe. Boosting this will help improve stress resilience, increase circulation and reduce muscle fatigue.

  • Rescue breathingWarm up to prepare the body for a tolerable feeling of breathlessness.
  • Preparation of altitude trainingTo prepare the body and mind for using breath holds as a stressor. Take normal breaths in and out through the nose, pinch the nose then walk 15 paces with breath held, then release and breathe normally for 40 seconds (3-5 reps).
  • Shark fitTo create strong air hunger which causes a disturbance to the blood’s acid-base balance. As the breath is held, oxygen continues to be extracted by the cells and excess carbon dioxide cannot leave the blood through the lungs. Regular practice of breath-holding exposes the body to increased acidosis, which causes adaptations to it, reducing the acidity of the blood during intense exercise and delaying the onset of fatigue. Take normal breaths in and out through the nose, pinch the nose then walk with breath held, when a medium hunger for air, increase the pace to a fast walk or jog, when a strong hunger for air comes, run/sprint, then release walking a few paces while breathing 6 shallow breaths, then resume normal breathing for 40 seconds (3-5 reps).

Thereafter, cold immersion is done using the Wim Hof method, known to reduce inflammation, improve your sleep, and boost energy levels.
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Featured Contributor:

Thumbnail_Wellness_Luke Tan

Luke Tan is a leading authority in the field of health and fitness, with a particular focus on breath work, plant-focused nutrition, and movement.

For over a decade, he has been helping individuals from all walks of life tap into their full potential and achieve greater levels of flow, creativity, energy, and productivity. After 30+ years of chronic asthma, he managed to heal himself naturally by re-learning how to breathe. This sparked his journey into breath work and becoming a certified breath coach.

Find out more about Luke or read more of his content here.