Joris van Balkom


  • Netherlands

During my first freediving course in 2012, my mind was blown when I learned this simple fact: The main reason why you feel the urge to breathe is not a lack of O2 but a build-up of CO2. With this simple knowledge and proper training to develop a higher tolerance to CO2 I was able to hold my breath for almost 6 minutes pretty soon after starting my freediving journey. This may sound like an unbelievable achievement, but is actually possible for most people after some training.

In 2017, when reading the book The Oxygen Advantage® by Patrick McKeown, I had another aha moment. Having experienced breathing issues as a teenager (wheezing, sneezing, stuffy nose, fatigue) and being a mouth breather since a young age I realized that most (if not all) of these issues are related to dysfunctional breathing patterns. I learned to breathe mainly through my nose and paid more conscious attention to my breathing patterns. This had a huge impact on my sleep quality and energy levels during the day. These days as a freediving instructor I see many students that also struggle with dysfunctional breathing.

It is my belief that it is crucial to first have a look at your breathing.

If your breathing is not optimal, your performance and recovery are not optimal, and neither is your quality of sleep, focus and concentration. Whether you are an athlete or not, proper breathing is fundamental.

I found freediving to be a shortcut to better health and more conscious breathing. But there are other ways to obtain this, especially when you don’t have access to water or simply don’t want to learn how to freedive.

This is why I love to teach breathwork and help people understand the power of the breath to regain control over their health. In my teaching I combine the Oxygen Advantage method and my own experiences as a freediving coach and instructor.

I offer in person sessions in The Netherlands, both one on one and group sessions. Online sessions and corporate sessions are available on demand.

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