About Niraj & SOMA Breath
Niraj Naik first discovered the power of breath after finding peace and solace in a sauna after a hard days work from his highly stressful career as a community pharmacist, when frequently visiting a wellness center called Nirvana in his home town of Reading, England. He instinctively began to extend his exhalation and even make toning sounds with his voice that would bring him into a deep meditative state. To the surprise of other members of the spa, he was able to stay in the sauna for many times longer than everyone else, up to 45-1hr at 90c+ temperatures.
Eventually he escaped the pharmacy as he was promoted to the head office of one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK to carry out his novel healthy shopping list system for delivering essential life saving information to patients on diet, nutrition and holistic health. This is when he was first branded as ‘The Renegade Pharmacist’ as the corporate management felt the idea was too ‘risky’ and could conversely impact profits.
The fear of going back to his old job standing on his feet all day dishing out pills as a pharmacist overwhelmed him and he ended up housebound for nearly a year with an autoimmune condition called Ulcerative Colitis and depression. He was left with the option of being a guinea pig for a new untested drug or having his colon removed.
A dear friend Swami Ambikananda came to the rescue and told Niraj that he now has a new gift, and that if he chose a third path of using holistic techniques of ayurveda, yoga, meditation and breath/pranayama to heal himself without medication or surgery he would become a great role model to others.
This is when he learned the ‘extended exhalation’, breath retention and chanting/toning techniques, that became the catalyst for his cure. He went back into the sauna and revisited his own instinctive methods for relieving stress and combined his own style of self hypnosis/visualization techniques that helped to rapidly heal his mind, body and spirit.
Swami’s prophetic vision came true as Niraj quickly became known around the world for his website TheRenegadePharmacist.com, creating some of the most viral articles of all time related to health and spiritual growth. He then became the host of Wim Hof events after teaming up with the real life super human yogi, Wim Hof, who shares a lot in common with Niraj and also has extensive scientific studies proving the power of breath retention and breathwork methods for influencing your physiology and immune system.
Niraj furthered his study by training with Dr Prakash Malshe, a doctor using traditional yoga and pranayama techniques with his patients in Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga. From this his gained a great understanding of the medical application of yoga and the science behind why certain pranayama techniques can influence the physiology for healing and heightened states of consciousness.
This helped Niraj form the curriculum for Soma Breath, a system based on the traditional yogic practices before they were altered by modern day practitioners of yoga from which this new field of breathwork has emerged, who have either made yoga more dogmatic or have misunderstood it’s real truth and the real breathwork that is contained in the ancient practices of pranayama.
Now Soma Breath is being taught at wellness centers in Niraj’s second home of the magical island of Koh Phangan, Thailand. He has launched a successful teacher training that is proving to be very popular, with his first students already creating and facilitating their own paid workshops, and even showcasing their new skills at festivals.
Soma Breath is now spreading across the world with training centers in Europe, USA and Asia, including a online training platform and community that helps people learn and grow through his ‘Tribe Intelligence’ model.
Niraj’s belief and vision is to create a holistic school that does not rely on one single guru. The tribe/community is the guru, and using social community building tools where the tribe/community can network and support each other in the tribe, new wisdom, knowledge and skills can be vetted collectively by the tribe and added to the overall Soma Tools For Life system, meaning as the tribe grows, so do you.