Breathe into the Unconscious, an Interview with Anthony Mullally

The best friendships and collaborations are often born from happenstance. This was the case with Tila’s chance encounter with professional rugby player, Anthony Mullally during a visit to Newquay in the UK. They immediately found common ground, and Tila invited the “Vegan Warrior” out to Lanzarote to recce for a retreat. 

Alongside his successful rugby career, Anthony runs retreats to help people re-establish a connection to the natural world, their purpose and one another. The Lanzarote Retreats team were lucky enough to have a few sessions with Anthony on the fundamentals of breathwork. We asked him to share a little more detail about the significance of what he does.


Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I grew up in Yorkshire but used to visit Newquay to go surfing. It was during the first lockdown when the rugby fixtures were all on hold that I found myself spending an extended period living in Newquay in my van, and decided I wanted to be here full time.

How did you get into breathwork?

I was already doing regular meditation, but I got into breathwork around five years ago to help boost my performance on the rugby pitch. When you find yourself at the cutting edge, you’re open to anything that will give you that one per cent differentiation to get ahead. I realised how beneficial focused breathwork was, and how unproductive our breathing is generally. Most of us are unaware how much we can manage and control our response to situations through our breathing. For example, our brain interprets fast breathing as danger, which can lead to stress and anger.

There are different schools of breathwork, and I spent some time reading around and experimenting until I formulated my own best practice. There are three different styles that I base my practice around – functional, breathwork for physical performance and restorative.

What else do you incorporate into your retreats?

There will usually be the opportunity for meditation, some element of movement practice such as yin yoga or jiu jitsu and surfing as well as cold water immersion. A big part of the retreats is breaking down barriers, and then coming together around the fire.

You mention cold water, you’re a big fan of cold water swimming?

Yeah, I grew up swimming in the cold lakes of Yorkshire and love the science behind why it’s so good for you. You’re consciously facing adversity, building your body’s threshold for stress. This is such a fantastic way of managing how we react to what life throws at us. I’m part of a group in Newquay called the Feel Cold Collective and we get in the sea most mornings throughout the winter, it’s so good for your mental health.


You’re particularly interested in working with men, why is that?

This comes from my own experience in the world of professional rugby. There are so many preconceptions of what it means to be male, but I’ve discovered that there are different ways to be strong. My work is aimed at breaking down stereotypes and rebuilding the integrity of masculinity in the modern world.

When will you be back in Lanzarote?

We’re working on plans for a couple of retreats, the first is open for reservation and the dates are 16th – 20 June 2023 (4 nights). To ask for more details click HERE