Breathe Meditation and Wellness
by Sheila Julson
Chelsey Charbeneau and Jenn Moulaison, co-founders of Breathe Meditation and Wellness, had both worked in high-pressure jobs—Charbeneau at a Los Angeles-based investment firm, and Moulaison in the New York fashion industry. They soon felt the physical and mental effects of stress.
Seeking relief, Charbeneau began practicing meditation and yoga and was enthralled by the therapeutic benefits. This led her to become a certified yoga therapist and meditation guide. From there she formed Just B, a meditation studio in Santa Monica, before relocating to Dallas.
In 2011, Moulaison’s work brought her to Dallas, but soon she parted ways with the fashion industry and reexamined how she could take better care of herself. Being a fast-paced person, she wasn’t sure if meditation was for her, but she eventually decided to take classes. “I found meditation was something I could do. The teacher was very relatable and somebody I could talk to—and that teacher was Chelsey,” Moulaison recalls.
Moulaison completed 300-hour meditation teacher training and decided to open a studio. She knew the ideal person to help her run it. “Chelsey is the programmer, the trainer, the visionary and authentic person behind what I wanted," she says.
Breathe Meditation and Wellness opened in February 2020. Despite the pandemic shutdown soon after, which allowed Charbeneau and Moulaison time to fine-tune the business and build a virtual platform, the studio is filling a void by providing an array of meditation and complementary wellness services.
Breathe offers group meditation classes, sound meditation with singing bowls and gongs, audio-guided meditation and virtual classes. In addition, Charbeneau has created meditation teacher training certification programs and workshops. To date, she has trained 125 people in the Dallas area.
All of Breathe’s services have a meditation component to them. Complementary services include halotherapy (salt booths), magnetic resonance therapy, crystal bed therapy, tarot reading, reiki, Thai yoga massage, therapeutic yoga and vibrational sound therapy.
While more people are becoming aware of meditation, there is still some confusion surrounding the practice. Charbeneau and Moulaison strive to make it approachable with simple, inviting aesthetics that are gender-neutral, calming and non-secular. Instructors design classes with beginners in mind.
Meditation and Breathwork for Physical Health
“We named the studio Breathe because the one thing we share and have in common is that we all breathe,” Charbeneau says. “If you just focus on this non-religious, non-philosophical component that is part of our daily life every second of every day, you can focus and drop into the present moment and find tools that will help you.”
Charbeneau emphasizes that the way in which we breathe has an immediate impact on our mood, energy levels and sleep patterns. “Proper breathing, which includes nose and diaphragmatic breathing, helps calm the vagus nerve which runs from the brain to the gut,” she explains. “When we are breathing improperly, we can have excess carbon dioxide, and that can make us feel more pain or fatigued.”
Charbeneau adds that many people breath through the mouth, which causes snoring and other issues. Being conscious of breathing through the nose allows the body to use its natural filtration system, the nostrils. Moulaison notes that before learning meditation and breathwork, she was primarily a chest-breather rather than deeply inhaling with the diaphragm. “Stress and anxiousness can make you breathe just at the top of your chest and never bring air down through the body,” she says.
Supporting the Dallas Community and Beyond
Charbeneau and Moulaison are expanding their virtual community to reach more people outside of Dallas. They will also dive deeper into different types of breathwork training. Youth meditation and breathwork programs halted during the pandemic are expected to return.
Breathe offers an in-person and online “conscious consumerism” retail component with wellness products like candles, oils, homeware and gifts crafted by local businesses, many of which are owned by women and minorities. Charbeneau notes the Breathe team has personally vetted the ethics and social responsibility of each business whose items they carry.
In addition, they partner with charitable organizations and will donate to breast cancer awareness causes during October. To help make meditation and breathwork accessible for everyone, Breathe’s teachers-in-training offer Community Classes for $5 and donation-based virtual classes.
Breathe Meditation and Wellness is located at 4131 Lomo Alto Dr., in Dallas. For more information, call 972-850-9894 or visit BreatheMeditationandWellness.com.