Breathwork is a powerful approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, various depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions of the world.
The process itself uses very simple techniques to activate the natural healing process within each participant. By combining a specific pattern of accelerated breathing with evocative relaxing music in a safe and comfortable setting, each person is gracefully supported to enter a non-ordinary relaxed state of consciousness. With the inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality and content of the experience is unique to each person’s intentions, needs and their particular life situation. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike.
Breathwork sessions can be conducted in groups as well as individually with individual sessions often having the most powerful outcomes.
Breathwork takes most people far beyond traditional cognitive therapies to provide a deeper, non-verbal path to healing. It assists us to understand the effects our birth has had on our self-esteem, our relationships, family dynamics and other life issues with which we struggle. It leads to Self-Mastery. Its innate capacity to emerge healing of life traumas lies in the powerful emotional and spiritual releases that it addresses. Breathwork is also an awareness process that has the ability to emerge and release our entrenched patterns from the past that no longer support our current direction in life.
Breathwork is a safe and gentle process that encourages everyone to experience, express and release his or her emotions. It uses the breath to facilitate vital change and transformation that lasts.
Breath is life. Breathwork opens the door to experiencing more of life in the present because it resolves the influences, traumas and stored emotions of the past.
The Breathwork Process
The Breathwork process is based on a simple breathing exercise which consists of connecting the inhale and the exhale with no pauses between the two.
After breathing in this conscious connected manner for approximately an hour, the typical new Breathwork client finds his attention moving from the focus on the breathing to experiencing spontaneous memories from their individual past. Generally, these events were the ones that set thoughts, feelings, beliefs and basic attitudes that have resulted in less than optimum life outcomes.
As the client continues the connected breathing protocol during this re-experience of past events, the tensions involved with the past are dissolved. This process occurs simply through the use of this breathing technique. It does not require any dramatization or other kind of therapeutic expression. Having let go of these unsupportive blocks, the client is then free to make conscious choices about current real-life issues that previously had been inaccessible. This connected breathing process produces deep healing that allows limitless choice and an unrestricted view of what is possible.
A Typical Session
The exploration begins with a pre-briefing between the client and the Breathworker/Rebirther to focus on what positives the client wants to establish in place of currently held negatives. Some discussion of affirmations that counteract these negatives takes place. Then the client lies down and breathes in the connected pattern, generally for at least an hour.
The client is coached and guided by the Breathworker/Rebirther who helps the client remember to breathe when negative associations – coming up on their way to being released – cause the person to hold his/her breath. The Breathworker/Rebirther also encourages the client to breathe in a full, relaxed manner. After the cycle of release is over, the client relaxes into a peaceful, blissful state from which he easily emerges as the session closes. Following the session, the Breathworker/Rebirther conducts a de-briefing that assists the client to summarize the experience and discusses the insights and understandings the client may have discovered.
“For Things to Change first You must change!”
Dynamics of Birth
In your life right now, are there patterns that consistently show up whenever you go through change – such as entering or leaving a job, a relationship, your residence, taking a holiday etc.?
One of the most important aspects that Breathworkers/Rebirthers address in a session concerns the circumstances of your birth. They will as such questions as, “What do you know about your birth? Did your parents want a boy or a girl? Were you planned, wanted or not wanted? What was your delivery like -a long labour, a fast birth, forceps used, a caesarean, cord around the neck, twins, was your mother anaesthetised etc.?
The reason for this line of inquiry has partly to do with the way you meet life change and what beliefs you internalised from your first experience of change.. that of leaving the womb and entering the world; and partly to discern what the environment was like for you from conception to delivery.
Your Birth Experiences
In a typical hospital delivery you leave a warm, liquid environment with muted sounds, housed and nourished by your mother where you are intimately connected with her for nine months. All your needs are fully met.
At birth, you arrive into a brightly lit delivery room with a sharp drop in temperature from the cozy womb. The cord that connects you is (usually) hastily cut. You take your first breath sometimes held upside down and are slapped and then separated from your mother. All of this occurs in an atmosphere of emergency in the delivery room.
The Impact of Your Birth on Your Life
The experiences of your birth and its ‘primal trauma’ continue into your adult life and unless brought to consciousness and released, can have a detrimental effect on your life. Are you someone who feels safer being in your home than being out in the world – or vice versa? If, for example, the womb was toxic, or your mother was abused during pregnancy you may be someone who feels safer being out in the world than being at home. If forceps were used in the delivery, you might experience difficulty trusting and accepting support from others or you might notice that support feels like manipulation to you. You could also be the kind of person who typically manifests someone to ‘pull you out’ of a situation and help you at the last minute. If you were a long labour birth, you may tend to ‘labour long’ over accomplishing things or feel unsafe or uncomfortable moving through things quickly.
Breathwork is an essential tool you can use to help you re-pattern your sub-conscious imprinting. It began at your birth but it doesn’t have to continue throughout your life.
Affirmations and Breathwork
An affirmation is a declaration of what an individual wants his current real-life experiences to be. It is a positive statement that expresses what he/she wants that is stated as if it has already been realised and is true.
“I want to stop being unhappy all the time” is a complaint containing a negative thought. “I’d like to be totally happy” is a hope or a wish that is not a reality in present time. But “I am totally happy” is an affirmation of a fulfilled desire in present time.
The Breathwork process supports the release of negative beliefs and unhealthy patterns which opens a space for new and more positive perspectives to take root. Most Breathworkers/Rebirthers encourage their clients to use affirmations as the means to imprint these positive thoughts and behaviours. Saying, listening to or writing an affirmation begins the transformative process that can alter the client’s life direction toward what he/she chooses to create. Working with affirmations serves an additional purpose of bringing to consciousness any lingering core issues and beliefs that may need to be released through the breath process. Affirmations offer a powerful and effective technique that change limited thinking and emerges the capability to live a full, present and abundant life.