Most people come out of a breathwork session at a loss for word on how to describe it. Trying to explain this profound and personal experience is very difficult. This makes sense when you realise that with Breathwork you move beyond the limits of the logical, rational mind into the expanded part of you that is more than words and more than conscious experience.
Our Breath as a Bridge between the Inner and Outer Experience
There are many different theories about how it works but my favourite is very simple. The breath is one of the few functions in our body which is both voluntary and involuntary. We breathe all the time whether we are aware of it or not. At the same time we can bring our attention to our breath and choose how we breathe. Our first breath as a baby was full and rich and free. However we learned early on that we could use our breath to control the tensions and stresses of life. Some of us began to hold our breath as a way of holding onto things in our life. Some of us stopped breathing at the times when life became too difficult to bear and we learned that we could use our breath to stop feeling. Sometimes our breath was the only tool we had to control and manage our life’s experiences. Eventually our breathing choices became a habit and we started to live life from this restricted place.
Our Breath Mirrors our Life
How we breathe is a metaphor for how we live. We are all born with the capacity to breathe a full, flowing, connected breath, just like we were all born with the capacity to live a full, flowing, connected life. Through a conscious, connected breath we reclaim the full free-flowing breath that is our birth-right. In doing so we are choosing to live a full unrestricted life too.
Our Breath Wakens Us Up
When we open up our breath we create a gap between the restricted breathing that has become our normal and the full breath that holds our potential. We naturally enter an altered state of consciousness. This is not something to be frightened of – we go into altered states of consciousness all the time in daily life – day dreaming for example, is an altered state of consciousness. The state we enter with Breathwork is innately and intuitively healing. It softens our resistance to opening to the truth of who we are and what is holding us back. Life-force or Chi floods through our body, waking us up, giving us a feeling of being intensely present to ourselves. The surprising thing we often realise is that we didn’t even know that we were asleep.
Our Breath as a Healing Tool
From this place our body in its wisdom gives us exactly what we need for our healing. We may need to feel some unfinished emotional business in our body. Or we could have a completely blissful experience with pleasant sensations and feelings to remind us of who we truly are. Everybody is different and every session is different too. There is not any one experience that you can expect to have. Without fail however, whatever the experience, people leave with a sense of having release something they no longer need, having re-connected to a part of themselves they had lost, and having a sense of having expanded themselves into the person they know they truly are.