The Art of Breathwork
Breathwork is the gentle art of using the breath to clear and resolve emotional difficulties whilst directing yourself positively towards what you would like to create in life. It is a safe, effective practice that can be learned by anyone, regardless of age, physical condition or belief.
When we breathe through a Breathwork session, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to cleanse our system – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When we breathe in we are literally breathing new life into our bodies by taking in oxygen as well as energy known as ‘prana’ or ‘chi’. When we breathe out, we release what we no longer need, including carbon dioxide and toxins from the body (did you know that around 70% of our bodies waste products are removed through the breath?) When we breath in we can breathe new life into what we want to create in life and by using our mind we can direct our intentions for life towards positive outcomes. When we breath out we release tension, limiting thoughts and emotion held in our bodies. We are literally re-creating ourself with our breath.
How Does Breathwork Work?
The breath is the only function in our body which is both voluntary and involuntary (conscious and unconscious). We all know how to breathe – it just happens whether we think of it or not. We can also choose to breathe in a certain way – for example breathing more deeply – when we bring our attention to it. When we bring our awareness to our breath, we all it conscious breathing. The practice of conscious breathing is used in a variety of ways for spiritual development through a multitude of different traditions around the world. If we then choose to connect the inhale and exhale of our breath – with no pause in between – this is known to Breathworkers as conscious connected breathing. This is the breath we adopt when we practice Breathwork. This way of breathing is highly beneficial and completely natural. Babies do it! Animals do it (just look at cats). But normally we tend not to breathe in this way as we go about our daily lives. Why not?
The answer lies in the way we use our breath to control our experience. As well as a way of taking in life, the breath can also be used as a way of suppressing experiences we may find ‘difficult’. Think of ‘fight or flight’ syndrome. If we take ‘fright’ we may sometimes hold the breath and ‘hold’ the experience of the shock in our bodies. If we go into panic, we may take a lot of short, shallow breaths, again suppressing the experience. Unless we then find a way to then release – or integrate – whatever experience we are reacting to, the emotional reaction to the event will be stored in our bodies. This causes tension, emotional discomfort, the formation of certain beliefs about our experience and ‘dis-ease’ , all of which gets reflected within our breathing pattern. We have literally hundreds of these suppressions and associated belief systems built into our breathing mechanism.
Contrastingly, when we engage in the practice of Breathwork, we adopt a full connected and relaxed breath which gives less room for inhibition of the breath to take place. This allows experiences that have been stored in our bodies to find a way of releasing naturally – we literally breathe right through them. Tensions are released, emotions that were suppressed can be resolved and limiting thoughts or beliefs that are associated with the energy we have stored in our bodies can be released or altered. This brings lightness and ease and allows more energy to be available to what we now choose to create in life.
Every time you complete a Breathwork session you are bringing life to what you want to create in the world. The whole process leads to clarity, insight, understanding and relief as one realises that you now have a tool that you can use for the rest of your life – literally right under your nose!
I have been working with the breath now for over seven years. During that time I have seen time and time again the positive benefits that Breathwork can bring to people’s lives. This is not simply a case of ‘positive thinking’ – Breathwork literally leads to permanent positive changes in the quality of people’s experience of life. It also leads to a greater at-easeness with the process of life. With Breathwork we realise that there is no need to worry about the outcome – when we breathe new life into ourselves in this way, our outer life will automatically reflect the changes that have already taken place inside us. Miraculous!
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