Breathwork – a Life or Death Situation

What is Breathwork?

On one level it is a therapeutic method involving the breath. It enables us to clear and resolve stuck emotions so we can achieve what we want in our lives. On another level it is a way of breathing that oxygenates our cells, breathing new life into our bodies and clarity to our mind. On another, we may find ourselves reliving traumatic past events – safely. Or we may find God.

What I would like to discuss in this article is the power of Breathwork as a way of looking at Death. And notice that I’ve given this word a capital ‘D’ – so we are already giving this ‘D’ word an identity. Someone to be reckoned with. Or made friends with?

Why talk about Death?

Breathwork enables us to go through a series of mini deaths in order for us to live. Every inhale is a ‘YES’ to life; every exhale a surrender and let go. How much can you let go? We all perhaps imagine that we would take the fullest breath possible in our attempts to take in life – but this is not possible at all unless we absolutely let go fully. Exhale….. The more we let go, the more life we can take in. Every breath out is a chance to hand ourselves over. Every breath in we step right into life.

The benefits of Breathwork are many. Simply lying down and breathing for one to one and a half hours relaxes our body, gives us healthy cells and skin, releases tension from the body and the mind and allows us to develop a fuller, more loving relationship with ourselves and our bodies. We may find a growing interest in how we nourish ourselves – mentally, physically and spiritually. We may find that we naturally want to take better care of ourselves, saying ‘no’ to what we don’t want and a stronger ‘yes’ to that which helps us thrive in our lives. We may also start to develop acceptance. Acceptance of ourselves and others, acceptance of how things are in our bodies and our emotions, acceptance that healing takes time and cannot be forced and acceptance of what needs to happen for us to get well. It’s this acceptance that lets the body breath again. We all know how to get well. Our bodies and immune system are innately and intricately programmed to bring us back to health if we let them. Accept our bodies, accept our predicament and then perhaps our bodies will start leading us back to life.

Part of living is dying. Our cells are constantly dying and regrowing. Our hair, our toenails, our bones – cells are constantly dying and being replaced. Death must take place in our lives to make way for the new. It’s an inherent part of living. Grass, birds, trees, wombats, mice, tigers, snails, slugs, bacteria – all take their place and then return. Easy enough to grasp in principal perhaps but what happens to the ego when faced with death? Will it surrender gladly? Which part of us is unwilling to die so that we can be well? What belief system are we clinging on to? What is it that doesn’t want to let go?

Death is beautiful. Death is sacred. Death, when we take it’s hand, will perhaps allow us to know ourselves in a more intimate way than ever before. When we surrender and let go, death can perhaps lead us to what is divinely beautiful.

We need to die to live. When we are scared of death, we are scared to live. Part of us would rather stay small, stay behind closed doors, stay out of sight, stay unwell rather than face this fear of death. Perhaps we would rather die than face death! This is the great irony. Facing death itself will allow us to pass though the gateway to life.

Healing our relationship with our breath can take us though many deaths. Those parts of our personality that have become life denying rather than life affirming but which continue to exist within us with nowhere else to go. We can, through our loving intent and desire for truth, gently release them and let them go. This releases a tremendous amount of energy for living. Often it is unresolved grief. This can be from our own life, but can also be inherited. Sometimes we are carrying the grief for another. Sometimes this is family grief. Sometimes we in our own lives are still carrying the unresolved conflicts from previous generations. Breathwork can bring resolution to all these aspects of what we carry. Our breath can help untangle the knots in our psyche that we may have, at some level agreed to take on in order to heal them. Breathwork allows us to complete in our own lives what may have been left unresolved. This is a great relief. It allows whatever we carry from the past to let go. That which is stuck can now be released. Truth, love and true healing can then take place. The more we release from the past, the more energy we have available to live our own lives. This is the true meaning of Rebirth.

During a Breathwork session, you may find yourself facing death. This is the great unknown. But when we turn, let go and surrender, then what we encounter is beautiful. Once we hand ourselves over then we are on a new path, a new adventure and we can embrace it fully. Don’t let a little death get in the way of living a good life.

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