There are many items in our culture that are great at holding back dammed up primal feelings and energies. Marriage. Laws against murder. Cultural norms about how to be civilized in public situations. All these are necessary at a level for a functioning society. But when our inhibited culture over-reaches into almost every aspect of our daily thinking patterns, we tend to get many neuroses arising. Dammed up sexual energy or rage are two examples. During Breathwork session, some of these feelings may be touched upon. They are welcomed.
We don't have to be 'nice' all the time. Some people are very shocked that such feelings are even residing inside themselves. Just acknowledging that they are there and speaking it clearly within a group setting can be enough to help relieve any deep internal tensions. As Freud
noted early on in the 20th century, it takes alot of energy to be civilized.
In the world of Breathwork all feelings are welcomed, all energies are welcomed and worked through either through the breath itself or some integration work at the end of a session.
Another, perhaps more accurate, term for Breathwork is Cellular Memory Release. When we engage in the accelerated and focused breathing, what lies beyond the initial "getting into the groove" phase is often unknown. You can choose to have an 'intention' for a guided result in a breathwork session, however, this is not essential. Most of the time I find it more useful to allow people to have no preset agenda. This allows more space for 'left field' to enter the session. As we deepen into the space of surrendering during a session, the body can let go and release bodily pain and emotional pain,clearing the way for more bliss to enter into us.
So what sort of experiences can we expect? The main elements are;
Breathwork is a modality that can offer very quick access into a non-ordinary state of consciousness, which can then be translated into less anxiety or neuroses in everyday life. Next blog I'll be discussing how what occurs during a group breathwork session and what I'm looking for to ensure clients have the most rewarding experience possible.
After pounding the pavements of London town last September, you really get to notice the human condition in all its manifest glory, the hunchbacks, the fashion victims, the money men and money women, the dejected beggars, the local lads with tins of lager at the station on a Saturday night ready for action. I get a sense of English culture being mostly solidified and stuck in past but always around the edges is something extraordinary is going on...a place where humans are willing to let go go of long held 'norms' and jump into the unknown (especially the guy on the tube with really huge stripey platform boots).
How we take in a full breath is a good indicator of how much we can 'take in' new ideas or inspiration. If one' inhale is shallow, sharp or thin, it is likely that my client has gone through something in the past to get that way. So when I conduct a breathwork session, it my role as a breath coach to encourage you to lose your fear of taking in a full breath. What will happen if I breath fully? It might hurt, I might cry, I might laugh etc. Once we get past this restriction limitation of the inhale and teach you to surrender on the exhale you can open into some interesting spaces. Sounds simple? It is. But actually consistently moving into a full regular, rhythmic breath can be quite a challenge, but the rewards are endless.
I am often asked, what is it like to hold a space for a group of 10 or so people journeying into deep realms, not all them very comfortable?
Well the answer is - it's a calling. Like any other vocation, you got to have the passion for it. So if you are considering our Trainings just sit for a moment about why you'd like to a) go deeper in your journey
b) maybe consider offering Breathwork as a professional.
How did I get here? Twists and turns over a twenty year period. Essentially I am drawn to Breathwork to help give meaning in life. If I can't have a chance at transforming people's worldview and their inner world, then whats life about? So really it's about promoting an inner revolution. Having being an ex-socialist revolutionary (at University of course) I realised that at some level half the aggression "at the world" came from my comrade's distressed nervous systems, acting out their rage at some external player. That's not to say we should just all just go off navel gazing and forget global politics. It's about ensuring that we are are clear vessels, so to speak (god, that sounds so New Age) to be our best in the world. That we are acting from our essential nature rather some concept of who we should be (e.g Narcissism) .
So that's a segue into Alexander Lowen's book "Narcissism - Denial of the True Self" which I just it my desk. So I'll review that for you in the coming week or two.
Just spent the last week developing and massaging our 2 year curriculum of Breathwork Practitioner Training. What a mind melt! But a fun mind melt. When you look at the whole depth of modern psycho-analysis and body-oriented psycho-analysis since the Vienna school of the late 1800's, it it absolutely astounding how far the Western mind has come in just over 100 years. This practitioner training is for those who are more into the theoretical side of why Breathwork is such a magnificent healing modality. The experiential component will be massive along side that as well. A truly world beating training not to be missed.