Learning To Breathe
I have been practicing bringing my awareness onto my breath for over 4 years now. It sounds so counterintuitive to work on breath, after all we do it every moment of every day of our lives. It is the very first thing I saw my daughter do when she entered this world, and I watched my mothers final movement as her last breath left her body. But what I have come to learn is that breath is a doorway to a depth & richness of life I never could have imagined.
My knowledge of the science & mechanisms of breath began with my wife. Her 20 year practice of yoga enabled me to begin to bring my awareness onto the cycle, depth and rate of my own breath. It gave me my first moments of peace I never knew I needed so urgently. Since that point I have read, practiced varying techniques from the Wim Hof Method, Transformational Breath, Holotropic Breathwork, the deep layers of yogic pranayama and to the modern day Brian Mackenzie of Power Speed Endurance.
It impacted me so greatly that I wanted to share the very basics of what I had experienced. I have been guiding people in breath classes, workshops & retreats for the past 2 years. Knowing the power of the experiences that are possible, I hold a huge respect for the experiences that can arise from a group of people breathing consciously.
Most recently I held a 4 week course at SPACE yoga studio in Brighton, U.K. We covered simple techniques from box breathing to 4:7:8. The purpose of these simple patterns is to bring the body into a state of calm. To reduce the stress response when it's not required. With practice each day, all students have now made these part of their everyday. They use them in the heat of the moment, when emotional responses are not of value anymore and instead a response based on a calm & logical perspective.
But the area I am drawn to the most is a breath pattern that's faster and deeper than normal, to music that has an emotional landscape set to a deep, almost tribal beat. In this group setting, my role is to facilitate a safe space & guide the meditation, that supports & allows the innate wisdom of the body to heal. With music and a transpersonally aligned breath work practice, the students enter an inner world of the imagination and somatic experience, leading to deep transformation, physical, emotional and spiritual healing, and encounters with the numinous and divine.
These experiences are available to all of us. With respect of both the physical and mental health required to begin to practice, we can all heal old programs and shift to more positive mindsets. My vision is to keep training my knowledge & skills in facilitation, to eventually provide environments for groups to heal as well as to nurture more of a creative & solution based approach to life.