The Potential of Breath
Conscious breathing is a powerful and simple means of accessing body wisdom, moving through physical and emotional blocks and eventually reaching states of ecstasy and bliss. It can help you to unleash your authenticity, express your truth and access altered states of consciousness. A breathwork session can act as a “mini tune-up” or “spring cleaning,” helping you release pent up stress, anger or grief and letting you move more easily through your day. It can also help you uncover and let go of older trauma, fear, shame, inhibition or un-dealt-with emotions so that you can move towards pleasure and joy.
Through receiving negative messages about our bodies and bodily expressions, we in the Western world unlearn our capacity to feel to our potential and to live fully in our bodies. We are taught to control natural impulses such as crying, shaking, laughing and spontaneous movement. Ecstasy is as suspect as rage. Worried that our bodies might betray us by being messy or out of control, many live in a state of constant vigilance, censoring natural expressions and responses as a way of life. When we deny our body this freedom, it falls out of balance, holding stress in ways that can impact healthy functioning.
In a breathwork session you are invited to feel, to notice and to experience being in the vibrating, shaking, sensate body as a process of "uncivilizing," shaking off and clearing what is no longer needed and thereby becoming more free. "Revolutionary Breathwork" embraces the idea that through full embodiment, we can liberate ourselves from the "shoulds" imposed on us by parents, teachers and external authority and begin to live from our own choice and power. Through breathing we give life to the body's expression and thus become more authentically ourselves.
In the course of our day we may hear someone tell us to “take a deep breath,” but there is little instruction on why or how to do this. To truly breathe deeply, the breath should move through the entire body so that we relax all the way into the pelvic floor. This is a natural style of breathing that can be observed in babies and animals. On the inhalation the perineum and anus relax outward. As the diaphragm pushes the organs towards the floor, the muscles of the pelvic floor stretch and open. Because of shame and taboo surrounding the pelvis, most people are out-of-touch with it, so their deep breath accesses only the chest and the belly. While there is nothing wrong with this, breathing into the pelvis helps us feel ourselves fully and relax in the root of our being. The first and second chakras, associated with the pelvis are accessed through pelvic breathing. Thus pelvic breathing can help release fears around survival and access our innate creative intuitive power. When pelvic movement is added to the breath, the result can be a powerful activation of the entire being from the root to the crown as the pelvic impulse moves up through the body and out through the top of the head.
Erotic Trance: Eros & Breath as a Spiritual Practice
Breathwork combined with conscious bodywork usually begins as a process of emotional and physical release. In more advanced stages it may be combined with sensual touch to bring about highly charged erotic or spiritual states. Through conscious breath it is possible access the ascendant energy of the sky or spirit. Through pleasurable touch we access the descendant grounded energy of the earth. In combining them we become a conduit, like a tree with our roots in the ground and our branches in the sky. In this state of both deep and high it is possible let go of the self and step into a space without words but full of meaning. It is a type of meditation: awake, relaxed and receptive it is possible to gain profound information about ourselves, our bodies and our connection with the universe. It is possible to access the divine.