My Soulful Breathwork Experience

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Our breath is powerful. Most of the time it goes unnoticed. It is our life force. There are so many different ways to harness this life force and move the energy throughout your body.

I first became aware of the power of breath through practicing yoga and going through Yoga Teacher training.

 

Pranayama control of the breath. 

 

I learned about breath of fire, holding nostrils while breathing, sharp inhales, long exhales, holding breath and all of the ways breath can be moved and the immediate benefits you experience through breathing. Yoga can be instantly gratifying for those who take time to practice it through the breath alone. 

Breath is powerful. Which is why I was very intrigued when a former co-worker of mine talked about his recent experience at a Soulful breath workshop that he attended through his yoga teacher training. I was interested and had recently read about Holotropic breath work online. I believe Holotropic breath work and Soulful Breath work are one in the same technique, Holotropic breath work has been copyrighted and only registered practitioners can function under that name. They also use music and hands on action to enhance the experience in Holotropic breath workshops. The breathing technique of a “circle breath” is one in the same. He described the experience and my research showed that a lot of people can have very intense experiences with this. 

I first became aware of the power of breath through practicing yoga and going through Yoga Teacher training. 

 

What is Soulful/ Holotropic breath work? 

Soulful breathing is a guided breathing workshop where you take a short, quick inhale through your mouth like you are surprised and gasping and then the lightest exhale of breath that escapes lightly and naturally. It feels like you are gasping. The breathing part is hard to focus on because it definitely does not flow naturally. The gasping breath is said to emulate the last breath we take in life before we die. I’m not sure what the significance of this is, but once you have gotten the hang of breathing like this and your mind can focus on meditation is when the really trippy stuff can happen.

A writer for Vogue recalls her experience

"As the gongs thundered in and we were told to breathe normally, something strange happened. I’ve had my share of sound baths—and undergrad-era dalliances with the sort of chemical compounds Dr. Grof is interested in—but never before has a rotating purple floral mandala appeared in front of me, nor has a vision of my mother’s face, rendered in the same purple, sprouted at its center.................I'd never felt clearer, more beautiful or rested, more blissfully confident that I’d find a purpose in this world. I didn’t even care that dinner was ready."

 

A man who specializes in these workshops was coming to Denver and I signed up myself, my boyfriend and my brother. As they went over everything they said that if you were near people you are close with, their energy could effect your experience. Well I was smack in the middle of my brother and boyfriend, but I wasn't distracted by their presence. You lay flat on the ground and they talk you through the different scenarios. They warn of the intense emotional experiences that can occur. These emotions that can come up for people are from the breath circling through the body and moving energy. You could have an emotional block or trauma energy that is being held somewhere in your body, somewhere in your energy field. When you practice this breath work it clears these energy points which is why you or someone you are with could be sobbing or screaming during their experience as they release the traumatic energy build up. 

 

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I’ve dabbled in hallucinogens and this breathwork is the sober way to hallucinate. This experience was more psychadelic than some of the mind altering states I’ve been in. My hands and body started to go cold and numb (as they said might happen) it felt like my hands were heavy and paralyzed at my sides. I continued the gasping breath until it became a natural rhythm.

 

There were people around me dealing with traumas, sobbing, screaming. I did not let their experiences effect mine and kept focusing inward, nervous of what might come up for me.

 Looking into my third eye I constantly see colors, shapes and symbols during regular yoga practice and mediation. The best of which have been loved ones lost too soon laughing and smiling upon us through my third eye. This time as  I brought my focus in the colors became more intense and were changing faster and putting on a more vivid display. Then each symbol and color associated with the chakras streamed through my  vision like I was watching a movie. I was amazed because I do know each color that associates with each chakra and I’ve perhaps seen all of the symbols at some time, but I couldn’t draw them or tell which one goes with each chakra, yet here they were perfectly matched, streaming through my consciousness.  

It was very magical and I took this particular experience as a sign that I should pay more attention to the chakras, they should be kept in balance. I felt that it was validating my yogic path and continuation of meditation and breath work practice.  

 

I would like to try this breathing technique again in a more private setting, but would definitely want a professional there to monitor and guide the experience. 

I would absolutely recommend this type of workshop especially if you have had past traumas that you haven’t fully dealt with, this could be a way to clear negative energies that are stuck on you and balance your self for a brighter, happier future.

 You can check if there are any workshops near by searching "holotropic breathwork" or "soulful breathwork" in your area. Or you can look at  Christian De La Huerta 's event schedule to see if he is stopping in your area. 


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