My Adventures in Breath Work – Part 1
Y’all know I’m a proper geek, I love to learn new things, and I love a course. Oh yes! Well, this week, I have embarked on a brand new 10-month, 400-hour breathwork facilitator course.
I know what you’re all thinking, teenagers, new puppy, busy business to run….whaatt, how are you going to cope? Every time I see a chink of light at the end of the tunnel, I block it right out with just one more thing. One of my clients thinks I’m addicted to ‘busy ness’, I think she has a point. But, a rolling stone gathers no moss, so onwards and upwards.
The course requires me to write 5 x blog posts about my journey, so here goes with my first one.
Why Breath Work?
Breathing is central to both Pilates, and it’s one of the Chek Foundation Principles, so I’ve always combined breathwork into my movement work and have seen how powerful it can be. Now I’m fully immersing myself into breathwork as an entity on its own (not that you can separate it from the body), but you know what I mean.
I know, from personal experience, how the Breath connects strongly to back pain, pelvic pain, and so many more issues in the human body. I’ve witnessed its power; it can both calm you and energise you; it’s the conduit to your soul. Why all the mystique and confusion around it, and why don’t people practise breathing more.
I’ve always found it strange that the medical community teach pregnant women how to breathe, in that they recognise that they’re about to go through the most painful experience of their lives and that correct breathing could help as a form of pain relief. Still, they don’t teach people in chronic pain or burns victims etc., how to breathe correctly.
How can it be that it can help one group of people but not another?
“Well, I’m alive, so I must be breathing ok”, is what I often hear, but the same could be said for eating, drinking, moving or sleeping – if it’s low quality, non-optimal or just chemical-laden, you’ll still be alive, but how would you feel? Sluggish, exhausted and not vital. There’s so much more to breathing than the everyday breathe you don’t think about too much.
“Lazy breathing converts the lungs, literally and figuratively speaking, into a cemetery for the deposition of diseased, dying and dead germs.” Joseph Pilates
I can very easily get transported via the Breath to another world that helps me see life in this world differently and makes me feel calmer. I know that some of you reading this will think I’ve lost the plot or that it sounds like some ‘woo woo’ nonsense. Dig deeper, and you’ll find that it’s not nonsense at all; there’s lots of science behind it, and of course, science is still catching up with something that the ancients already knew. Since the dawn of time, Breath has been used to access deep parts of the soul, something we’ve lost in our chaotic modern-day world.
Perhaps this is why I can cope with the ‘busy-ness’ because I don’t feel it, I’m doing something I love, it’s not a chore. I’d be more stressed if I weren’t pursuing my dreams. There’s a famous Zen proverb,
“If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour every day, you should meditate for two hours” – it’s true. I live in a swirling, highly energetic, fast-paced world – but I have an extremely effective ‘off’ button, and for me, I access it via the Breath.
It’s yin and yang; it’s all about balance.
Here are some cool things you probably didn’t know about Breath;
- You breathe out fat.
- Breathing slowly and deeply can reduce your appetite
- You lose water through your Breath
- You can heat your hands and cool your soup with the same Breath
- Your Breath is your first responder to your mood
- Your breath and pelvic floor function are closely connected
Have I convinced you?
What’s a Breath Work Facilitator?
Conscious Breath is a specific Breathwork technique that we use to connect with our deepest self. It can help connect to the forgotten or hidden aspects of our psyche and remove any blocks that we may find.
The Global Breathwork Professional Alliance accredits the school with whom I’m studying.
Being a facilitator will mean running group and 1-1 breathwork sessions in a safe space.
The course leader described it as ‘creating a space, and then getting out of the way.’
Breathing is a powerful force for releasing stored pain, trauma, and other blockages that prevent us from reaching our true potential. I am not talking about some woo-woo crap. It has been proven that specific activation centres in the brain on LSD are the same after 15 mins of breathwork; it’s blooming amazing what some high-quality breathwork can do. And, it’s legal!
“Breathing is the quickest way to access my psyche without the use of drugs” Jill.
I have always been interested in breathing and breathwork, but there was always something in the way (like running a business, family or affordability); the time just wasn’t right.
In March this year, some weird things started to happen. First, I decided to understand what was going on with my skin (I was born with eczema, and it has plagued me throughout my life). I signed up with Leigh (one of my Chek mentors), who completed a microbiome and lifestyle analysis. One of the protocols he suggested to help fix my skin was to begin a breathing or meditation practice – skin is a detox organ and closely connected to the lungs and the liver, so that made sense.
Another of my mentors mentioned that I needed to slow down and breathe more.
Next, I joined a business group and met a lady called ‘Shakti Tracy’ who ran a breathing network and shamanic journey group. So I joined her group and absolutely loved the breathwork, and I could immediately feel the benefits of it. I was calmer, and my mind became so much more focused – like a laser beam. I was able to stick to a rigorous diet (which I’m usually crap at), and my concentration levels went through the roof!
It was weird how these unconnected people started telling me I needed to Breathe, then the teacher appeared. It was like the cogs in heaven were turning, and the teacher appeared. I love it when the universe does that!
Well, this week, we’ve had our first session, and there’s loads of work to get through. Everyone on the course is female, all from different occupations and from all over the world. Isn’t it powerful when a group of women get together and supports each other – sisterhood at its finest? Lots of work lies ahead of us, lots of practice hours required, so watch this space as I may be offering breathwork sessions in my studio very soon.
Deep breathes 😀