Breathwork is becoming acknowledged nowadays for its ability to provide profound healing and transformation in people where other therapies have fallen short.
I am thankful to see that Breathwork is becoming widely recognized and appreciated for its value.
I have a long way to go still, and am humbled to commit myself to be a lifelong practitioner of this ancient art... but there are some valuable pieces of information that I’ve learned so far which I feel are important to keep in mind as we practice.
If you are a Breathwork practitioner, I believe this information would be helpful for you, as it proven to be supremely helpful to me.
First. Deep, yogic breathing isn’t simply improving oxygen levels in the body, as would appear to be the surface level affect. Conscious regulated breathing practice, over time, tones the entire nerve structure and internal system of electric conductivity in the body. This has far reaching benefits in the body and the mind and is the real purpose of pranayama: to regulate the flow of natural intelligence in and throughout the organism. The power and profundity of these practices cannot and should not be underestimated.
Second. Daily practice. Breathwork is not something meant to be done once a week or a few times a month for intense 60+ minute sessions. By design, it should be built into one’s daily regimen, seen as an integral part of health. In order for it to be maximally effective (and produce long term desirable effects) it must be done systematically and consistently. This means the technique is approached scientifically and refined over time. We can ensure a gradual opening to the nervous system that can then be grounded into our daily life. Breath Hygiene. Just as important as brushing one’s teeth. Make it nonnegotiable.
Third. Approaching our Breathwork practices with an understanding of the ultimate goal can help the practitioner to become more regular, effective, and true with their results. We aren’t using the Breath as a tool to help us get somewhere and then we stop. While it certainly can help generate loads of shakti and life-force energy to help us DO tasks, this is not its final destination. It is designed to be used progressively through one’s life to help them become more and more a PART of life and WITH life... as opposed to merely strengthening the ego mechanism. This is an important point to note and must be considered. Developing power in one's system for power's sake without directing it towards a higher good can result in corruption. Remembering that Breathwork comes from the yogic traditions which are designed to help liberate the human soul from bondage is great to remember. It may not be everyone's dharma to become a full-fledged yogi, however, it is worthwhile to consider Breathwork as a practice meant for liberation FROM one's ego as opposed to a stronger version of it. This is what makes it ultimate a healing device, as the word "heal" comes from the same roots as the words "whole" and "holy". The mechanism that separates us from life is ego, creating an individual (and often selfish!) "I". The opposite of this mechanism (referred to as Kundalini in yogic texts) becomes developed through consistent Breathwork practice. Essentially, we can strengthen our "let go" muscle... ultimately helping us surrender deeper to life. A good thing, I think....
Anyways. This is enough information for now. As they say in the 600 year old text Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, "success in yoga is not achieved by mere reading of books. It is achieved through practice."
If you want to Breathe with me, join for The Prāṇāyāma Sangha which is a weekly Yogic Breathwork that I lead every Wednesday, or for the Breath Ceremony on the next New Moon to commit to a 14 day cycle of Breathing.
You can also grab my e-book "How to Use Breathwork to Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Your Sex Life" off Amazon Kindle here.
With love and prana,