Conscious Breathwork is a powerful approach to self-exploration and personal empowerment that relies on our innate inner wisdom and its capacity to move us toward positive transformation and wholeness. Acknowledging, accessing and supporting the inner healing intelligence and impulse in each individual is the essential cornerstone of this approach. Pranayama is a potent part of the yogic path and breathwork has always been an essential aspect of transformational pathways of healing, awareness and spiritual growth.
For thousands of years, the breath has been used to access expanded states of consciousness in many different spiritual traditions including the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tummo and other Tantric forms of pranayama. Ancient cultures have always known the breath as a bridge to both physiological shifts and to accessing our spiritual nature. In many languages the words for breath and spirit are often synonymous.
Heightened Awareness and expanded states of consciousness are normal benefits of working consciously with the breath. When we work with the breath for extended periods of time we can gain access to perspectives, insights and realizations we cannot in ordinary states of consciousness.
Without conscious awareness, the breath in relationship to the nervous system is constantly responding to life. In states of stress, anxiety and fear, the breath will generally become shallow and suspended as if frozen or shift into rapid hyperventilation. The breath generally flows more freely and diaphragmatically in states of safety, comfort and ease, shifting towards the rest and digest state of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Decades of chronic and acute stress, emotional overwhelm and simply navigating the challenges of life; most adults have developed chronic tension patterns in which the movement of breath is restricted, contributing to a baseline of stress and activation in the system. This can lead to anxiety, inhibited cognition and clarity, depression, fatigue, self-doubt, insomnia, reactivity, and a plethora of physical and psychological issues.
When we begin to consciously work with the breath, we can release these tension patterns and alter the resting baseline of our nervous system; our physical, emotional, and mental state of experience. We can develop greater capacity to respond to life instead of react, from a place of greater equanimity, acceptance, clarity, skillfulness, empowerment and impact. In freeing the energy that was previously bound in maintaining non-productive patterns, we can also experience greater physical vitality and resource for living an engaged and fulfilling life.
In an increasingly fragmented and frenetic world, restoring connection to the breath is a critical link to reclaiming our individual health, harmony and our capacity to be in relationship with others in the world.
The process itself uses very simple means: it combines accelerated breathing with evocative music in a special set and setting. With the eyes closed and lying on a mat, each person uses their own breath and the music in the room to enter an expanded state of consciousness. This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual’s psyche, bringing the seeker a unique set of internal experiences. With the inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality and content brought forth is distinctive to each person and for that particular time and place. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike.
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