What is Breathwork? (Continued)
We are born to breathe full and free, to fill our lungs with life and life-giving oxygen, to expel the holdings of stress and carbon dioxide. As children, we more naturally breathe from the diaphragm, gently expanding our abdomen, bringing our breath to our lives in the most natural and essential way.
As we age and face challenges in life, we unconsciously learn to breathe shallowly by tightening our bodies and holding our breath to avoid feeling painful or unsafe feelings. These responses to life become habitual over time.
I love working with the breath because it touches the place within us that is beyond our beliefs and who we “think” we are. We can drop into our bodies and into the space within, of intuition and creativity. Inner peace, spaciousness and deep stillness are available which for many is considered a spiritual experience.
There are many different breathwork techniques originating from ancient practices from the East such as pranayama used in yoga from India and qigong from China. Western breathwork practices generally began in the 1970’s and include the most common method called conscious connected breathing. Breathwork is commonly used for stress and nervous system balance, sleep, meditation and psychotherapeutic benefits and general health.
Who is Breathwork For?
Breathwork is for anyone who wants to know about the power of conscious breathing to explore and heal themselves (emotions, thoughts, embodiment) from the inside out. In this perspective, healing means remembering we are already whole and have the natural inclination to move in that direction. No matter what your age or your physical condition, there is more breathing space to relax into. I have seen many people who have had breathing limitations from severe physical conditions and extreme anxiety to everyday stresses, and there has always been access to a freer and easier breath. The body can and does remember this natural gift. It’s never too late to access our body’s inner intelligence of the breath and feel our natural state of peace and well-being.
“Joy becomes the experience we receive through a breathing life.”–-Illse Middendorf