If you have had a chance to attend a breathwork class, it is probably safe to say that the experience, regardless of what kind, was profound and unlike any other. Who knew that something we subconsciously do throughout the entirety of our physical existence has more depth and power than we ever realized?
First, what is breathwork and how is it different from natural, day-to-day breathing? Breathwork is the conscious and intentional controlling of your breathing patterns for either short or extended lengths of time. It has the potential to influence a person's mental, emotional, and spiritual state and can be incredibly therapeutic. Breathing techniques can be used in a variety of ways. Some examples can be from simply warming or cooling the body, to easing the mind from stress and anxiety, to tapping into your ability to go into the subconscious, to even having a profound spiritual experience, such as, receiving messages from angels or loved ones that have passed on. The possibilities are endless, and each time is different than the one before. One thing I know for sure is that the breath always meets you where you're at and shows you what you need in that particular moment.
Here is just one testimony from one of our team members, Talia, who had never gone through a breathwork session before attending one at Somatic Synergies.
"I came into my first breathwork session without a lot of information about it. I have pretty extensive experience with yoga, and I took my Yoga Teacher Training, which both include simple breathing techniques and usually an explanation of what they do; but I'd never done any kind of breathwork for an extended period of time. I went into it with an open mind, but without a lot of information, and that was my intention - I wanted to have a genuine experience without any preconceived notions of what would happen.
I came into the studio and picked up any props to make myself feel the most comfortable to be laying down for an extended period of time. Nate began with an introduction to let us know what could potentially happen as not to be alarmed by some of the sensations that frequently come up. Even though I didn't do research beforehand, I am thankful that he started class this way so that I wasn't alarmed by what I felt. He did a demonstration of what our breathing pattern should sound and feel like. Then we laid down, got cozy, and started to breathe.
I didn't have a great sense of time, but I'd say about 15 minutes into it, I started to feel tingling in my lips, fingers, and toes. As I continued breathing in this way, my extremities continued to tingle until they started to become stiff and curl inwards, which I learned later on is called 'tetany' and has something to do with oxygenation of the blood. It was startling at first and brought up a lot of fear and anxiety until I decided that this wouldn't harm me, and I let it go. About 45 minutes in, we stopped the active breathing and went back to our natural state. I'm not really sure where I went for the next half hour or so. I wasn't asleep, but it seemed like I was in a deep state of relaxation as I had sent my brain into another frequency. After some time in that state, we were slowly and gently brought back into the room and into our physical bodies.
Over the course of the last year, I've continued to join breathwork classes and I can tell you that every time is different. Nate does a great job of creating the container and allowing the space for whatever needs to come up to come up freely. There are so few times in life that we have full permission to do that, without judgement.
What I've learned is that I have the power within myself to do deep, transformational work to heal what needs to be healed. I've learned that this work is incredibly important, not only for my own personal happiness (which is very important), but that there is deeper value there that extends much further beyond myself. There is a ripple effect and an impact we all have on the world around us, and it begins deep within ourselves, in our breath, and in our souls. We have the power to heal wounds inside of us, and in turn, opportunities to help heal the world. This makes me think of a powerful quote by David W. Orr which says, 'The plain fact is that the planet doesn't need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who will live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.'
How incredible is it to know that such transformation can all start with something as simple as breathing?"