What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is a healing modality that uses breath awareness to bring our focus to the sensations and feelings in the body. Enhancing our recognition of embodied experiences of emotions and healthy ways to express them.
Breathwork is different to other healing modalities as it is based on welcoming in feelings that we have traditionally been taught to avoid. In Breathwork the feelings that lie under the symptoms of life’s issues are felt and integrated therefore having lasting benefits.
We all experience emotions everyday. Unfortunately, the way we experience emotions in our bodies is rarely recognized within western culture and therefore we are seldom taught about our emotions, how they feel and manifest in our bodies or healthy ways to express them.
Breathwork recognises the mind-body connection and the dance between thoughts and feelings. Through Breathwork we acknowledge and aim to ease the chatter of the mind by bringing our focus to the body.
When we are born, we are totally free of any concept of ways that we ‘should’ behave and we express ourselves openly. As we grow we are taught cultural norms that tend to ridicule our feelings as we learn ways to fit in, usually expressing our emotions less and less. If we are sad we are told to ‘cheer up’, if we are angry we’re told to not take things so personally. Our emotions don’t just go away, we generally suppress them, which can cause blockages, a state of shut down and disconnection. =
How does it work?
In a Breathwork session we use the breath to release energy and suppressed emotions from our bodies.
There is always a dance that happens between our thoughts and our feelings. Because many of us are not taught about our emotions and how to feel and process our feelings in healthy ways, we spend a lot of time in our thoughts or our heads and confuse these thoughts with our feelings. Our common reaction to events that happen in our lives, is to think about these events in such a way that we make up stories about what happened. Unfortunately these are often quite negative stories about ourselves. We tell ourselves this story so often that we start to believe them as fact and we react to the world from this place.
Through Breathwork and with practice we learn to separate thoughts from feelings and become more able to recognize the stories we have made up. We can change the story or script to one that is more empowering and compassionate.
Our focus in a Breathwork session is to understand the dance and connection between head, heart and body and to bring our attention to the sensations and feelings in our body rather than our thoughts and the stories.
What are the Benefits?
Embracing all emotions:
Sadly, our culture labels emotions such as anger, sadness and fear as negative. Logically this leads to a lack of understanding, support for or education about expressing these emotions in healthy ways. We almost live in fear of feeling them! Through Breathwork we understand that all emotions are neutral. There are no good or bad emotions; they are energy in our bodies. We are more able to express ourselves from a place of imperfection, empathy and compassion.
Healing past traumas:
The benefits of Breathwork are enormous. We gain a greater understanding of how events that happen in our lives now can trigger emotions related to similar events that happened to us a long time ago. The emotions around these previous events have been stored in our bodies as energy. Often, we create patterns in our behavior based on these past emotional experiences. Breathwork provides opportunities to fully feel and release these emotions therefore helping us to be less reactive. With practice, we are more able to identify feelings in our bodies, the patterns we have developed in reaction to them and new, more empowering ways of expressing these emotions without the drama.
Enhancing health through understanding emotions
Breathwork also helps us to understand some the ways many of us distract ourselves from uncomfortable feelings in our bodies. Through learning to understand the sensation in our bodies, we are more able to identify what we are feeling and more comfortable with allowing these feelings to be there, feel them and express them. We are less likely to need to suppress emotions or distract ourselves from them with behaviours such as; eating too much or too little food, ‘self medicating’ by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, taking drugs, smoking, sexual promiscuity or watching too much television or other screens, whatever our methods of self distraction are from the feelings we didn’t understand and therefore experience as uncomfortable.
Developing empathy and dropping judgment
Through this enhanced understanding of our emotions we become more compassionate with others and ourselves. We can develop more empathy and cultivate more gratitude; able to be there and support ourselves and others.
Booking Breathwork Sessions
Huge benefits and release can be achieved in one and/or intermittent Breathwork sessions.
A common analogy used to describe the Breathwork experience is ‘peeling an onion’ as there are many layers of emotions. For this reason a series of Breathwork sessions is recommended.