I first came to Breathwork through my own yoga practice, alongside Asana we practice Pranayama. However it didn't occur to me that this was just the tip of the iceberg of what other breathing principles, practices and techniques there are out there in the world.
Breathing in a yoga class is completely different to a transformational breathwork session and I think that there is a lot of confusion around this. Not all breathwork styles will be relaxing and enjoyable. They can be totally exhilarating, but allowing a deep dive into your breath can be confronting and can draw on part of you that you have kept hidden which can be challenging. But I think that that's the beauty, the excitement and the intrigue around ourselves and our breath being a gateway inwards.
When I first found Conscious Connect Breathing, I was asked by the facilitator if I had practice breastwork before and I thought to myself, yeh I practice breathwork all the time, its like what we practice in yoga! Little did I know what I was about to experience.
When I took my first few breaths using this technique, I couldn't believe how intense and powerful this style of breathing was. I had never experienced anything like it, even after practicing yoga for over 10 years and exploring a lot of different breathing techniques I have never felt these kinds of effects from my own breath.
It really got me thinking and lit something within me to know more!
I have found through the last few months, that Conscious Connected Breathing allows me to drop straight back into my body, away from my mind and leaves me feeling weightless (I have even had visualisations of floating in water, dropping down into the ocean without a care in the world!)
What I love about this type of healing modality, rather than traditional talking therapy, is that it's all within me, all on my own terms and I have total control of how far I want to go. Each time I come to my own breath I experience a different experience, but I'm encouraging myself to lean further into the transformational powers of this technique because it's a time that I can connect to my shadows and embrace myself in a place of safety.
What is Breathwork?
Whether practiced in a group setting, a 121, alone at home, breathwork is practicing and exploring your own breath, being conscious of and tuning into your breathing patterns and also delving deeper into the body and mind using the breath as a tool.
Our breath is a tool, which we can utilise for exactly what we need in any given moment. There are so many different styles of breathwork out there!
What is Prānāyama?
Breathing exercises within the yogic tradition are known as Prānāyama. The word Prānāyama is both Prāna - the inhale (energy/ life force) and Apana – the exhale (waste). When breathing, the inhale brings in energy, fresh vitality and life, the retention of breath savours the energy and the release empties the waste.
Practicing Prānāyama can help to develop a steady mind, a settled mind. When practicing our physical yoga practice, Prānāyama is what can help to create the energy and strength in the body. Pranayama can be practiced on it's own without movement, either sat up on a chair, cross legged on a yoga mat, laying down, pretty much anywhere.
What is Conscious Connected Breathwork?
CCB is a powerful, and often healing breathing technique. This style of transformational, rebirthing breathwork is activating for the body and changes our physiological state. Wechange our body when we change our breath and in doing so we can feel a range of different physical, emotional, mental and spiritual sensations. It's a chance to come away from the mind and dive into the body's own intelligence.
I have been practicing Conscious Connected breathing weekly, within both group and also 1-2-1 sessions for just under a year now and it has truly changed my perspective of the breath and breathwork. It has allowed me to access parts of myself that I had never seen or connected to before and given me huge perspective and clarity within my own life.
In this technique, we breathe with a wide open mouth, the connected part is that there are no pauses at the top or the bottom of the breath, a continuous breath.
The inhales breaths are full body breaths, breathing right into the whole of the body rather than just the chest or belly and the inhale is an active pull in but the exhale is a passive, let go.
This style of breathwork can be practiced in person or online, in a group session and also in a 1-2-1 setting. It is usually a minimum of 30 minutes and held by a breathwork facilitator who might bring in a theme for the participants to breathe into and connect to, however there is also the possibility to practice this and just breathe to see what arises and what happens without any set theme. The breathwork is practiced alongside music which can help to shape the session.
Why do we practice CCB?
CCB is a powerful breathing technique which can allow us to connect back to ourselves, our innate wisdom. It can give us the power to unlock the potential for better physical, mental and emotional well-being.
It can allow us to unlock trauma, release or clear trapped and unprocessed emotions. Our mind is very good at coping and moving on from our difficult experiences, yet the body often holds onto things which aren't fully processed or let go of. As we take the time to connect back to breath, this can shift our perspective away from the mind and back to our body, where our inner intelligence is.
What are the Effects that we may experience?
During this breathwork, you may feel tingling throughout the body, dizziness, a rush of energy, change of temperature, you may experience discomfort and some people experience cramping and tetany where the muscles respond by getting tight and locking up - often felt within the hands.
You may experience shifts or changes including tears, laughter, joy, sadness, anger and anything between. These emotional effects could happen instantly, throughout the breathwork or even after, into the rest of the day or week.
Mental effects like having sudden clarity, you may solve a problem that you were looking for the answer of or get some wonderful ideas during or after the breathwork.
Some people experience spiritual encounters, go to alternate states, experience visions or see people, past or present.
All of the above or maybe nothing at all:
As we practice this style of breathwork, we show up differently every time. We are always in a different physical, emotional, mental and spiritual place within ourselves and this can show up within our sessions.
There is always options that the facilitator will take you through if you need to modify your breath, incase any of the effects feel too much in that moment. Alternatively, as things come up, you may feel called to breathe into the sensations to see if things can change, move or shift.
During breathwork, there is also the possibility that you may not experience any effects, however you will have taken the time out of the day for yourself and to connect to your breath and that is enough.
Within any Breathwork the individual has full control and responsibility of their own breath and experience. The facilitator is there to guide and hold the space safely for the participants to take what they need.
Want to know more?
I am planning on hosting some online group breathwork sessions and also 121's. If you would like to know more about how, when and where you can breathe with me, please feel free to get in touch. I will also share this information on my newsletter and on my social pages.