module 1 : the blueprint of love

WEEK THREE

breathwork practice video

Blowing Your Mind with Breathwork

 

Breathwork and the Felt Sense

So, we have practiced being with the body at a Felt Sense level and how to resource and allow feelings to come to full expression so they can leave the body for good….NOW, we are going to SUPERCHARGE that process w/ breathwork. This is a practice for trauma and deep stress release. The first thing we do when we don’t want to feel is CUT OFF our breathing. So this practice helps bring us back to our feelings, emotions, our body so we can connect w/ ourselves and others from an embodied and present space. Breathe is what makes you able to more acutely sense the physical sensations within. 

 

Very importantly, We must NOT BRING ANY MEANING OR STORY to what you feel, simply experience the feeling. Learning to separate story/perspective from emotions/sensations is one of the biggest steps in self-mastery. Breathwork supports us to be grounded in our body...spirituality and physical.  Any kind of emotional intelligence comes from being grounded in the BODY. Even spiritual awareness comes from a grounded sense of the body...it doesn’t come from above or out of the body. WE EXPERIENCE SPIRIT THROUGH THE BODY (not by bypassing emotions to get to a blissed-out state)!

 

Real spiritual work begins when we are aware of and present with your body's emotions, feelings, and sensations...ALL of them...haha...should I say that one more time!  

 

Has your nervous system ever been highjacked and left you wondering why you can’t get your emotions under control? Has your emotional reaction even been bigger than a situation merited?


Your nervous system controls much of how your body reacts to stress. In turn, the way we move through our day, lives and relationships depends on a healthy, open and resilient nervous system. But most of us haven’t been taught how to take care of this vital part of our well being. We suffer physically, emotionally and mentally because of it. Little do we know that the nervous system, like a muscle, needs the training to become strong.


To break that down, in our most natural state when the body experiences stress (activation), we will feel the feelings associated with that activation. Then the body will regulate itself again by coming back to a resting state. When any part of this normal cycle is interrupted, the charge of energy gets ‘stuck’ our bodies. And the charge stuck in our systems will likely be triggered when in the future we encounter events, people, or things that remind us of the earlier experience that was never completed. In this way, our present lives are often colored by our past, often in a negative way, and we can’t be fully present in the present.

Breathwork teaches you how to OPEN the body/mind. Connected breathing trains the nervous system to go into deeper states of surrender. We actually have to TRAIN ourselves to handle the more open states we so wholeheartedly crave. The body has to first recognize that it is safe to let its guard down so the nervous system stops flexing the sympathetic (flight or fight) response muscule. We can then and ONLY THEN enter into a process of healing from past experiences.

How exactly does breathwork work with the nervous system to create health and restore our bodies to a more natural state of ease and vitality?

1. Accessing deep parasympathetic states: Often through breathwork we can access a
state of deep rest and relaxation that is entirely free of the tension and stress we carry in our daily lives. Through repetition, we create a neural pathway back to this state and learn to access rest on a regular basis.

2. Completion of incomplete autonomic responses. Breathwork often induces seemingly bizarre/erratic physical movements, contractions or “shakes” (similar to a stress response in wild animal). These physical reactions are, in a very real way, an embodied memory of unprocessed stress and trauma. Through breathwork, we deactivate the default mode network and allow our autonomic nervous system to release stuck tension.

3. Auto-rhythmia. Rather than being driven by external validation, you come to honor and feel what is needed/wanted in each moment from your body and nervous system. Basically, it's doing what you want, when you want. We learn this by surrendering to the natural flow of our breath and allowing our breath to “breathe us” rather than having to consciously direct this automatic process.

 

4. Set a container of safety so your unconscious mind (reptilian brain) can stop asking “Am I OK??”. Sometimes it's not the obvious things that create safety for us. However, a meditative, ceremonial space where there is a high level of attention and care for the breathers plus attention on the beauty, cleanliness and smell/feel of the space sets our system at ease! We need to feel relaxed and safe in order to drop in. We are always vigilant to our environment and unconsciously scanning for safety. Breathwork should be intentionally set up and feel like a warm, nourishing environment. In fact, Anytime you alter your state of consciousness...make sure you truly register safety in your body before becoming altered. If we alter our state and don’t feel safe then this will have the inverse effect and be retraumatizing.  We are very vulnerable in this state so you want to be imprinting that you are safe to be in this open, exposed state of being. 

 

Choose facilitators and ceremonies that feel right to you...I have several times now, dropped out of medicine ceremonies at the last min because a little voice inside was telling me it’s not right even though it seems fine. Trust your intuition and gut instincts always but especially if you are going into altered states! 

 

So much of our unconscious stress/trauma comes from feeling like we were not witnessed or seen for our true selves in life. In live breathwork ceremonies and in our online circle...We take care to truly hear, see and value each experience and voice. This simple act can drastically rewire the belief of our intrinsic worth as sentient beings on this earth at a core, nervous system level. You are worth being seen...period! 

 

Our most critical thoughts and crippling beliefs come from deeply stressful and traumatic experiences...even if they weren’t big events but rather the way that we were trained to be in relationship to ourselves. If our parents stopped giving us love as children...we didn’t stop loving them, WE STOPPED LOVING OURSELVES. These imprints are still wreaking havoc in our lives. Breathwork helps us shut off or soften the grip of cortical control (The analytical part of our brain that seeks for control over anything that might not be seen as safe)  The mechanism that keeps you distracted with fear-based thoughts so you stay disconnected from the feelings underneath. 

 

The breathwork allows us more access to the right brain. The creative, emotional, sensorial body. It opens the channel for you to feel more and, in turn,  the body can discharge emotions that have been cut off and not been able to complete their life cycle. This is why in breathwork, we give permission to sound, move, emote, shake and discharge w/ NO JUDGEMENT! 

 

So, that’s the therapist in me LOVING the science of breathwork...now let’s get esoteric! This unique form of breathwork allows you to experience a psychedelic state without the use of psychedelics or what we call in Transpersonal Psychology a NOSC Non-Ordinary State of Consciousness! 

 

DMT-N-Dimethyltryptamine a secretion from the pineal gland that is secreted in the REM sleep state, also called the Spirit Molecule. As you are breathing and you go in and out of states of pure consciousness. These techniques will alter the state so much that you will go places, “Inner travel” to non-ordinary states. 

 

The inspiration and ideas that come are to substantially improve the way you are in the world. It lies in the Transpersonal realm...visions in altered states allow our deep creativity to blossom. It makes use of more of our brain than usually accessed. We go beyond the mind, beyond what we believe into realms of Infinite and Cosmic possibilities. 

 

A non-ordinary state of consciousness is essential for understanding reality. They are powerful experiences characterized by very intense sensory perception shifts, powerful emotions, changes in thought processes accompanied by psycho-somatic shifts. They feel spiritual, mystical, like death/rebirth, cosmic oneness, past life, experiences with deities, mythological beings and deep healings.  

 

Western civilization is the only place where we don’t hold non-ordinary states in high esteem. Most all other cultures hold these states as sacred and very respected. You can see how many different ways they are induced... MUSIC- drumming, chanting, singing, kirtan DANCING- whirling dervishes, ecstatic dance FASTING/PAIN-Yogis, Sundancers, Breathaterians Bloodletting- Mayans. BREATHING AND MEDITATION-Yoga and Taoist practices PRAYER.  We use these to connect to other levels of reality, the force of nature, connecting w/ animals AND FOR HEALING! Shamans always use an altered state for healing. 

 

In the words of Yogi Bhajan we are connecting our finite self to the Infinite SELF. When we understand our connection...life has meaning and hence worth living and loving. 

 

NOT TO MENTION what breathwork does to your body physically. It naturally increases your body's ability to heal. You are changing the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen in the body by “over” oxygenating the body. This will shift your PH levels to a more alkaline state...PS..disease can only exist in a body that is too acidic. So, this decreases inflammation in the body significantly. 

 

I was lucky enough to experience being a part of a scientific study on how Breathwork affects the brain and body, in my time in Bali. My brain was scanned before and after 1 session of breathwork and then after 10 days in a row of breathing for 1 hour a day. My auto-immune disorder barely showed up on the last scan...that’s how much my inflammation went down! 

 

I have always used NOSC as a transpersonal therapist and a "psychonaut" but have found breathwork to be the most integratable form of altered states for healing. Medicines like Ayahuasca, DMT, LSD can often give too much information that lies outside of the realm of understanding in how to integrate shifts into daily life. A lot of the information and insights are ungrounded and therefore, unusable especially if the person is not used to using these states. 

 

I have personally experienced much more freedom in my body/mind with breathwork. The way that my nervous system has rewired is unlike any other practice I have found. In the past, my fear of abandonment would often highjack feelings of safety in relationship and lead to their demise. I now watch similar triggers simply come and go in my nervous system. I experience the pain with a level of acceptance, allowing and detachment and realize that my primal protection is no longer needed. My mind AND my body feel safe enough to experience the pain without going into a trigger. I have also done deep healings with my ancestors, embodied ancient wisdom that was given to me in these states, let go of a lifetime of anger so i could feel my sexual power even more….and on and on.  Amazing! It doesn't mean that I don’t get triggered anymore...I just can OBSERVE the trigger and not react to it now. 

 

Stan Grof speaking about NOSC- https://www.stillnessspeaks.com/video/grof-healing-consciousness/

 

Wim Hof interview w/ Joe Rogan

https://soundcloud.com/user-790504085/podcast-joe-rogan

SiSTAR contemplation Qs:

How are my feelings different than the stories I tell about them? 

How do I “react” what does that look like and feel like in my body? What’s my go-to reaction? Ie. get defensive, dismissive, blame, anger/yelling

How do I stay in victim mode? ie. justifying my point of view

Get familiar with how you hijack yourself SO you can bring awareness to it and STOP!