Updated: Sep 24, 2021
This is an article I have written for Business Fit Magazine on Breathwork and Spirituality
Here is the link to the online magazine https://bit.ly/3C9kvRb
Breathwork is on everyone’s lips! Eh! Almost!
It’s definitely on the lips of the upcoming generation of leaders. Those who understand that in order to be performant, creative, resourceful and adaptable, one needs to be connected to her inner resources. They also understand how to connect to the law of nature, of creation and of regeneration and how to activate them within.
The power of the breath:
Breath is at the source of Life. Breath connects us to ourselves, to others and to the world at large.
Breath is the way we connect to the Earth and Breath is the way we connect to the Heavens. It is with Breath that we can be a clear channel allowing heaven and earth to connect through us.
Breath is the most ancient, indigenous and shamanistic way to heal what is out of balance within and without. It is with breath that we find our way back to Life.
Breath is an intrinsic part of our detoxification process. Breathwork clears our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies from interferences which are in the way of health, wellbeing and creativity.
A clinical study, “How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing” published in “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience” highlights the effects of slow breathing on our behavior. They found that slow breathing promotes changes of the autonomic nervous system leading to increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor and alertness; and that it reduces symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.
They also note that “In the millenary eastern tradition, the act of breathing is an essential aspect of most meditative practices, and it is considered a crucial factor for reaching the meditative state of consciousness, or “Samadhi”. The breath is called “Prana,” which means both “breath” and “energy” i.e., the conscious field that permeates the whole universe.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137615/)
Consciousness is our innate spiritual state. Breathwork, the practice of full conscious connected breathing has the effect, amongst many others, to deeply connect us to the ethereal realm of super consciousness and spirituality.
What is Breathwork?
The art and the science of Breathwork made its entry back to our modern civilisations, when Leonard Orr (1937-2019), as a result of a close to reaching a panic attack state while taking a bath, had the experience of a total remission in anxiety when he started breathing consciously. He came out of his quite long bath, totally changed and cleansed! People around him noticed the change and asked him to teach them how to reach the same state of profound wellbeing and expansion.
The Rebirthing Breathwork movement was born in San Francisco in the late 60’s.
Other schools of Breathwork emerged from that movement, some recently, with a more physical focus like Wim Hof’s method, others with a more transcendental/spiritual connection like Stan Grof’s Holotropic breathwork in the 70’s.
In the words of Leonard Orr: "Rebirthing-Breathwork aka intuitive energy breathing, or conscious breathing is the ability to breathe energy as well as air. It is the art of learning to breathe from the breath itself. Rebirthing is perhaps the most valuable self-healing ability that humans can learn.
We can't have disease and relaxation in the same space at the same time. Relaxation is the ultimate healer. Every breath induces relaxation; therefore breath is the basic healer. Conscious energy breathing is the most natural healing ability of all. This ability involves the merging of the inhale with the exhale in a gentle relaxed rhythm in an intuitive way that floods the body with Divine Energy"
Connecting to our spiritual self:
To connect to our spiritual dimension, we need our autonomic nervous system to open the door for us.
Full, conscious, connected breathing does exactly that; your muscles untighten, your brain gets oxygenated, your cells detoxify.
The breathwork session focused on breathing fully and consciously, from your navel to your chest, to your upper chest, without forcing or pushing the breath, is preparing you to reach your spiritual state because the physical, mental and emotional blockages are being transformed.
It’s always good to give yourself time in a session for this process to happen, especially if you are a new student.
Becoming connected to your body is essential, being grounded in your body will allow you to reach for the stars! It might feel heavy, it will definitely feel relaxed giving you “permission” to integrate a system of being that you didn’t know existed.
Your breathing mechanism which was impaired by stressful events frees itself of the tension that was keeping it contracted and limited. This physical/ mental/emotional contraction is at the base of our spiritual disconnection and of our human’s limitations.
As your body relaxes, your sensations, thoughts and emotions will emerge, develop and integrate, leaving you free to connect with the All that is!
Your breath feels like it is “breathing you” and you are in perfect unison with the Universe. In this state of spiritual awareness, you connect with your Higher Self, you inner teacher, the altruistic and creative part of you.
You receive answers, guidance and energy. You discover solutions and see a new way of being with yourself, of interacting with others and the world that you would not have been able to access in a more mundane state.
This spiritual intelligence is today as essential of a component in leadership than was the emotional intelligence of the 80’s.