Learning to breathe enables us to relax, experience peace, transcendence, ecstasy, bliss, and fill our body with fresh Life Energy every day. Better breathing helps in the healing of everything; it increases our ability to receive love and give love, which makes our relationships work better. Breathing is the headwaters of our Life Stream. If you stop breathing, you will die; if you master your breathing potential, you will live more fully.
Many experiences arise in the process of this work, but having specific experiences per se, (or any particular experience, such as rebirth or ecstasy) is not the purpose. The goals are wholeness, healing, and wisdom. Experiences during a session are the means to these goals.
Rebirthing Breathwork operates under the principle that we are our own best healers and that each of us has an Inner Healer which can best do its work in nonordinary states of consciousness. When the body and mind enter a nonordinary state through connected breathing, the inner wisdom within each of us uses the opportunity to work toward physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing, and developmental change. In this state, we can transcend the narrow boundaries of the body ego and reclaim our full identity. Breathwork assists this process by creating a safe context for participants to reconnect with self, others, the natural world, and spirit.
Another aspect of the safe context is a fairly open-ended session format. A principle that I follow is to allow the Inner Healer of the client what it needs in terms of time and support to process the deep material that arises as the breath opens up the system. The basic principle of this work is to let the breath do the work. When the breather feels stuck in some way I take a more active role, taking my clues from the breather and encouraging him or her to amplify the existing symptoms. While energy and awareness are held in this area, I encourage the client to express fully his or her reaction, whichever form it takes.
The experience is, for the most part, internal and largely nonverbal, without interventions. I often suggest to breathers at the beginning of the session that they increase the pace of the breath, then allow them to find their own pace and rhythm with the breath.
What is a session like?
Breathwork sessions are usually between one and two hours in length. The session includes a review of the process and intention setting at the beginning and a discussion afterwards which is entirely client driven. The breathing process itself usually takes at least an hour and can last quite longer. The experience during the breathing portion varies from session to session, and from client to client. While there is no such thing as a 'typical or average' breathwork session, usually a person goes through some or all of the following; a build up of energy - tingling, vibrating and surging of life force through the physical and energy bodies. This energy starts to build up and focus itself in the physical/ energy bodies where the body holds the current blockage or issue. The full extent of tension in that part of the body makes itself known. This tension may include cramp like pains as the physical body starts to release the anchoring points of the trapped emotion. The body may also begin trembling and shaking as the physical muscles that have been holding onto the trauma or old hurts start to release. Sometimes mild to intense heat or cold is experienced as the energy sweeps through the body. A condition called tetany is sometimes experienced in the muscles of the hands, feet and occasionally the mouth area, however; know that if it occurs, it is temporary and know also that whatever you resist, in life as well as breathing, will persist. Acknowledge the condition and move beyond it. Once the energy has built itself up, the breather will experience a release of tension and usually emotions.
The real 'gold' of a Rebirthing session is without a doubt the emotional release that can occur. Uncovering and releasing old emotions that block our energy is often the result of these sessions. People can experience a range of emotions momentarily or for the duration of the session. I have seen clients laugh and cry and laugh again all in the space of a minute. The important thing is to simply experience whatever it is that needs to be expressed and breathe through it as it passes. Ultimately, a sense of freedom and peace is most commonly experienced.
After a period of time, the client enters what I call the Journey portion. During this time the client has typically entered a more relaxed or subtle breathing rhythm and experiences a period of what is usually referred to by my clients as 'bliss'. For most people this is their first taste of the true goal of meditation. During this time the mind is free of ego filtering and the client is able to experience aspects of their life through a different perspective, one free of old wounds and judgments. Old relationships undergo a healing and past traumas are cleared.
After the client has re-entered the body there is a quiet time that allows for the gradual reintegration of the soul back into the body which helps to ground the client in both body and mind.
At the end of each session is an opportunity to de-brief. During this time you make the connection between your initial intention and the memory/ beliefs uncovered in the session. It is also a time to share your experience, ask questions, have things explained to you, and so forth.
The most valuable thing you can know during your first session is that your natural divine Energy is washing away pain and tension. The physical sensations you may experience are not caused by the breathing rhythm but rather by the pain and tension you are releasing. After we release our accumulated tension, we only feel gentle energy flows. Whatever sensations or fears you may have in the middle of a session, as you keep breathing, they dissolve or recede as the breathing relaxes you. Many people experience the peace that passes all understanding for the first time in their lives. People often say after their first session, "Im more relaxed than I have ever felt since I was born."