As we have been discussing since the beginning of this series on breathwork, the breath is not just a physiological function. Sure, it certainly does have a physiological dimension but there is much more to it.
We have talked about how deep and conscious breath nourish body, mind and soul and how, when our breath is insufficient, it allows physical and psychic toxins to accumulate in our being.
Yogic philosophy tells us when we inhale we bring in life energy and with the exhale we release negative sensory, emotional and mental experiences. From the start of our lives, we are exposed to many experiences. We inevitably experience some good and positive stimulus and some difficult or even traumatic stimulus. Our ability to assimilate these experiences or not leads to our healthy personality formation on one hand and accumulation of un-assimilated impressions on the other hand. As we accumulate ‘baggage’ it leaves a mark on and inhibits our natural, healthy breathing. When our breath becomes encumbered with accumulated stuff it inhibits our ability to breathe fully. Our blocked breathing, in turn, is unable to meet our physiological needs. Much of the breath, then, serves to meet the basic physical needs and is not able to meet our emotional, mental and spiritual needs. This downward spiral affects our whole being from basic cardiac coherence (balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems leading to mental stability, congruence and slowing down the aging process among other things) to our higher needs.
Many of us may have experienced a sense of heaviness or confinement in our breath from time to time. This is caused when a life situation triggers deep-seated unresolved thoughts, beliefs and experiences that are not harmonious with our life force and potential. Our breath reflects our attitudes and emotional baggage but also our strengths, qualities and potential and these aspects are mirrored in the quality of our breath. Thus, the liberation of the breath becomes the gateway to liberating our lives!
Our body and our mind are meant to function in harmony bringing balance to our lives. Deep, rhythmic breathing at more than 70% of our capacity will induce direct experience of the blockages between mind and body so that, with the right kind of help and guidance, we can release them.
When facing a stressful or traumatic incident there is an immediate impression recorded in the muscles and or cells of the body. This can sometimes be felt both strongly and immediately but it is mostly too subtle to be perceived from an ordinary state of consciousness. Breathwork unclogs the subconscious memory by removing the source of our limitations and blockages, this subsequently has the power to heal psychosomatic and stress related issues. It brings subconscious material to our awareness and helps us liberate ourselves from its hold.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment in our breathwork series.
To experience healing through breathwork, contact Margot Borden.