Introduction to Breath Therapy
What is breathwork? It is a highly personal, experiential process that uses breathing techniques to clear out physical, mental and emotional blocks and stresses. It allows one to open up to receiving harmony, abundance, health, wellness and peace. Breathing is the key ingredient in physical, emotional and mental health. It unifies and integrates the body, mind and spirit. It is the meeting ground of the conscious and the unconscious.
Breath Therapy is a powerful tool allowing us to delve into our body’s natural healing resources. In this breath therapy experience, you will engage in a variety of circular and conscious connected breathing techniques that can be described as a relaxed, connected and total way of breathing. Breath Therapy is used for personal growth and development, stress management, spiritual unfoldment and can be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
Introduction to SOMA Breath
The foundational aspect of the Soma Breathwork practice utilizes deep, diaphragmatic rhythmic breathing and breath-holds (kumbhaka) in a manner that brings balance to the two branches of the nervous system, creating an overall shift towards parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system activity- so that you’re training your stress response to turn off in a healthy way. Our modern lifestyles and unconscious breathing patterns can keep our stress response turned on, and many don’t take the time to turn it off in a consistent or meaningful way.
When the two branches of the nervous system are out of sync, it’s like your body is a car and you are hitting the gas and the brakes at the same time vs hitting the gas when it's time to go, and hitting the brakes when it's time to slow down and stop. That can lead to a state of chronic stress which increases our risk of physical disease and mental dis-ease. Using the Soma techniques, you will actively create an overall shift towards parasympathetic activity, and train your body to have a healthy response to stress (sympathetic) then be able to turn that stress response off again afterwards (parasympathetic).
Excess stress drains your physical and mental resources that would be much better used for healing and balancing the systems of your body, and for building the lives we want to impeccably contribute to the world. If you feel balanced physically, mentally, and emotionally, and your stress levels and stress responses are diminished, and your cardiovascular system is efficiently supplying your tissues and organs with oxygen, then logically you will have more physical energy and stamina, and more creative mental focus to actually take the steps to achieve your goals and evolve yourself holistically.
By creating a state known as heart coherence, this practice allows for more emotional balance, and for the cardiovascular system, respiratory system and blood pressure, to be operating with greater efficiency. The results of that is better oxygen utilization, a reduction in unconscious breathing patterns and stress levels, and a diminished stress response. That state then results in greater physical energy and allows for more conscious decision making, rather than subconscious, impulsive, or habitual decisions that are typically made due to excessive stress, poor stress tolerance, and past traumas and experiences.
The techniques used in this class may even activate dormant parts of the brain by improving blood flow to it, by creating an electromagnetic charge in the brain and body that can stimulate your neurons, and by taking your brain through different brainwave frequencies!
The breath hold components create brief periods of safe, beneficial, low oxygen states in the body (intermittent hypoxia). Intermittent hypoxia is a form of resilience building hormetic stress (like exercise, sun exposure, cold exposure, and sauna).
Your life and health begin to change in profoundly positive ways when we begin to cultivate more awareness of our breath and breathing patterns, and having a breathwork practice is an incredibly effective way to do this.