Repressed Emotions & Modern Breathwork
"The only way out, is through" Michael Brown
In today's modern world it is so common for us to be focused on the active part of 'doing' and less on 'being'. We constantly have all sorts of 'escapes' or distractions that are pulling us away from 'being': emails, calls/ texts, advertisements to "buy this" so that you can finally be everything you've dreamed of, or have everything you have dreamed about. Well, guess what? You don't need any of it! Sure it might be nice to take a vacation somewhere exotic, or buy yourself something fancy for yourself. It is important to ask yourself if all these things are ADDING to the quality of our experience or if you are depending on them to escape an unpleasant feeling. If it's the 'extra' to your joy, then great; sounds like you have found your balance. If you are trying to escape something, then it might be worth looking at a little further. Experiences will continue to show up in our lives until we pay attention to them, understand them, and accept them. Once we do that, we are able to release it and let it go- in theory. No one person is perfect with this as we are all constantly evolving, we are all very complex onions with lots and lots of layers to unveil, understand, and integrate into our being.
The only thing we constantly need in this world is breath/ oxygen. Think about it. You could go without food and water for a bit, but not without oxygen. It is our life force; the first thing we take in when we arrive in this world, and the last thing we let go as we leave. It is the one thing we are not taught to pay attention to! Yet, it is one of the most powerful tools that we hold within that we can use as a way to manifest and materialize what we want.
The way that we breathe is a good indicator on how we live- the areas we thrive in and the ones we are having difficulty with. Think of a time that was very enjoyable for you- how was your breath pattern? Now think of a time that was very painful or sad for you- how were you breathing then? Often times, when we experience something sad or scary, our breathing pattern changes and becomes shallow or restricted. Part of that is due to being conditioned in childhood by our parents and teachers to discriminate between “good” feelings/ emotions or experiences, and “bad” ones. At the chemical and physiological level, our body secretes hormones that changes the way our brain functions which triggers emotions and physical sensations- pleasant and unpleasant ones. In more complex cases like with trauma, the hormones will cause the more complex parts of our brain to shut down to allow energy for the more primitive functions so that we are able to escape the perceived danger. When we hold off integrating these unpleasant experiences they can become roadblocks in our attempts to living a joyful life, and can therefore, manifest in the way that you breathe. We often get so caught up in the physical feeling we are experiencing, that we forget to fully breathe in to integrate our experience and allow it to be released.
Understanding our breath pattern is our key to success. Breathing deep into the belly usually means the person is fully grounded and feeling safe in their body. Breathing deep into the chest usually means the person is open to express and feel their feelings. Ideally, we want to be able to breathe deeply into both of these areas without any pauses. A pause before the inhale could mean that the person has difficulties receiving all that is good, while a pause before the exhale could mean the person has difficulties letting go. Sometimes people will breathe in the upper part of their belly- not their chest and not deep into their pelvis; this usually means that they are just surviving a getting the bare minimum done but they are not grounded (breathing in pelvis) and their hearts are closed. You can try this out sitting with your eyes closed and placing one hand on your belly and the other on your chest; notice which hand moves more and less.
Breath always knows exactly what the body needs, and it will take you there; all you have to do is breathe through it, be present with it, and allow it to be released. Through the use of an open and connected breath we allow the body to take us where it needs to go to heal- weather this is through laughter or tears. To practice this breath, it is ideal to lie down and breathe in and out through the mouth as this allows the most amount of oxygen to flow into your pelvis- focusing on your lower chakras. Nostril breathing can be used for more advanced practitioners of this breath as it focuses more on opening up the higher chakras- as used in meditation (open mouth breathing for a few months to a year). The practice will go as follows: deep inhale through the mouth and into the pelvis, then chest and shoulders (in that order preferably); a somewhat quick and relaxed exhale (don’t force the air out, let it naturally come out freely)- no pauses. For your first experience, it is ideal to breathe in this fashion for about 45 minutes so you can slowly expose yourself. Practice breathing daily for 15 minutes, and then once a week for 60 minutes for optimal results. Feel free to play Isochronic tones, Binaural beats, or any energizing music to help you stay motivated and relaxed during the breath session.
When we are able to use the power of our breath in conjunction with presence (being present or aware), a whole world of beauty, validation, understanding, and manifestation opens up for us.