I am writing this article, because I have noticed there are more and more breathing techniques out there, and I am curious about what is happening with the Breathwork movement and where Breathwork is going from here.
I started my Breathwork journey 1984, with Rebirthing when Leonard Orr discovered Conscious Connected Breathing. At that time, all we did was Conscious Connected Breathing and that was powerful enough to make this, my and millions of others, our Life-journey.
Then, the BREATHWORK PREMISE was that Natural Breathing is already an integral part of us, and not something we need to add or create. It is even so powerful that it can create life. Since, we can’t create life, we can assume that Natural Breathing knows something we don’t.
We also learned that, if our Natural Breathing got hampered, by mis-learned breathing and traumas, we can restore it by undoing the cause of the impaired breathing, by simulating or jump-start our Natural Breathing. When the issue got resolved, no more breathwork was needed on that issue, so we could settle back into our easy life-giving Natural Breathing.
Now, when I search for BREATHWORK, I find many breathwork techniques that are different from each other, in intention, application and effect.
Generally, “Breathwork” will give you some experience and make you feel invigorated and inspired, so it seems to be a useful process.
These are some of the Breathwork Techniques I have found:
There is chest breathing, belly breathing, nose breathing, mouth breathing, conscious connected breathing, natural breathing, intentionally changing and controlling the breathing, hot-water breathing, cold-water breathing.
Some Breathworkers include components that are in addition to breathing, such as, counting your breaths, slow breathing, holding the breath breathing, yoga breathing, guided breathing, group breathing, breathing with drugs, movement, dancing, music, sound waves, mantra breathing, breathing with visualization, and breathing with a certain goal in mind…
Some use breathwork to be able to do extraordinary physical feats.
Some use it to access altered states.
Some use it for emotional release.
Some use it to calm down.
Some use it to improve the breathing mechanism.
Some use it for detoxification and cleansing.
Some use it to escape symptoms.
Some use it to prevent or heal disease.
Some use it to create or improve a specific aspect of their external world.
Some use it as a daily practice.
Some use it to connect with a “higher power”.
Some use it for meditation for spiritual awakening.
Some Breathworkers trust that our Natural Breathing already creates and maintains well-being, so they encourage a breathing that is free of “idea” interventions and physical distraction.
Does that mean that breathwork has many applications that we were unaware of, or is breathwork evolving, or are we missing the point and over-ride its true benefits and gifts?
Supposedly, breathing is breathing, and Life-force rides on the breath. So, every breathing technique should be good. Right?
Yes, but it seems that some ”breathwork” is “breathwork-and-something”, intending to maximize a certain effect. So, what are you looking for?
Maybe you are searching for a way to let go of suffering; Maybe you have health issues; Maybe you want to create health; Maybe you have survival fears; Maybe you are without work or can’t continue your business as usual; Maybe you feel lost; Maybe you don’t want to be alone; Maybe you don’t want to be controlled; Maybe you are in the rat-race and competition; Maybe you want power and status; Maybe you are just looking for something to do; Maybe you want to release sub-conscious material; Maybe you want to feel that you do spiritual work; Maybe you want to meet your Real Self; Maybe you want to restore your Source within; Maybe you feel inspired to help; Maybe you want to be more creative or productive.
Once you know what you want, you research which of the various breathwork understandings, applications, and technique will suit you.
Natural Breathing is a breathing technique that happens naturally when there is “no mind” or ideas and concepts directing your breathing – and thus is not really a technique – but a surrender to breath’s innate ability to breathe you and give you life, health, wealth, happiness, and fulfillment.
How do you know what true Natural Breathing is?
Watching how you actually breathe, when you “stop holding your breath” and “get out of the way”, might give you a clue. This happens when you sigh, yawn, have an emotion, run, fall asleep, laugh, are excited, feel love, etc.
In the above situations you can find certain similarities or common thread of how Natural Breathing happens. So, it stands to reason, that changes in the way you breathe, when you are “caught off guard”, indicates what our breathing really wants to do, when it is not controlled, but set free.
Having identified those characteristics, you can purposely jump-start this Natural Breathing and reap all the benefits of naturally being fueled and supported by Life-force.
Excerpt from the Natural Breathing Own Your Self Manual.