Never have I ever…
My breathwork experience
It was day 6 of a 7-day breathwork course and I’d been breathing a lot over the past 5 days. When I say a lot, I mean breathing consciously, in a way I’d only done a few times before.
My first ever experience of breathwork and breathing this way was when I did my Firewalk Instructor Training. During the training there was purposeful breathing exercise in different patterns, with suggestions of letting go, then suggestion of replacing old thoughts and feelings. I found it very emotional and powerful.
This time though I was following the instruction of breath master, Dan Brulé, one of the worlds leading breathwork coaches and breathwork coach to Tony Robbins. It was fantastic. Each day there was a different experience of how breathwork can help emotionally, mentally and physically. I was enjoying the sessions and the sensations of the energy filling my body, my mind seemed clearer, but a part of me felt I should be getting more from it. After each session we would feedback and share how we felt. My feedback was all about the sensations and how I was able to breathe through the pain in my shoulders that I kept getting. Other people were having visions, epiphanies, breakthroughs, etc… but not me!
On day 6 I even journaled that I was surprised by how few thoughts entered my head and was unsure if it was because “I don’t have stuff to let go”. I was expecting a big realisation, big breakthrough, but wasn’t getting one.
I started to question myself. Was I doing something wrong? Am I not taking it all in? Am I misunderstanding the lessons? This thinking made me feel sad and emotional. I told myself that maybe I was just useless at it and I felt a bit down after the morning session.
Things were about to change
When the afternoon session began Dan had asked for 2 volunteers to demonstrate a method that he, and and a psychologist called Vladimir Baskakov, had created. The method “provides a space of freedom and safety in which to explore one’s inner world and access deeply rooted emotions, allowing the release of unconscious held psychological, emotional and physical blocks and traumas” – this is the Brulé-Baskakov Method!
Myself and one other delegate volunteered for the process. The other guy went first. Dan explained the process and what he was doing. He asked the guy some questions relating to a trauma he’d been through and worked with him. Then I was up…
I lay on the floor and began breathing in a circular breathing pattern as he worked on relaxing my arms, my fingers, all the time my eyes closed. He invited someone else over to work on relaxing the muscles on my other side, I was aware that it was my husband’s hand holding mine. As he’s working on getting the muscles to relax he’s talking to the class as well as to me. He lifted my leg to see if I was fully relaxed, but I wasn’t, I was still holding on to some tension.
He asked me to let go and relax, telling me that my legs have carried me around for so long, but its now time to relax them, they don’t need to be strong right now.
It hit me..
STRONG, that was it, he found my weak spot! Something in my body must have flinched or made him aware that that particular word meant something. Then he began telling me it’s ok I don’t have to be strong right now.
The flood gates opened. I began to have an emotional release. Dan and my husband kept working to help me to relax, to clear any blocks that were there. He asked me to visualise the person I felt I needed to be strong for and tell them something, I can’t recall what he’d asked me to say, but in that moment I could see a face, then another face, and another and another as I spoke with each of them mentally.
In the preceeding 5 ½ years I have lost my mum and 3 brothers. My mum and one of my brothers died within 9 months of each other, so there was no time for grieving as my brother had been ill all that time and I was helping my sister-in-law look after him. 16 months later another brother died, then 15 months later my eldest brother died. It was like I would almost accept what had happened when I would be hit with more grief.
The people I have been strong for were both my daughters, my eldest granddaughter who were all really close to their Nana, and my sister-in-law, as she had just lost her husband. As their faces came into view, the tears came in waves also. I was sobbing uncontrollably, my body began to shake. I was cold and trembling. All this time still breathing in a rhythmic way. As he continued to work with me, I could hear him tell the others that I was also carrying generational trauma from my mum, which also has it’s own story.
A blanket was placed over me and I could hear people around me crying.
What a relief
Dan told me to roll onto my side in the foetal position. I could hear him tell someone to lie behind me and hold me. I felt my husbands hands cuddle me and he began breathing with me. He then had someone lie in front of me and breathe with me. It was such a wonderful feeling. Tears poured down my face, but the time it felt like tears of relief. My breathing began to return to normal. When I opened my eyes my friend was in front of me and my husband behind me. Before fully looking around at everyone my words were “and that’s how you f******g do it!” I felt such a relief, there wasn’t a heaviness on my chest, I felt I could breathe once again
I could see the faces of the other delegates, some who I’d known for years, some who I’d met recently and some who I had only just met. Many of them had clearly been crying with me, they had shared in my healing and my emotional release. I came round feeling battered and bruised, physically as well as mentally, but WOW! What an experience!
The next day I felt so much better, I felt lighter and I had a few realisation come to me that all made sense once I’d realised some of my trauma wasn’t even mine.
Never have I ever experienced anything like it in all the trainings I have done. And never ever will I take breathing for granted and see it as something I just do. Conscious breathing is more than “just breathing”.