Breathwork – Spirit

I wasn't raised with religion, but I have always wished for something more. I think that's why I loved tripping on mushrooms so much–psychedelics allowed me some experience of the magic I hoped was out there but didn't know how to access. Then, when I was 24, my mother died by suicide. Rather than turn to God, I turned to science. I believe in the law of conservation of energy, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it just changes form. So, if we think of our consciousness as an energy source, then that source becomes something else. Logically, I could understand it, but I didn't know how to embody it. I got sober through a twelve-step program. I was asked to put my faith in a power greater than myself. I had no fucking idea how to do that.

And then I tried breathwork.

Image by Fabian Møller

There are many forms of breathwork, many of them at least loosely based on Leonard Orr's rebirthing practice of the 70s. My first practitioner was trained by David Elliott. That first experience was so powerful for me, I immediately signed up for teacher training. It is through breathwork that I found the source, the connection between all things. This is the term I use instead of God: Source or Spirit. And connecting to it has been more profound than any drug. (And I have done a lot of drugs.)

 

As the practitioner, I am here to demonstrate the technique, help you set your intention, pick a kick-ass soundtrack, and then to hold the space for you to breathe. Clients lie comfortably on the floor, pulling air deep into the diaphragm, filling the lungs, and then exhaling, all through an open mouth. Sessions typically last about an hour, with 30 to 40 minutes of active breathing,10-15 minutes of quiet meditation, and time for closing comments.

If you read this and think, oh hell no, I get it. I felt exactly the same way. The fact is: it is the things our hearts are most desperate for that we resist the most. Stephen Pressfield talks about this in his book The War of Art. Why not try it? Especially if you're struggling?