While in Cyprus I had the opportunity to work with a breathworker for the first time. To summarize, breathworkers help people connect within (the soul, cousciousness, whatever you want to call it) and work through their issues. It’s all natural, no plants or drugs are used, and it’s truly something to experience.
There are many reasons people might use breathwork. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, it’s an alternative to pharmaceuticals if breathwork helps you be where you want to be. If you have no issues to work through, you can still gain so much insight from breathwork, especially if you’re already looking within for answers.
At the start of the session I was explained how it would work. Everyone responds differently and a comprehensive tree of potential outcomes was laid out. During the session I took one of the branches of that tree and thanks to the prior explanation I felt perfectly comfortable where I might not have been otherwise.
Although I only had one session, generally people have several and the sessions are tailored to help get you where you want to go.
After the briefing I went with my breathworker upstairs and laid down on a mattress situated on the balcony. I was told get get comfortable, close my eyes, and breath normally. Then I was told to take deep breaths and to not take the natural pause between breaths like we normally do. You’d think this would cause hyperventilation or something, but nothing of the sort happens.
Once I had a good rhythm going she told me to go beyond, to not just fill my belly and lungs with air, but my chest as well. I didn’t think I could possibly breathe in any more, but on my first attempt my chest rose. I kept that pace going. The inhalations and exhalations were natural. I wasn’t breathing faster or slower than I wanted. It was just deeper and more continuous than I normally would breathe.
You lose all track of time during the session, but after a little while I started to feel it. What is it… it’s a feeling I first read about in The Power of Now and then experienced when I tried ayahuasca in Ecuador. I felt a deep, warm sensation throughout my body. It seemed to start in my fingers and toes and work its way toward my midsection. But my midsection never felt this warmth so I don’t know what was blocking it. But it’s an incredible feeling if you’ve never experienced it.
She told me that sometimes your arms come up and get locked, kind of like how you might imagine the arms of a tyrannosaurus rex being on a human. They were locked in place with force and I couldn’t move them.
After I got in a nice rhythm I naturally switched from breathing through my nose to breathing through my mouth. Apparently it’s normal. And I think my breaths weren’t as deep anymore, not making my chest rise like before.
For the next 45 minutes or so my arms remained locked, crookedly on top of my chest. At times I felt like I wanted to cry, though I didn’t feel sad. At times I felt introspective. But mostly I just tried to keep my mind clear.
My breathworker helped me throughout the process, at times giving me positive encouragement and also asking me questions about how I was feeling and what I was experiencing.
The thought I kept coming back to, maybe because it’s a question I always have in the back of my mind but I was thinking about it a lot in the days leading up tot he session, was how I can use my life to “help people.” It’s a question I have an answer to, as I know how I’d like to live out the so-called stable part of my life. But I guess such a weighty question (a Happy Nomad’s version of “What do you want to be when you grow up?”) requires contemplation and it came out in the session.
All in all I would definitely recommend this to anyone. There are no side-effects and I do think it’s a way to get in touch with a side of yourself that is normally dormant. If you’re interested, just google breathwork and there are plenty of resources to find someone near you who practices.