Bioenergetic breathing is a form of meditation. It is a specific breathing exercise that creates a heightened sense of awareness inwards, allowing your focus to be taken away from the neurological system. Because the technique requires your full attention, complete and utter focus, you’re constantly focusing on the breath and are unable to get distracted by words, thoughts, fears or anxieties. The benefits of such pure, unexpected focus, brings about clarity from hard decisions, clarity on your true self, your real dreams, it releases any inner pain and opens your heart allowing you to comfortably be with just exactly who you are. There is no other practice, to my knowledge, no other experience you can have on this earth (without mind-altering drugs) that can seamlessly connect your spiritual and physical beings.
Then, once you’ve cried to cry, shed the pain, the negativity, fears and anxieties away, you’re left with nothing but your vulnerable, open, big loving heart. Here I’ve set out explaining this practice and it’s glorious benefits. I hope by the end of this, you are encouraged to try a class because we all deserve to have this life changing experience.
This breathing technique keeps your focus so acutely, that there is no room for anything else to enter. So if you’re one of those people who has a hard time staying quiet, or can’t get your mind to stop making grocery lists, this is for you. If you’re the type of person who wants to feel a release, this is for you. If you are the type of human who wants to grow as a person, this is for you.
You begin with one sharp breath through your mouth while protruding your stomach. Then take a sharp breath through your mouth from your chest. Finally, one quick sharp release of the breath, again through your mouth. Repeat. I don’t believe speed matters. Some days I start out fast, some days I follow the flow and energy of the class around me.
Our guide started the class by reminding us that we were in a safe place. He said, weird things would likely happen to our bodies, odd sensations, tingling, potentially cramped hands, feet, face. No matter what, we were to remember, and he would remind us that we were safe and to let our bodies do what felt natural to them.
I have had a number of different experiences varying from a permanently cramped face, and lips pursed so tightly it felt like nothing would ever let them release. My fingers have felt like they were asleep but not in the painful way, in an almost orgasmic kind of way. My feet and face tingle too, my body was tense, and my shoulders sometimes hurt for awhile after class from being clenched together. My face is almost always soaking wet. I usually cannot stop crying, nor do I know what I am crying over. I didn’t have time to focus on the why’s and nor does it ever feel like it even matters. The thought of what and why is irrelevant, and now after a few different experiences with breath work, it always feels irrelevant after every class. Tears need to be shed so they are. Your body craves release, no matter what it is releasing, and the tears will come, if not in your first class, one day.
Every teacher adapts a form of breath work that they believe in and crave teaching. After just 5 songs of this (20 minutes of breathing), after endless tears flowing, after receiving a tissue, this instructor brings the class through a self-love exercise. You are instructed to reach out with one hand in front of you. Then, think of a memory that fills you with love. Feel the memory. Live in the memory. Then grab the memory and place it over your heart. Place the memory through the door to your heart and feel your heart physically grow three times its size. It’s beating faster now and you can feel nothing but your heart. Put your other hand over the hand that placed it in your heart and feel the love. Then, think of a memory that fills you with laughter. Feel the memory. Live in the memory. The room might become filled with physical laughter. Grab that memory and place it over your heart, watch it fill your already too big heart with laughter. Next, think of a memory when you were proud of yourself. Feel it, live it and place it in your heart. Think of something you love about yourself. Feel it, see it and place it in your heart. Watch your heart overflow with love and gratitude into the rest of your body. My body became physically warm, the tingling from the breath work was mostly gone by then and my whole body was just filled with warmth. I could feel these memories bleeding throughout my every orifice; love and laughter were flowing through me stronger than anything I’ve ever felt.
You’re emotionally naked. Naked and not at all afraid because you’ve already let it all go. You have already pushed any negativity, self-doubting, stupidity, ugliness or lack of respecting thoughts out of your body. Now you get to sit here vulnerably with nothing but exactly who you truly are, the moments you love most and the memories you hold dearest. You are left with your most authentic emotion, your big loving heart. You are sitting there with pure LOVE. Walking away from this my heart felt like it could explode from love. I’m not sure I’ve ever allowed myself to feel this much love and release of all that bogs you down from being your truest self. This is without a doubt, the best part of breath work. It took awhile to come out of the physical state bioenergetic breathing put me, and yet a part of me never wanted to come out of it.
My favorite thing so far is that I felt the after-effects for the rest of that evening and into the following day. It was almost 24 hours of pure, authentic me existing in the world. This is something I had personally been looking for. A meditation that I could feel the affects of for hours to come following my moment of silence. A meditation that lasted me to the next moment. My practice of 10 minutes of morning meditation was not doing that for me, but bioenergetic breathing is.
I felt exhausted, and relieved at the same time. I felt complete drained of any emotion, thought, or experience and yet overflowing with love, happiness and gratitude. It’s the happiest I think I have ever felt.
Since my first experience in breath work I have been going back to that class, twice a week almost exactly now. I love it. It still feels like the best form of therapy you could ever receive, it’s like a massive immersion into your deepest fears, what causes your tears and anxieties all while being able to just naturally let them out before moving on.
I have learned that one of, if not the single most important element is to remember to go into each experience as though it’s your first time. No expectations. No pre-conceived notions, no personal or external judging of what happens around you. Just genuine child-like wonder for what today’s class will bring. If you leave your expectations at the door, you’ll have a more healing experience because opportunities will come to you that you might not have been open to in the past. You have the chance to experience things you didn’t know was possible, but only if you walk into each session with a drive for change, an interest in growth and an open mind to do whatever it takes to live a peaceful and balanced life.