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My First Experience of Breathwork

It was a darkened room at the back of her bookstore where we met. Her English wasn’t that great and my Spanish was even worse, so the communication barrier was real. But regardless, it felt like the kind of encounter where you weren’t supposed to talk or ask any questions anyways.

She began by taking inventory of my life and scratching down my answers on her notepad. At one point she asked why I was there. I wasn’t really sure.

I didn’t have a specific reason and I can’t remember the exact details of my grievances at the time, since this was over 10 years ago, but overall it was something along the lines of living in a mild state of depression, feeling lost and not knowing what to do with my life. A bit like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, I felt like I had a gray cloud within me, keeping me down in the dumps for a lot of my life.

After the questions, I went to lay down on the floor. She sat by my side and started to guide me into a relaxed state. My eyes were closed. My breath was natural and my body calm. My mind though was a little on edge not knowing what was about to happen.

I was at a rebirthing session and had no idea of what to expect for the hour. My sister had been to a few sessions and it was recommended I go, but she didn’t tell me much about what would happen.

Prior to the session, I only learned that the practice was based on the idea that traumas at the time of your birth influenced the experiences of your life. So if you go back to the time of your birth and re-experience it without the trauma, then you would heal the initial issues that plagued your existence and you’d be free to live your life in complete joy and happiness … something like that.

So in my mind, I had the idea that I would be guided into the womb, and in some mind altered state I would reenact the scene of my birth. Me devolving into a crying baby, screaming and throwing a tantrum as I was being born again. Um ok???

Fine, I’ll try it. So she guided me to begin breathing. As of now, I don’t remember the exact breath pattern that we used. But I do remember it felt difficult and strange, even though I was just lying there breathing. It went on for quite some time.

Eventually I felt a pulsating sensation within my body as I breathed. I buzzed inside, but was still confused. My mind didn’t know what I should be doing and it didn’t feel right to ask.

At one point she guided me to feel into a memory of another time, the time of my birth. So I imagined myself as a baby, in a womb, floating around. I felt into it. But I was confused (both in the session and in the womb). I didn’t know why I was there, I didn’t know what was happening, how I got there, what I was doing or what I was supposed to be doing and it started to make me mad.

I was confused by the lack of instructions, what is this practice? Am I supposed to see something, to remember something? Nothing came. Am I just supposed to start this spontaneous rebirth and pretend I’m moving down, out through my mother’s legs? Like in a physical way? Or maybe I am supposed to just scream and cry? But I had no inspiration to break the dark silence. This is the weirdest thing. I didn’t get it. The whole time my mind was active, just trying to understand.

Looking back now, it made perfect sense, that for that session, all I could experience was confusion. It was simply a reflection of that time in my life–the 20-something year old crisis, where you are not a child anymore, you are not in school, you might have a job, but no one is telling you what to do. You are free to do what you want, only you never learned how to be a person and exist in your own body, ruled by your own heart.

Later it became clear to me that during that session I had revisited the first time I felt confused about what this whole life thing is. It was unknown, scary and I felt a powerful fear. It was in that moment that fear became deeply embedded within me. After that I did everything I could to not feel the stuck fear, or any fear that I encountered. My response to fear was to shut down, and sadly, this program of shutting down became the recurring theme of my life.

Constantly I struggled with a deep emptiness within me, a feeling of being lost, a feeling of passionless-ness, a feeling of no purpose or point to this life and questioning the reason for existence in this world. What are we doing here anyways? Why submit ourselves to the fears, the pains, the challenges? Why should we even try?

Since then, after 10 + years of living, and after countless healing sessions of all kinds, I now know how important it is to learn that it is ok to exist in your body and to feel emotions–good and bad. It is ok for you to take up attention and space, to express your feelings, to have thoughts and desires. You are not nothing, and the world is a more beautiful, fuller, and a better place when you show up to really live in it.

However, I realize that just reading, and even writing, these words won’t make a difference. That is because a logical understanding will not actually shift the patterned programs that cause your suffering. That is because these programs and beliefs are much deeper than your mind, they exist within the emotional landscape and within the physical body. The change in belief must therefore occur at an energetic level, deep within the body. Amazingly, this is what Breathwork Healing does. It allows you to transcend your suffering by the power of your own breath.

For example, in my case, I finally felt my programming of shut-downness shift, once I began regularly practicing Breathwork in the style as taught by David Elliot. I believe this is because during the practice, I can safely feel all the painful emotions causing me anxiety and frustration. I feel these energies surface from deep within me and I can face them from a higher level of perspective. As I feel them, I watch them, I process them. And as they are experienced eventually the energy shifts and leaves me experiencing the other side–deep compassion, understanding, peace, and unconditional love.

Through daily sessions, I have been able to cleanse myself of pain and suffering. And by no longer resisting the spectrum of energy and experiences in my life, I feel I have been able to expand my range of feeling, and in doing so, I am now able to experience even more profound moments of peace, joy and love.

Learn more about how a Breathwork Healing session works and learn 5 things that are nice to know before you experience breathwork healing.

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