Breathwork generally is the process of consciously varying our breathing to modify our state of mind. Most modern Western breathwork forms can be traced back to traditional Vedic practices brought over from India by Leonard Orr and others, although there are similar processes in other cultures worldwide, with more being discovered all the time.
Shamanic Breathwork is designed very specifically to invite inner shamanic journeys and healing. The process involves fast, deep breath with loud, rhythmic music and a group or individual facilitator, to bring you into a state where you can transform what needs to be transformed, or learn what your soul is ready to teach you. At the end of the process, we spend time on integration, using shapes and colors instead of words to help bring the journey material back to our ordinary consciousness.
This process is powerful. You will know you’ve been through something extraordinary. The journey can take several forms:
- Dream-like journeys, where we immerse in dream environments and encounter characters and situations that show us something powerful about ourselves.
- Somatic journeys, where there’s less story and content but powerful energy and sensation moving through the body.
- Emotional release, where emotions we’ve been sitting on finally come through in full expression in our bodies. Tears, anger, laughter and joy can all come through – often moving quickly from one to another.
- Rebirthing – Sometimes breathers will re-experience their birth process, and the facilitator will assist by giving them something to push against and move through in order to reclaim their place in the world. This can be important for changing life patterns that are rooted in birth trauma.
- “The void” – occasionally a breather will go deep into a healing state that leaves no trace in the conscious mind – the hour of breathwork goes by in what seems like 5 minutes. These are disconcerting but powerful – the integration process often reveals powerful subtle shifts that have occurred.
All of these processes have a common intent: to take us out of our ordinary, everyday consciousness for a while and give the opportunity for subtle and powerful transformation to occur. It’s an excellent process for those who feel blocked in some aspect of their lives, or for those who are sitting with uncertainty about their life direction.
Apollo Grace is a Certified Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator with the Venus Rising Association for Transformation. He facilitates individual sessions, and co-facilitates group breathworks with his wife, Amrita Grace.