How working with my breath brought me closer to myself.
Since today I’ve got a new topic on my website: Breathwork. Working with your breath. Breathing is a powerful tool that can help us live healthier lives, reduce stress, increase productivity and ultimately transform lives. At the beginning of 2018 I stumbled upon Breathwork by chance – since then I started a Breathwork training because I want to share the powerful exercises behind Breathwork with other people. In my article today I will introduce you to my personal path with breathwork and my breath, and give you an outlook on what you can look forward to in the future on this page.
My first breathwork experience
At the beginning of 2018 I came across Breathwork through a very “lucky coincidence“ (I don’t really believe in coincidences). At that time, I lived in Brighton, England, across the street from a yoga studio that I went to regularly. One weekend I checked out the workshops in this studio for the following day because I wanted to try something new. I had the choice between naked yoga and a breathwork workshop. Both tempting and both outside of my comfort zone.
The description of the Breathwork Workshop included a sentence similar to „Change your state of consciousness without taking drugs, just with the power of your breath.“ I was more than a little curious about what was hidden behind it and signed myself up for it without researching what Breathwork actually means (I think if I had known more, I might not have gone to that first session 😉).
We were a group of 10 women and men. While the workshop leader Ben explained to us what breathwork really is, what could happen during a session and how we could, among other things, have deep spiritual experiences with our breath, reliving experiences from our past and even heal trauma, I was overcome by fear.
I was definitely not ready, in a workshop where I didn’t know anyone and which was not held in my mother tongue, with a breathing technique that seemed absurd, to bring up topics from my past and possibly my long and internally well-hidden and never discussed trauma from my youth (there will be a separate blog article about this here on the website in the near future). I just wasn’t ready.
The good thing about our system (be it our conscious, subconscious, body – whichever part of our being is responsible for it): Things only come up when you are ready for them and you will be able to deal with them. I understand that now. And I know that my system knew that in early 2018 I wasn’t ready to look at all the details of my past. Which is why they didn’t come up during the breathwork session.
What happened instead, however, was just as difficult for me to understand or describe. The actual breathwork, the conscious work with one’s own breath, lasted an hour. 60 minutes in which I did nothing other than lie on my back on my yoga mat and breathe according to the breathing technique (which is called „Conscious Connected Breathing“).
Since the experiences are different for everyone and don’t feel the same every time, I won’t go into too much detail. But also mostly because I don’t really know how to explain these details… During the Breathwork session I lost all sense of time, space and my own identity. I can remember various impulses and sensations that came up, the heat in my body, the cold, tense limbs, Ben’s voice and the background music (sometimes clearer, sometimes completely gone). It was a jumble of colors, feelings and sensations.
After an hour of breathing, I came back to my senses slowly. Soaked through with sweat. Confused about what had just happened. At the same time light-headed and relaxed. When we got together in a sharing circle on our mats, a huge wave from deep inside me came over me with a flood of emotions that had no concrete or comprehensible origin – and I started to cry.
If you now think that it is a bit uncomfortable when you start to sob indefinitely in a circle with 10 strangers for no reason … then you are right. I was uncomfortable! At the same time, these emotions, which now made their way to the surface after the session, were so strong that I could not suppress or hold them back. When I tried, it only got worse and made me sob louder.
Ben had tissues ready for me and the group kept a wonderful space for me and my emotions. After calming down, Ben explained that it wasn’t uncommon for deep-rooted emotions to be released and come out through breathwork. This is one reason (of many) why breathwork can be deeply beneficial and healing. Eventually, I also realized that I wasn’t the only one who had cried during or after the session.
In the end, I felt more calm and balanced than ever before. I hold a strong and reassuring feeling of being seen and safe. A feeling that I hardly feel that strongly and clearly in any other situation outside of Breathwork.
What was left for me after this first session was the knowledge that I had found an incredibly powerful tool that would accompany me on my way in the future and help me to work on and resolve issues and trauma in my life.
Healing through breathwork
Despite the consistently indescribable and positive first experience with Breathwork, it took over a year before I dared to go to a Breathwork workshop for the second time – mostly because I was afraid that above mentioned topics from my past could come up while I wasn’t ready for it.
In 2019 I finally dared to tackle some of these topics with a coach and started to sort my past bit by bit (I don’t want to raise false hopes: the topics are far from sorted and I’m still doing my work 😉).
When I felt „safer“ about my traumatic experience from my youth after I had already worked on this with my coach, I finally dared to go to my second breathwork session in spring 2019 – which completely knocked me over again and helped me so much more! During the session I met my younger self and was able to give her the love and support that she needed in the situation of the traumatic experience.
In addition, with the help of Duncan, the angel who supported Ben that day, I was able to dissolve a whole lot of shame that had come up in my body during the session and this experience of my inner journey.
When Ben guided us during the breathwork session to sense if we had any unpleasant feelings stored in our body that we could let go of now, all this hot, uncomfortable shame gathered in my stomach – only to dissolve a moment later, when Duncan intuitively put his hand in exactly the right place on my stomach!
Since then, at the latest, I no longer have any doubts about how powerful intuition and personal healing powers can be. It was magical!
After that second session, I started taking part in breathwork sessions more often, both in Brighton and virtual. Not all sessions are as deep as my first two, but each session brings me a new experience and I almost always feel different afterwards – in the most positive sense. Lighter. Held. Loved. Safe.
My path to becoming a „Breathwork Facilitator“
After the second workshop with Ben in spring 2019, I started thinking that I would also like to be able to hold breathwork sessions myself.
In autumn 2019, Ben launched his first training for future breathwork facilitators. The course sounded so inspiring. However, it did not fit into my life in terms of time, because in 2019 I was still traveling so much due to my employment relationship and I would not have been able to keep all the session dates.
Before I left Brighton last year to come back to Germany, I took part in a final breathwork workshop with Ben, at which he told me that he would be happy if I did the trainer training one day and bring Breathwork to Germany. Something that touched me deeply in the moment.
Back in Germany at the beginning of this year I decided relatively spontaneously to quit my job and start building my own business to help women feel more secure and free, in their own femininity and in the world.
At the same time, in January I took part in a four-week online course from Ben (“Breathwork Foundations”), which deepened my passion for breathwork. At the end of the course, Ben mentioned that he would start the second round of his training course this summer. This time I couldn’t ignore the inner call and after a look at the revised training course and a call with him, I signed up for the eleven-month training!
For me, Breathwork is an incredibly powerful tool that can help us all to dive deeper into our individual healing process and learn to feel safe and free within ourselves again! For me, breathwork is the tool with which we can change the world. And I’m incredibly grateful that I got to know it in Brighton, through Ben, and that I can integrate it into my work as a female life coach in the future.
It’s September now. The training to become a Breathwork Facilitator started in mid-July and I started a wonderful journey with over 20 other people from different parts of the world. We are now at a point where we are allowed to lead our first breathwork sessions ourselves. An exciting, if equally frightening, responsibility.
Because of this, it was time to introduce breathwork as a topic on my website as well. In the coming weeks you will be able to find out more and more about Breathwork here and soon be able to book my first offers.
If you’re curious now …
… and want to make your own experiences with breathwork, you have several options!
Within his company Breathing Space, Ben offers a virtual room every Thursday via Zoom, in which different facilitators hold virtual breathwork sessions (in English). You will see me there as a trainer for the first time in November!
All information about the free Thursday sessions can be found on the Breathing Space Facebook page.
As part of my training, I also offer free individual and group workshops. Currently they will mainly take place virtually. If the worldly situation has changed a bit again, I will certainly offer live sessions as well. If you are interested in such a breathwork session with me, please send me an email to email@example.com and we will arrange a date.
In the coming weeks you will also be able to find more information about this on my website.
Before you go, please leave me a comment below this article and tell me if you’ve heard of Breathwork before and if you’ve had any experience with it yourself.
All the best,
(1) Darius Bashar (Unsplash: xMNel_otvWs )
(2) Dawid Zawila (Unsplash: zb2vBaHYB2I )
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