Breathwork, Not Just For The Young, Also For The Young At Heart
It was not your normal festival crowd at “Banner Nero Wellness Center” in Gilbert Arizona. On the second day of the “Arizona Wisdom Experience Retreat”, I facilitated, instead of glow sticks and feathers in their hands this very special group held canes and walkers. Our host, Angela Fears of Angel Star Health, had set up a special teaching for Michael to share breathwork with a group of nero patients with Parkin’s Disease and other neurological disorders who attend a “coffee talk” every Friday afternoon. She had shared with us she didn’t know how many people would attend, perhaps 5 or maybe up to 15?
I was surprised to walk into a room full of 40+ people who had come to learn about the breath. I had been in the work for a little over two years and had never had the opportunity to work with a group of 60+ year old participants. What unfolded over the next hour was profound.
As I scanned the room, some attendees were smiling and enthusiastic but most were sizing things up. Not their usual “coffee talk” I am sure. With a bit of charismatic charm we introduced ourselves and slowly started to share the work.
We honored the elders calling them “grandparents” in which one man yelled out “Who’s old here?” making it quiet clear he did not appreciate any term which referred to being “old”. Note to self, we now call them wise elders? The laughter over the term landed the room further.
Permission and creating an opening…
Eloquently, The Breath Centers' founder, Michael shared and the room began to shift and settle. Parkinsons patients hands steadily shook as he boldly explained how the breath had the power to heal. A few looked hopeful but the majority were still not having any of it. One man was falling asleep in the corner. What else could be expected from a group that has lived their lives, many in tremendous physical suffering, now in their later years and for the most parts set in their ways.
Michael requested I share my personal story of what brought me to the work. As I spoke of how I healed my back through a single session utilizing the breath in Sedona a few more seniors started to look a bit more optimistic.
We invited them to try it. By a show of hands they agreed to a shortened version of a unique breath practice as they sat in their chairs, not laying down in the familiar “Breath Center fashion”. Without the use of any tools, music or oils, we guided them through the breath, willingly they filled their lungs and released. Again, breathing gently, sweetly the room followed his voice through the sacred journey, that we fondly call breathwork.
I’d like to be able to describe what happened over the next 15 minutes but from my experience there are no words. If you have been blessed to reap the benefit of the experience that breathwork can provide perhaps you know. At the very least, I can share some participants where touched, moved beyond measure and healed by the magical power of the breath this day.
Just the simple reminder of an open heart with a soft lullaby
The experience for me was a realization that the work is now expanding beyond our perception of where our comfort zone leads us. Breathwork is not just for yoga studios, meditation cushions and festival crowds. These wise people showed in a way we never expected.
Our mission is to continue to share this work with anyone and everyone who shows up.
I’m hoping if you have not already experienced our unique way of sharing that you will join us too.
Thank you to Angela Fears of Angel Star Health for creating the space and opportunity to share the healing medicine of the breath.