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“Breath is the bridge,  between living and dying; Breath is the license for joyous living”  

~ Banani Ray

 

BREATHWORK: conscious, controlled breathing done especially for relaxation, meditation, or therapeutic purposes.   it is nothing new and has been a key element in yoga asana practice for centuries.

 
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About Ceremonial Breathwork…

Ceremonial Breathwork is a rare individual style of breath practice created around newly popular sacred plant medicine ceremonies from indigenous religions worldwide.  The BREATH is the medicine.  The experience incorporates Shamanic elements including the singing of “Icaro” (song of blessing), burning of Palos Santos, and Anointing of scared oils allowing for the connection to nature, the spirit world, and universal oneness.  Because of these elements it is a unique experience not to be missed and allows for deep gentle healing for your body, mind and spirit.

 
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Breathwork may help in a non-invasive way with the following:

~ Relieve stress & anxiety

~ Manage and treat depression

~ Help curb addictions

~ Eliminate toxins invoking weight loss

~ Strengthen mental focus

~ Heal physical & emotional wounds and traumas 

~ Boost the immune system

~ Inspire creativity

~ Establish healthy sleep cycles

~ Manage PTSD

~ Reduce chronic pain

~ Create wellness to prevent cancer and other disease

~ Boost performance in business & athletics

 
 
 

History of Breathwork

As an ancient practice rumored to be around 40,000 years old, the use of breathing techniques has proven successful for thousands of years through practitioners of yoga, shamans, Chinese teachers of martial arts like Tai Chi, and Buddhists. At its core breathwork stems from a yoga practice that can be traced through textual references from the Rig Veda back to at least 1500 BCE. The common term for breathwork, pranayama, stems from the ancient Sanskrit words prana (life force) and ayama (expansion or extension). Combined, the translation reads as ‘the expansion of the life force.’ Pretty powerful when you think of it, isn’t it?  

The therapy was transformed in the 1960s and 1970s through the research and theory of numerous people, two of the most influential ones being Dr. Stanislav Grof and his wife Christine (founders of a foundation previously known as the Association of Holotropic Breathwork International (AHBI). Dr. Grof, as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, began researching the potential for altered states of mind or consciousness without the use of psychedelic drugs prevalent at that time. Numerous forms of breathwork have evolved from those of the 60s-70s, and there are dozens of models and certification programs available to interested participants and practitioners.

 
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Science of Breathwork

The body’s autonomic nervous system governs both the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and restore) responses, and breathing adjusts to the circumstances faced in life. With the constant barrage and stressors of our modern world the sympathetic function becomes overwhelmed and incorrect breathing only compounds the problem. Most of us live in a continual state of ‘fight or flight’ response.

In addition to the nervous system the circulatory system is designed to use breathing as a means of cleansing toxins taken in as well as those produced internally by the mere act of bodily functioning. Recall how the blood begins as oxygenated, nutrient rich, red cells and returns to the heart through the veins, blue, dull and laden with toxins, with the lungs functioning as the blood’s filter. Oxygenated air breathed in by the lungs is exchanged with the carbonic acid gas and poisons, once again becoming purified, rich, red blood carried through the heart and into the body. Is it any wonder that religious texts nearly all speak of  ‘the breath of life’?

In his book Samadhi of Completion: Secret Tibetan Yoga Illuminations for the Quing Court, Francois Wang-Toutain states “Prana is the driving force of all the functions of the body.” In his view the roots of all disease and mental imbalance can be traced to abnormalities and deficiencies in the body’s energy flow. With the use of pranayama we have a powerful tool to heal illness and mental issues since “the control of breathing is the most direct method to affect life force.”