Breath is life, literally. When we breathe better we live better, it’s really that simple.
In this post, Sean Kranti Herron will introduce you to a complete self-healing system that uses conscious breathwork to facilitate improved well-being, inner peace and greater joy in life: Transformational Breath®
Everything is interconnected – our thoughts are connected to our feelings and emotions which are connected to our physical wellbeing. In other words, our mental and emotional health affects our physical health and vice versa. Breath acts as the bridge which connects us to all the different parts of our body and being – it brings everything together as a whole.
We quite simply have the most amazing and powerful mechanism right beneath our noses waiting to be explored and yet we rarely give it a passing thought. Imagine owning the latest high specification TV on the market and leaving it on ‘stand by’, never actually switching it on. In the same way we spend most our lives living on ‘stand by’ never using what’s readily available to us for our very own benefit, for our own healing and for connection to our higher purpose.
Mankind has pretty much always been aware of the power of the breath and its healing capacities. The East, for example, has been reaping the benefits of pranayama (a Sanskrit word meaning control of the breath) for centuries based on the idea that prana (breath as life force) is the source of all energy. Meditation, which uses controlled breathing, has been embraced by the West for decades and has become almost fashionable in recent years.
Whereas meditation concentrates on controlling the breath and slowing the breath down to calm the mind, Transformational Breath is an active exercise that uses the breath to release tension within the body.
In today’s society we humans only breathe at less than 30% of our full lung capacity. A worrying statistic when you think that our body’s cells rely solely on oxygen to survive and when they don’t get that oxygen we get ill. In fact, research shows that with oxygen in the cells it is impossible for cancer to survive.
One of the main reasons behind our restricted breathing patterns lies in the stresses and strains of modern living. As our daily to-do lists get longer and longer our bodies get more and more tense, resulting in us becoming less and less grounded. The consequence is that most of us breathe from our chest taking ever shallower breaths.
As well as the stresses of modern life, the other major reason behind our restricted breathing pattern is the false beliefs we have adopted about ourselves and the world around us, from childhood. Imagine a child at play, completely absorbed in the moment. The child has no concept of time, is not concerned if he or she is being watched, who might be watching them, or if they are playing too loudly, possibly disturbing the neighbours. The child is simply fully present in that moment. You and I were once like this too, so where, along the way, did things begin to change?
As children we were given ideas (otherwise known as conditions) by our parents and teachers about the right and the wrong way to behave. We got the message that if we did not abide by these rules we would be rejected or punished. In other words we were loved conditionally. Through these subtle, unconscious messages, we started to believe that we had to abide by these rules and conditions in order to survive.
Often, these concepts served us well when we were young, but then we began to adopt them as our own behavior and they no longer serve us in our adult lives. Most of us are still living by old belief systems and it is these unconscious mechanisms that are holding us back from being our true, authentic selves. The point is not whether we believe these old belief systems to be true but that we “behave” as if they are true.
It is this behaviour that keeps us separate from our hearts and our true selves. We become less and less authentic and more and more disconnected from ourselves and others. When we become less authentic with others we become less authentic with ourselves. And if we do not have an intimate, honest relationship with ourselves how can we possibly expect to have an intimate, honest relationship with someone else. And so we end up, as adults, not allowing ourselves to live life from a natural authentic self, from the heart. We stop taking in the fullness of each moment, the fullness of life, the fullness of each breath.
The core aim of Transformational Breath is that it allows us to access more of our respiratory system. As mentioned earlier, our body’s cells rely on oxygen for energy, so this technique allows us to boost bodily health. Transformational Breath has many benefits with a list as long as your arm, including helping those with all types of trauma, stress and anxiety, sleep disorders, asthma, migraines, addictions, weight issues, low energy and even cancer.
The secret to the technique is a wide-open mouth, with air drawn deep into the belly, inflating the abdomen. The exhale is then gently released as if you are ´misting a mirror´. Unlike many yogic breath patterns the exhale is shorter than the inhale. Also, there is no pause between the in-breath and the out-breath otherwise known as a “connected breath”.
As you breathe, gentle acupressure will be applied to points on the body relating to the Chinese meridian lines. This often triggers powerful physical reactions and emotional responses. Your body may start to shake or you may experience a ‘fizzing’ across the forehead (which is simply energy coursing through your body). You may begin to feel an overwhelming sadness that envelopes your very being and find yourself sobbing with tears (this could be the release of an emotional trauma or a memory your body has been storing for years).
A one hour session will leave you extraordinarily light and relaxed, serene and fresh on the inside, as if you´ve cleared away a lot of baggage that has built up over the years.
Sean runs a group breath session every Sunday morning and Thursday afternoon at Cal Reiet as well as facilitates individual sessions. These sessions are suitable for beginners to Breathwork as well as experienced breathers and Yogis. Sean’s advice is to book yourself a breathing session as soon as you arrive at Cal Reiet as your chances of completely switching off and letting go of the demands of your other busy everyday life increase exponentially. By relaxing into yourself, both physically and mentally, you will give yourself the best opportunity to fully embrace and enjoy every moment of the rest of your holiday.
We thank Sean for his contribution to our blog and for this nice post about the power of breath (that too often we forget to have).
See you as always on our next post.