A new beginning
It’s the beginning of spring 2022. For me, this is the beginning of the new year. The winter subsides, making room for the arrival of spring, as nature unfurls and awakens from hibernation. Aligned with nature, it feels like the right time for me to take some slow, deep breaths. Inhaling spring and new beginnings, exhaling winter, and past experiences.
Following my intuition
Having discovered breathing techniques as a means of grounding and regulating the nervous system through training as a TRE practitioner, I was intrigued by the breath and its ability to naturally ground the nervous system. So, I simply followed my intuition guiding me to explore it further, as a natural healing modality alongside TRE.
I felt a calling to train as a breathwork facilitator and found myself on a deeper inward journey, training under the direction of Ben Beaumont´s Breathing Space.
All my senses brought to life
Beginning my journey into breathwork on a working vacation in a quiet coastal village, an hour south of Cadiz in the sunny south of Spain, whilst renting a house 50m from the ocean with access to 6km of golden sandy beach, I am thrilled to be surrounded by nature.
All my senses are alive here – the mesmerising sight of the slow flow in and out of the tide, the sound of the ocean waves, the smell of the fresh salty air, the feeling of wind and sun against my skin, and I must not forget the delicious taste of tuna, typical of the region – freshly caught and freshly prepared!
I am at one with nature here. The ocean is my favourite component of nature. I am a Watery and Earthy character by nature, both sensitive and compassionate like the water sign, and grounded, rooted, and secure like the earth sign. As I take daily walks along the shore, I breathe in time with the ocean.
Closing my eyes, facing the ocean, I breathe in long inhalations through the nose, breathing in vapours from the ocean. A slight pause at the top before breathing out longer exhalations through my nose, constricting my throat to create a slow, controlled sound mirroring the ocean as the waves crash on the shore. Repeating this for several minutes help me feel aligned with the ocean. All that exists at this moment is just my breath and the ocean.
The smell of the fresh ocean air sends me back to another time, to my childhood home, in a small coastal fishing town in Scotland. Fond memories came rushing back to me as a child running between the fisherman’s huts with friends, playing on the pier on stormy days hoping not to be caught by the waves or long walks with my dog on the beach! These fond memories arose during a simple ocean breathing exercise and brought with it a sense of playfulness and a smile to my face.
Observe your breath
I invite everyone reading this to take a few breaths with me. When we just slow down, and become aware of our breath, tuning into its flow, it is amazing what we can feel.
Close your eyes to really tune in and notice your breath. Become aware of your breath. Become the observer.
- Notice how it naturally flows in and out without any force.
- Notice how you don’t need to do anything; your body knows how to nourish itself to keep you alive.
- Notice if you are breathing through your nose or mouth, or a combination of both.
- Notice the pace of your breath. Is it fast or slow? Easy or a struggle?
I invite you to consciously slow down your exhale in a breathing technique for a few minutes.
- Breathe in through your nose
- Exhale fully and slowly through pursed lips (making a small O shape with your lips)
- Repeat for a few minutes
- Try to ensure the exhale is slower than the inhale, twice as long even.
What do you notice? Do you feel slower, calmer? Are you more present, more grounded? Do you have fewer thoughts?
Maybe you notice nothing at all? If so, I invite you to try this practice again later, and again tomorrow. At different times of the day. Just noticing subtle changes in your mood, your emotional state, your physical state, your thoughts.
In the fast pace of life, I invite you to permit yourself some moments in the day to connect with your breath and see what you notice.
During my first guided 30-minute Conscious Connected Breathing session, I experienced a release on many levels – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I had as much of a release as I could experience from a session of TRE! I was intrigued by the effects.
My experience was that my whole body felt alive afterwards. The comparison to how I felt before and after the session was profound. I felt refreshed, more present, more embodied.
During the breathing exercise, my body released tension through yawning. I yawned as I have never yawned before! I connected with the emotions of curiosity, openness, and pride. Some of which were released through tears.
At the end of the session, as my breath returned to normal, I had a full-body tremor as my nervous system naturally calmed down. Afterwards, I felt deeply content, relaxed, and elated.
From a 30-minute conscious connected breathwork session, my body was able to let go of what it does not need to hold on to, freeing up space in the mind (for more clarity), in the body (from tension), and in the soul (releasing blockages).
I am excited to soon teach this technique to guide others on a journey with their breath!
The start of something BIG…
Whilst this is my initial journey into breathwork, I can feel that this is the first steppingstone into something far bigger than I ever imagined.
As the masters of breathwork say, “Breathing is like the language of the soul”. (Dan Brulé)