If you are reading this then by now you know I am on a mission to detoxify my life. It started with food, then cleaning products and I gradually introduced safe beauty products. Removing toxicity from my beauty products was a huge step, but removing the toxins my body produced from stress was the biggest. Let’s be honest, until two years ago I didn’t understand yogi’s, meditation or virtually anything that promised inner peace through spiritualism or these methods. That was until I slowed down long enough to understand how calming the mind affects the body. I have been regularly practicing mediations for a year now and was ready to move to the next level. I tried breathwork for the first time and this is what happened.
When my girlfriend Ashley invited me to breathwork I accepted her invitation without knowing anything. It turns out breathwork’s celebrity driven crowd favored by Gisele Bündchen and Oprah is thriving. The next day I showed up to class dressed in casual, comfortable clothes oblivious to what I was walking into. The only thing she said to me in advance was, “don’t hold back if you want to cry.” I didn’t understand so I replied, “okay” confused why I would cry. When we walked in there was a gorgeous bohemian guy at the door taking payments for the class. Of course Ashley was a regular and had a month pass. I was a newbie. Leo welcomed me into his world as he took my credit card, introduced himself and told us to get comfortable. As we placed our yoga mats and blankets on the floor I noticed the room was filled with around 30ish men and women between the ages of 20 and 65. A diverse group of regulars all searching for the same thing: Therapy.
Breathwork is a practice to help destress the mind through conscious control of breathing. It promotes relaxation by influencing a person’s mental, emotional and/or physical state. Breathwork affects everyone differently. The goal of breathwork therapy is to support people in achieving a greater sense of self-awareness and capacity for self-healing.
Ten minutes into the guided breathing exercises my hands and feet were tingling and I felt a slight dizziness. I recalled the instructor advising us to breath through your nose instead of your mouth if the exercise becomes too intense and it will reverse. I slowed down and went at my own pace with his guidance while the music played. My body quickly became numb as one of my hands curled into a lobster claw a medical condition known as “tetany.” I tried to pry it open throughout the duration of the hour long class. I started to get anxious that my hands were clenched however my mind was finally free from clutter and I was at peace so I went with it. I later described my experience to a close friend who called it a “natural acid trip.” I’ve never tried acid but the release of serotonin and blissful state of my mind was liberating.
The noise in my head disappeared as I tapped into my feelings. I read some people take Breathwork to get a “natural high.” I experienced a euphoric high through a deep level of connectedness that I have never reached before. Ashley was right, I cried. I also laughed and smiled and felt serenity for the first time in a very long time. The thoughts that ran rapid in my mind surprised me. It was cathartic releasing emotions while concentrating on the here and now. That day I had a full body awakening. An enlightenment. At the end of the class we sat in a circle and went around the group and shared our experiences. In a way we were all connected to one another stripped of negativity or judgment. A peaceful place I’m excited to experience again this weekend.