Breathwork is a powerful therapeutic process. A breathwork session can be life-changing. The training in becoming a practitioner in breathwork that I have undertaken with Kim Rosen – three separate residential weeks – have been as important as any in my years as a therapist.
Full breathing is natural, but it becomes clogged as we experience the stresses of life. To avoid pain we restrict our breathing. This holding back can become habitual and non-conscious so that we take it as normal. In cutting off from painful emotions, we are cutting off from life and the wider self. In a breathwork session the breather is invited and guided into a fuller breathing, the inbreath and the outbreath seamlessly flowing. The breather will have an intention for the session and time will be taken to explore this and refine it – it may be a wish to re-connect with parts of themselves, heal a memory, release something trapped, free up creativity, expand into a fuller experience of being themselves.
The person sitting with the breather is the “beholder”. The beholder offers loving presence and ensures safety. After the intention has been clarified, the breather lies down on the mat and starts breathing with coaching from the beholder. There is a soundtrack of music throughout the session. After 10 minutes or so, the beholder will cease speaking. The breather has nothing to do apart from sustaining their breathing. Touch is available throughout. The breathing part of the session lasts about 45 minutes and the beholder will guide the breather as the time moves towards the final transition point. Including welcome, setting the intention, breathing and integration , a breathwork session lasts about 2 hours.