We don’t remember the first breathe we took when we emerged from our mother’s womb, yet that initial inhale of life force was the beginning of the most simple, important pattern every human carries out through their entire lives. If the average person avoids the primal act of breathing for more than 1 or 2 minutes, one returns to their natal state, urging gasp for air in order to survive.
Once independent of our mothers, our breathing surrogate, only we have the power to use our own lungs to expel the build up of toxins and take in the oxygen required to oxidize nutrients into energy. From this freedom of allowing ourselves to breathe comes immediate relief and relaxation. Through the art of conscious energy breathing, humans have the ability to jumpstart their own healing by tapping into the nature and spirit of the Divine Breathe itself.
Leonard Orr founded the Breathwork movement as a result of spiritual discoveries that occurred during 1962-1975. He began experimenting with techniques to induce rebirthing experiences by meditating in a bathtub, where he had spontaneously experienced numerous rebirths and childhood memories. This method progressed to hot tub rebirths, in which water served as a womb-like environment, causing people to release imprinted traumas and emotions. However, being in a tub was just a catalyst for what Orr realized was a total transformation of the breathing cycle. After multiple sessions, people were learning to breathe not just air, but energy, and were directly contacting Source Energy by mastering what he refers to as “connected breathing rhythm”. With just the body and mind as tools, Breathwork is completely accessible for anyone who is willing to lie down and explore how to breathe more effectively.
A different name for the same thing
Rebirthing/Breathwork has evolved to include various techniques that are practised under various labels. Though Rebirthers like Orr continue to guide people to breathe themselves into a state of peace both in and out of the tub, you don’t need to find a Rebirthing practitioner in order to have your first lesson. Whether you go to a Rebirther and go through a ten two-hour session program or they develop their own intuitive approach, the fundamentals of Breathwork are universal. The same breathing technique can offer a range of benefits to anyone.
Rebirthing recognises eight key human traumas that hinder spiritual fulfilment, all of which can be overcome through connected rhythmic breathing: birth trauma, parental disapproval, personal negatives, the unconscious death urge, past life karma, religion trauma, school trauma, and senility. You can alleviate psychosomatic dis-ease, break out of negative patterns, improve your relationship with yourself and others just by breathing consciously.
Familiarising oneself with the connected, circular way of breathing is an easy way to get in touch with the flow of Divine vitality. It involves breathing without pause between breathes so the body releases deliberately. Focus on the energy you breathe in as you inhale, and exhale out the same cavity — either the nose or mouth. You should not hold the breathe between inhale and exhale nor force or push the air out. Rather, maintain a continuous motion, finding a level of depth and rhythm that is comfortable for you.
Feel full of the energy, and let the air occupy the entire area of your lungs. Become aware of the integration of your inhale and exhale into one fluid motion, and notice how they are dependent, inseparable. The deeper you dive into the awareness of your breath, the further the breath will extend your consciousness into all dimensions in time and space, generating the process of unravelling past wounds.
Let yourself be a vessel for the Divine Breath, Eternal Spirit, Infinite Source, — however you perceive the ultimate essence of Life, — to flow in, out, and through your physical form. This state of relaxation is the gateway to balancing with the elements earth, water, air, and fire that comprise this world as well as cleansing the body of toxins and human trauma, and it all starts with a breathe.