Our breath is with us every moment of every day. Often serving us silently and unnoticed, it moves every process in our bodies - it is the physical substance of our life force. In sanskrit, prana ( प्राण ) translates to “life force” or “vital principle”. It can also be translated by its components as “constant motion”, which hints at one of the ways that prana is moved through the body - our breath.
Pranayama Trained By: Jennie Joan Ferrare, Arcana
Pranayama ( प्राणायाम ) translates to “extension of the prana/breath” or “breath control”. One of the 8 Limbs of Yoga, Pranayama is practiced by moving prana through various techniques of physical manipulation and timed breathing that will produce different desired effects. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, the traditional medicinal system of India, prana moves through currents in the body called Nadis ( नाडी) “nerve”, “tube”. Pranayama manipulates the flow of prana through the nadis, cleansing them and clearing them with the breath. This can bring everything from greater energy or a clearer and more focused state of mind to states of relaxation or transcendence. Pranayama is a practice that can be done at home as part of a self-care or spiritual development practice, empowering the individual to clear their own energy system with the ally of their own breath.
Cathartic Breath Work Trained By: Jai Maa, Break Through Your Threshold
Our bodies are the record-keepers for every experience we’ve walked through. As revered trauma theory author Bessel van der Kolk MD says “the body keeps the score”. How do we access what is held in our cells, deep underneath the conscious mind? Energy-based bodywork modalities such as Reiki and Polarity Therapy, as well as Yoga and Yoga Nidra can be powerful allies in this work. However, we have an additional tool to lead us to where our cellular stories can be freed - our Breath.
This form of breath work draws on tools from multiple modalities to create a cathartic, transformative experience for the recipient/practitioner which can release what no longer serves us and increase our capacity for feeling truly free in the body. A specific type of breathing is utilized to stimulate the lower chakras - the chakras which govern holding and letting go, and are responsible for our feelings of safety, connection, grounding and sense of self. As the breath begins to flood the energy channels of the body, transformation and release begin. Energetic and physical sensations of tension, movement or pressure start to build in the body, and the guide facilitates release by applying mindful energy-based bodywork to the system to facilitate flow and transformation. Through the process of releasing, we have the opportunity to return to alignment and a sense of freedom from what we have been holding.
*this work requires significant abdominal breathing and cannot be practiced during pregnancy.