Breathwork

Breathwork refers to many forms of conscious alteration of breathing, such as connecting the inhale and exhale, or energetically charging and discharging, when used within psychotherapy or meditation. Proponents believe breathwork technique may be used to attain alternate states of consciousness, and that sustained practice of techniques may result in spiritual or psychological benefits. Breathwork may also relate to optimal healthy breathing in a healing context. reathwork has been used as a label for yogic Pranayama and Tibetan Tantric Tummo, traditional spiritual practices from which the modern Western therapies most probably derive. Occasional use of the term Breathwork to describe Buddhist Anapanasati, “mindfulness of breathing” or "conscious breathing" appears to be misleading, because the meditator breathes naturally, without attempting to change the length or depth of the breath, simply observing it. This too can be debated as some practitioner would contend that whenever attention is focused and the object of attention changes, in this case breathing typically becomes longer, deeper and more relaxed.[citation needed] While using movement, T'ai chi and Qigong also make conscious use of the breath. When the modern breath-oriented therapies were first developed in the 1970s, they were often, as well as the previous spiritual and therapeutic history of breathwork, influenced by ideas from psychotherapy, vegetotherapy or the human potential movement. Leonard Orr, Jim Leonard and Stanislav Grof are three practitioners from whose work many of the more recently created types of breathwork have derived the basis of their techniques. Types of breathwork Leonard Orr's style of Breathwork, Rebirthi g-Breathwork is based on the technique of conscious connected breathing; connecting the inhale and exhale without pause or lock in between them. Stanislav Grof's Holotropic Breathwork can include hyperventilation, which Grof believes can aid emotional integration.[1] According to Vivation Breathwork, hyperventilation is unnecessary and is caused by a non-relaxed exhale. Emotional integration comes from connecting with the feelings honestly, which is made easier through a relaxed and connected breath.[2] There are many other types of Breathwork which have emerged over the last few decades, including Integrative Breathwork, Transformational Breathwork, Shamanic Breathwork, Kris Kassidy's Breakthrough Breathwork, Clarity Breathwork, Conscious Connected Breathing, Radiance Breathwork, Zen Yoga Breathwork, and others. Older non-Western techniques such as Yoga, Pranayama, T'ai chi, and Qigong are also offered as classes and written about in the West more frequently than in the past. Orr founded conscious breathing as one of the five aspects of spiritual purification that he still supports today. In his low intervention approach, there is breathing guidance at different points and no encouragement for movement or externalising emotion. Grof's Holotropic Breathwork emerged from his study of the healing potentials of nonordinary states of consciousness since the mid-50s. It utilizes deep, fast breathing in combination with loud evocative music. In Holotropic Breathwork, the sessions are less facilitator-directed and more client-directed, believed to be guided by an innate healing intelligence. Trained facilitators support each individual's process as it emerges with various techniques including bodywork.