Imagine time stands still, you feel weightless, and experience a physical warmth and immense joy that far exceeds anything you could imagine. Is this Nirvana? Is it heaven? What is it? Whatever it is, I experienced it and I want more. A lot more.
Dabbling in transformational breathing brought me to that point—poignant for sure. After making a commitment to invest in my own self care, I attended a prana workshop held by Christian Minson, a spiritual life coach, speaker and author. Prana, the Sanskrit word for breath, is seen as a universal energy which flows in currents in and around the body. Think about the breathwork you do during yoga and how amazing it feels when you’re truly present in the moment. That’s simply the tip of the iceberg. While it sounds like a tall order, transformational breathwork can boost happiness and well-being; release emotional blocks of stress, fear and anxiety; and creates space to receive more love, peace and joy. It’s like meditation on steroids. Sounds incredible, right?
During the first 45 minutes of the 2.5-hour workshop, Christian shared his life experiences that led him to breathwork, which includes a decade serving as a monk. He also carefully described the technique we were about to employ and what we might experience before leading a full breath session. Reclined in a lounger with a snuggly blanket enveloping my body, I slowly began to let go of the thoughts cluttering my mind. For the first 10 minutes Christian instructed us to produce rapid breaths from our bellies. After about 20 seconds my abs were on fire, I felt light-headed and the thought of continuing another nine and a half minutes seemed impossible. I dug deep and somehow persisted!
“There was a sensation in my
stomach that I’m unable to put
into words… Soon I began
to see intense blue geometric
shapes dancing into view.”
Next, we were instructed to alternate belly and chest breaths in rapid sequence, of course. Yikes! My mouth quickly dried out and I had trouble keeping it open wide enough to draw the “big” breaths required. I also found it difficult to find rhythm in the sequence—I was so wrapped up in the mechanics wondering if I was doing it right. My analytical mind had gone to work. I felt Christian make some corrections to my technique. A few moments later it hit—the gravity weight. Square on my chest. It was already difficult to breathe, so why not make it even more difficult?! To think that I volunteered and paid for such treatment is beyond me.
I was still attempting to master alternating belly and chest breaths when toning was introduced to help release difficult or overwhelming emotions. There were three rounds of toning… some people moaned, one laughed (continuously) and others remained silent. Several participants reported afterwards that they felt toning allowed them to get deeper into their transformational state.
A tingling sensation in my hands and feet set in—as if they were falling asleep even though my limbs had proper blood flow. There was a sensation in my stomach that I’m unable to put into words. According to the emotions map that coincides with various body parts, guilt may have been in play. Guilt about what? I’m not entirely sure. Soon I began to see intense blue geometric shapes dancing into view. I later learned that blue represents the throat chakra—how we express who we are in the world. When balanced there is an ease in communicating your needs and also who you are. If the throat chakra is out of balance, you may fear speaking out, experience shyness, feelings of embarrassment or confusion. It can also signify lying or being verbally abusive. I view myself as being more in balance, although I still have work to do to that end.
In addition to vivid visions, I swore that someone was gently touching my forehead, or my spiritual eye, and my belly, although no one was around. There’s a term for this: Moving Touch. Perhaps Qi was readjusting and balancing itself and my third-eye was opening. The 20 minutes of the workshop was simply life changing. Christian asks you to hold your breath as long as you can and to fight through your body’s signals to take a breath. I found this to be much easier to accomplish than expected. It felt as though I held my breath for three to four minutes at a time. I felt suspended in time; my body was washed with an incredibly inviting warmth. It was peaceful, I felt light and airy. It was as if my brain was talking directly to my cells, tissues, vital organs, etc. to cleanse all impurities.
Once the cue to wake came, it felt as though I had a full night of sleep. I felt energized in a very calm fashion versus a jolting caffeine buzz. I had come closer to my spiritual self than I have ever been. I’ll be honest, breathwork is easier done in a group setting, in my opinion. The challenge is to continue to practice on my own and come together with others periodically to improve my technique. I’m curious what I may see, feel and experience as I hone my craft.
What breakthroughs have you experienced as a result of meditation, breath work or similar? How has this changed the way you feel or go about your day?