The Barratt Breathwork® Model
The Barratt Breathwork model combines contemplative and rhythmic breathing practices with formal meditation to provide a comprehensive system for deep personal transformation and spiritual growth.
Barratt Breathwork offers a unique fusion of contemplative and rhythmic breathing practices aimed at rediscovering the natural state of the breath and liberating it from the tensions imposed on it. In freeing the natural breath, we not only revitalize our life energies, but also open a gateway to higher consciousness and our own inner powers of healing. Emphasis is on enhancing personal and spiritual development.
Meditation is introduced in the Barratt Breathwork model as the key to personal and spiritual development. We incorporate a systematic and transformative approach to meditation inspired by the Edgar Cayce Readings. Emphasis is on integrating meditation in a breathwork practice as well cultivating a daily disciplined formal meditation practice.
The Innate Breath
The Innate Intelligence of the Breath
There is an innate wisdom, or intelligence within our Natural Breath. Our Innate Breath is a delicately sensitive barometer that monitors our physical, emotional, and mental environments. It not only reflects our physical and mental states, but also responds to them by adopting specific modes of breathing to meet the intricate needs of both the body and mind. Over time, habitual patterns of restricted breathing begin to interfere with the sensitivity of the Innate Breath and its ability to respond to our ever-changing inner and outer environments. These restricted breathing patterns eventually block or impair the adaptability of the innate intelligence of the Breath. Although still present, it now exists in a quiescent state.
Restricted Breathing Patterns
When we begin to cultivate an awareness of our breath, many of us notice that we are unable to breathe fully, and that our breathing is labored or erratic. Most of these tensions in the breath grow out of habitual patterns of restricted breathing caused by chronic stress and suppressed emotions. These restricted breathing patterns not only create energetic disturbances within the human energy system, but also inhibit the adaptability of the innate intelligence of the breath, deeply affecting the intricate balance of the mind/body continuum. Interference in the functioning of the breath's innate intelligence, ultimately undermines physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Our ApproachWe begin with developing a relationship with the breath as it is, resisting the urge to judge or alter it in any way. Emphasis is on cultivating a "witnessing presence" of the breath. This simple yet powerful approach begins the process of unraveling tensions in the breath. We then progress to a sequence of contemplative and resotrative breath practices designed to develop a relationship of receptivity with the breath and opening to its natural movements. It is about learning how to relax and "undo," going with the breath instead of trying to control it. It is not about mastering a breath technique; rather it is about creating an environment of awareness that awakens the transformative healing power of the breath. In addition to "presence" and “undoing,” this environment includes cultivating a sense of our own unique breath rhythm, which arouses the breath's intelligence from its suspended state. We then encourage the Innate Breath to unfold its potential for deep personal transformation and spiritual growth by deepening skills in the formal Eastern practices of "Breath Awareness" and "Rhythmic Breathing."
Breath and Energy
Yoga science teaches us that, although the body and mind do not directly interact, they are energetically linked. Different qualities and patterns of energy form and shape what is referred to as the “vital sheath,” or subtle body. It is the subtle body that acts as the bridge between the body and mind, and allows them to communicate and function as a unit. Composed of a vast network of energetic pathways through which energy flows in and around the physical body, the anatomy of the subtle body is highly complex, and impacted by many variables. The most central and fundamental of these variables is the breath itself.
In addition to supplying oxygen during the process of respiration, the breath simultaneously draws in another energetic quality, known as "prana," or "Qi." It is the vital energy of life. With each breath, the body takes in and absorbs prana, constantly energizing and influencing the energy flows that comprise the “subtle body”. Acknowledging that the breath is a vehicle for prana, one begins to understand how specific qualities of the breath like rate, depth, and rhythm all have a critical effect on energy flow.
Habitual patterns of restricted breathing can result in the inhibition, or blocking, of this vital energy flow, further creating energetic imbalances that negatively impact the functioning of the subtle body. This interferes in the communication between the body and mind, undermining health and well-being. Barratt Breathwork® employs a unique fusion of Eastern breath and meditation practices designed to dismantle restricted breathing patterns as a means to facilitate energy flow. Attending to energy flow and allowing it to move more freely can have transformative effects on consciousness as well as physcial health and well-being. By removing these energetic obstacles, we rejuvenate the subtle body, restoring communications between the body and mind, and enhancing physical, emotional and spiritual health.