Copyright © Gabrielle Gerard-Jenks. All rights reserved.
The Innate Breath
We offer a Yin approach to breathwork that focuses on cultivating mindfulness of the breath's natural movements. This quality of awareness fosters an attentive presence, one that inspire us to become the "receiver" of the breath. In cultivating a relationship of receptivity with the breath, we soon become aware that there is an inherent wisdom, or intelligence, within our natural breath. We call this our “innate breath." Our innate breath is a free and uninhibited breath that flows effortlessly in a harmonious rhythmic pattern, drawing in and absorbing vital life energy, or prana. Prana is intimately connected to the universal life force and when it flows freely, it not only provides vitality to the body and mind but also serves as a gateway to higher consciousness and our own inner powers of healing. Due to tensions in the breath caused by stress, our innate breath becomes inhibited, eventually impeding pranic flow. In freeing our innate breath, we also free energy flow. This can have transformative effects physically, mentally and spiritually.
Tensions in the Breath
When we begin to cultivate an awareness of our breath, we might notice that we are unable to breathe fully, and that our breathing is labored or erratic. Most of these tensions are the result of poor breathing habits caused by chronic physical or emotional stress. Over time, these poor breathing habits eventually impair the functioning of the innate intelligence of the breath. Although still present, it now exists in a quiescent state. By dismantling tensions in the breath, we arouse the innate breath from its suspended state. We soon experience the very essence of the innate breath itself—free, uninhibited, and intimately connected to divine presence.
During the course of a Restorative Breathwork® session, emotions may surface. Staying present without getting caught in the drama of an emotion, is key. Mindfulness plays a vital role in learning how to witness these emotions without collapsing into them or avoiding them. In our approach, the intention is to cultivate what is referred to as “emotional presence." Staying present when uncomfortable feelings are awakened and experiencing them with acceptance can initiate deep shifts in consciousness. These shifts in consciousness literally transform us. The ultimate goal is to stay present when emotional discomfort arises and experience the transformational power of non-resistance.
The core premise of the Restorative Breathwork® approach is not about mastering a breath technique. Rather, it is about cultivating a relationship of receptivity and openness to the natural movements of the breath. It is about learning how to relax and “undo,” going with the breath instead of trying to control it. As we gently learn to modify the breath, we must resist the natural temptation to apply too much effort or force, because doing so can be counterproductive. We must constantly remind ourselves that we “allow,” rather than manipulate or control the breath.
The Dance of Breath
In opening to the natural movements of the breath, we connect to the very heartbeat of creation. Its rhythm is one of vitality and aliveness, and it guides us into a great dance of awakening and transformation. As we attune to the ever-changing rhythms of our breath, we find ourselves simultaneously leading and following, and in a manner that is unified, coordinated and effortless. This rhythmic dance of the breath gradually and progressively uncovers and unravels old patterns of holding and resistance. It is a dance of purification and renewal; it is the dance of life, the dance of breath.