It all started with breath work. Three days prior to my Ayahuasca Journey, I met my future facilitators for the first time for a breathwork session. What does breath work even mean? Well, at the time I wasn’t sure and to be honest was a little skeptical. I tried a variation of yoga called Kundalini not too long ago which is all centered around breathing more than movement. I didn’t feel anything from kundalini and this was the cause for my skepticism heading into my breath work session. But, I knew the breath work would be essential in preparing me for my Ayahuasca journey.
The breath work session I had was the most incredible experience of my life. Mind you, I was under no drugs, alcohol or any substances that would alter my consciousness. Just my breath and I.
The whole process was about 2 and a half hours long. It began with a get to know you session with my facilitators. They were so caring and loving as they helped me open up to the root of why I wanted to do breath work (and Ayahuasca in general). Next, we fine tuned my intention, so I could always go back to my intention. The key as they told me would be to always go back to your breath.
The breath work is 3 counts breathing with your stomach raised and 1 count exhale as you lower your stomach. For me this style of breathing was very tricky. I have a hard time breathing in while letting my stomach rise. The tricky part is as you raise your stomach you must also breathe through your heart before you exhale. I had issues breathing through my heart. My instructor was extremely helpful by guiding me through my breath and accessing pressure points on my chest to help me breathe through my heart.
Did I mention there’s music? Think of the soothing and calming music you would hear in a yoga class. This is next level though. Since all you are focused on is your breath the music is literally feeling like it is cleansing your soul.
The breathing intensifies after you begin to get in a rhythm. You begin to change your exhales from a simple just 1 breath out to a loud almost shout like “AHHHHH” known as “toning”. This “AH” is similar to the yoga “OM” because it’s long, deep and consistent in it’s length until you have nothing left to exhale. The difference is this is almost like a shout or even a scream. You’re letting it all out. However loud you need it to be.
KICKING & SCREAMING
They call this the tantrums. You bang your feet and hands up and down while lying on your back. While doing this you shout out your “AHHHH” (AKA toning). From time to time my instructor would come over to help push it all out. He would lean over me while I’m lying on my back and hold my arms tightly as I would push with my legs against his chest. All the while as you exhale doing this you let out your “AHHHH”.
The kicking and screaming phase (as I call it) is when all the magic happened. When we were done, I went back to my 3 stomach / heart breaths in and 1 count exhale out. What I noticed is my breath eventually guided me. I was no longer in my head consciously breathing in this foreign fashion — it just happened naturally without me even thinking about it. I was now breathing in a rhythm that felt like a wave from my belly through chest and heart to exhaling out. It’s a magical experience. My body felt as though it was floating.
At some point my fists began to clench. As they clenched deeper and deeper I noticed they began to vibrate. The vibrating sensation got deeper and intensified rapidly. Before I knew it, my entire body began to vibrate out of control. From my shoulders down to my arms and my fists (that were still clenched in a claw like shape) on down through my chest, torso, legs and feet. For the next few minutes I noticed I was not shaking. I was vibrating.My whole body was feeling a deep sensation like a cleansing of the soul.
I began to freak out because I realized I was not in control of my body and I wouldn’t be able to stop it if it turned into something bad like a seizure. It was at that time my instructor kneeled down close to me and guided me back to focusing on my breath. As I focused on my breath I realized everything started to slow down. I was no longer in my head. No more worrying. Everything would be okay. It was at this realization that I noticed I felt like I was really floating. I felt like I was out of my body. My mind still totally intact and aware of what’s going on, but a feeling of being so light that I felt my soul and not the body which is merely just a shell of my existence for this lifetime.
A deep sense of purpose, calmness, and excitement overcame my emotions. With the knowledge that this experience came solely from breathing (no drugs / plant medicine etc.) or anything to alter my being. I found purpose and wholeness in my eternal being. I was re-born.
At the time of doing breath work I was in a deep dark state of depression. Immediately after breath work I felt confidence and a smile in my heart. My heart opened. I knew this was only the beginning and that my mindset going into experiencing Ayahuasca in a few days was exactly where it needed to be and it came just when it was meant to come.
To talk more in general, send me a note: Sam@SwagWorx.com.
Just breathe my friends,
Sam AKA SwagSam