For spiritual seekers, meditators, and those looking to heal themselves the world over; reaching an expanded state of consciousness is the ultimate goal.
Throughout history, human beings have been using natural resources, especially plants, to induce non-ordinary states of consciousness for healing and gaining spiritual wisdom but did you know that the human body is capable of reaching this level of consciousness without using substances?
The answer hasis (almost literally) under the nose this whole time: breathwork.
So, what exactly is a non-ordinary state, and how does breathing help people to dissolve worries, heal and find inner liberation?
Stanislav Grof, a Czech psychiatrist who coined the term “non-ordinary”, first began researching the effects of psychedelic substances in the 1970s and discovered that his patients underwent cathartic release, spiritual enlightenment, and ultimately reached a place of healing.
Most interesting of all, Grof noticed a change in the patient’s breathing which coincided with spiritual emergence and eventually led to his pioneering method of breathwork therapy: Holotropic Breathwork, which loosely translates to “moving toward wholeness.”
Fast forward to now and a new wave of pioneers has emerged, sharing breathwork for modern spiritual seekers around the world…
Image: Helle Weston & Lukis Mac of Owaken Breathwork
Owaken Breathwork has become popular among celebrities like Travis Barker, Kourtney Kardashian, Jake Paul and Julia Rose, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, just to name a few.
Hellè Weston and Lukis Mac are the founders of Owaken Breathwork and teach specialised breathwork techniques that their clients describe as “completely life changing”.
Image: Lukis Mac of Owaken Breathwork
“When guiding people to access non-ordinary states with breathwork, we’re spending 2-6 hours working with them to safely open up to feeling emotions that may have been suppressed for many years. In a non-ordinary state, their perception of what happened and what’s possible starts to shift. The breath regulates the entire system as all kinds of grievances, fears and phobias are released. Forgiveness can happen in an instant during Owaken Breathwork sessions and give people a whole new understanding of themselves,” says Lukis.
Image: Helle Weston of Owaken Breathwork
How does something as seemingly simple as breathing do this?
Science is still trying to completely understand non-ordinary states and spiritual experiences, and by studying the benefits reaped during a good breathwork session, they are are one step closer to navigating the unconscious.
A 2018 study speculates that the psychophysiological effects of breathwork could have something to do with a shift of activity in the default mode network (DMN); the area of the brain that also has an activity shift during sleep, meditation and under the influence of psychedelic substances.
As individuals tap into the DMN, they begin to alter their brainwave patterns. There are five widely recognised brainwave types: gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Each brainwave follows a different frequency range and it’s within these waves that the mind begins to explore and realign. As individuals open the door to the unconscious, They can heal their unhealed trauma, understand how and why they do things, and ultimately take another leap forward on their spiritual journey.
“The psyche heals itself when given the chance, just like the body heals itself when given the chance,” says renowned psychiatrist James Eyerman. “breathwork may seem innocuous, but it will blow people’s socks off.”
Ready to try breathwork? Check out the Owaken Breathwork to learn more about their Virtual Events and classes.
by: Perrie Kapernaros