“Because our breathing is under our control we have at our disposal one of the most powerful healing tools known to man” Alan Tyson MD
Most people don’t think about their breathing, unless it’s during a Yoga class or they get puffed out during exercise, but it is the single most important thing any of us will ever do. Our breath gives us life and without it we can only stay alive for a few minutes.
When we become breath-aware most of us realise that our breath is quite shallow – just entering the top part of our lungs. These are in fact stress breaths. They activate the Sympathetic Nervous System and send ‘red alert’ signals to our bodies to get ready to run or fight. Unfortunately for most of us these breaths have become the ‘norm’.
Although we breathed beautifully as babies – diaphragm moving with every breath – we actually learned to hold our breath as a response to the upsets and traumas of life. By the time we reached adult-hood or maybe long before that, our breath gradually became shallow which means that we are not living at our optimum and our breathing is actually stressing us.
The moment we bring our breath into the diaphragm we activate the Para-sympathetic Nervous System which sends messages to our bodies that all is well, we are safe and we can rest. This should be our normal breathing pattern until we decide to take some kind of action – out of choice!
This shallow breathing becomes a habit so we need to learn a more healthy habit – that of including the diaphragm with every breath we take. For some of us the diaphragm may have tightened and it may take a concerted effort to get it moving naturally, but I promise you, it will be so worth the effort! Our bodies will then be receiving enough oxygen to maintain the healthy functioning of your internal organs, the major systems of the body such as digestion and elimination will be working at their optimum level as well as your cells being oxygenated.
Dr Otto Warburg received the Nobel Prize for discovering that cancer cells are anaerobic – they hate oxygen.
During a Breathwork session you have an opportunity to “Breathe Out” some of the issues that caused you to hold your breath in the first place – without the need to re-experience an old trauma. Because the breath is so subtle it gets past the defence mechanisms of the mind………..and for the most part, the days of “You can’t heal it until you feel it” are past – thankfully.
WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?
Same old, same old?
Did you know we spend 95% of our time thinking about the past and planning/worrying about the future? This means we are only actually PRESENT in our life for approximately 4.5 years …..and most of these was probably when we were children!
How sad – we aren’t even living our lives! We are automatons!
The answer to this is Mindfulness – how to actually BE in our life and to actually LIVE it!
It does take commitment and effort but it is so worth it.
When Jon Kabat-Zinn became interested in Mindfulness, he actually attended talks given by Thich Nhat Hanh, he was so impressed that he believed the technique would help his depressed and stressed patients at the Massachusetts School of Medicine where he worked. He tried it out and it did work! In fact he was so successful that Clinical Trials were done and it was found that after 8 weeks of training 45% of the patients could come off all medication, the majority of the rest could cut down on their medication and only a small number weren’t helped by the training.
This is the way in which Mindfulness became mainstream and is really catching on – BECAUSE IT WORKS!
Most of us think we are our mind. We identify with the thoughts that go round and round incessantly in our heads all the time. By acknowledging that thoughts are just thoughts, they are not the truth, we free ourselves up from the tyranny of the mind and allow ourselves to be who we truly are. What an adventure! When we come back to being our real selves, which is so much more wonderful than any mental concept, then we can truly begin living our lives – moment by moment.
For more information on our 8 week Mindfulness Courses www.unlimitedmind.co.uk
Wherever You Go There You Are
Coming to our Senses
Full Catastrophe Living
All by Jon Kabat-Zinn
2013 seems to have been a challenging year for most people. I find it particularly challenging when people I have known for some time go out of my life. However the sudden death of a very dear friend from Liver problems at the age of 47 was devastating. Elisa had a devoted husband and lovely daughter aged 12 and had so much to live for. Then losing my brother – who had been ill for some time wasn’t expected to die so suddenly, at the end of December, ended my year on a painful note.
One thing I have learnt is to try and find something positive or to create something positive. Grief is a very powerful emotion as I learned when I lost my 14 year old son to Epilepsy – it could have destroyed me. I survived by putting this energy into a creative endeavour that would help others. I set up an Award Scheme at Owen’s school to acknowledge pupils who have to cope with or who have overcome a particular difficulty in their life, someone who has made a consistent and determined effort with their work or someone who is a positive and helpful member of the school – spending time helping others. It has gone from strength to strength and is now an integral part of the school.
Uncannily Elisa died on the same day as Owen – 19 October. This was such a coincidence and I mentioned to Gianiero and Eva (Elisa’s husband and daughter) the possibility of setting something up at the nearby Hospice in Sydenham for Elisa. They liked this idea and it has has given us something positive to focus on. It definitely helps the grieving process that the loved one will be remembered in such a positive way. It is always shocking to lose someone young – it just feels wrong.
My brother was 68, but he should have lived longer. He had lived in Australia for many years and his partner of 28 years is now trying to carry on as best she can without him. His legacy is his daughter and grandchildren who are doing their best to comfort her and cope with their own grief, but distances are vast in Australia and a 7 hour journey doesn’t make visiting easy.
The lesson I have learned is NEVER to take those we love for granted! I wish I had told Elisa how much I loved and valued her – her quirkiness and the wonderful ‘Ciao Tesoro she would greet me with – how I miss her. I wish I had skyped my brother more often and sympathised with him over his diabetes and the various health problems he had. I am skyping his partner every day now – as if I can make up for it!
I am also valuing the fact that I am here, now, alive and breathing. I’m doing my best to make the most of every moment – really practicing Living in the Now as Eckhart Tolle says. I breathe out the hurts and upsets as soon as I can – I don’t want to hold on to any bad feelings – which are nearly always relating to something from the past which are projected onto the present.
The highlight of my year was the birth of my third grandchild – a beautiful little boy called Max. I only have to think about him to smile! It is so true that babies bring love – it is impossible not to feel love when seeing them, holding them, cuddling them and marvelling at this new and perfect little human being who has decided to come and be a part of our human family.
What helped me to cope with the grief and loss, as always, is my breath. I notice the need to hold it when the pain comes – and to keep it flowing. I allow the tears to come – but remember to breathe. I know it has made this painful episode of my life more bearable and I know that I am healing more quickly than I would otherwise have done. My breath keeps me connected with something that is much bigger, much more loving and compassionate but beyond the understanding or imagination of most of us.
Keep breathing – consciously!
I wish you Joy. I wish you Love.
The Breathwork Retreat in Glastonbury in September was beautiful. There was as usual a combination of things – the people present (of course) the energies created at the sessions, the loveliness of the surroundings; but having done 30 of these 5 day modules and retreats, this one was special.
Some of the training modules I attended in the past were extremely challenging – with unconscious patterns surfacing and being ‘breathed out’. How times have changed! Perhaps enough of us have breathed out enough patterns to have made a difference – it seemed to me that we were being surrounded by the energies of joy and love. Yes there were challenges and issues came to the surface for some people, but it was so much easier to deal with them. I feel that the consciousness is changing and some of us are raising our consciousness and letting go of the pain of the past – the unconscious issues that kept us all trapped in the dramas of life. We now have a real opportunity to be more of who we really are.
We are more able to move past the concept of ‘me’ and ‘you’ and let go of our ‘story’ – the ‘story of me’ as Eckhart Tolle so eloquently puts it. This allows us to be open enough to allow the divine energies to move through us and guide us in our loves (I meant to type lives there – but I feel loves to be more appropriate). It is all about love – the ‘love that passes all understanding’ of the bible, the love that transcends the dramas of life and the man/thought-made suffering in the world. WE DON’T NEED TO ‘DO’ ANYTHING, just ‘be’ who we are – the physical manifestation of love.
Sounds wonderful – how do we do this? We need to let go of our attachment to the dramas we create in our lives, the pain and stress caused by our negative thoughts – and breathe them out. This pain, anger, resentments etc that we feel often arise from unconscious issues from the past which we project onto our current circumstances and people in our lives. This is a story – it is not real – we make it real.
Use your breath and allow the breath to free you from the pain of the past and to re-connect you with who you truly are. Letting go of the thoughts that go round and round in your head – just be! Create space in your mind, thoughts, life for a different way of being to emerge. Think loving, joyful thoughts – send the endorphins around your body, enabling your body to heal and regenerate. Love yourself enough to let go of the pain of the past and live in a joyful present.
This not only transforms your world but affects everyone you come into contact with, it has an effect on their energies, maybe unconsciously, and reminds them of who they are. Your world becomes a joyful and loving one.
Love is all there is – it is who you truly are – remember.
If you are new to Breathwork please do find practitioner who will ensure that you are breathing correctly. It usually takes 10 sessions before you will be really competent to do a session on your own.
The moment we focus on our breath we are energising it – energy follows attention.
Our breath is a direct connection with the Divine – the Yogis call the diaphragm ‘The Spiritual Muscle’ and believe that if we are not engaging it when breathing we are not receiving prana from our breath. Babaji says that our Soul sits within our spine and by focussing our breath into the spinal column we are connecting directly with our soul.
I ask my clients to imagine that they are breathing directly into their spinal column, almost as if the spine were breathing. The inbreath and outbreath create a circle of light in the spine, which gradually becomes a column of light in the centre of the body. We are thus connecting directly with our soul, which Babaji says sits in the centre of the spine. Here is a quotation from The Spinal Breath:
“Your soul sits inside your spine. Enjoy your natural state, your enhanced heart state. Your natural state is love, just as my natural state is love. Through love we speak of the whole Universe, through love we can hear god’s word, through love we grow, ageless towards God.”
Some people have difficulty in quietening the mind, Here is a very simple Zen meditation that with practice does just that. This in turn makes it easier to focus our attention on breathing into the spinal column,
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Softly close your eyes and just take a few deep breaths, ensuring that the diaphragm is moving. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.
• Breathe in and then count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
• The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
• Begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.
Do not count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale.
You will know your attention has wandered if you find yourself up to “eight,” or higher
Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.
Any spiritual practice that disengages us from the dramas in our lives are beneficial. We are not our thoughts, our dramas our stories – we are so much more than that. It allows us to move past our self-imposed limitations – to be aware of the character we play but not to be defined by it. The great adventure is going within and finding our True Self – the Oneness of All – and bringing this aspect into our lives or as Babaji says ‘our enhanced heart state’.
I am so pleased with the response to my last post of The Art of Conscious Breathing. My passion is The Breath and in my endeavour to ‘Get the Planet Breathing’ I want as many people as possible to practice this simple and transformational Art.
I would urge you to find a reputable Breathwork Practitioner who will facilitate your transformation. You can find one by looking on The International Breathwork Training Alliance website www.Breatworkalliance.com; The International Breathwork Foundation www.ibfnetwork.com; or in the UK The British Rebirth Society website www.breathwork-rebirthing.co.uk. Trust your instincts – look up their website and check them out – how do you feel about that person? Of course the best way is usually by recommendation, but that may not always be possible.
The practice I have outlined is to keep the momentum going and it will gradually change your life, subtly but surely, but to really accelerate your transformation you do need to work with a qualified Practitioner.
One of the most important actions we will ever take is that of breathing – it is fundamental to life – and yet few of us are aware of how shallow or limited our breathing has become.
As Alan Tyson MD says “Because our breathing is under our control we have at our disposal one of the most powerful healing mechanisms known to mankind.”
When we become breath aware we realise just how limited our breathing is and that every breath needs to involve the diaphragm, it is an enormous incentive to improve our well-being at every level – physical (the prime fuel for the body is our breath), mental (calms the troubled mind), emotional (heals the fear of loss) and spiritual (re-connects us with our source).
The breath is subtle, but so powerful, it by-passes our mental defence-mechanisms and heals at the deepest of levels. It reminds us of who we truly are – of the one-ness of all. It helps us detach from the dramas of everyday life and see them for what they are – dramas created to enable us to face our deepest fears and to breathe with them, to accept and allow the stuck energies to move out, rather than project them onto other people and the outside world in general. Taking without respect to try and fill our inner void – this is the way to destroy the planet. In order to heal the world we need to heal ourselves – so start breathing (consciously) and learn how to love!
When we realise how incredibly beautiful, amazing and unique each of us is – the thought of competition is laughable. How can we compete with perfection? We tend see ourselves and others through the veil of limitations and fears – this is not who we are. We can breathe past this and see the beauty that is everywhere.
As Babaji says in his channeling:
“Your soul sits within your spine, enjoy your natural state, your enhanced heart state, your natural state is love, just as my natural state is love just a smy natural state is love. Through love we can speak of the whole Universe, through love we can hear God’s word, through love we grow, ageless towards God.”
Breathwork opens up so many doors – but the most important one is to the heart. The Spinal Breath helps us to reconnect with our soul – with who we truly are.
10 July 2012
In my efforts to ‘Get Britain Breathing’ I have devised the following Daily Breathwork Practice which I give to each f my Clients asking them to make a commitment to being ‘Breath Aware’ at the beginning of each day.
As Alan Tyson MD says , If we were able to breathe naturally for even a small percentage of the 21,000 breaths we take each day we would be taking a huge step, not only in preventing the physical problems that have become endemic in modern life, but to support our own inner growth and the awareness of who and what we really are – of our essential being.
With this in mind, I offer you the following:
Daily Breathwork Practice
• At the beginning of every day make a firm commitment to yourself to be aware of how you are breathing throughout the day. Breathe in and out through your nose, unless it is blocked.
• Every morning and evening practice 20 conscious connected breaths moving the diaphragm. Letting go
softly on the outbreath, almost as if you were signing out the breath. Energy always follows attention and by focussing the breath going into your spinal column it makes the breath more effective and it also helps to keep the mind occupied by giving it something useful to do.
It is best to do your practice sitting up with your spine straight, although if you were awake in the night is fine to do it then.
• Practice 3/5 Conscious Connected Breaths 10 times throughout the day.
Our gentle resting breath should include the diaphragm.
Upper Thoracic breathing is a stress breath.
Any upsets that occur during the day – breathe into the area where you feel the upset to be located. You can release the energy in the breath.
It is best when working not to concentrate for periods longer than one and a half to two hours. Have a small break after this time and take a few conscious, connected breaths. If possible have a good stretch, before returning to what you were doing. You will feel refreshed and have created space in your mind to allow inspiration to come in.
• Create trigger points throughout the day that remind you to breathe consciously, eg before eating, taking a shower, when you get in your car, when you indicate whilst driving etc.
• 3 x Alternative nostril breaths per day will also be of great benefit.
It balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This breath is known as the ‘Master’ breath (Swami Ram Dev)
Hello and Welcome! Thank you for choosing to look at this site.
The creation of this site has been an enormous challenge for me and has taken almost two years – not including the year when I was in a state of shock and didn’t have a clue what to do – but here it is at last.
I am enormously grateful to all those who helped me, and in particular to Neil Weston, whose support and creative input was essential in bringing the site to life.
It has taken so long because I was very nervous of the responsibility of presenting The Spinal Breath in this form to the world. I was anxious that I would let Babaji down in some way and would not do his wonderful channelling justice. The creation of this site has been a huge process for me, but having breathed through most of my fears and limitations – here it is.
No-one was more surprised than I was when Bernadette Vallely suddenly sat up during a Breathwork session and started talking to me as someone else. The first time this happened was on 5 October 2007 when Babaji talked to me through her. Bernadette is a Babaji devotee, a successful author and environmentalist and it was the first time she had channelled Babaji. When he first spoke to me I honestly thought that he had the wrong Judith, I couldn’t believe he was talking to me. I had only been a Breathwork Practitioner for two years and as a 63 year old grandmother I didn’t think I was anywhere near the front line for such an exalted channelling!
I was in a state of shock for almost 4 months when the next channelling brought forth The Spinal Breath, this was on 18 January 2008 and is available on the site.
To me Babaji is not ‘out there’ he is present in everyone, maybe with a different name in a different culture. However, His subtle and compassionate presence can get lost in the drama of everyday life. Our ego-mind, lower-self or whatever we choose to call it, loves a drama – it keeps us under control and prevents us being who we truly are.
This is what happened to me but Conscious Breathing came to my rescue. Before The Spinal Breath it was the Conscious Breath that gently lifted me out of my story and into an altered state of peace and tranquillity. Here I was able to see the world and the drama of my life in a completely different way. The Spinal Breath is a potent form of Conscious Breathing and as Babaji says – ‘the soul sits within the spine’ and by breathing into the spine we breathe directly into our soul.
Although I have gradually been able to Breathe my way through most of my fears as they became conscious, I can still be pulled into their gluey depths at times, but the Spinal Breath always comes to my rescue.
To me Babaji is an exquisite form of energy – unconditional love. Being human I see him as the photographs I saw of him during my Breathwork training, but in reality I believe there to be no ‘He’ and no gender.
When I ask for guidance and I feel moved towards an answer that had never occurred to me, or seemed very unlikely to my ego-mind, or one that had seemed uncertain but now seems obvious,
I know I am touching that exquisite energy. I create a space so that I can Breathe with whatever is happening, and find the Stillness. He is always light, compassionate and treats the antics of my ego-mind with gentle humour. This exquisite pattern of unconditional love demonstrates that this is who I really am. This is the real “Me” and I know that this Me is You! You, Me – we are all One.
But at times I can still forget all this and get lost in the drama of everyday life. I feel embarrassed and again question Babaji’s choice – has He really got the right Judith?
I see the effects on my clients and feel reassured. My answer to the trials and pitfalls of the ego-mind is………………..just Breathe! Be with what Is ………………and Breathe!