What is Rebirthing-Breathwork?
Rebirthing-breathwork (formerly “rebirthing,” a breathing technique first [re]discovered and developed in the 1970s by a man named Leonard Orr, then taught worldwide) is the name given to a profound transformative process focused in and around the breath, whose goal is the reclaiming of our instinctive or reflexive way of breathing, as well as our innate wholeness and connection to joy and Spirit. By instinctive breath I mean, the natural way of breathing that your body “knew” to do, or could have gently learned (were we living in an ideal world and your birth had been marked by peace, tranquility, joy, love and safety, rather than a multitude of inhibiting and traumatizing factors that so many of us experienced during our births, prenatally, and in our subsequent upbringing). This work of reintegrating an instinctive, healthy breathing pattern is accomplished through an ongoing series of conscious connected breathing sessions whose end goal is the re-establishment of a healthier relationship with your breath and body, your self, and your own life. Engaging in the process of rebirthing-breathwork is a commitment to your own healing and reconnection with your Spirit.
What can this process do for me?
When you come for your initial ten sessions of conscious connected breathing, you begin a remarkable process of “unwinding” holding patterns in your own breath and physiology that constrict you in many respects. You begin to see all the times and places where you breathe less than optimally, and begin to self correct in the moment. Your body begins to remember its intrinsic, instinctive and reflexive breathing pattern which allows you to breathe more fully and freely (maybe for the first time!) thus contributing to your overall well being and health. Old negative thoughts and emotions lodged in the body get acknowledged, released, and transformed. You gain a news sense of clarity about yourself and can choose, maybe for the first time, to own your creative role in your own life. You bring in pure life force (prana) and spiritual energy as you progress further down this path of enlivenment. Physical healing is a possibility as well as emotional healing and forgiveness. You begin to vibrate at a higher, ascension frequency; you may choose to accelerate your spiritual evolution even more by integrating a holistic lifestyle that includes purification* of body, mind, emotion, and spirit (*see notes below).
What does a Rebirthing-Breathwork session look like?
We first set aside a two hour time period so that there is time on either side of the actual breathwork for you to talk about and process what may be “up” in your life, and so that you have time at the end to integrate the session and become re-grounded to the physical plane. As this type of work accesses non-ordinary states of reality and consciousness in nearly all cases, it is necessary to set aside enough time to incorporate all of the above, including the “re-entry” phase of coming back from (at times) a profoundly altered state. The session is conducted with the client comfortably lying down while fully clothed, followed by breathing instruction from your facilitator. The particular breathing method is often described as conscious connected breathing, as it seeks to easily and gently connect a full in-breath with a relaxed exhalation, in a circular fashion. This may sound extremely simple to you, but when you are the person receiving a session, you will be surprised at what may come up for you while first attempting to maintain this pattern of breathing! This breathing continues for around an hour to an hour and a half, with your breathworker guiding you in achieving a full and free breath, and coaching you when negative thoughts and uncomfortable emotions as well as physical symptoms inevitably surface, catalyzed by your breathing.
What will I experience in my Rebirthing-Breathwork session?
The experiences of the tens of thousands of people around the world who have partaken of this practice must, of necessity, be as varied as there are people. However, there is a definite commonality of experiences, of certain physical sensations or temporary “symptoms” as well as (with most people) the experience of retrieving and releasing generally uncomfortable memories of various kinds, including past trauma and negative imprinting, that can be from birth or before (as in past lives or when in the womb), or as current as half an hour ago. Releasing can occur without conscious recollection of an event, and sometimes body memories are released and integrated through spontaneous body sensations and movements; many times you will have emotional releases that can look like spontaneous crying, laughing, shaking, shouting, kicking, screaming, or pounding a pillow. Specific physical sensations that are experienced by people in this state include tingling in the hands, face and/or entire body, stiffness in the hands or other parts, a compulsion to go “unconscious,” a sense of energetic “streaming” throughout the body, and ultimately, a sense of release, relief, and at times, euphoria.
Who is this work meant for and why would I need it?
If you were born and if you breathe, it well may be for you! All kidding aside, it is one technique, one path of spiritual healing and evolution amongst many. But if what I have written somehow resonates with you and where you are in your life, and makes you want to learn more about it as a possibility for your own growth and healing, then it may be for you. As science has discovered, up until age six or seven, our brains are like an open book, and we are absorbing and assimilating all kinds of information, and making conclusions about ourselves and just about everything else, about “the way things are” both positive or negative, from our surroundings. This includes when Mommy and Daddy let us know, through verbal or non-verbal means, just how much we are loved (or not), whether there is “enough” (or not, especially when there are other siblings in the family, or economic hard times), if I am “disgusting” or “there’s something wrong with me” (if I am punished unreasonably, or for things that are simply natural), and all kinds of other messages, whether I am acceptable as I am (or not) and how the world (and the world of the family and relationships) works. This stage of life (as well as our prenatal imprinting, a subject for another time) sets up patterns (unconscious repetitive behavior and thoughtforms) for the rest of our lives, exacerbated along the way by people, places and events that meet with our “model” of the world, and that reinforce our “learned expectations” (ie, beliefs). That is, until we begin to explore, then change some of these beliefs through this or another process. Usually, people have an idea of what they are intuitively drawn to; breathwork is no exception. When I began my journey with this process, I somehow “knew” it was for me.
If you are drawn to what I have said please CONTACT ME by email to set up an initial phone conversation to see whether breathwork is a fit for you at this time in your life.
You mentioned ten sessions earlier. Why ten sessions? Why not just one or two? And how often do I need to come?
Unless you are the exception, or you have done an immense amount of body-mind-emotional clearing before you arrive to your first rebirthing-breathwork session, you are likely to find that the first couple of sessions, while they may be profound, are just the beginning of a process that (with time and persistence) begins to melt away your personal character armor.* (Generally speaking, the character armor is that which, unconsciously, contains and maintains the habit of inhibited breath and emotion within the body.) So you no doubt will have a transformative experience in your first ten breathwork sessions. But if you have seriously committed to a path of clearing and transformation in your life, ten sessions could be just the tip of your own iceberg. But it is a very good introduction to this profound process!
Additionally, for the greatest momentum (as well as support) with this process, it is advisable that you schedule a session each week until you complete your first ten. If you need to skip a week, that is okay, but the best way to do this in the beginning, is to come every week.
In these sessions, you will begin the work of re-animating parts of your Being that may have lain dormant and fallow for years, by using the breath to melt or “undo” what I refer to as your personal character armor. A minimum of ten sessions, in many instances, is what is necessary to begin to dissolve this habitual pattern.
How are you qualified to act as a facilitator in this journey?
When you decide to immerse yourself more deeply into your own spiritual growth by committing to ten sessions of conscious connected breathwork (ie, rebirthing-breathwork), you want to work with someone who will provide a safe space for you to undergo catharsis and emotional release, who has walked and breathed this altered state path before you, and who therefore can serve as your guide during your own journey. Metaphorically speaking, you are crossing the River Styx (in Greek mythology, the boundary between the earth and underworld) during this process, and therefore need a guide who has crossed before you, knows the territory, is engaged in the process, and can safely lead you to the other side. Said another way, your guide should have a good grounding in and knowledge of the instinctive, reflexive breath, and how to recover it, as well as be comfortable in supporting you in whatever may arise for you emotionally in this very altered state/journey space that comes from something as “simple” as your own breath!
I have walked this path of transformational spirituality and healing since the early 1980s and was trained in rebirthing-breathwork by Sondra Ray and Bob Mandel, among others. (Sondra Ray, along with Leonard Orr, mentioned above, wrote “Rebirthing In The New Age.”) As a breathworker, I completed a minimum 10 months of training in breathwork and seminar leadership under the tutelage of ISLP (International Seminars Leadership Program) trainers Bob and Mallie Mandel and Sondra Ray (and others) in NYC, as well as Yve and Vince Betar in Australia. My path has also been highly influenced by a life of training for and experience as a professional singer (as well as more recently, a voice teacher and coach) from which I gleaned a great deal more to do with the breath, breathing for singing (and how, when our breath is, by habit, inhibited, it adversely affects us). Additionally, I am a Reiki Master Level Practitioner (Reiki III), having been initiated into Reiki in the early 1980s. Today, I not only practice as a rebirthing-breathworker and teacher/coach for singing, I conduct Reiki healing sessions, as well as continue my study and research into energy healing, including incorporating EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) into sessions. If I find something that can help you progress faster, you can be assured that I will seek to incorporate it into what we do together.
See more about my background HERE.
Being a Baby Boomer, myself, I am also very engaged in the concept and application of the concept that we can age healthily as well as grace-fully, through our own self discipline and continued interaction with the latest advances in various technologies (I am not speaking, however, of pharmaceutical drugs here, which, in many cases, I feel do more harm than good). It is my belief that we live in a time of tremendous planetary transformation (and to a degree, an age of the miraculous) that, to a more “jaded eye,” could appear as if things are simply “falling apart.”
To arrange for a free half hour in-person or phone consultation (where you can ask me any questions you may have, and decide if rebirthing-breathwork with me as your facilitator is a match for you) please CONTACT ME initially by email.
To see pricing details for ten sessions CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
*Regarding purification of the body, mind, emotion, and spirit – mentioned above:
Rebirthing-breathwork is, in itself, a cleansing process for body, mind and Spirit, that may be aided by the inclusion in your life of other aspects of purification, in particular using the four elements: Earth (conscious diet and regular fasting, and things of a physical nature such as exercise, yoga, massage/other bodywork, and regular connection with the Earth); Air (oxygenating the body and doing conscious connected breathing, consciously bringing in life force or prana as well as oxygen; seeking out places with fresh, clean air; also, consciously working to transmute negative thoughtforms); Fire (spending time daily with an open flame helps transform negative emotions and clear the energy body); and Water (staying hydrated with pure, energized water, as well as utilizing water daily to help cleanse the physical and *energy bodies).
*In regards to the idea of the energy body:
Since most of us cannot see it, we have a tendency to discount the fact that we have an energy body (much less consider the necessity of keeping it clean – no doubt, yogis and “seers” would tell us otherwise!). We know the necessity of breathing clean air, which we also cannot see, or keeping to a clean and healthy diet that supports invisible processes inside the body, but we often forget (or are not aware of the need) to take care of our own (invisible) chakras, ie, the seven energy centers of the body, and energy field.
Many things can and do contribute to a dirty energy body which, in turn, contributes to a lack of well being: negative, persistent thoughtforms and emotions (yours or someone else’s), past or present abuse, physical or emotional pain, dis-ease and spending too much time in hospitals or other places where people are ill and/or depressed, spending too much time in a car and in traffic, feelings of stuckness or stagnation, painful limiting beliefs that we believe to be real or the truth, being in close proximity with chronically negative people, spending too much time around very ill people, spending too little time in nature, spending too much time around people in enclosed buildings or structures with minimal fresh air flow or access to natural light, being around and immersed in wireless or other electronic technologies that create “electrosmog,” and living or working on top of geopathic (earth energy) stress zones (see HERE for help with these last two). I’m sure you catch the drift and could probably add a few of your own. (Obviously, some of these things can be remedied by making different life choices.)
*Regarding character armor:
Character armor is a term that Wilhelm Reich, a controversial student of Freud, and scientist in his own right coined to describe a kind of protective mechanism, a system of bodily habits and patterns that we each, mostly unconsciously, put into place as a protective mechanism against the “slings and arrows” of our outer world, as well as our own desires and instincts that we, for whatever reason, assess as threatening to ourselves or others. Rebirthing-breathwork helps to dissolve character armor, replacing it instead with authentic Spirit. The process is not necessarily short, or entirely without its trials and tribulations (as is the journey we call Life1). but the goal is eminently worthy.