The Magical Mystery Tour of Breathwork

One of my favorite things, which I’ve been oddly silent about in my blog thus far, is my passion for exploring healing modalities. You name it, I’ve likely done it or plan to do it. Everything has its time, though, so I proceed as I’m guided. And in this case I was guided to breathwork by beauty, the oldest trick in the book. “Look, Erin, a beautiful woman! Why don’t you go find out what makes her so sparkly?”

I was in Boulder, Colorado, at a training that I felt guided to attend (tangential to explain here). I left the training wondering, “Huh, did I get what I came for?” and right then I realized that I needed to turn around, take my shoes off again, go back into the room, and talk to Gurpreet. Without going totally off the rails I’ll just say that she’s physically gorgeous (those eyes!), energetically gorgeous, smart, multilingual, playful, nurturing, deeply feminine in the way that’s both soft and totally badass, and she has the strongest-looking legs I’ve seen since my soccer days. She’s pretty much my dream woman, which assures me she’s unavailable to me in probably ten different ways, but that’s not the point—that’s never the point. The point is: MEET HER AND FIND OUT WHAT SHE DOES.

I almost laughed when she said she facilitates breathwork because it’s something that has long been on my list of modalities to try. There are various schools of thought under the umbrella term of “breathwork,” but as Wikipedia explains:

Breathwork is a method of breath control that is meant to give rise to altered states of consciousness and to have an effect on physical and mental well-being.

Well, shit fire, sign me up! I love altering my state of consciousness in ways that won’t get me arrested or make me ineligible for jobs!

The first thing that MUST be in place when doing work like this is trust. If I had any doubts about Gurpreet’s ability to hold the space and care for me while I’m “out there,” I wouldn’t be able to do it. Plain and simple, this work requires vulnerability—as any self-growth work does—and being able to trust the facilitator is of supreme importance. I implicitly trust Gurpreet.

The second thing that MUST be in place when doing work like this is trust. Yep, saying it again, only this time I mean trust in the process. Breathwork, like any other practice (e.g., yoga, meditation, etc.) is a practice. It’s not something to be done once and boom, you’re healed! It’s a conversation. And so far, it’s a conversation that I’m enjoying more than almost any other I’ve experienced. It’s a conversation with Source, God, Great Spirit, or whatever capital-letter term you prefer to use. Or maybe it’s a conversation with your own soul? Only you can define it for yourself. It’s the kind of thing that has to be experienced first-hand, and even then, trying to describe it is difficult. So I think it’s best to ease up on trying to understand it and instead just trust in the process and be an observer of ones’ own experience of it.

I’ve attended two group sessions and each one was completely unique. My first attempt was surely influenced by a bit of self-doubt and wondering whether I was doing it correctly. Last night I was able to let most of that go as I put my focus instead on playing with my breath. I moved it in different directions and I played with different rhythms to see what would happen. I became curious and childlike.

At one point I felt like I was being held in a lover’s embrace (as much as I can remember what that feels like)—it was deeply nurturing. At another point I felt intense heat above my feet and then it moved up to just above my knees and I realized it was the feeling of having a cat on my lap (Lexi? Miranda? Princess? Jingle? Chester?). It was as obvious as if someone had been holding a heat lamp right over that spot on my legs. I perceived many other things as well but it’s so moment by moment that it would become tedious to describe it all. I ended the session with so much energy I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt like the kid who wakes up first thing in the morning at a slumber party and just CAN’T WAIT for someone else to wake up so she can play!

I think one of the most profound things about this work is that it doesn’t require words. I love words and I know that I receive guidance through writing and I figure things out by writing and I give love in writing…but sometimes, words need to be set aside. This work allows great releases of whatever you’re willing to let go of, without having to talk it to death or experience the trauma all over again. It can be peaceful and easy or tight and uncomfortable; it can be a blissful ride on a magic carpet or it can feel like trudging through mud. The magic is in the allowing. It’s always perfect.

Information about Gurpreet’s classes in Boulder can be found on her Facebook page. And regardless of where you live, you can probably find a class via the interwebs. I, for one, am sticking with Gurpreet and look forward to more of what this healing system has to offer.