My Breathwork Experience (And The Things I Saw)

Hey guys, I wanted to write a quick post on my recent breathwork experience! I had been fascinated by breathwork for maybe…2 months? I’m sure you were expecting me to say longer, but I’m usually really cautious with any kind of practices that deal with the “kundalini energy”, because I get ungrounded so easily.

I’m going to talk about both the negative and positive effects of the type of breathwork I did in a bit, but first…

Here’s what happened during my breathwork experience:

The breathwork session I attended was run by Jirka, the main breathwork facilitator of Vetes Breathwork. He does workshops all around Playa Del Carmen which is where I’ve been staying for the past month.

I went to his “Deep Breath Session” which was on the rooftop of an eco-friendly hotel. There were candles and music, it was a really nice vibe 🙏.. 

His method is called “SOMA” which is very similar to holotropic breathwork

So going in, my intention was to honestly, just see some cool psychedelic stuff. I wasn’t really doing it to “heal” anything, but I definitely ended up experiencing some type of emotional purging in my physical body as well as some interesting psychedelic images (I will describe these in a bit), which was unexpected, but cool. 

To start off, we practiced a breathing technique where we would breathe in through our nose and then out through our mouth. The instructor kept saying to treat it like a wave, it never stops. It was similar to those circular breathing practices or “boxed breathing” I would say. 

We were supposed to practice belly breathing and push our rib cage out to both sides as we go through the breath cycle and really use our abdominal muscles. 

After that, the instructor led us through a breath pattern that included a few rounds of deep breathing and then a period of breath retention at the end. So we would breathe in and out for about a minute and then at the end would expel all the air from our lungs and hold our breath in that place (with no air in our lungs) for as long as we can.

It was while I was holding my breath in that place when the weird stuff started happening…

What I saw:

I saw a few interesting designs and shapes. The first thing I saw was a pulsing purple circle with static around it. I have seen this many times before in meditation, so it didn’t really surprise me. It kind of looked like this: 

It was clearer than I had ever seen it during meditation and there were little tiny specks around the circle, almost like TV static, which I have seen before, but never this clear.

I also saw this one shape, it was like an ink blot and it was perfectly symmetrical. It was shining SO brightly. Like an ink blot glowing super bright neon yellow and blue.

When I saw it though, I did not like it, because it felt so empty and to me, represented the void of the universe. It also had a very overpowering energy to it. So seeing it was a very intense experience. 

It almost had an eerie quality to it and felt kind of “icky”, I know that’s kind of hard to understand, but it’s the best word I can think of. Basically, I did NOT like it! 

So those were the main images I saw…I’m thinking about doing one of the individual sessions to give myself a chance to go deeper, now that I am familiar with the breathing pattern.

What I felt:

I had no idea I was going to react the way I did to breathwork and yeah…I ended up being one of the only people who cried their eyes out during the session 😭.

It didn’t happen right away though. It was only during the 3rd sequence where I felt this overwhelming wash of sadness bubble up from my heart center. I just cried and cried (while seeing the psychedelic images) and kept saying “no, no, no, no”! I don’t know why I reacted this way, but I definitely feel I was living through some kind of traumatic memory.

My shoulders actually began to shake (as if someone physically grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me). My feet also started to bob back and forth totally on their own (my hands as well). Like a marionette having muscle spasms 😅.

Jirka came over quite a few times to where I was and would “brush” away the energy above me and also around the people nearby. Maybe an energy clearing technique? He was definitely an experienced instructor and I felt really calm under his guidance.

I thought because it was my shoulders that were shaking, that maybe I was living through the car accident I had when I was 18. The motion reminded me of the car shaking me forward and back when It crashed.

I don’t know!…interesting stuff…

The breathwork teacher said that many people will release the trauma of the experience of birth, which for most of us was very intense.

I actually had a pretty difficult birth. I was in the newspaper for it and everything! My twin and I were immediately separated after birth and put into incubators because we couldn’t breathe, so there could definitely have been a lot of excess energy stored up related to that event.

Maybe doing a one-on-one session will bring up more past memories and stuck energy to process 🤔.

What I didn’t like about it:

Jirka compared the practice of breathwork techniques to drinking a bottle of champagne. You wouldn’t guzzle the whole bottle, you would drink a little bit at a time and appreciate the taste.

I could see how doing breathwork exercises for too long or too often could cause things like anxiety and general ungroundedness. That’s why I’m going to wait until I do it again.

Even though it’s been over a week since I did my first session, I still feel a little ungrounded. It also kicked up all of these emotions in my body, mostly sadness and I still kind of feel it right in my heart area 💚.

This could obviously be a good thing and a call to fully feel these emotions in order to process the trauma, but too much at once could be overwhelming, I would think.

I usually expect a period of ungroundedness from any kind of energetic practice that opens the third-eye/crown area and moves upwards through the spine, but since I’m already very open “up there”, I need to be cautious with these kinds of things.

Note: I also get ungrounded when I use certain crystals (amethyst, I’m looking at you 😉 ) or, I don’t eat enough. I will start to feel other people’s emotions and just get really sensitive to my surroundings (more sensitive than usual at least). 

Takeaways:

I found it interesting how the magic of the breathwork practice lies in actually having NO breath in your body at all!

When I breathed all of the air out of my lungs and then held it, that’s when the images and the waves of emotions started to surface.

When the 90 minutes were up, we sat in a circle and shared our experience (if we wanted to). I think it was clear to everyone that I had an intense experience seeing I was the only one crying and yelling out 😅.

A lot of people were sharing that they were feeling this deep sense of gratitude, but I wasn’t. I was actually pretty upset. I felt a lot of sadness in my chest area and could have cried for about an hour or so afterwards.

I will say though, that for the few hours following the session, I felt more clear in my mind and there was a deep sense of calm that flowed through my entire body. 

I also felt clearer in my throat, I think because I spent a whole hour exercising my diaphragm muscles. I was able to speak and sing more clearly and with more power. Just a small thing I noticed. 

So…will I do it again? I think I will! But I’m going to wait at least another month before I do. I need to connect back to earth again 😌.

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