I'm feeling super grateful to Eoin and Joanna at Yoga for Hardy Bucks saying yes to breathwork classes at The Yoga for Hardy Bucks studio in Mullingar.
It's a dark Wednesday evening in October, its 8.30 pm
A mixed group mixed from 30 - 50 years old:
I ask the group for a show of hands of who has tried breathwork before:
Most have not tried any breathwork ever before (outside a yoga class)
A handful who have tried Wim Hoff (involving breath & plunging in cold water),
and one loyal breathwork follower of mine pretty much since I began facilitating breathwork just 12 months ago.
It doesn't matter what your level of experience is with breathwork is, as I guide everyone through it as if we all beginners, plus there are so many variations on what the term breathwork actually means.
I give the group a quick demo of the 3 part breath, all through an open mouth; (as the aim is to move out of our head and into our body)
- 1 inhale to the low belly
- 1 inhale to the chest
- 1 exhale through an open mouth
And repeat this breath pattern at a slow to moderate pace.
I ask everyone to lie down,
- Your comfort really is key to getting most from this type of breathwork class.
Covered with a blanket, which are provided
And I invite everyone to close down the eyes.
And continuously reminding everyone,
- They are fully in control of their breath the entire time.
Here I guide everyone through a short body scan,
Check in with how you are feeling in this exact moment,
I ask you to set your intention in your mind - simply how you would like to feel after this breathwork class.
And we begin the active 3 part breath slowly and steadily along to music.
While I circle the group, guiding and encouraging where necessary.
The first 10mins of active breathwork class is the hardest.
The mind will jump in and try to take you off track but I offer the reminder to everyone,
Your only job in this moment is to come back to the breath.
The group eases through the first 10 minutes and as the playlist selected with a mix of
& carefully chosen music with lyrics
To help guide everyone through.
I feel my heart burst for the honour of guiding each person in the group through whatever they start to experience internally.
Our belly is like a bucket for our emotions as we breathe deep over a period of time into the belly, feelings, thoughts, emotions stored away,
May start to surface during breathwork.
The music plays loudly (but not too loud)
The group are encouraged by the rest of the group around them,
At the acceptable social distance levels,
To keep coming back to the breath and follow a good rhythm together as a group.
Something magical that doesn't happen through online breathwork classes.
This is why I often find especially if I’m tired and I’m participating in an online class led by someone else, I might dose off slightly or sometimes find myself in a deep sleep,
But online classes have their separate benefits too – which I will cover separately in another blog post.
My heart is bursting as I see;
- Huge smiles burst onto people's faces
- Tears softly build in others eyes, yes including the grown men, and by the way, tears that no one else in the class sees or notices
- While other participants just take refuge under their blanket to hide away and honour whatever feelings are coming up for them in the moment.
Because all of it, every feeling and emotion is welcome - especially the messy parts.
Because something breathwok has really taught me is,
if we ignore and push away the messy parts,
something Irish people are good at doing,
then we also don't deeply feel the ABSOLUTELY AMAZING parts,
as well as we could.
A key part in this particular style of breathwork class,
Is making a sound or a noise,
Whatever sound or noise feels like it wants to be set free,
I guide and count to 3, this shout or laugh or scream is powerful in a group breathwok class especially!
Come on, honestly when as adults do we ever have free reign to just make whatever sound feels good or appropriate!
Think of a two or a three year old, they do it all the time,
because it's really beneficial to their emotional wellbeing and to the health their nervous system.
Just think of all the people who p!ss you off on a regular basis and you just have to bite your tongue!
This is ther perfect opportunity to let rip, in a healthy way!
It's a highly effective way to shift any anger or rage or frustration, even if we don't even know what that is about exactly!
Then 30 minutes or so later into the active breath we arrive at the deep rest and relaxation.
Moving into inhaling through the nose
And exhaling through the mouth.
This is honestly the part why most of us who do breathwork why we actually do breathwork,
For this feeling of
- Deep inner peace
- Clarity on things we feel stuck in
- Deep Insight or
- Simply a quiet mind
Everyone in the class has worked with the breath to easily arrive here in this deep relaxed state.
And we stay here for around 10 minutes in this deep recharge, restoration and deep relaxation,
With energy buzzing through every cell in your body, and actually feeling fully alive.
When do we EVER honestly feel like this in our normal everyday lives?
As I guide everyone back into their body,
I remind everyone the effects and benefits from a breathwork class
Like this last 24-48 hours
And to be gentle with themselves,
To move, eat, rest as they feel appropriate just listening to themselves and building trust with their needs.
I remind as people sit up,
Not to drive for 20 minutes as they will very likely feel lightheaded almost temporarily drunk or high (on air!).
As people slowly come round, feeling super restful.
It's so interesting to hear people's experiences as they may share with me in conversation as people are leaving, again a part of online that can be misses through screens.
One man's first class,
Who has experienced Wim Hoff,
Was blown away at how at peace and calm his mind was at the end of his first class,
Which he said, for him, this is very rare to feel,
As his job in the current climate as an undertaker.
And I'm reminded if we don't need a simple tool like breathwork in our world right now more than ever, then I may as well get a soul numbing 9-5 job my inner critic keeps threatening me with!
And I'm so deeply grateful, for discovering this magic
the magic of our breath.
And the best part is it’s accessible and free for us all!!
This is just one little snippet of why Breathwork is the medicine I prescribe to myself
and anyone who is interested in helping themselves easily feel better.
Intrigued to try this class for yourself?
Book your breathwork class at www.yogaforhardybucks.com
Elaine083 371 68 31