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What is Neurodynamic Breathwork?



Neurodynamic Breathwork is a style of breathwork that emerged from Holotropic Breathwork and shares many common features, while being unique in particular ways.  The above video is a great introduction to the breathwork experience. Michael Stone, featured in the video, was Sylas's Breathwork teacher, and Sylas is a certified Neurodynamic Breathwork Facilitator.


Neurodynamic Breathwork allows you to access an expanded state of awareness, quiet your conscious mind (often referred to as the 'monkey mind'), and connect with your innate intelligence. This intelligence is the same one that regulates all our internal body processes every second of every day to keep us alive. Often, we are not consciously connected to it, or it is merely a faint internal voice that is barely audible. Regular breathwork sessions, paired with the physical and emotional releases experienced during them, will help reinforce the neural pathway to this inner intelligence, enabling you to access it more consistently in your daily life simply by taking a few deep breaths. Participants have reported gaining insights into their life issues, improving their relationships, feeling less isolated, more connected to the world, and, with consistent practice, experiencing heightened presence, which facilitates better decision-making.


TYPES OF EXPERIENCES


Numerous types of experiences can occur during breathwork, none being superior or inferior to others. Each session is a unique experience, reflecting what needs processing at that particular time. Therefore, comparing sessions is discouraged. Most reported experiences fall into the following categories:


Sensory Experiences: Varied physiological sensations can arise. For example, you might feel hot, then cold, then hot again, or your body might go numb. In breathwork, your body may induce extreme tension in certain areas to achieve better release. This can lead to full-body stiffness or tetany, where hands or toes become stiff, occasionally causing discomfort. However, this often signifies a healing process, where stored energy is being released through tension. The general guideline is to allow the tension to take its course for the most effective release. If the tension becomes unbearable, slow down your breathing and it should subside.


Biographical Experiences: Some participants report revisiting past incidents, particularly those where they felt overwhelmed and couldn't fully express the emotions involved. If this occurs, it's encouraged to allow yourself to experience and express the emotions fully. Techniques to release anger or frustration without disturbing others could include yelling or growling into a pillow. Such experiences often lead to the release of long-held emotional blocks, with profound impacts on your life. Sometimes, these biographical memories may manifest as images from past lives.


Perinatal Experiences: Psychiatrists once believed we were born as blank slates, mainly due to the inability of the fetus' brain to form explicit memories. However, we now understand that implicit or body memories are formed from conception. Dr. Stan Grof's model describes four phases of birth, each with distinct characteristics and energies. These stages, ranging from a state of bliss in the womb to the transformative experience of birth, often resurface during breathwork. Releasing them can provide supportive energy for life transitions and changes.


Transpersonal Experiences: These are experiences that extend beyond the personal, typically inaccessible in everyday life. Examples include feeling like you're floating among the stars, feeling profoundly connected to everything, witnessing events in distant locations, or gaining insights into persistent issues.


Yogic Sleep State or Yoga Nidra: From the outside, it may seem like you're asleep. In reality, you enter a state of deep, profound relaxation. Often likened to enlightenment experiences, this state can lead to a loss of awareness of time and space, leaving you feeling relaxed and present afterward.


IT'S NOT FOR EVERYBODY THOUGH!

There are some contraindications for this type of breathwork, however. 


If you are experiencing any of the following:

  • If you are under the age of 18 you may not participate in this breathwork session without written parental consent 

  • Pregnancy 

  • High Blood Pressure that is not controlled with medication. 

  • Cardiovascular disease and/or irregularities including prior heart attack 

  • Aneurysms – if either you have had an aneurysm or if more than one person in your immediate family (parents, siblings, children) has had one 

  • History of strokes, seizures or TIAs. 

  • If you’re taking prescription blood thinning/anti-clotting medications such as Coumadin 

  • Epilepsy

  • Detached Retina 

  • Glaucoma 

  • Osteoporosis that is serious enough whereby moving around actively could cause physical damage to your body. 

  • Prior diagnosis by a health professional of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia 

  • Hospitalization for any psychiatric condition or serious emotional crisis in past 10 years such as an attempted suicide, nervous breakdown or psychotic break. 

  • Prior physical injuries that are not fully healed and could be re-injured through intense movement. 

  • Any other medical, psychiatric or physical conditions which would impair or affect ability to engage in activities involving intense physical and/or emotional release. 


Please hold off from participating the breathwork events. If you are unsure if any of these apply to you please message Sylas for clarification.


If you have asthma, you are welcome to breathe, but you must have your inhaler available.  


PTSD - If you currently have symptoms of severe PTSD, please check in with us before breathing.

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