It is said that babies breathe naturally and perfectly. As life begins to happen with shocks and traumas, fears and pains occurring, changes begin to happen within the flow of the breathing.
Events occupied with fear, pain and physical states of negative experiences interfere with the natural rhythm of the breath.
An automatic and natural way of protecting ourselves from whatever unpleasant input from the environment is contraction. Contracting our body as well as contracting emotionally creates a distance, puts up a protection-shield, we close ourselves down in order to stay safe, to feel safe. Both the physical and emotional contraction will cause a contraction in the breath, leaving its in print on the flow of the breathing rhythm. The breath becomes inhibited, restricted, controlled and thus shallow.
Feelings like guilt, shame and fear can restrict breathing. One effective, however unhealthy way of holding back an emotion or their expression is by holding the breath. The desire to hold back emotions or their expression can set up a habit of “breath-holding”.
Have you ever considered the fact that life depends on breathing? You breathe and so you are alive. You are alive and so you breathe. You are alive as long as you are breathing. For how long could you stay alive without breathing? The answer is for a few minutes. And have you ever considered the fact; the quality of your life depends on the quality of your breath?
With every single breath you take, you are taking in energy into your body. You are breathing in energy, prana, as the yogis call it, chi or ki in the ancient Chinese tradition. You are feeding your body, your organs and your cells with the prana you are breathing in.
If the natural flow or openness of the breath is contracted, blocked, the intake of the life force will naturally be proportionate to the openness. You will have less energy for your daily, weekly or monthly activities, you will feel less dynamic or enthusiastic about life, and you will have less inspiring ideas as well as less energy for social connections. You will feel less in the mood of expansion, rather in the mood of contraction. You need to hold back on your energy instead of freely sharing it in order to have enough for yourself to make it through the day.
Your body has to compromise on some ways, distributing the available energy for the most important organs, and might have less energy than the optimum for the organs that are not prioritized.
Therefore, it is essential for your health, vitality, wellbeing, full expression to clean out the ’’breath-holding” pattern from our system and maintain an open, energetic and at the same time relaxed breathing rhythm.
In Rebirthing, we use our breath for this process of clearing, accompanied by mental awareness. This is the so called conscious connected breath. As the physical, emotional, mental contraction has its changing effect on the breathing rhythm, the conscious changes in the breath flow will have their impact on the physical, emotional and mental conditions.
Experienced rebirthing facilitators can read their clients just by observing their breathing pattern, and can guide the breath into those areas where the body inhibits contraction. When you move from fear into relaxation or from pain to a state of comfort, your breath will open up and a relief of the breath-holding will happen. As you let unresolved emotions to go off, your breath will automatically open up, and your body will get more of that life force.