Aya Breathwork and Dynamic Meditation Facilitator Training LessonBreath Pattern, Body Positions and Their Effects –

Curious to learn breath science and some patterns of breathing you can use to regulate your nervous system, teach clients or family, or train to become a facilitator? Have a read from this exert from my faciliator training manual for my upcoming training in September.

Aya Breathwork and Dynamic Meditation Facilitator Training Lesson
Breath Pattern, Body Positions and Their Effects –

To best learn to regulate the energy in your body, it is important to be aware of several different breath patterns and body positions and their respective effects.

As a Breathwork and Dynamic Meditation facilitator is important to be able to read a client’s body and breath and choose the optimal combination of body positions and breathing patterns to clear the blocked energy from their system. There are many ways to form breathing pattern sequences and what ratios to use between the inhale, exhale, and breathing holds, or where in the body one will instruct the client to breath into.

  1. Nose-Nose Earth Breath:

a. This breath is optimal for the default pattern one breaths with during the day.

b. In a breathwork session, nose-nose breathing accords to the element earth due to is grounding and regulating qualities.

c. This breathing pattern is ideal for balancing and clearing 1st chakra.

Example:

  • Box breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, holds for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds – repeat (5-20 minutes)
  1. Nose-Mouth Water Breath:

a. This breath is optimal for releasing energy.

b. In the breathwork session, nose-mouth breathing is often used to purge.

c. This breathing pattern is ideal for balancing and clearing the 2nd chakra.

Example:

  • Deep breath in and release with a sigh (3-5 breaths)
  1. Mouth-Nose Fire Breath:

a. This breath is optimal for building heat.

b. In a breathwork session this breathing pattern will cause a sympathetic response and will activate the body.

c. This breathing pattern is ideal for balancing and clearing the 3rd chakra

Example:

  • Strong inhale, with mouth exhale while flexing muscles (30-40 breaths).
  1. Mouth-Mouth Air Breath:

a. This breath is optimal for balancing, releasing, and activating.

b. In a breathwork session this breathing pattern can used to

balance the inhale and exhale, to release by placing emphasis on the exhale, or to activate when placing effort on the inhale.

c. This breathing pattern is ideal for balancing and clearing the 4th chakra.

Example:

  • Inhale push belly out, exhale pull belly in; breath rapidly and pump the soft belly like a bellows (20 breaths, then breath hold on the inhale to activate)
  1. Nose-Nose Ether Breathing:

a. This breath is optimal for deep meditation and quiescence.

b. In a breathwork session this breathing is often chosen at the end when the individual is primed for ease and meditation. Ether breathing differs from earth breathing because in ether breathing, an individuals aims to breath in and out as little as possible, initiating a subtle breath and becoming more aware of subtle energy.

c. This breathing pattern is ideal for balancing and clearing any chakra.

Despite each breath style having it’s own qualities, it is important to note that it depends how one is breathing. If an individual is inhale with effort and breathing deep with nose-nose Earth Breath, then it will be stimulating. In order to best understanding these breathing patterns, you will need to practice with them yourself and build various combinations. The first one to try is to take 5-10 breaths in each, starting from earth, then moving into water, fire, wind, and ether.

if interested in learning more…

July 5th – breath pattern and body analysis workshop

1-on-1 guidance and mentorships available

August retreat 20-23 – 4 days

September level 1 training – 5 days

dm for questions and sign ups

The Art of Facilitation and Holding Space – Sharing my Personal Way (part 1 of 2)

“When the stage is set right, an individual’s true light comes into clear sight”

This collection of words is about the art and science of holding space.

Holding space is a fairly literally term for someone who holds space for an individual or group to go through process.

Processing refers to the integrating of experiences of the past (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) into the present.

Reality is HERE and NOW always. However, many individual’s don’t live in the NOW… in order to live in the present moment, one must exercise keen awareness, and have a level of integration of the past, so they are not holding unprocessed emotion or attachment to stories and identities that are not serving the present moment reality.

So then, there is a need to enter into processes and practices that help one to integrate their experiences, from this life, and past lives to more totally live in their full embodiment and expression of this moment. For it is from the past that is stored in our body’s energetic memory that we come into the realization of what we are here for, what our true nature is…and through the processing of the past, we can come into authentic presence and a true knowing of reality…not as an interpretation based on previous conditioning or projection, but a true seeing into the nature of being.
So then, space holders are individuals who have been trained through their own processing and practices to hold space for others to turn within and do the same. There are many ways to hold space and help facilitate others to turn within….

It is important to note a facilitator is not a healer in the way many encounter healers. Though facilitators can also be healers, a facilitator is there to guide you into your process and hold the space for you to do the work…. Which is a vital differentiation from someone who does the work for you…which in the context of spiritual realization, and even healing of the bodymind can create a situation of dependence. At some point in each individual’s evolutionary trajectory, they must come into contact with their own self-healing and self-realization process and path.

Space holders may guide ceremony (fire ceremony, plant medicine, church, etc), 1-on-1 or small group work (breathworkers, yoga instructors, women’s groups, etc).

As a facilitator and space holder I guide Breathwork, Yoga, Dance, Dynamic and static meditations, and plant medicine journey’s among other ceremonies.
First off, I’ll speak generally about the qualities of a space holder, then I’ll explore some of the specifics that make me an individual – because it’s important to not only have a standard of quality, but also to have an authentic presence.

Which is actually a great place to start.

  1. Authenticity:

a. Space holders are there to be a model that teaches from the way they live their life, and who they are at an energetic level (at a level of being, not doing), rather than what they profess to believe, or even what they can do. The last point is important, and it ties into other points to be discussed later, and that’s that it does not matter (necessarily – depending on what you hold space for), or where your at in your process, it matters whether you can hold space for others to be in process.

b. Example: you may be a gifted and practiced yoga instructor, you may be able to do amazing things with your physical system…but, if your whole energy is inauthentic (perhaps overly spiritual, and unintegrated), and you lack the capacity to allow others to get in their body an move forward. Then there may be room for growth in your capacity to hold space.

c. Take away: Be honest with where your at, how far along you are, and you will offer others the capacity to be honest too. Your authentic beingness is palpable, you can’t fake it, others will see right through.

  1. Safety/Love:

a. Say your holding space for a group event and your at a lovely venue, it has a buddha is corner and it looks SO spiritual, and the group of strangers that comes in is all impressed. Then you start your ceremony and jump right into process. It may go well…. But, the space you have, is different from the space you create and hold. Space holders set the tone or energy of the ceremony, and there are many layers and a flow for how ceremony will go (not a set flow, but certain principles are available – discussed later). One of the important foundations to holding space is creating an environment where everyone feels safety and love.

b. Process is about moving out of the regular cadence of every day life and letting some of the physic armouring that we carry to come down to allow deeper layers of ourselves, emotions, and stories to be brought to the surface so we can experience them, feel them, and release them. This is a extremely sensitive process, especially if someone is processing a death, abuse, rape, etc. Healing is about wholeness, and without love, there can be no coming together…when we fail to create an air of safety and love, process may just be another DOING or effortful process of the ego, rather than the authentic coming home to our spirit, which is perfect.

  1. Being Heard/Seen

a. Everyone has a need to be heard and seen. And many of us were not heard and seen at various times in our life(s) and if there was a situation, especially when we were young where we went through a challenge and we did not feel heard and seen, this can imprint a pattern …perhaps that individual will lower their self-worth, or their throat will shut down and they will be less expressive, or perhaps they have become exaggeratingly loud to get the attention they feel they deserve and did not receive. Especially when the pattern is set in early childhood, individual can potentially live decades seeking to be heard or seen, while simultaneously acting in a way (such as becoming exaggeratingly loud) which has been pushing people away their whole life.
b. In this example, the conditioning is deep, and probably pre-verbal, and it will take a proper environment for an individual to access the root of this pattern and release and blocked emotion/story, and then the work is to create an environment to implement the new pattern.

c. The above example touches on many pieces, one is that many patterns begin in early childhood, and they can be removed at the root by releasing the stored emotion. And two, that the individual will then need to establish a new pattern, and in order for the individual discussed above to install a new program, they will need a community or space where people will hear and see them. Which highlights the need to heal in community, and for space holders and safe spaces to increase as we heal our wounds and come back to wholeness, and create a world where we all contribute.

  1. Trust in the higher Will/Self

a. This is an interesting one because many talented space holders may not recognize this principle immediately. I choose to include it because my understanding of healing is becoming whole, and that includes the recognition and integration of our higher self, or spiritual self. But, language is a funny thing which has its limitations. And because of the diversity in which we can express, people often alienate select populations because of how they interact with spiritual matters…what that means is, people are still debating whether god is real, whether there is 1 god or many gods, whether there is no god, what god looks like, it he a man or a woman, an elephant, or a spirit. The whole conversation Is silly, and my position is that life is art and your unique experience of it is a beautiful vision. So what do I mean by trust in a higher will/self/god? Am I saying I believe in spirit? In God? No. One day I am praying to great spirit, the next I am practicing Buddhist meditation with the recognition that there is no god outside of me. These are ways, and they are beautiful expressions of art and culture. Trust in a higher will here denotes TRUST. Trust not rooted in belief, but a trust that what one is doing as they hold space is guided. It is from this space of faith that space holders act effortlessly, without needing to try and fix people or understand what is happening. Space holders as facilitators are not all knowing, by the work we do, we are here to surrender to the great mystery and allow others to do the same. One may teach a way of prayer, or meditation, or offer a philosophy, but it is not our position to impose or convince another to see the world the same. Methods of prayer and meditation are technologies for processing, and as space holders we can offer tools, and trust our process that has guided us, and help others to find their authentic truth too.

So then…there is more to say, but I try to keep my articles as brief as I can, let me share a few additional offerings, then let me now move into how I may hold ceremony (and it’s always so wildly different, so don’t think you can know it by hearing or experiencing one event).

  1. Do not be rushed – ceremony takes place in the Everlasting NOW – if you stay too deeply entwined in the ordinary boundaries of time and space and have an agenda, you may miss the intuitive and natural flow that occurs when one deeply listens to the space/participants needs and with respect to where they are in process.
  2. The natural elements (earth, wind, water, fire) and bio harmonizers. To understand your cosmic self, you need to be connected with the cosmos, which is in you, and you are made of the 4 elements.
  3. Connected individuals to the four sacred directions…beyond the limited form of body, you are energy that can expand in the 4 cardinal directions, as well as above and below, and into the center.
  4. Diet matters… different events call for different foods, but it is important t choose wisely, and choose food that has been prepared with a good intention.
  5. Intentions matter – your energy, on a subtle level is enriched with your intentions…individuals deep in process or if they are sensitive humans can feel your intentions. You carry an intention field around your body of your thought-forms, so the things you watch, the thoughts you have, the people you surround yourself with are all enriching or polluting this field…the more in alignment you are and pure in your intentions, the clearer your mind and intuition will become, which allows others to find their clarity too.
  6. Make sure individuals are supported before, during, and after…. Many of the best space holders are community members…. So then, when you come to see them, you become connected with their community.
  7. The power of song, dance, and story telling cannot be understated.

End of part 1: in part 2, a discussion on the way I hold ceremonial space with a details description of an event with my reasoning for my actions.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra – Realization, Love, and Meditation – Part 1


The Vijnana Bhairava is a foundational tantric text to attain realization and divine embodiment through ordinary experiences, such as breathing, tasting, and making love.
There are 112 meditations techniques or technologies.


The text is written in the form of a dialogue between Shiva (Bhairava – male principle) and his lover/beloved, Shakti (Bhairavi – feminine principle).


I will offer two ways to work with the text, and this particular article.

  1. Read the sutra and immediately apply the technique and carry it with you for the day.
  2. If the sutra has helped you, practice it for 21-40 days and each day you will deepen into the meditation.
  • One need not work with all 112 techniques, only 1 technique is needed for realization…and when realization is attained, all techniques can be disregarded and one can simply live life in meditation.

  • This is a uniquely Tantric position -to have a technique, use it, then drop it-. For many spiritual systems use techniques (yoga, prayer, monastic life), and they continue to use them, perhaps lifetime after lifetime.

  • Tantra says, the technique is a boat to the other side, when you have reached the other side, you don’t continue to carry the boat. That would be a control pattern, that would be forceful…Tantra is not about force and effort.

  • Tantra is opposite Yoga. Classical yoga is about control, as is becoming a monk – they require a diet, rigorous practice, seclusion, often a specific hair cut and garb. This is one pathway to realization, absolute control…Tantra is the opposite. It is about letting go, it is more soft and feminine than yoga and becoming a Buddhist monk. That is why Tantra, like Sufism, is for lovers. In yoga -In Monkhood-, there are no great romances, romance is dead to the yogi. The classic yogi and Buddhist’s do not delve into the human emotions, they seek universal emotions, they reject sex, and meat, and worldly affairs for spiritual affairs. Tantra is not about the rejection of anything, and some of the progenitors of Tantra were all about breaking taboo – many are familiar with the above mentioned eating of meat, having sex, and drinking wine…but, they went much deeper, they would drink menstrual blood, have orgies, drink each others urine, and dig up the dead..etc. Because once you obliterate the line between right and wrong, things can move quickly. However, most don’t take that extremist path, which can be compared to the yogic esthetic who starves himself/herself.

  • Bottom line: Tantra is about saying ‘Yes’ to life with unconditional love and allowing your love and inspiration to be the source of action instead of rules and doctrine. It is about techniques of meditation for the awakening of our True Nature in every day experiences, such as tasting, dancing, riding in the vehicle, etc.

  • Now, the meditation:

  • As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves up to down – through both these turns realize.

  • Poetic Translation by Loren Roche –
    Radiant One,
    The life essence carries on its place
    Through the pulsing rhythm
    Of outward and inward movement. This is the ceaseless throb, the rhythm of life –
    Terrifying in its eternity, exquisite in its constancy.
    The inhalation, the return movement of breath, sustains life.
    The outgoing breath
    Purifies life.
    These two poles
    Between which respiration goes on unceasingly.
    Between them is every delight you could desire.
    Even when the senses are turned outward, your attention on the external world, attend to the inner throb, the pulsing of the creative impulse within you.

    ..
    .
    Poetic Translation by Aya
    Radiant One,
    Let there be a presence to the rhythm of life that throbs and pulses with you.
    A doorway into untold mysteries lies within.
    With each inhalation, let there be a yearning
    A conscious communication with the bliss of being, and a breathing in the star’s light.
    With every exhalation, die. Surrender your life into the great mystery.
    Become total in your absorption of the breath and realize.
    Through the tides of breath, swim in the endless ocean
    Ride the incoming breath into ecstasy!
    Dissolve into infinity on the out-going breath
    Beloved Shakti, carry the universe in your body, breath into body and become whole
    And we will be one
    ..
    .
    Final notes:
    Take these words and this meditation and be reminded to breath. Be reminded that eb and flow of the breath is the pulse of life. Nothing more is needed to realize than the simple witnessing of the breath, you are already whole.
    Note: though this is part 1 of a new series, I have around a 10 other Tantric meditations and reflections on my blog already posted.
    With love,
    Aya

Breath Pattern Analysis (part 3)

  1. The Lower Abdomen is Not Receiving Breath.

  2. The abdomen contains all 3 of our lower chakras and houses our organs. Due to the high volume of information processing that goes on in these lower systems, if can be a common pattern to find individuals not breathing into portions of their abdomen due to not wanting to feel what is being processed. Guilt, fear, shame, and many other discomforting emotions are present in the low abdomen. The lower energy centers are related to embodiment and being present, individuals who lack a low belly breath are typically found to be less present in their body, and may have a hard time finding stillness and a quiet mind. Especially during the session, when emotions become heightened, it can be hard for an individual to stay present. This may also relate to a lack of self-confidence and a diminished self-esteem, and various forms of self-judgement. Further, due to our cultural beauty standards it is common for both men and women to suck in their belly rather than relaxing their belly, which can lead to all kinds of imbalances.

Corrective Measures:


• Mindfully place your palm in the sacral center, which is above the pubic bone and around 2 inches below the navel. Invite the breather to breath into your hand and stay present in the physical body.
• Place a stone, sandbag, or heating pad on the sacral center.
• Use leg compressions, move the limbs, get them to kick, wiggle, or tantrum.
• Get the breather to place their soles of feedt on the ground, which will help the lower abdomen receive more breath. Additionally, get the breather to gently bounce on their sacrum (you may want to place a blanket underneath).
• Have the Breather lie face down.
• Affirmations: I choose life. It is safe to be in my physical body. I am safe.

  1. Reverse Breathing
    One healthy way to breath naturally is to inhale and have the abdomen expand, while the exhale involves the abdomen moving in towards the spine…this expansion and contraction helps to bring breath, blood, and a massage to all the internal organs and glands. Reverse breathing denotes a pattern of breathing wherein the abdomen pulls in on the inhale and relaxes on the exhale. Though this breathing pattern has benefits and is taught in Qigong for example, it is only used for short durations; when the pattern becomes unconscious and chronic it is linked to imbalances. It is possible for the reverse breather to feel out of tune with their body if the breath is reversed, because our breathing pattern is a metaphor for how we are living, one may feel that they are doing things backwards or out of order in life.
    Corrective Measures:
    • Begin the breath session by guiding the breathing slowly, and using your hand to facilitate the proper movement and pumping action that goes along with proper breathing.
    • Pranayama – uddiyana bandha
    • Have the breather lie belly down.
    • Have the breather exhale all the way and hold, then relax the belly, then pull the belly in and out rapidly while still keeping the belly relaxed. When the breath is ready to inhale, have them push the belly out then inhale, then sigh on the exhale (1-3 sets).

  1. The Mid-Section (solar plexus) is Not Receiving Breath
    The solar plexus region lies below the rib cage and is where the primary breathing diaphragm is. In and around the mid-section is the liver, stomach, adrenals, pancreas, and spleen. With a plethora of organs which all hold different energies and emotions, this area can become stuck and corrections can be difficult. Metaphysically, this area holds many fears, especially one’s capacity to surrender to the will of the heart and higher centers. Further, inflammation of the gut and Gi tract can cause sensitivity when touching the area of the solar plexus.
    Corrective Measures:
    • Pranayama – before the session to help the breather develop the mindbody awareness to control the diaphragm muscles.
    • Reverse breathing – sets of 21, 1-3 times. Then, assure that the reverse breathing pattern is not sustained.
    • Steady firm pressure under the ribs or into the organ spaces. There is a sensitivity required when pressurizing the organs and diaphragm, move in too fast with too much pressure and the physic armouring will guard the area and not give the breather access to the blockage that is stored in the cells. Move in without enough pressure and the breather is likely to not activate and release the blockage. In any area you as a facilitator bring awareness to there is a possibility for discomfort, this area especially can house discomfort, especially near the stomach and solar plexus, which is literally a bundle of nerves. This is one of those areas where you may want to coach the breather that discomfort is common here, and to work with them if they are open to moving into the sensation to that the blockage may be cleared.
    • Cold water therapy.
    • Affirmations: my will and the heart’s will are one. I surrender. I am in my power.

End of part 3
For those interested in learning more, I offer breath pattern diagnosis as part of my 1-on-1 sessions. I have a mentoring program for individuals who are breathworkers, or would like to become facilitators. And I have 2 upcoming trainings to become a facilitator.

Dm if interested.

Maximize your Summer Solstice Transition – Empowerment Guide

Maximize your Summer Solstice Transition – Empowerment Guide

Today is a cosmic climax!
The longest day of the year.
A time of transition and completion.
Today is the closest to Father Sun we will be all year.
The energy of summer -and solstice- is yang.
Yang is out-ward moving energy, expression, and activity!

Contemplations:

  1. What seeds have I planted in the spring that I am growing for this summer?
  2. What am I laying to rest and letting go of?
  3. What am I grateful for?

Empowerment Check In:

  1. Does looking at my bank account stress me out? What empowering money-making decisions can I implement? Here is a simple one to start, check your account each day and then do a gratitude exercise right after and loosen the conditioning of the stress response in relation to your bank account.
  2. How am I using my sexual energies? Is my sexual energy being used in an empowering way that makes me (and my partner(s)) feel good? Quick tip: sexuality is more empowering when it is not merely physical, which can lead to unhealthy desire…when we can be sexual with love and emotion in our heart, we enhance our sex, which nourishes our body and intentions- and our partner(s).
  3. Where am I giving my power away? We all give our power away in small ways… from television, stimulants, substances, to stinkin’ thinkin…etc. If you’re not sure what is taking your power, give it up for 1 week or a month and see how attached you are.
    PS: I am not condemning any substance or activity – though I do encourage empowering yourself actions that increase your consciousness…my rule is, if I can use it consciously, then It is well.
  4. Where is my heart guarded… and…where is there room for the expansion of my love. Here are 4 places we may offer our love: self, family, community, and earth…. Your hearts gift is yours to create, sometimes just starting with appreciation is enough to get things flowing.
  5. How can I let go on control and find greater expression? Letting go of control does not mean losing control, it denotes a way of acting totally without attachment to outcomes…control shows up an tension in the body, especially the throat. Dancing and singing are great antidotes to control patterns…do you create space for free expression of your body and voice so that your voice and center of communication is free?
  6. What’s my vision? You either have a plan, or you’re a part of someone else’s. Don’t forget to spend time EACH DAY connecting with your dreams.
  7. What’s my relationship with the all. Expanding out from your individual life and close circles of interactions, our relationship to the all asks us to contemplate and/or experience the cosmos and our place among the stars, and in eternity. An encouragement to sit with the great sky and connect with that which is greater than yourself….it is humbling.

Thank you great spirit for this life.
Thank you for the 4 seasons.
Thank you for the 4 directions and 4 elements.
Thank you for balance, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
Thank you for the breath.
And play!
Aho!

  • Aya