Popularized by social networks, where the hashtag #Breathwork has gathered more than a million posts on Instagram alone, this way of breathing, based on hyperventilation, would make it possible to overcome emotional blocks. explanation.
Can Breathing Heal the Mind? According to psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, certain breathing methods, based on hyperventilation, could make it possible to reach an altered state of consciousness without ingesting substances. The target? Explore your inner being and master your emotions.
From LSD to hyperventilation
Breathwork breathing owes its birth to the banning of a popular substance in the 1970s: LSD. This mind-altering substance was used by psychiatrists, such as Stanislav Grof, to treat mental disorders. The specialist continues his research and discovers a perfectly legal way to feel the same effects: by adjusting the breathing.
To develop his method, the father of transpersonal psychology was inspired by an Indian breathing method called pranayama, to which he added a conscious breathing method called rebirth. The breathwork, this “holotropic” breathing, was born.
What happens during a session?
Whether online or face-to-face, the breathwork breathing method is performed sitting or lying down. This is not breathing to relax, but to hyperventilate. On average, sessions last about 20 minutes. And the effects can be intense, with some practitioners crying, laughing, or even screaming.
But beware, hyperventilation can also lead to dizziness, loss of balance or loss of consciousness. But reassures Susan Oubari, a pioneer of breathwork in France, interviewed by Marie Claire: “when it is voluntarily provoked and practiced under the supervision of a coach, there is no real danger. It is possible at any time to return to a ‘normal’ state by simply practicing nasal breathing”.
Specifically, the steps that are followed during the sessions are as follows:
– Make yourself comfortable, sitting or lying down
– Put one hand on his chest and the second on his stomach
– Inhale through your mouth, while inflating your belly, then inhale while inflating your chest
– Breathe out the air
By repeating this cycle, the body gradually goes into hyperventilation. This breath is not recommended for pregnant women and people with heart disease. Among the side effects, it is possible to feel a form of tetany, which consists in the involuntary contraction of certain muscles.
However, if this technique of active meditation allows you to explore and better manage your emotions, it is essential to learn about them from a trained person.