Shamanic Breathwork Journey
Shamanic Breathwork is a modality of breathwork based on ancient breath techniques as well as a more modern approach to the breathwork experience. The intention with Shamanic Breathwork is to journey in ceremony through the breath for the sake of healing, wholeness, guidance, and integrating "lost" parts of ourselves - bringing them home to our hearts.
What to expect in a Shamanic Breathwork session.
In a Shamanic Breathwork session, you will experience an active, dynamic breath that creates space within for your soul, your deepest self, to speak. Specifically chosen music is played to support and enhance your inner journey. I am there with you every step of the way, intuitively providing support and guidance.
Shamanic Breathwork - a pathway to deep inner healing.
"What is God? He is the breath inside the breath."
So many cultures across human history have given significance to our breath: the Judeo Christian creation story stating that God molded us out of clay and “breathed” on us to give life, the almost infinitely vast collection of yogic pranayama breath techniques, all the way to modern day Navy SEAL training that utilizes certain breaths to keep life-or-death panic at bay.
I have heard Shamanic Breathwork described as a “roto-rooter” for our healing process. That has been true in my own experience. It is a way to dive deep - deep into our own psyche to reveal both our shadow and our light. Our buried woundings and our silenced voices call out from within, sometimes with a whisper and sometimes with a ferocious primal scream. These parts of ourselves need to be seen and heard. But how do we allow all of this to come to the surface when our ego (which is not our enemy) has so beautifully obscured all of this pain to try to keep us safe?
This breath that is so easy to take for granted can carry us through from our deepest pain to our most profound healing. We simply go into the breath, learning to trust what comes up and that we have what it takes to truly show up for ourselves.
Shamanic Breathwork is one of the most potent healing modalities I have ever experienced myself. I am honored to be able to share it with you now.
Here is a typical layout for a Shamanic Breathwork session.
We will begin by opening the 7 directions (South, West, North, East, Great Above, Great Below, and the Great Within), giving honor to all of the different manifestations of the wisdom and medicine of Spirit. Calling in all of the support from the Unseen.
You will lie down on a mat on the floor. You can cover yourself with a blanket for warmth and an eye mask to keep your energy inward. If it is a private session, I will be right next to you. If you are breathing in a group setting, you may have a “co-journeyer” with you, holding space for you as I move around the room providing extra support where needed. We will discuss your preferences for energy healing during the session. I may guide you through a few rounds of gentle breath to get centered. I will play a drum or shake a rattle to initiate the journey. Intentionally chosen music starts to play to give a backdrop to your experience, and then you move into your active breath.
You will stay with this breath as your anchor during the session. You may need to vocalize, cry, move, or rest at times during the breathwork based on what you are experiencing. But if ever you don’t know what to do, simply come back to your active breath as your guide and refuge.
Eventually, the music will naturally guide you to a subtle state, and I will help bring you back into your bodily experience with drumming and spoken word.
Integration can take the forms of discussion, journaling, body movement, or some kind of creative work like painting. This aspect of the process is very important and can’t be underestimated. Integration unfolds over the hours, days, weeks, and even months after the session. New insights can come because your internal “slate” has been cleared in some way. Something that was troubling may feel lighter. Another piece of you has returned.
FAQs about Shamanic Breathwork
Is Shamanic Breathwork the same as yogic breathing (pranayama)?
It’s all breath, but no, Shamanic Breathwork and most yogic breathing (pranayama) are different.
Yogic pranayamas have different purposes - engaging or cultivating different physical/emotional/mental aspects of ourselves for balance.
Shamanic Breathwork utilizes a constant breath (typically in the nose and out the mouth) practiced with some intensity and over time to initiate a deep inner journey in the breather.
Why use the word "shamanic"? Does that mean that plant medicine is involved?
No plant medicine is involved, just pure breath!
This modality does induce “journey” experiences that can be similar to a plant medicine experience in that the breath takes you deep within yourself, beyond your everyday waking consciousness to what can be called an ‘altered’ state.
What is the music like in a Shamanic Breathwork journey?
The music is epic! The musical journey is crafted to move the breathers through internal landscapes from the lower chakras and more dense elements to the more subtle and ethereal aspects of our Being.
Will I be lying down while doing Shamanic Breathwork?
Yes, it is recommended that you lay down during a Shamanic Breathwork journey unless you have a physical issue that prevents that. If that is the case, we will work with you to find a comfortable and safe position for you.
You will be provided with an eye mask for your journey.
What can happen during Shamanic Breathwork? Will I feel out of control?
Strong emotions, memories, and physical sensations can come up during a Shamanic Breathwork journey that can catch us by surprise. But as our teacher Star Wolf says, you can use the breath as an accelerator or as a brake, adjusting your breath depending on what you need.
Remember that you will have me as a facilitator with you at all times. You will never be alone.
Are there any contraindications for doing Shamanic Breathwork?
- Cardiovascular disease (angina, previous heart attacks, pacemaker, or strokes)
- Detached retina
- Aneurysm in brain or abdomen
- Severe Asthma
- Any other medical, physical or psychiatric condition which would impair or affect the ability to involve in deep physical and emotional release.
What is the lineage of Shamanic Breathwork?
The wisdom of the spiral and the elemental wisdom associated with Shamanic Breathwork was passed down to our dear and most amazing teacher Linda Star Wolf from Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, who was an elder of the Wolf Clan, Seneca tribe, Iriquois nation.
Linda Star Wolf PhD also spent years in deep study and practice with Stan Grof ( Founder of Holotropic Breathwork) and Jaqueline Small (Founder of Integrative Breathwork) before pioneering the Shamanic Breathwork modality herself.
You can purchase many of her books at retailers worldwide, including Amazon.