What is Shamanic Breathwork and Why am I doing it?

Did you ever play the pass out game back in middle school? As bored adolescents, we desperately looked for a way to catch some sort of cool buzz.

We found that extremely fast paced breathing followed by a big long stretch while holding your breath produced an altered state of consciousness that was enthralling. Nobody could explain the feeling, but it was so out of this world that when you came to, you had nothing but a look of complete surprise and awe. As I’ve become older, and my appetite for alternative conscious states continues, I find myself returning to this breathwork for a different appeal – its huge healing and transformative potential.

Breath is a central aspect of every waking moment for yogis. Through conscious breathing, I have found inner peace and connectedness with the fact that life is happening right now. The entire mission of Black Swan Yoga is to bring conscious breathing to as many humans as possible, because that will make the world a better place.

This is the central tenant of our organization, and I reiterated that to all our teachers recently. After that meeting, as the universe typically works, I was presented with an opportunity that would take breath to the next level. Aubrey returned from Sedona raving about a Shamanic Breathwork retreat I should go to. I was down. From everything I heard about this stuff, it was epic.

Basically, this practice involves voluntarily inducing a state of hyperventilation. By repeatedly breathing with a vigorous intensity, an altered state is reached. This is no task for the meek. Breathing hard is hard. Doing it for a long time is even harder. Maintaining it while you’re losing consciousness takes some guts, but the setting primes you for this legendary undertaking.

Music, chanting, general hypeness fuel you to push beyond that boundary. Its a state that can only be reached with the sufficient external motivation guided by truth and love. It’s probably going to be like breaking through the wall in a 400 meter race, or taking that one shot too many on a night out. You’re transported into a different way of existence. Once you’ve entered this state, you’re open to possibilities that are not of this plane in reality.

As in any ceremonial rite of passage, the guide is a focal point of healing, picking apart energetic disturbances they perceive while you’re in this altered state. It’s kinda like open-consciousness surgery. I’ll be going to the Shamangelic Healing Center lead by Anahata, a renowned practitioner of this methodology in consciousness repair.

With her lead, I will open up the power of my breath to unlock the view of energetic bodies and matter. In the middle of Sedona, Arizona, the land is charged with healing energy. Sacred grounds are everywhere, and the environment is electric with other highly vibrating humans.

I fully expect a complete rewire of my conscious awareness. I’m open and ready for any possibility, and I know I have the will and intention to push my breath to the point it needs to be for true transformation to occur. When it comes to bringing breath to the world, I must bring a more powerful changing wind into myself. Expect some different level shit when I come back!