Posts tagged ‘Transformational Breathing’

Transformational Breathing – Part 2

Over the past few years I’ve survived some stressful times, and the stress led me to suffer a troubling fungal infection in my belly, which in turn disrupted my breathing .

I decided to start using Judith Kravitz’ CD on Transformational Breathing again, in order to restore my breath. I noticed that on following her breathing pattern on the CD, I was unable to keep in time with her. What I felt myself doing was pausing at either the outbreath or inbreath when the aim is to be continuously breathing. Judith says when we hold back or pause the Transformational Breath that the reason is fear.   By fear she doesn’t mean being afraid of the technique but old fears that are embedded in the body and which are holding back the natural flow or rhythm of the breath.

In his book, The Miracle of the Breath, Andy Caponigro writes about how ‘breathing blocks can create a host of physical and mental problems,  ranging from asthma to gastro-intestinal disorders to depression  and psychotic breaks.” He says, like Judith, that “fear is the link that connects our breathing blocks  with all forms of illness.” Caponigro also teaches techniques to reduce or eliminate these building blocks, and he calls his techniques Tarzan and Gentle Rapid Breathing (Based on yogic Bastrika breathing).

Another writer on the breath (can’t remember who)  used the word ‘catch’ to describe these blocks that stop our breathing from flowing freely. This is what I felt, a slight ‘catch’ in my respiratory system, perhaps at the level of the diaphragm. These catches, blocks and pauses are the result of fears that we harbour in our body, and have probably kept them in place for many years.

What are the fears that I have been holding? One must be of poverty, another of loss of status, a third the fear of not fulfilling myself, and a fourth that of letting others down. Many people are afraid of loneliness, illness and death.

Fears that you experienced years ago are still with you, embedded in the tissues of your body. The emotional trauma at the time caused chemical and muscular changes to your body. Those changes often stay, especially if the trauma was strong enough or repeated enough times.  Once lodged in your body, they become blockages to the flow of breath and chi, and can lead to pain and illness. To root them out is very difficult, and breathing, because it is so primal, is one way to disturb these blocks, shake them up and rid your body of them.

I believe that Transformational Breathing, if followed diligently, can have a real impact on these blocks and catches and lead to freer and more open breathing, with all the health benefits that entails. And no, I am not sponsored by Transformational Breathing.

July 29, 2013 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

Transformational Breathing – Part 1

In 2009 I started doing some Transformational Breathing, This is a technique originated by Judith Kravitz of the USA, who has been leading workshops in this technique for the past 30 years.

I started with a CD made by Judith called “100 Breaths to Joy” that I followed by practising at home, and then I read Judith’s book, “Breathe Deep, Laugh Loudly”. I did have some success doing this on my own, but I was able to make more progress after attending two workshops in London run by facilitator Alan Dolan.

Why was I doing this form of breathing? I have a long term project to do a kit (book, cd, dvd, workbook) on health, well-being and longevity. For the kit, I wanted to include a series of yoga positions that people could do in order to discover (if they didn’t already know) where they were in pain, or stiff, or had some kind of physical blockage. I asked my ex, a yoga therapist, if she could devise this set of asanas (postures) but she thought that this was a secondary phase, and that more primary for the kit’s readers should be a self analysis of their breath, and learning how to breathe better.

I thought this sounded right and I realised that I had not really done much breath work on my own. So I decided to start looking at my own breath and this led me to pick up Judith Kravitz’s CD and begin. In the past, I had a feeling (confirmed by a shiatsu practitioner) that my diaphragm was holding in some places along my rib cage and spine, and this holding was obstructing my full breathing capacity. I worked on this area for years with shiatsu and self-massage, and felt that I had loosened the areas of holding, but never completely.

I also knew that my solar plexus was the place where I had held some old emotional traumas from the past. Whenever I had a shock of any kind, like the death of my father, or being let down or betrayed by someone or any other strong emotional shock, it always seemed to hit me in the ‘pit’ of the stomach, and I think that I had an accumulation of emotional hits in that area. The solar plexus and diaphragm must be closely connected since they inhabit the same area of the front of the body.

Transformational Breathing, unlike yogic pranayama or Taoist belly breathing and reverse breathing, is a technique for breathing through the mouth rather than the nose, and keeping the in-breaths and out-breaths in continuous flow. I won’t try to describe the technique since it is best explained by a teacher. Suffice to say that when I tried the technique via the CD I did have a strong response at my solar plexus which allowed me to release some very old emotional baggage that I had been holding there. This related to some issues of loss, betrayal and self-doubt that I had been carrying from childhood on, and the deep belly breathing managed to shake up the solar plexus where these emotions had become lodged. I was able to deal with the old emotions and thoughts and this helped to release some of them from my body.

A few weeks later I had a chance to do a couple of group workshops with Alan Dolan, an experienced Transformational Breathing facilitator, and he taught me how best to use the technique. After the two sessions with him I felt my solar plexus vibrating, and I felt sure that more clearing was taking place. I also felt that my diaphragm had now finally ‘let go’ and there was no longer a holding at the rib cage. I felt that my breathing was now very deep and very easy.

I am now continuing to use the technique and I have started to do some further research into other breathing methods and techniques so that I can use this knowledge to inform the section on Breathing that I intend to have in the longevity kit.

Alan Dolan can be contacted at

July 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

The Blog That Fell From The Sky

Reflections on an age of anxiety.