The Story of My First Group Somatic Breathwork Session and Why I Recommend it to (Almost) Everyone
Have you ever experienced a moment of absolute clarity? A moment where everything just clicks, and you feel a profound sense of understanding and peace? Imagine embarking on a drug-free transformative journey that leads you to not just one but multiple mind-blowing moments of clarity. I had the privilege of experiencing just that through group somatic breathwork. This practice goes beyond traditional healing methods to transform your mind, body, and soul profoundly.
In this article, I’ll take you through my unforgettable encounter with group somatic breathwork, sharing the incredible insight I gained from the experience. From it, you’ll get a comprehensive understanding of what participating in a breathwork session is like. So buckle up as we explore the path to mind-blowing clarity together.
Start Here: Embrace the Healing Potential of Group Somatic Breathwork
For a thorough explanation of what somatic breathwork is, click here to read an article by Stacy Matulis that goes into all that. To embark on the transformative journey of group somatic breathwork, the first step is to embrace this practice’s healing potential. By opening yourself up to the possibility of profound transformation, you set the stage for experiencing mind-blowing clarity like never before.
Group somatic breathwork goes beyond traditional healing methods like talk therapy or mindset work. It involves delving deep into the body to unlock and release old trauma and emotions that could not be processed and became trapped. The practice centers on tapping into the breath, connecting with your body’s intelligence, and accessing a state of heightened awareness without using psychedelics. In doing so, you let go of what no longer serves you without having to relive traumatic experiences.
Start by giving yourself permission to relinquish any preconceived notions or doubts. Open yourself up to the possibility of experiencing profound flashes of clarity that can reshape your perspective and unlock hidden truths within yourself. This practice offers a unique opportunity to explore the depths of your being, uncovering layers of self-awareness and gaining insights that can guide you on your path.
Group somatic breathwork is an invitation to explore the unknown and trust in the transformative power of your own breath. That can be a scary idea, no doubt. It is a courageous decision to embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing, but the rewards can be life-changing. So, if you’re curious and want to know more, join me as we explore what it’s like to participate in group somatic breathwork.
What It’s Like to Participate in a Session
Before the Session
Entering the space where the group somatic breathwork session takes place, you feel a sense of calm and sacredness. Brooke made sure the atmosphere was warm and inviting. She had soft lighting and music to set the mood playing in the background. She also explained what we may or may not experience so we had some idea of what to expect. Breathwork facilitators create a safe and nurturing environment where you can fully surrender and let go of your inhibitions.
The Session Begins
As the session begins, you find yourself lying comfortably on a mat, surrounded by others on their own personal journeys. The facilitators guide you through a series of conscious breathing exercises, encouraging you to focus only on breathing. As you deepen and quicken your breath, you can feel the energy flowing through you. You feel connected to the present moment and the collective energy of the group.
Honestly, I was terrified to have my first experience with somatic breathwork in a group setting. Still, in the end, I am glad I did. By participating in group somatic breathwork, you join a community of individuals on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Together, you create a safe and supportive space to explore your emotions, release tension, and connect with your inner self. This collective energy amplifies the healing potential of the practice, creating an environment that fosters growth and transformation. I don’t know that I could’ve let go fully without hearing and sensing everyone else letting go around me. Instead of being intimidating, it was freeing.
As the breathwork intensifies, you may notice sensations in your body. Sensations like tingling, warmth, cramping, temperature changes, or even waves of emotion. You may make sounds you have a hard time believing are emanating from you. Lean into whatever you feel, as feeling into it is how to process and let it go. The breath becomes a powerful tool for releasing pent-up tension and emotions that may have been stored within you for years. It’s an opportunity to let go and surrender, allowing your body to guide you toward a place of deep healing and self-discovery.
During the breathwork, you may experience moments of profound clarity. It’s as if a veil is lifted, and you catch glimpses of your true essence, your authentic self. In these moments, you feel a deep connection to yourself and the world around you, understanding that everything is interconnected.
Throughout the session, the support and presence of the group became invaluable. As each participant breathes and releases, a collective energy builds, amplifying the healing potential for everyone involved. There were times I was experiencing deep healing and times I was holding space for others to release what they needed to let go of. You feel a sense of unity and belonging, knowing you are not alone. The group becomes a container for transformation, holding space for each person to fully express and integrate their experience.
As the Session Ends
You feel a profound sense of peace and renewed clarity as the breathwork ends. It is as if a heavy weight was lifted from your shoulders. I literally felt like I was floating on clouds. The insights and revelations you gained during the session continue to resonate within you. They guide your path toward personal growth and transformation in the days following. In the session I attended, we had time afterward to journal and share those insights with the group. However, not all facilitators include that in the practice.
My First Experience with Group Somatic Breathwork
Before the Session
Going into my first experience with group somatic breathwork at a recent “coaching for coaches” retreat, I felt a combination of curiosity and anxiety. I had read enough about somatic breathwork to believe it to be a powerful tool for healing and emotional release. But was my introverted self prepared to have that kind of release in public? Eek! (By the way, here are some somatic release practices you can try solo if the group setting is just way too scary.)
As I entered the space where the group breathwork session was to take place, a sense of calm and energy filled the air. The room was dimly lit, creating an ambiance that encouraged introspection and relaxation. With their warm presence and reassuring smiles, the facilitators, Brooke, Ali, and Jess, made me feel instantly at ease. And I already knew I was among a group of individuals seeking something more, just like me. After all, that’s why all of us were at this retreat. So, I let myself relax into it as much as possible despite my trepidation.
The Session Starts
Taking my place in the circle, I closed my eyes and focused inward, preparing myself for what would come. The facilitators guided us through the breathing exercises, encouraging us to release tension, make noise, and connect with our bodies. Each inhale and exhale made me feel a deeper connection to my physical and emotional being.
As the session progressed, I found myself surrendering to the rhythm of my breath, allowing it to guide me to places within myself that I had yet to explore. It was like the breath was a portal, opening doors I didn’t even know existed. I cried and laughed, and for a few moments, I was laughing and crying simultaneously, somewhat hysterically. Out of me came guttural noises I didn’t know I was capable of. I sighed and moaned and felt cramping in my gallbladder area, which is a source of recurring physical pain for me.
I allowed my body to move how it felt called to move, writhing and contorting on the mat and blankets. At one point, my hands and feet felt tingly as if they had gone numb, but they weren’t, and I could move and control them easily despite the tingles. My entire core shook and trembled at another point, but my arms and legs were still.
The power of the collective energy in the room was palpable. Each participant’s breath seemed to intertwine with mine, creating a profound sense of unity and support. I felt safe to fully express myself. I was in a judgment-free space where authenticity and vulnerability were celebrated.
A Moment of Absolute Clarity
In this heightened state of awareness, I suddenly “heard” a voice in my mind say one of the most repeated phrases in the Holy Bible, “Be not afraid.” I perceived in a flash that I had been holding back and playing small my entire life because I was afraid of my own power. Perhaps in another timeline, I was persecuted for it, and so to keep myself safe, I cut myself off from it. But, I received reassurance that in this life, in this timeline, stepping into my power to the fullest is not only completely safe but also what I was called to do and why I am on this Earth now.
As the breathwork wound down and I floated on invisible clouds, I felt deeply grateful for the experience and its transformative power. My first encounter with group somatic breathwork exceeded all expectations, leaving me hungry for more self-discovery and growth. And as we went around the room sharing our experiences, many other participants felt the same. We were hooked.
First, consider your own physical and mental health before venturing into this practice. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart or lung problems, consult your healthcare provider before engaging in solo or group somatic breathwork. This intense practice involves deep and rapid breathing, which may strain your cardiovascular system. Your healthcare provider will be able to assess whether you are physically ready to undertake this kind of activity.
Similarly, if you are currently experiencing acute mental health issues or have a history of trauma, approach somatic breathwork with caution. Although this practice can be incredibly healing, it may also bring up intense emotions and memories. Without the necessary support systems in place, such as therapy or a strong network of friends and family, delving into somatic breathwork could potentially exacerbate your existing vulnerabilities. However, breathwork facilitators are available should an intense memory resurface, and they have the training to guide you through the release process. So, don’t let a history of mental health struggles or trauma keep you from considering this practice. But, do be careful and set yourself up for success.
Somatic and other types of breathwork may not be safe if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, so please talk to your doctor before trying it out.
Furthermore, be mindful of the environment in which you engage in group somatic breathwork. This practice requires a safe and nurturing space where you can fully immerse yourself without distractions or disturbances. If you find yourself in an environment that doesn’t provide the necessary support or privacy or the vibes are just off, but you don’t know why, reconsider participating until you find a more suitable setting.
While group somatic breathwork can be a powerful tool for self-exploration and healing, it has limitations. Consulting with a healthcare provider and assessing your own emotional readiness can help ensure a more positive and transformative experience. By approaching group somatic breathwork with caution and a deep understanding of your needs, you can truly unlock the mind-blowing clarity and insight it offers.
An Invitation to Explore Group Somatic Breathwork
My unforgettable encounter with group somatic breathwork has opened my eyes to a world of profound healing and transformation.
Reflecting on my first experience with group somatic breathwork, I am in awe of its incredible benefits. It is a practice that invites us to let go of our inhibitions, embrace vulnerability, and tap into our inner wisdom. Through this transformative journey, I have found a new sense of clarity and a renewed connection to myself and the world around me.
Because of that, I invite you to embark on your own journey toward mind-blowing clarity by trying group somatic breathwork. Experience the power of breath as it guides you towards a deeper understanding of yourself and unlocks hidden potentials.
In the words of Carl Jung, “Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens.” By exploring the depths of your being, you embark on a self-discovery path. A path leading to awakening and profound transformation. You also unpack your emotional baggage along the way. So, take a deep breath and let the journey begin.
Sign up for a group somatic breathwork session near you with the help of your favorite web browser today. Doing so is a profound act of authentic self-care.
If you’re willing to share your experiences with group somatic breathwork, please tell us your story in the comments! By sharing what we’ve learned and experienced, we help others heal and find balance in mind, body, and soul.