The Power of Breathwork for Spiritual Ascension

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Are you on the spiritual awakening path? Want to achieve higher states of consciousness similar to those experienced using plant medicine? Want to know if breathwork can help accelerate your journey? Well, breathwork may just be your ticket to heaven!

In today’s bustling world of spiritual empowerment and evolution, two buzzwords are capturing the hearts and minds of seekers everywhere: ascension and breathwork. But what’s the connection between these two cosmic concepts? Can breathwork truly serve as a bridge to higher levels of consciousness and spiritual ascension?

As someone deeply entrenched in the spiritual journey, having worn the hats of a Yoga, Meditation, and Breathwork Instructor, and guided many through the transformative realms of Ascension Protocols during retreats, I’m excited to lead you through the fascinating intertwining paths of breathwork and spiritual growth.

Breathwork: Your Spiritual Companion

We are going to explore how the simple, yet profound act of breathing can become a spiritual tool, unlocking doors to the vast expanses of higher consciousness and facilitating your personal expansion into greater awareness and heart-centred and resonant living.

In this article, we’ll dive in and explore the spiritual benefits of having a breathwork practice, and give you the most effective techniques that promise to elevate your vibrational frequency – not only introducing you to these transformative practices but also demystifying a little of the science and philosophy behind them.

Our adventure together also will cover the best breathwork workshops, courses, FREE resources, and guided offerings available, ensuring you have everything you need to embark on this inward and upward adventure.

Is Breathwork The New Yoga?

In the past 5 years, breathwork has experienced such a surge in popularity that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s an entirely new phenomenon. It has even been dubbed ‘The New Yoga’! The truth is it’s not exactly new, it’s been around for thousands of years.

In fact, breathwork has a vast and complex history that spans many disciplines and cultures; yogis, shamans, monks and meditators have been practising various forms of breathwork for millennia; psychedelic communities have experienced the spiritual highs and transformative power of conscious breathing since Woodstock; and scientific and medical researchers have been studying the breath for well over four decades now, uncovering its immense potential and power.

Breathwork’s vast applications to all things spiritual means it might just turn out to be your new BFF on the awakening and ascension pathway.

I guarantee that with a few simple breathwork techniques, your breath can easily become an ally and take you on a paradigm-expanding adventure into the realms of higher consciousness – and I’m going to show you how!

The “Breath – Heart” Connection

The connection between intentional breathing and spiritual growth is becoming increasingly profound.

Over the past three decades, the remarkable efforts of The HeartMath Institute have played a pivotal role in conducting a vast body of research and seamlessly weaving together ancient wisdom with modern scientific insights.

Through their pioneering work, they have illuminated the incredible interplay
between the heart and intentional breathing, unlocking deeper revelations about both our collective and personal spiritual evolution.

They say heart coherence not only elevates individual consciousness but also holds the transformative potential to uplift the collective consciousness of humanity.

“Heart Coherence is a state of cooperative alignment between the heart, mind, emotions and physical systems…The proven benefits of coherence also extend to our social and global communities. As individuals and groups practise increasing their heart coherence, it paves the way for a collective momentum that has the potential to transform and uplift consciousness on a global scale.”

Sending Love to Gaia Mother Earth

Not only that, but the HeartMath Institute’s groundbreaking research is also
shedding light on the profound interconnectedness between individual
consciousness and the consciousness of our beautiful Mother Earth, Gaia

Through their studies on heart coherence and the electromagnetic field of the heart, they have revealed that our personal state of consciousness can influence the collective consciousness of humanity and even extend to the consciousness of Gaia herself.

By cultivating coherence within ourselves, we not only enhance our well-being but also contribute to a harmonious resonance that reverberates throughout the global consciousness.

This understanding opens the door to the possibility of sending healing intentions and positive energy to Gaia, fostering a collective shift towards greater peace, balance, and healing for both ourselves and the incredible planet we call home.

Beyond the Ego-Self to Higher Consciousness

As we raise our consciousness, we awaken to the eternal, unlimited nature of our being. Higher consciousness is an ever-increasing awareness of the meaning of existence, our spiritual essence, and the spiritual and energetic nature of all things.

The term ‘ascension’ means different things to different people, however, in general, it refers to the transformative process in which we transcend the limitations of the ego to experience a profound sense of connection with the cosmos, others, and our true divine nature – the unbounded, most authentic, infinite self.

As we ‘awaken’ along the way, it’s like realising that there is a more expansive reality beyond the everyday, where insights about the true nature of existence and our place within it come to light. Tapping into the universal wellspring of wisdom, receiving insights and downloads not from the limited ego-self but from the expansive, all-encompassing ‘greater’ self which is remembered and experienced as being connected to all that is, as a fractal of the divine – a frequency state in which all knowledge exists and is present.

The Heart-Centred Journey

This connection isn’t established through intellectual or logical means; rather, it’s a heart-centred journey. Ascension requires that we elevate our vibrational frequency and embrace the heart’s openness, contrary to the mind’s demand for logical proof.

There’s a profound truth in the spiritual adage that the longest journey in life is the journey from the head to the heart. Spiritual awakening protocols focus on the transition of the locus of consciousness from the head into the ‘spiritual or higher heart’—because the heart is the gateway to the universe’s boundless realms, and breathwork practices play an enormous role here. A breathwork technique called Heart Coherence or Heart Resonance Breathing is one of the best ways in! 

Creating Heart Coherence

Heart coherence could also be described as being in flow state. The flow state is the zone where our hearts, minds, and bodies are at one and we feel a deep connection with ourselves and others. When we feel this connection, not only within ourselves but to our environment and even to Mother Earth, Gaia, our hearts open and we are able to experience and integrate higher frequencies. We also know that like attracts like!

Scientific studies have shown that when we cultivate – intentionally or unintentionally – emotions of appreciation, love, and compassion, as opposed to anxiety, anger, or fear, the oscillations of our heart rhythm are more coherent or consistent. This coherence has been linked to a sense of well-being, emotional stability and reaching peak states of mindfulness.

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Paths to Higher Consciousness Through Breathing

There are two paths into experiencing states of higher consciousness and
connectivity using the breath. One is the gentle pathway of activation through the heart, using the vagus nerve pathways and the parasympathetic side of the nervous system, otherwise known and referred to as the ‘relaxation response.

1. The Gentle Way In

The relaxation response evokes a profound sense of calm and centred groundedness, making it an ideal companion for meditation and spiritual practice. With each breath, tensions melt away, leaving behind a serene sanctuary within which to explore consciousness.

2. The Dynamic Way In

The other is also a direct pathway, however, it can feature more intense, fast-paced, rhythmic and dynamic practices of ‘super-ventilation’ which are designed to access the subconscious in order to release roadblocks to spiritual ascension, as well as potentially liberating the body’s natural DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) which is also called ‘the spirit molecule’ because of its involvement in mystical experiences and our access to higher states and realms. DMT is a part of the Ayahuasca experience, so think of the heights of spiritual and mystical experiences, without the trip to South America!

Johannes Egberts says styles such as Breakthrough Breathwork and Holotropic Breathwork are akin to “blowing the roof off” as they “work through activation of the sympathetic nervous system to clear blockages in the body and mind, bringing subconscious experiences to the surface, removing physical, emotional, and mental toxicity; and providing a path for self-discovery and spiritual awakening. These techniques are also safe, all-natural, and empower us to be our own healers.”

Much like working with plants such as Ayahuasca, he says that it’s possible to do a lot of personal and spiritual work in just one ceremony, clearing away years of emotional baggage, as well as accessing higher states of being, feeling a deeper sense of connection to self, to others, and to all that is.

By using the word path my intention is to convey a ‘way in’. All of these styles of breathwork can be used as a part of a spiritual practice, one may feel more
appropriate than the other at various times along the way, or you may use all of them in one day. More on the ‘superventillation’ DMT activating techniques later in the article. Let’s start with the gentle path first!

The Gentle Path: Heart Coherence Breathing Technique

Heart Coherence is a transformative breathwork technique that aligns the rhythm of the breath with the heart’s beating pulse. This gentle synchronisation facilitates a deep state of inner coherence, fostering an environment where meditation, connectedness and the ‘higher’ emotions of love, compassion become more accessible. – as does spiritual awakening.

By adopting a slow, deliberate breathing pace of five to six breaths per minute – inhaling and exhaling for around 5 to 6 seconds each – this practice deeply
synchronises the heart, mind, and spirit, paving the way for a heightened state of coherence.

This alignment not only calms the nervous system but also opens the door to deeper spiritual awareness and connectivity. By engaging in this technique, individuals often experience an elevation in their vibrational energy, paving the way for profound spiritual awakenings and growth. It’s a simple yet powerful tool for those on the path to higher consciousness, promoting peace, clarity, and an expanded sense of unity with the universe.

How to Practise:

Coherence is like a frequency wave and when you feel grateful, you are emanating a beautiful coherent signal out into the world, and the reverse is also true. It’s contagious; it not only benefits you, but those around you as well.

Here’s how to practise:

  1. Place your hand or hands over your heart. This step is optional but can really help bring the locus of consciousness into the heart.
  2. Breathe softly in for roughly 5 to 6 seconds and then breath out softly for the same. This will bring you in a basic state of coherence.
  3. The cadence or length and rhythm of the breath is the most important thing, not the depth of the breath.
  4. Bring an emotion of appreciation, compassion, or love into your awareness. Feel it with all your physical body and bring it into the area of your heart. This will bring your coherence ratio higher.
  5. Imagine that you are breathing oxygen directly into your heart and that your heart is receiving it. Imagine breathing your love and appreciation from your heart back out and into the world.
  6. Breathe for 5 minutes or longer to receive the benefits.

When to try it: Give it a try anytime, anywhere. Raise your vibrations—and watch those around you do the same.

Spiritual Tip: Practise integrating this technique until it becomes the way you
breathe naturally throughout your everyday life. Feel the flow state become your new way of being.

The Dynamic Path: Shedding The Limited Self

Want to experience 5 days of Vipassana in 20 minutes? Breakthrough Breathwork can be the key to unlocking this experience for you!

If you’ve ever experienced a Vipassana Meditation retreat, you’ll already know that the path to liberation requires deep self-enquiry and a willingness to let go of the old emotional muck that holds us stuck.

Navigating transformation involves shedding the denser aspects of our being to enable a higher level of consciousness. As higher frequencies are integrated – the higher our frequency, the more light we are able to receive and hold.

This shedding process can involve letting go of multiple layers of old baggage including old stories, ego constructs, limiting beliefs, and unhelpful societal conditioning. Working through, integrating and releasing the burdens of the past including traumas and emotional blockages is a fundamental part of this journey.

Breakthrough Breathwork: ‘20 Years of Zen in 20 Minutes’

Breakthrough Breathwork offers a doorway and a mirror to our inner world, helping us identify, process, and let go of what no longer serves our growth and can be an incredible tool and catalyst in this process. It can also provide an access point to higher states of heart-centeredness, evoking peace, a sense of heightened connection to self, others, and the cosmos; and a deep sense of release and freedom.

As one of the most profound techniques, this form of focused breathwork is entered into as a guided breathwork ceremony in which what needs and is ready to be released can be processed and let go, within a safe container, created and held by highly experienced breathwork facilitators. Much like in Ayahuasca ceremonies, there’s an opportunity to go deep and detox emotionally to set yourself free, without spending a whole night in the jungle!

Breakthrough Breathwork is a curated breathwork ceremony experience that incorporates a number of breathing techniques that will guide you to breathe slower than normal and also faster than normal, to open your heart. It’s about letting your breath set you free.

The experience is guided to help the integration of this deep work, as well as the integration of spiritual insights that are often received.

Altered States: Holotropic Breathwork

Holotropic breathwork is a breathwork practice birthed from the visionary mind of psychiatrist Stanislav Grof in the 1970s. Drawing from ancient shamanic traditions and modern psychology, it offers seekers a pathway to altered states of consciousness without the need for psychedelics.

Through rhythmic breathing, practitioners embark on a journey of self-exploration, diving deep into the recesses of their psyche to access higher realms of awareness.

Some believe this method may even awaken the release of endogenous DMT within the body, facilitating mystical experiences and connections to the divine.

With its potential for profound spiritual insights and emotional release, holotropic breathwork provides a safe and supportive environment for transformation and growth on the spiritual journey.

Is Pranayama The Same As Breathwork?

In a way, yes…Long before the terms “self-help” or “wellness” entered our lexicon, ancient civilisations understood the profound spiritual significance of breath. 

In the mystical practices of yoga, pranayama (meaning breath control) was hailed as a key to unlocking divine energy and elevating consciousness.

Breathwork is just a holistic term given to describe different ways of using and working with the breath.

The Profound Role of Breath as Prana – Life Force Energy 

In the journey of spiritual ascension, understanding the profound role of breath, or prana in Sanskrit, is paramount. It’s not just about oxygen; it’s about tapping into the vital life force energy that animates all living beings.

Here’s an exploration of how breathwork and Pranayama contribute to spiritual ascension and enhance life force energy:

  • Prana, The Vital Force

Prana is the heartbeat of many Eastern traditions, seen as the bridge between the physical and subtle bodies. Through breathwork practices and Pranayama, practitioners can amplify this life force, potentially accelerating their spiritual growth.

  • Balancing Energy Centers

Our energy system houses chakras, the energy centres aligning with various aspects of our being. Breathwork clears blockages, ensuring a smooth flow of energy crucial for spiritual growth.

  • Calm Mind & Meditation

Taming the monkey mind is easier said than done, but Pranayama serves as a trusty tool. A steady breath leads to a calm mind, perfect for deeper meditation—a cornerstone of spiritual ascension.

  • Altered States of Consciousness

Advanced breathwork techniques can transport practitioners to otherworldly states, offering profound spiritual insights and experiences that deepen self-understanding.

  • Physical Purification

Before ascending spiritually, it’s essential to purify the body. Breathwork and Pranayama aid in detoxifying, and preparing the vessel for higher energies.

  • Emotional Release and Healing

Traumas and buried emotions can block spiritual growth. Breathwork provides a safe space for release, facilitating healing and progression. Breakthrough Breathwork is especially potent.

  • Cultivating Awareness

Regular breathwork sharpens awareness, fostering a deeper connection with oneself and the world—a vital aspect of spiritual growth.

  • Raising Vibrational Frequency

In spiritual circles, it’s believed that higher consciousness vibrates at a higher frequency. By channelling prana, practitioners align themselves with these higher realms.

  • Connection with the Divine

Many breathwork and Pranayama practices incorporate visualisations or mantras, forging a direct link with divine energies—a catalyst for spiritual ascension.

Conclusion: Breathwork’s Role in Spiritual Ascension

Breathwork and Pranayama are more than mere exercises; they are gateways to harnessing life force energy essential for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. With diligence and guidance, they can expedite the journey toward higher consciousness and spiritual realisation.

Breathwork practices can act as powerful catalysts for the ascension journey, offering a pathway to deeper awareness and facilitating the release of emotional blockages that hinder spiritual growth. The process is deeply personal and can be triggered by various experiences, such as life challenges, Breakthrough and Holotropic Breathwork, Coherent breathing, meditation, profound moments of love, or even encounters with natural beauty.

Integrating breathwork into your spiritual practice can accelerate this awakening, allowing for an intentional exploration of consciousness and enhancing the connection to the divine. It often entails a significant shift in perspective, leading to changes in values, beliefs, and behaviours. Those who undergo spiritual awakening, often aided by the immense power of breathwork, might find themselves questioning societal norms, reevaluating their life’s purpose, or seeking deeper, more meaningful connections with others.

In essence, spiritual ascension or awakening, can be enriched and catalysed by breathwork practices, and is about moving beyond surface-level experiences to touch life’s mystical depths through the opening of the heart. It’s a journey of self-discovery and transformation that invites a more compassionate, mindful, and fulfilling way of living, grounded in the awareness of a larger, interconnected cosmic dance and our place within it.

Breathwork not only supports this awakening and heart connection but deepens the experience, making it more accessible and tangible in daily life.

For further information on breathwork training and workshops in your vicinity, click here or enrol in the complimentary 21-Day Master Your Breath Program offered here at Breathless Expeditions.

Anya is a yoga & IRest meditation teacher, breathwork instructor, divemaster and writer, ocean lover and solo adventurer.

She thrives on change and transformation, and spends part of her year working and living in the Amazon with indigenous doctors, learning about their system of healing, and helping to facilitate transformational retreats.

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