Inner Dance Breathwork
Inner Dance Breathwork journeys are music based mixed breathwork meditations that loosely follow a particular musical structure that mirrors the 12 stages of awakening and Joesph Campbell's hero's journey. You can read more about this below.
Conscious trance Breathwork
Conscious Trance Breathwork is a series of music based breathing exercises that tend to be shorter than the inner dance breathwork journeys, and do not follow the structure of the 12 stages or Hero's journey, and can be done as part of a daily meditation or breathwork routine to boost energy or settle the nervous system and increase your capacity for meditation.
Ecstatic dance mixes are musical mixes that follow wave patterns but without the breathing exercises overlaid, people tend to use them to more for movement, dance and flow.
One of the main functions of this body of work is breath awareness, how you use your breath daily and the emotional patterns it correlates to. There's a focus on the different ways you can manipulate your breath to reconnect with your emotions and body, settle and stimulate your nervous system, harness the power of your mind, boost your creativity and increase your energy.
The types of breath we use can broadly be filtered into two categories; breaths that work with the sympathetic nervous system to stimulate and energize, and breaths that work with the parasympathetic nervous system to relax and settle (although there is an amount of crossover). We work with both sets to promote a healthy regulated ebb and flow within the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
All breath awareness work aims to lessen the activity of the mind and promote connection with the body.
WHM - (Wim Hof Method)
A short deep inhale through the mouth, longer tapered exhale through the mouth or nose, it's a full lung breath that is highly stimulating, especially when done in rapid succession. The claims around the Wim hof breath
Breath of Fire
This breath comes in through the nose and out through the mouth and goes deep into the abdomen filling the bottom of the lungs, exhale in a sharp contraction of the abdominals with a "ha" type sound.
Rapid Coherent breathing (rebirthing)
Inhale through the nose/mouth, out through the mouth. a full lung breath that continues in a circular motion with no breaks or pauses at the top (full lungs) or the bottom (empty lungs). The most intense. From the Leonard Orr school this is actually called the Re-birthing breath.
This breath focuses on an active exhale with a passive inhale, It's a nasal diaphragmatic breath, so pushing the air from your diaphragm through your nose in rapid succession, the inhale becomes passive, this one is for sharpening your brain.
With deep breathing people often experience a phenomenon called 'Tetany' which can include an involuntary tightening of specific muscle groups, tingling, light headed and dizziness and very occasionally black outs. If you find you're blacking out, you've gone too far, and should ease up to a level you're comfortable with. People can also sometimes experience the deep release of emotions. All of this is normal and not dangerous per se, in fact the emotional release work is part of the objective, but you should make sure if you're going to practice these exercises, you take full care and responsibility for yourself and do so in an environment that is safe. If you are concerned about any of these side effects, have heart conditions, epilepsy or are pregnant, you should consult a physician before attempting any of these exercises.
In through the nose, out through the mouth - this breath comes in high in the chest, breathing into the top of the lungs, with a long, slow, relaxing inhale. Then collapse the exhale, emptying breath and relaxing the whole body in one go as if you're emptying a glass of water down the sink.
This breath is an inhalation through the nose out through the nose\mouth. a full lung breath that comes in to a count, and goes out to the same count in a circular motion with no breaks or pauses at the top (full lungs) or the bottom (empty lungs).
The Ujjayii breath works by closing your mouth and opening up the back of your throat by relaxing and dropping your jaw. You inhale and exhale through your nose with a focus on expanding your upper rib cage and holding your daipragm in while you do so. When you breath it should sound like you're listening to the ocean inside a sea shell.
Box breathing is similar to Coherent breathing, the difference is that the count extends to a hold at the top of the breath, and a hold at the bottom of the breath, so it might look like inhale to a count of four, hold for count of four, exhale to a count of four, hold to a count of four.
Some of the breathwork explanations can be found in this video.
The other facet that is equally important to this work is body awareness.
As the breathwork lessens the activity of the prefrontal cortex and the body starts to reconnect with old emotional aspects that might have been held in the body's dissociated field, there is a keen focus on developing a focused awareness on the sensations of the body as pure experience, without labels or mental judgement.
This can be developed through body scanning meditations such as Anapana and Vipassana or simple exercises such as noticing your points of contact with the environment, where your feet touch the ground, where your clothes touch your skin, where your fingertips rest. It can also help to slowly look up, slowly look down, and then slowly look from side to side while being aware of your breath. All of these are ways to remain present with your environment and firmly in your body, with your experience, instead of checking out up to the mind to some story about the experience.
This is vital to integrate your emotional aspects and build capacity within your nervous system so you can come out of the loops of emotional reactivity that control your life, and start regaining some sense of personal sovereignty and autonomy over your emotional responses, cultivating a sense of serenity and agency while still remaining fully grounded in your power, connected to your emotional experience.
Here is a short breathwork meditation video with body scan to help you
develop your body awareness.
Inner dance breathwork
It's very common I get asked about the music. The music from the IDB mixes borrows it's musical structure of waves from both the 12 stages of awakening as taught by Pi Villaraza, founder of inner dance - Philippines, and Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey. The concept behind this is to take you through an archetypal story structure with music that reflects back to you stages you might be at within your own personal narrative. The idea is that you experience your relationship with that narrative on an physiological level, process the information in an embodied way and observe how it's playing out in different areas of your life, for a different perspective of who you are, who you could be and the broader narrative guiding your life.
The 12 stages and The hero's journey
Above is a graphic used in workshops to represent demonstrate some of the concepts of Pi Villaraza's - 12 stages of awakening. The graphic demonstrates how the music and the breath is structured in waves, and how that relates to brainwave states.
In the workshop we go into more detail about the emotional states people go through, how this relates to the breath and the correlation with Joseph Campbell's - 'hero's journey' - A narrative structure that's embedded across cultures in stories and mythology.
The structure of the Inner dance music also works in tandem with brainwave states and mimics the REM sleep cycle to elicit dream states.
The music varies across a spectrum of stimulating, agitating, motivating and upbeat rhythms, that can help to activate a beta brainwave state (waking state) and the sympathetic nervous system response, to very soft, deep, relaxing, meditative or melancholic music that can help to settle the mind into a theta or delta brainwave state and parasympathetic nervous system response.
The oscillation between stimulation and relaxation is what helps the brain develop plasticity and new neural pathways. People often report having insights about a situation in their life, a past event or future direction following sessions.
The line between theta and delta brainwave states is typically associated with deep meditation and rejuvenating sleep, following this period comes REM sleep, which is where the body is still in paralysis mode, but the brain is very active. A majority of dreams occur and is largely agreed as being essential for brain development and solidifying new neural pathways.
Any music can be inner dance music if it follows the structure of the waves. Playlists are generally creative expressions that reflect the inner world of the creator in a way that resonates with the listeners.
As mentioned above, the music also goes through the emotional spectrum in an archetypal format allowing you to experience and connect with the basic range of feelings available. The purpose of the breathwork is to soften the influence of the mind and keep awareness in the body. And as patterns of breath are directly linked to emotional states, developing the breath awareness and body awareness together can help you connect into the feeling as a bodily sensation, with the practice of presence, to help build capacity and the health of your nervous system, pulling you out of reactive behavioral patterns and helping develop a greater ability to respond.
To find out more about inner dance you can watch this video.
conscious trance breathwork
Conscious Trance Breathwork was developed becasue I didn't have the time or will to do long sessions every day but still wanted the benefits and effects of the breathwork in smaller bite size and musically rich experiences. The CTB sessions tend to be 50 minutes or under, some of the shortest ones even being 20 minutes. They don't follow the same musical structure as IDB, but tend to be more breathwork oriented, although I do carefully select the music and mix the soundscapes as a creative endeavour. They are mixes you can work into a daily breathwork or meditation routine, I found in particular they're good for boosting creativity as well as improving energy and mood.
para los hispanohablantes
(For the Spanish speakers)
Aquí hay un video de mi amigo Ruben describiendo su experiencia, y otro video con una entrevista. Gracias Ruben!
(Here is a video from my friend Ruben describing his experience, and another video with an interview. Thank you Ruben!)
Unfortunately these videos do not yet have a translation in English.