Influences and further resources
Below is a list of influences and further resources that go a little more in depth on the various aspects of this work; Breath awareness, Body awareness and Music.
Music, mythology and narratives
Pi was one of the first teachers I had an in depth experience with after staying at his Eco Village in the Philippines. The modality being practiced there is the inner dance, there is more about that earlier in the page. I had been mixing and meditating to music before being introduced to the inner dance, and after I was, the wave like structure of the inner dance playlists, the focus on brainwave states, sleep cycles, REM periods and dream states, spontaneous movement and body based flow really struck a chord and made a lot of sense. The inner dance uses music and touch to tap into an intuitive embodied way of integrating experiences, through the elicitation of spontaneous movement and increasing the sensitivity of the nervous system.
You can listen to more of Pi's story here.
Joseph Campbell's work on 'the hero's journey' has also been a big influence on the work. The identified narrative structure that seems to be interwoven into the human experience seems to correlate with the 12 stages of awakening and the synthesis in these two parallel structures guides the context in which the music can fits.
Wim Hof's approach to breathwork has been instrumental in the formulation of this work, the Wim Hof Method breathing technique is one of the primary ones in the music mixes to activate and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, boost energy and lessen prefrontal cortex activity.
The breath retention's also feature at the end of the rounds of breathing.
His technique consists of a blend of breathing exercises (specifically a deep mouth inhale, and a tapered exhale, performed 30-40 times followed by a retention for a minute or longer, which makes up one 'round', and is then performed again 3-4 times), tibetan tummo meditation and gradual cold exposure.
His work with cold exposure also continues to be of great benefit as a personal practice. We're not affiliated with them Wim Hof Method, but to find out more about his work you can go here. Or watch the vice documentary to get a better idea of what he's up to.
Dan Brule has been another huge influence on this work. His book 'Just Breathe' Gives a great overview of the different breathing techniques avialable today, he's well versed in them all and now focuses his work on breath awareness and breath mastery, following a model of three convergences;
1. Relaxation - To let go
2. Breathing - To take charge
3. Consciousness - To become awake
He combines these three poles to practice conscious breathing with conscious relaxation as a way of helping people connect with the deeper parts of themselves and bring them into awareness. One of the primary techniques he uses is called 'Spiritual breathing' mentioned on the breathwork page. It's a deep long inhale through the nose, and a collapsing sigh through the mouth on the exhale as you relax your whole body. It's great for a quick reset of the brain and nervous system, especially when combined with one of Andrew Huberman's techniques of doubling down on the inhale.
Dan also talks about the value of yawning in his book and has lots of daily practices you can experiment with and implement, he has various courses and memberships available on his site Breathmastery.com
You can listen to a podcast I did with him here
Patrick is one of the worlds leading authorities on the Buteyko breathing method. Dr Buteyko was a Russian scientist who advocated extremely light breathing to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, which is necessary to help the oxygen de-bond from the hemoglobin and get into the cells. His work is also covered in Dan Brule's book 'Just breathe'.
I've been looking into Patrick's work and have personally had a lot of success with mouth taping while sleeping. It has helped significantly reduce sinus issues and seems to result in a deeper more relaxing sleep. There is debate as always in the mainstream about the efficacy of this work, but personally I've found it good for me and if you struggle with sleep apnea, snoring, sinus difficulties in general it might be worth giving a go to see for yourself.
Either way, nasal breathing has long been a staple of Yogic traditions and is widely viewed as the best default way to absorb your air, this is also attributed to the Nitric Oxide (1992's prestigious 'Molecule of the year'!) that is produced when breathing through the nose. Nitric Oxide is a 'vasodilator' which means it dilates the blood vessels helping blood flow
The health benefits range from lowering blood pressure, aiding the immune system and promoting brain health to even helping with erectile dysfunction and boosting sexual arousal. You can read more about this here.
Brain, body & Somatic experiencing
Andre Huberman is a neuroscientist and brain researcher working out of Stanford, his work has been particularly influential for me recently with habit building, he focuses a lot on building good brain circuitry and healthy dopamine rewards systems by utilizing three principles:
1. Creating a sense of urgency.
2. Engaging in periods of focus.
3. Taking periods of deep rest.
It's this on again off again approach (mirrored in the way the inner dance playlists utilize waves) that helps activate plasticity and build new circuitry in the brain.
He's big on breathwork and it's role in regulating the nervous system. Using the breath to both energize and relax, the technique that he promotes is the double inhale, sighing exhale. This is a technique whereby you inhale and then stack another inhale on top of the first, which activates the same relaxing mechanisms in the brain as when you sigh, helping you let go of stress and tension.
He's also a proponent of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) - an energy psychology technique that is quite effective at helping to flatten the emotional charge around past events so they no longer control your behavior and you can extract the full learning from them.
You can find a lot of his stuff on Instagram where he promotes the idea of free education on brain health for everyone. He also has a website, he appears on many podcasts and also has a website hubermanlab.com, where you can go a bit more in depth with his stuff.
Peter Levine is one of the pioneers of somatic experiencing and a heavyweight in the world of trauma healing. He has many books available on the different aspects of integrating trauma through various practices that work directly with the nervous system, most notably Waking the tiger: Healing trauma and appears on podcasts such as this one with Rebel Wisdom.
His work is a must for anyone looking to understand the mechanics of how the body processes trauma and how to heal. He's featured on many podcasts You can find practitioners of somatic experiencing or even apply to become one on the site traumahealing.org
Irene Lyon has also been prominent in the field of somatic experiencing and has a great YouTube channel in which she gives detailed explanations of many things connected to trauma healing, polyvagal theory and somatic experiencing, she has online courses and trainings at her site. I learned much about the nervous system and how to maintain its healthy regulation from her work.
Communication and psychology
The late great Marshall Rosenberg, pioneer of Non Violent Communication or (NVC), has been integral in the formulation of a lot of the coaching work I do, and post breathwork processing of the things that arise during a sessions. NVC's needs and feelings based approach to communication and strategies for active listening have helped me not just in my personal journey with my own inner dialogues and interpersonal relationships, but a lot with clients to hear between the words for a felt sense of what's actually being communicated, fostering a sense of connection that can settle agitated nervous systems, and help open people back into their flow.
Non Violent Communication is based on the work of psychologist Carl Roger's, and has been adopted by many as a fundamental way to resolve relationship challenges within families, intimate partnerships, as well as business relationships and even that of warring states and tribes.
You can read more about NVC and find plenty of free resources, including detailed sheets to help you distinguish feelings and needs, here.
There are also many books available on NVC, the main one for the fundamentals being 'NVC - A language of life'
Nicole Lepera also known as 'The Holistic Psychologist', has been a more recent influence of the work, her grounded approach to boundary setting and defining a clear sense of self while remaining connected, healing trauma and self care on a daily basis is extremely accessible for people looking to integrate themselves and live functional lives.
Most of her teaching is through Instagram, and consists of daily things you can do to take healing into your own hands, ways to stay in the body and explaining the process of how trauma and complex trauma's are formed, and how to heal from them. She mixes a blend of traditional psychology with holistic practices such as breathwork, bodywork and meditation.
She also has a website you can access here.