Many people wonder whether breathwork in general, and Effiji Breathwork in particular, are safe. And people also ask how to safely practice breathwork.
Is Breathwork healthy? Yes!
Breathwork is ALWAYS healthy, especially Effiji Breathwork. There is no “too much” as long as you are open to the changes that come from the practice. Those changes can be both tangible and subtle. It’s only about intensity and the speed of transformation that can be challenging. There is no negative effect on your health.
Breathwork is exactly what it sounds like, breath and work. Breathwork is the conscious use of your breath. Your breath, with you every moment of your life is an automatic unconscious mechanism that is happening with or without your help. You obviously don’t have to think about your breath in order to stay alive.
Let’s start by considering that without your breath you would not be alive. You can live without food for a long time. There are people who have reported fasting for over 40 days. You can go less time without water, but oxygen is the only thing you need all the time. Anywhere from three to ten minutes without oxygen and you cannot stay alive. This means that your breath is the most life giving force you have.
The Chinese call this force “qi”. If food from the earth gives nourishment and energy then the oxygen you breathe is the food for your connection to the spiritual world from where you came.
There is nothing more unifying than your breath. The word health comes from the word heal which means to make whole. Breathing does this because it completes a connection between your animal life and your spiritual life.
While you mostly don’t think about your breath it is the same with your life. Your breath is both like an animal that does not think about it’s own awareness, and unlike animals, you can think about your path and your destiny. You can choose to take a conscious breath anytime you want.
This power of choice is unique to us. At our best, our choices in life are an attempt to make us more whole, therefore conscious use of the breath is a perfect mirror for the conscious use of life.
The in-breath takes you inside yourself toward that inner unconscious world. The power of this is to know the world that you are unaware of. The exhale then brings that awareness and energy back into the conscious world for you to use in any way you want.
In other words, conscious use of the breath connects you between in and out, conscious and unconscious.
Your breath also is the most available, free medicine you can use to help yourself become healthy. What does it mean to do breathwork?
My interest and expertise lies in one particular type of mouth breathing practice that was taught to me in 1990 and I developed into what I call “Effiji Breathwork”. Effiji belongs to the mouth breathing tradition which stands out as being quite different in that its intention is less about a life-hack (where you do it for 10 minutes a day and then feel more grounded or energized) and more about overall transformation.
It is not to say that Effiji isn’t a life hack or other breathwork practices do not facilitate transformation. It’s just that Effiji's fundamental intention is to access deeply hidden core programming that creates the way you breathe (when you're not thinking about it). Initially it’s not meant to “feel good”. It’s meant to free you of blocks so the inherent life force or “Qi” that will give you energy, vitality and clarity becomes available to you especially when you again, stop thinking about your breath.
When the session is complete there will be no doubt that you will feel the “qi”. You will be calm, relaxed, connected and feeling whole. So if feeling whole is a goal then Effiji breath is a practice that will get you there.
How much breathwork can I do?
This is where you should take an inventory of what you are looking for and how fast you want to get there. Practicing Effiji Breath is healthy but the process of change requires a person to be able to integrate those changes into their life. The shape of everyone’s life is different.
Each time you do it there is a change that occurs. Not every single block or mind program will be released in a single session but what remains will be there the next time you come back. You don’t go backward in this practice because what has been cleared and learned cannot be reinstalled and unlearned.
So... is breathwork healthy?
YES! Breathwork is healthy and the change is tanglible.
Tangible in that you notice that your relationships may feel less fraught. You may find yourself feeling more of an urgency to take care of unfinished projects, business, conversations. Sometimes there is a mysterious process after the breath where people start contacting you out of the blue or situations that seem stuck suddenly find resolution. It is most subtle in that there will be more connection to the deeper part of yourself, which can make you more emotional and less focused on outcomes and more aware of how each moment feels.
None of this is good nor bad.
Feeling is feeling.