Using Breathwork To Connect To Yourself with Nathaniel Hodder-Shipp

This week we welcome Nathaniel Hodder-Shipp, a drug and alcohol counselor, breathwork practitioner, and founder of the American Breath Work Association and Breathwork For Recovery, an 800-hour breathwork clinician that provides more intense training for teachers and practitioners.

We sit down and talk about Nathaniel’s journey of becoming involved with breathwork, his decision to help create Breathwork For Recovery, and the necessity of developing equity, ethics, and regulation in the field of breathwork. I also share my story about attempting to learn breathwork and that it was a traumatizing experience. Nathaniel offers a compassionate take on what I went through, which may have also happened to some of you.

We end the episode with two breathing practice options you can choose to do to reset and reframe yourself anywhere, and at any time. This episode is a must for anyone looking into breathwork who wants to know about it from a real expert.

Show Notes Welcome back to lead up in podcasts. I've launched a Patreon for my podcast if you feel you receive value from these episodes, you can also get additional bonus exclusive content, such as meditations in depth exercises, and behind the scenes info about the interviews and my personal life. All of that and more is available@www.pa T ar e o n dot c o m backslash L A ID OPN pod CAS T. By supporting us on Patreon you're not only contributing to the creation of this podcast, you'll also provide the support needed for me to work on my book, workshops, online courses and additional free content. Today's guest is Nathaniel hotter ship. He's a certified alcohol and drug counselor and has worked with breathwork since late 2009. Having trained others since 2013. He's helped develop an 800 hour breathwork clinician certification and has recently founded the American breathwork association to develop equity ethics and regulation in the field of breath work Welcome to Daniel life is about to start isn't it great? Honor deciders calm? Magic. Hello. Hi, thank you so much for having me. Yeah, I've heard a lot of good things about you from some mutual folks in our lives. Don't believe the hype is what? I'm excited to have this conversation with you for a couple of reasons, which we'll get into later. So why don't we why don't we start with for folks that don't know what breathwork is? That's a new concept. How about you describe what that even means? Right? breathwork is sort of an umbrella term for any sort of breathing practice where we're taking control of our breath. So anybody that's doing any mindful breathing, is doing breath work, in essence, but there are a lot of different types. And certainly, there's not really a limit, what a way that it can show up. So if you're taking control of your breathing, you're doing breath work. Great. Do you want to share some of that how you came to breathwork? And what difference it's made for you and what difference you see it can make for others. Yeah, absolutely. I found breathwork while I was in treatment for substance use disorders after a few suicide attempts, and I thought it was going to be this really hokey bullshit, hippie woowoo thing. My dear dear friend, Corey Murcia. Then Cory Boris came in, and she was talking about self love and burning sage and they miss breeding practices is going to change our lives. And I was like, Whoa, here we go with this bullshit. And I participated in the group. And it felt like for me the first time I had felt connected to my body and in my body, since I was a very young boy. So after that moment, I talked to Cory and I was like, How can I learn about this, please, like direct me. And she connected me with my former mentor for many years, and I trained with him and then began teaching the breathwork technique, helping people towards certification and this work is is profound for a lot of people. And also, plenty of folks don't like it and may not benefit from it. But for me, changed my life. I've been able to be in recovery that entire time. So at this point, just passed, goodness gracious. 13 years. Congratulation. Yeah, thank you. So 13 years in recovery. Cory is one of my dearest friends, like we hang out all the time and talk regularly. So I have a deep deep gratitude for her introducing me to this work and changed my life. And for my clients. I primarily work with clients helping to find integration for their trauma or traumatic experiences. So Breathworks also really helpful for people who have experienced traumatic events in their lives, and useful way to get them back into a more regulated state from most events. So that's my primary population. I also work with addiction and alcoholism, certainly, but trauma is my main Focus, and it's really, it's really profound work to do. Yeah, I would love for you to talk more about that I have a lot of different kinds of breathwork experience. And early on, there were two traumatic experiences that I had with through breathwork. And I want to share them just because other people might be out there having had these experiences. And just to know that, like, because you've had this one experience, it doesn't mean all practitioners are going to handle things this way. The first was in a Tantra workshop, where everyone was encouraged to do this breathing. And I there's a state called Tamia, right, which you can you can talk more about, but my experience of it is, you know, your mouth starts to close and become like a little cat butt hole and your hands curl in themselves. Can I use that? Yeah, sometimes it's good to use humor. I mean, it was very traumatic. And I repeatedly got so I went into these, this state. And luckily, someone else who I knew, who wasn't even assisting, but she was walking around, it was that good vibrations. When I worked there, and I was laying it was like everyone was laying on the floor all over the store. And the people leading the workshop couldn't even see all of us, right, I was behind like a bookshelf or something. And I started to go into the state of, you know, basically hyperventilation and, and this friend of mine helped me out. And then I was like, Oh, I don't know about this, tantra stuff, number one, and breathing, or no, even though I was studying and working with Stacy Haynes doing somatic work, and we would do breath work on the table when in sessions, and I would sometimes start to go into tetany. And she could bring me out of it. And then I did years later, maybe 10 years, or maybe five years later, went to a rebirthing thing that my friend was assisting in and he was into breathwork, because of recovery. And there 25 of us lined up. And we were encouraged to just keep breathing. And as I wanted to tetany and I tried to flag someone down, she just said keep going. And I went into a state and I was stuck in that state for literally hours and hours. Like after everything was done. I still couldn't put my shoes on. It was very, I wasn't shocked for days, I was very scared. And she basically was like, you must have a lot of trauma, we should work together. And I was like, that's the last thing I'm going to do I have a I have a curiosity that because I had birth in utero, as well as birth trauma that maybe there's, you know, is more intense than someone else. But I would love for you to speak to it. And then we could go from there. Wow. All right. First off, just break to hear this from you. And also, it's sort of a common experience where people come in and do the breathing is and even me as a practitioner in my younger years. So not really having the experience and the know how or the training really, even though I thought I did totally able to guide people safely through this experience. So my heart breaks for you. And you're not alone, certainly. And I would love to speak to that. And I can't correct the bullshit that occurred in the path. However, I can speak to it a little bit. So yeah, the experience of tetany can be quite scary for folks and hand cramping, and then the cat bottle lips. That's i Yeah, I'm gonna have to use that for sure. I'll always give you credit for that. So that's exactly what happened. So when that when that occurs, it, it's not necessarily dangerous for a short period of time. But prolonged period of time, then you are starving your body and your brain specifically of oxygen, because what's happening is you're pushing all that carbon dioxide out of your bloodstream just fine. But oxygen needs carbon dioxide to be able to work properly and for our brain to absorb it. And when you get in that really alkaline state, the body responds by trying to protect itself by shrinking down veins and arteries to prevent that really alkaline blood which is quite corrosive. Alarming the brain and the body. So short periods of time. It's not dangerous, but long periods of time. It can be in and you have that experience that you had. So I always want to encourage clients when they do experience that to just return to normal breathing the first time that it happens, and sometimes it's going to happen over and over again. A lot of my veteran breathers they're comfortable with it. It's not a it's not a problem, but that first time or the first few times it can be quite scary and feel like oh my god, am I going to die? Am I going to be okay, am I gonna be able to continue to write effectively because your all's hands cramp up and curl up on themselves like that. It's really scary. So that's the sort of science around it and then There's a more esoteric like as a practitioner, we can sort of read into someone's experience and make something or look at it and say, Okay, this may be occurring. I'll always cautious with that at this point too, because it's not. It's hard to make generalizations with clients and to say, Oh, you must have a lot of trauma can that's traumatic in itself, like, I didn't know that. And now you start to ruminate about that, and think about that and spin out even more. And that's, that's really disconcerting that that occurred. And that's not It's not the first time. I've heard this won't be the last time I've heard this same sort of bad experiences, I'll have clients that come in, they're like, do a group with me. And now like, I don't, I don't like breath work, I hate it. It's awful. I had a bad experience. And it's like, oh, now we have to work through that trauma to be able to get you to access something that may be helpful. And also, maybe breathwork isn't for you. And that's totally okay. Also, but to have that prolonged experience where your body's cramped up and uncomfortable and is sort of shock and dissociative state that you are that you're in hand. And it's such a it's much more than a bummer. But that's the word that well, the way that I think about it now, I mean, this was also almost 20 years ago, 25 years ago, and when your body has more capacity, right, when it actually has a bigger window of tolerance, as I've spoken about or winter capacity to be with sensation and oxygen, because it used to be you know, in college, I I remember being in a singing class and just taking in more oxygen, I would have flashbacks. Right? So my window is so small, right? While someone else could do the exact same thing and not have that traumatic technique, experience. And so now, you know, I can do intense, you know, intense, relatively someone else's perspective, intense breathing, and go into an altered state and enjoy that state. But I've also embodied first so that I could then go into disembodied or transcendental spaces and feel safe versus terrified, right? Yeah, that's, that's the real thing is I like to titrate clients up, and when I work with them will always explain that everyone's a little different, you may be able to jump right in and go the entire time and not have any of those scary sensation, you may be able to go in and tolerate what you're experiencing the entire time. And that's great. However, you may take a few breaths, and that is the limit that we're at today. And doesn't mean that anything's wrong or bad or wrong or bad or doing something wrong, it just means that's where we're at right now. And then over weeks or months, we may be able to build that up a little bit. So you can get to a full session. And maybe that we don't, and that's okay, too. So it just depends on where your nervous system as certainly the trauma load in your body, there are a lot of variables that are there and it's fine, a client session, maybe, maybe they get two minutes of breathing. And that's a huge thing for them to be able to tolerate being in their body in that space. And so the altered state certainly want to get there and I feel that it's more of an embodied state than a disembodied like it can't you are in this altered state. But mind that it's like you're connected to your body for the first time. And it feels so alien to so many of us that it's like, oh, I'm having this out of body experience. Oh, you're kind of in your body for the first time. But it's it's something that, especially working with trauma, you want to take very, very slowly in the beginning because it can be as you said, you take a few deep breaths and have all that oxygen around and you have this flashback and that can happen. Certainly flashbacks are really scary for folks. I love that you said all that because it it has me feel this sense of trust with you, you know, in terms of because there are I was listening to an interview that you did with Sarah Benincasa. Yeah. And I was appreciating everything that was being said on, you know, in the dialogue and, and one of those things being that you bring in different practitioners that are really training people in a variety of different ways. And you're in you know, it's acknowledging that some people get weakened trainings, and then they are often running and teaching breath workshops, versus really understanding how to titrate and how to work with trauma. Yeah, it's a it's an enormous mess right now. The breath work world is an enormous mess and people are really monetizing this practice in a way that is has colonizer mentality certainly, but it's an it's really harmful from that perspective. And we could just leave it at that because But all these things that I'm speaking about sort of stem from that, and also they're just not getting training and qualify there, see the copy that's out there and the trainings that are just being come become certified in a weekend and then go on to work with people. And that's one really terrible things can happen to clients. And it's it's really it's disappointing because breathwork is has such a profound power for healing and for good in the right hands and unqualified hands. And unfortunately, it's like, people are seeing that you they can build a $3,000 training over a weekend and people buy into it because they think they're getting trained and qualified to be breathwork. They don't know. And then they go on and do the same thing. So this sort of diluted practice. It all stems from colonization. Yeah. I actually would love to read to speak a little more about that, because I think it's important. Yeah, so most of these practices that exist in the world today are going to stem from a Tibetan to mole practices, which you might be familiar with, like the Wim Hof Method, quote, unquote, Wim Hof Method. That's a two mile practice. And the baton monk can mount these big ice blocks on their bodies, you know, with their chi, you can call it and that's one school running Yama, traditions. Also, a lot of practitioners, Stanislav Grof, and those folks would did a lot of experience these different breathing techniques that stem from pranayama traditions and then sort of said, Okay, well, we do this thing, then it can become this practice. And then rebirthing, sort of the same thing. And then there's also like Qigong practices, breathing practices, also, there's probably some that I'm missing. The views are mostly Eastern traditions that have been co opted without any sort of respect. And then people are like, sort of, you know, trademarking their little breathing practice. And it's like, it's a proximate breathing practice that they've just renamed. And it's really a clusterfuck. Right, now I can say, clusterfuck, right. Let's say it together, cluster clusterfuck. Perfect, just rolls off the tongue. So yeah, this is just it's common in many, many traditions all over the place. It's not just breathwork. But this is sort of what our, you know, breathwork looks like right now, even the tradition that I know, that I've learned, I don't know where it comes from, we don't have an idea. I was always told that it was a prana Yama, breathing practice, but there's not probably I'm not as quite clean and sharp and bright in the way that they describe the practices. And they're in the limbs of it. And this isn't one of them, but most likely stems from one of those practices. So I always like to give credit where it's due, just acknowledge this practices have been stolen, for the most part were adopted or adapted, and it's all over the place. So absolutely, this piece of acknowledging our lineage, and our teachers is really something that was taught to me and I really value it. And it's, it's alarming to me when that that doesn't get acknowledged, you know, like Richard Strozzi, Heckler and Stacy Haynes were primary teachers of mine in in the somatic Aikido, creating Aikido based practices to help rewire the brain through the body through physical practice, for instance, like, that's one example. And it's not something I invented, right. And so to acknowledge that, whether I'm doing an interview, or whether I'm working with an individual client, and Dr. Joe Dispenza, somebody I've worked a lot with, and found tremendous healing through those meditation practices. And yet, of course, you know, he didn't invent this breathwork. And these, you know, focusing on the energy centers, and this and that, but he picked, you know, different things, put them together to create one unified equation that can equal transformation. Right. And so I think it is, I just appreciate you taking the time to lay that out. So that people who want to know what's the source can actually maybe, you know, rewind and go back to that, rather than just take the thing that's being offered on Instagram. Yeah, that is important. And also the acknowledgement of scientific materialism and how that is just an arm of colonization as well. Because when we just look at the scientific research, and and I'm big on that, don't get me wrong. It's been mostly from that perspective. Then we strip away all the mysticism that from these indigenous practices, and then just reclaim them as our own in that way too. So there has to be a middle road somewhere where we can say, hey, yeah, science is acknowledging these things. That's important. That's great. And also this is exactly what Indigenous peoples have been saying. aim since these practices began, so yeah, let's some let's meet in the middle, let's acknowledge that there can be a little bit of meaning making when we're talking about breath work and the vibration moving through your heart and your hands and your mouth and your legs and your stomach and wherever that there is something to be said about that because that is chi or Kundalini, whatever you want to call it. I call it lifeforce or which power works just as well. But that's what it is. And that's an important part of it, not just the speaking to tetany. And not just speaking to respiratory alkalosis, which all of that is great and useful. And also, like, let's talk about, let's talk about it as as an energy as well. Yeah. So along the lines of speaking about mysticism. I'm curious if, before you went into recovery, and discovered breathwork, if you had a spiritual practice, and then what you've also seen for people that gets opened through breath work regarding a spiritual practice. Yeah, breath work is a spiritual practice certainly can be for a lot of folks. And a lot of folks don't want that to be part of it. And that's fine, too. But for me, I've always sort of been a spiritual seeker of sorts, I grew up in the LDS faith as a Mormon. And I began questioning that pretty early, just seeing the, the incongruence nature of the way that what things were being taught and the way that people were engaging with that. So this hypocrisy of like, Jesus says, The love everyone, and yet, you're not a very loving person that never made any any sense to me. So I began studying mysticism and magic at around 14 1516 really diving into that, and learning about things. And that's sort of been a spiritual path that I've been on ever since in various ilk. And so I had a spiritual practice. I'm, I'm an ordained priest. And that has been a part of it, not the Catholic Church, but of the Gnostic Catholic Church. And that's an entirely different entity. And Gnosticism is in general, but to connect to breathwork sort of changed everything, I thought that I was a spiritual person. And of course, addiction and all the things that I was struggling with, like there was not it wasn't coherent, like my practice was the something I thought that was spiritual, but obviously, wasn't engaging with it as much because I was in so much pain, I was just trying to numb out and tolerate resisting. So when I found breathwork, it really connected me to me for the first time. And that was a profound experience, because I thought that I was the spiritual person and this emotionally connected individual and holy shit, was I wrong. So breathwork has allowed me to really tune into, into that part of me in a way that nothing else ever has. So for other people, it's I mean, a common refrain is people are like, Oh, my God, I spoke to God in that moment, or they've had past relatives come and speak to them. They've had or witnessed future visions of their own life or past things, and can be intense and really cool to hear. It's a common experience for people to really tune into that to spirituality and whatever way that they approach it. So in that I hear not only a deeper connection to self, but also connection beyond yourself. And people define spirituality differently. But that, through that that breath, like in my mind, what I'm seeing, as you're describing that, as I'm picturing, the way that breath flows through all of us, right, and connects all of us and is bigger than all of us. And that through bringing more of that breadth, that inspiration right into our bodies. It it allows like a window or a door to open that then allows more to come into us and give us more access. Yeah, absolutely. Connecting to something bigger than ourselves is important. And then to each other really, which is I think one of the most powerful parts of breathwork is it allows us to truly connect to each other, to ourselves and to each other in our in a way that encourages compassion, and acceptance of love and care for others, which we need a hell of a lot more. Yeah, yeah. And so in your training, can you talk a little bit more about if somebody wanted to do your breathwork training? I know there's, you bring in additional practitioners to cover a variety of different topics, which I also think is really excellent. Can you describe a little more of that? Yeah, so the training is 800 100 hours, which is probably not an L, but it's 100 hours. And it's a wealth of information we have, I think 1718 Different facilitators, additional facilitators, or in total might be, I'd have to look or have to look at this point, but we have them come in every month for training. And so far, we're just in one, three. Right now, we've talked about consent and boundaries. We've talked some basic counseling skills, we've taught them about breathwork. But later on, we'll be teaching physiology, we'll be teaching history and lineage, we'll be teaching other, like motivational interviewing, giving them some real hands on clinical skills beyond just the basics of like, hey, active listening, here's what that is. And then some real professionals teaching about anti racism and colonization, certainly, and all the things that systems biases, those kinds of things, which a lot of breathwork trainings don't even really talk about at all. They will speak to like healing trauma, but they put in the individual responsibility on the individual, or they put the responsibility on the individual like, Oh, you're traumatized, you need to heal, instead of saying, hey, perhaps this white supremacist culture that we live in is traumatizing all of us. And we need to take a look at that beyond just our own individual healing. So we have a lot of practitioners, speaking to that part of it as well, because trauma work is becoming really popular, I think probably tick tock for that are in a lie, I think it's great. People go to therapy, and then they're like, my therapist told me this. And it's like, useful stuff. And also like, just because you say, you know a little bit about trauma doesn't mean that you know how to work with trauma, and it doesn't mean that you're trauma informed at all. Most people don't even know what SAMSA is, and the roots of trauma informed work. And that mind boggling because they can just put on their website that, hey, I'm trauma informed. And it's like, wait a second, are you talking about racism? Because if you're not, then fuck right off out of here, you're not trauma informed as a baseline, right? It's a baseline. So our practitioners are doctors, they are a sex educators, they are astrologers, I mean, people that have a lot of different tools and things to teach, that are really grounded in the work that they do. So awesome. And how often do you offer this training? Because it says it's 800 hours? It's obviously not something you're offering once every two months or three months or something, right? Yeah, it's, it's once a year, we open up application. And sometimes within that, we may open up applications for folks that have been on the waitlist to just fill it out. And they want to sign on and they can but we start once we're thinking about maybe opening the cohort up a little bit just to make it more accessible for folks. It's kind of a complicated thing. We open only open it up once a year. But applications will be opening up in March at the end of March for this next cohort. And we're really excited about that. Oh, good. So comes out. Not too far away. And so how is that? How does the 800 hours How does so I'm also asking you I know you offer see us which therapy therapists need. Right? So all my therapist friends out there, listen up, how do you break up? Is it in person? Is it online? Yes, it is like 99% online and we meet once a month for a training. And then we meet weekly for supervision just like a therapist would meet with their like the supervising therapist would meet with their hide their associates, I guess. There are them. And then we do breath. They're swapping breathwork sessions with each other and they're doing a pure lead breathwork once a month, and then a trainer with breath work once a month as well along with some reading and stuff, as well. It's about 33 hours of additional work a month for folks. It's it's a hell of a lot over a two year period. It's something that's quite the endeavor. And I think that it's something that's needed right now in general in the breathwork field because they're rare. There's not a regulatory body even though people want to say that the global professional breathwork alliance is it sort of is but they don't really have a code of ethics. That's, yeah, speak ill of them. Of course, they're doing great work. I'm so glad that they exist. And also there the code of ethics is quite lacking. It's like four paragraph graphs long and it doesn't speak to things that they've we're working with trauma you need to speak to. They only require four Are 100 hours, and they don't require any anti racism or decolonizing education at all, or even any trauma work. So it's sort of like, I'm glad they exist. And also, I felt that it was important or we felt rather that it was important to really teach people how to be good breathwork practitioners, effective breathwork practitioners and go prevent the sort of experiences that you described. Yeah, happening and allowing clients to heal. Right. Right. So valuable. There's, you know, those regulatory boards are essential. You know, when I, I was a somatic coach before then sex educator before becoming a psychotherapist. And initially, I was like rendering or psychotherapy, blah, blah, blah, even though I'd done like 10 years of psychotherapy, as in starting as a teenager. And then you really start to appreciate how the boundaries are set in place. And while I do touch my clients, I do bodywork with my clients nonsexual touch and really believe in the value of, of using touch to help heal, you realize just like with breath work, if there's no regulation, and people aren't being really trained in working with trauma, then so much retraumatization can happen. Right? Yeah. And, you know, there's a lot of conversation and also in medicine communities, right, there's like, above board medicine guides, and below board medicine guides and things are, are underground, and there's no regulation. It's like, who, where, where does the accountability live for when things go south? Yeah, where's the accountability and that thing we're trying to figure out with the American breathwork Association, the board and I are trying to figure out how to make this work without sort of Disenfranchising the disenfranchised even more, which is a lot of what happens with these regulatory boards, they just sort of the folks that need protection, and just don't get it even more and then don't have access to the the education or the training or any of that anymore. So we're figuring out how to make it accessible for everyone. That's great. I also know that you you offer you have a free offer. Is it once a week, once a month, I work what's happening with that. So the recovery circle is something that's my passion project, really, it's something that that I would just do if that I wish that was the only thing that I had to do is just offer this free work for people because it's so important. So it's the first breathwork based recovery support group that has ever been created. We've been running it since I mean, look at your state here, the Wow, march 7 2017. Yeah, 2017 is when we started. And that was in person for the longest time. But since COVID, we just turned it online, and it makes it accessible for everybody, you know, who has an internet connection or a phone, they can call in and join us. And so we do that every Tuesday night at some 30 Pacific time. And that's just a supplement to whatever, you know, if you're doing 12 Step work great or whatever, we're covering program you're working, you can also just come in and participate in that we define recovery quite broadly. So it's not just addiction. Again, my my focus is trauma. And most things I feel like stem from traumatic experience as opposed to addiction being like the the issue that's the sort of response to trauma is we become addicted, right? coping. Yeah, yeah. So it's for anybody who finds recovery for themselves, whether that's eating disorder, or people who struggle with suicidal ideation, or people who have been traumatized by addiction or alcoholism or any of those things. So we define it quite broadly for people make accessible the calm. I love that work. It's my favorite thing. Yeah, thank you for doing that. And for people who don't know who have not connected the dots, or listen to this previous episode, your partner, and hotter ship was a guest on episode 27 season to go listen to it evolution of Love Languages, I highly recommend her book. And so along those lines, I I was one I was curious if she's one of the participants that are one of the teachers in your training. And then also, given that work. How has breathwork helped you embody more or shift your relationship to your sexuality in any way? Hmm, yes, and is an instructor they taught the consent portion of it. And I think that's been the most powerful man. I mean, they've all been really powerful course. Dinah rose Harper spoke about systems and that was really profound and impactful for folks, but and came on and I caught about consent. And I was really surprised at the cohort. I wasn't surprised. I was shocked. And just appalled. Some of the statements made were, I can't believe that I'm, I've been doing breath work for X amount of years. And no one's ever taught about consent and boundaries like that. It's just like, so really stimulating stuff for everybody to work through they, and it's incredible. She's just fantastic teacher and instructor and everyone loved her and wants her back for more. So we'll have her. And then as far as Brett what breathwork is done for my sexuality. And before I found breathwork, I thought I thought I was someone who was who I wasn't. And I had this built this built up character caricature of who I was. And this this role that I played in my community and at work and in my life. And so much of it was disconnection from myself, my sexuality, my anger, my sadness, my hope, all of those things. So breathwork has allowed me to tune into my sexuality and explore needs and wants and desires in ways that I didn't know, that I could allow myself to, if I had already, I've sort of painted myself into a corner than individual and who I am and who I need to be. And breathwork through the years has really allowed me access to that part of myself were quite disconnected from it. So that's awesome. Yeah, I'm the way that you're describing it. I'm picturing it. Like, you have this rigid identity as we all do a sense of self, right? Aren't we identify with a certain part of who we are, and we think this is who I am. And this is the role I'm in. And this is what I offer in the world. And I'm very attached to this. And then as you bring more breadth that kind of shakes it up, I'm picturing it like stirring up soil breaking up really dry earth. And and then it allows it's like, oh, my gosh, I can grow so much more. Right, you know, right. Yeah. And the the rigidity, I really liked that analogy of the breaking up the soil, because it's Yeah, aerating soil, in many ways, so. And yeah, these rigid ideas of who we are, and the roles that we need to play, I think are really breaking apart now to is we're all sort of seeing the systems that are in place imposing these identities on us. And we sexualities on us. And these binaries on us that are just No, they were never a fit effective at all, except for control, or all sort of saying, hey, this doesn't make any sense. And I don't know, had I not found breathwork I don't know. I mean, I'd be I would be dead, most likely, but I certainly wouldn't be able to connect to myself and others in the way that I have. So glad you found it. That's beautiful. Yeah, yeah, she is, right. Yeah. And that that speaks to you know, not if you're not existing in a box, and you're not and again, I'm a very visual person so then the image of you in a box I picture you are a coffin with the with this packed Earth on top, right? You just said like, I'd be dead. And so instead of being in that box, right, there's, there's a level of freedom. And I often ask people on this show, what is sexual freedom to you? But also what is what when I asked that question, I'm talking about vibrance, and living a vibrant existence. And so you know, what does that mean to you? What does whether it's sexual freedom or living a vibrant life? Hmm. I think composting shame. I think for the most part, it's really working through like all of the these narratives that society has put on us and that I've integrated into my being thinking that it's that it is life giving or salubrious one it's really just desiccating destructive. And so I think working through shame and sexual shame, and that's an enormous component of working with trauma. Many of us have struggled with traumatic experiences around our sexuality and society just reinforces them. And you know, composting shame is about like, what are the things that bring me joy and what are the things that bring me pleasure and shame sort of puts it just locking yourself away in that dark box? And so working with shame breathwork is profound in that way certainly, but living a vibrant life is about working with shame and negotiating with it and hopefully eventually befriending net which is the way that I prefer to work with traumatic events and trauma in general and and these parts of ourselves Have that are protecting or running away or disconnecting to sort of befriend them? Yes. And so turning shame into An Ally, I think is the way to vivify your life. I love that. I think that composting shame, you know, needs to be like a bumper sticker on everybody's car. So there's that. That is the slogan composting shame. I just love it. Diversify your life. Colin composting Shea. Yes, that's very, that's very good. Very good. I would love to keep speaking with you. And I know that we were getting close to the end. And so would you like to lead us in a practice some kind of breathwork exercise that just gives everyone a taste so that they can know ooh, this works for me, I'd like to go look up Nathaniel and find more. How sure, yeah, we can do a little bit of breathing. Today, I'll give two different options for folks to engage with. The first one is a more active breathing, which can be really enlivening. But it can bring up a lot of faux fur folks. So it's best done. Lying down closed eyes, just a few minutes is going to be okay. For most everyone. However, you have a history of seizures, seizure disorder, that sort of thing, I would say, wait until I give instruction about the second breathing and engage with that one, if you have a tremendous amount of trauma to and you're worried about that, and then certainly take a more relaxing route today to it's all going to help regulate your nervous system. And I would say with the more if the more active breathing, it's it is I would say in the first little bit generally better to work with a practitioner in person, but a few minutes, safe for pretty much everybody except us folks that I outlined. Also, if you're pregnant, for the first time, we're just pregnant. In general, I would say speak to your doctor, talk to a medical professional. Or you do allow and make sure you communicate with them and make sure the breath works okay for you. So this this more active breathing that you'll be taking two breaths in through your mouth and breath out through your mouth. first breath into your low belly breathing with the diaphragm. And you take another breath on top of that one, and then exhale out. It's about 15 breaths per minute ish. But you can go more than that you can go less than that, if you want to, I encourage people to just find a rhythm that works for them. Less than about 15 is the pace that I'm going to give everybody but you go a little bit faster, a little bit slower. If you'd like to, you're going to feel lightheaded, you're going to feel dizzy, as I said, it's best done lying down with eyes closed, if you can tolerate that, if you can't, that's totally okay, you are going to feel some vibration run through your nervous system, it's gonna feel really good. But it's going to be kind of strange the first time you experience it too. So just focus on the breathing just a few minutes. I don't anticipate this for many people. But some folks cry during breathwork. That's a normal part of it, I would encourage you to just be with the emotion if you can. And then if you need to disconnect from it, that's fine too. But be with it if you can. And then the technique experience that you described the beginning sometimes that occurs for people immediately, mostly not. However, if it does occur, all you need to do is just switch your breathing back to normal breath. And what's going to happen is those sensations will increase for a moment, and then they'll slowly subside over time. So I don't want to scare anybody. But I always like to give the informed consent. And I know we talked about some of the scarier experiences in breathwork. First the technique experience. So that doesn't happen to everybody. And it is common, but most people aren't going to experience that during breath for that some people do. So it's nice to know what you're getting into. And then finally, again, you have full control. If at any moment, it becomes too intense or overwhelming, just return to normal breathing. That is something that is always within your control, you can return to normal breathing, so two breaths and a breath out through the mouth. For folks that do struggle with seizures or were pregnant or just a little nervous, that's fine. This other breathing technique is done by taking a normal inhale in through the nose, and then a nice long exhale out through the mouth. The trick with this one is just to make sure the exhale is longer than the inhale. So to inhale for a count of four, I like to exhale for a count of eight. Inhale for a count of five, exhale for a count of 10. That one's going to engage the parasympathetic part of your nervous system and relax you you can do that one. It's safe to do at any time for pretty much everybody. And the other one more active breathing. Don't do it while you're driving or it's great. It's useful but you want to be lying down if you can be so yeah, let's just go ahead and start we can begin by closing our eyes if that feels comfortable. Encourage you to do what's right. I liked I like to close my eyes but you don't have to just sit with this for a moment. Sit with yourself for a moment until we Just acknowledge that things may feel heavy right now they may feel tight, I would encourage you to just find a place in your body that feels less fucked up or less fucked than everywhere else. Maybe it feels really good, awesome for you. For many of us, the least fucked part of our body right now just connect it. Maybe that's your fingertips, maybe that's your ear low, maybe that's your forehead, wherever feels. Okay, neutral, less fucked up than anything and just be with that heart in your body. And then you can just begin the two part breath are the normal inhale and nice long exhale out just, I'm going to breathe in pace just focus on that part of your body that feels neutral or okay or even positive. This is a circular breathing. So the trick with that is just to not have a big pause between the inhale and the exhale or the exhale, inhale, just keep that breath moving. And if you're focused on that nice, slow exhale out. If you want to really push yourself, you can make that exhale even longer. Or you're going to add a pause between the inhale and the exhale. And just focus on the breathing. Just focus on the breath and where in your body it might feel neutral. Might feel good even and just see what the breathing if you can make that body or using your imagination, just make that expand a little bit the neutrality or the goodness, or the less fucked up. Whatever framing you want to keep the breath going just keep that breath going and see if you didn't get back to expand. By now you're probably feeling a little bit lightheaded, a little bit dizzy might be Yanni Oh, hey, there's the arm, feel it? Let that body do its thing and just see if you can get that goodness or neutrality to just expand. Many of us jump right from this self loathing to think we need to love ourselves immediately. And that is I think bad practice. Let's just get self neutrality first. Body neutrality first, like my body doesn't feel very good. But this is the part that does feels least bad. And see if you can get that least bad part to expand and span and focus on the breathing we're just gonna go for a few more breaths, it might be already pretty intense for folks. It's fine. I'm I'm a little dizzy already. And so yeah, if you can't, if you need to open your eyes, that's okay. Just don't pop right up out of your seat. That's the main thing. And now you can just return to normal breathing. I don't even know how long we did. But just a few minutes. Hey, guess there's not a wrong here. But if you did it, you're probably feeling a little bit of lightheadedness, a little bit of dizzy mass, maybe that charge in your body, that vibration that buzzing, it's good. If you did the other breathing practice, your nervous system might be feeling a little calmer, more relaxed. Breathing practices are called practices for a reason. It's not something that you can just do a one off thing and have 20 years of therapy happen even though like lots of people claim that on there. It takes discipline and diligence and work and effort just like any trauma healing modality trauma resolution technique, or trauma integration or reorganization. However you want to frame that you don't clear trauma out of your body, you engage with it in a different way. And so everyone has capacity to do that. breathwork can be really useful, but just let your body relax right now. Unwind from this experience. And then when you feel ready, you can open your eyes and come back here. If you need to sit up, that's fine. But I would again just urge you not to pop right up out of your chair and run anywhere you need to at the moment. Just be with yourself for a minute. Now that you can come back to your breath as an ally, anytime you want, it's there for you all the time. You could have to access the states anytime you want. Thank you And I want to also just say it any listeners who have just done this, practice that as you do this, because it's a practice, it's an evolving experience, right. So whatever your experience is, I know for me, I had very little tolerance for any kind of sensation in my body when I was younger, it was terrifying to just feel what I now can recognize as energy and enjoy the pleasure of energy moving through my system. And so if you have curiosity, I really encourage you to find someone like Nathaniel, and have the support and the external safety until you can locate the safety inside yourself. Yeah. And how can how can people find you please share your your social media or your website? Yeah. breathwork for recovery is the website you can find me at primarily. And then also my, I'm on Instagram before for recovery and, and also at spirit and ceremony, which is my personal account. And that's also my Tiktok account. And we're we're trying to work towards, you know, regular Thursday breathing, just breathing break on Thursday. But yeah, if you Google Nathaniel, and breath work, generally, I'm gonna come up in that way or breath work for recovery. That's certainly my site. And so it's easy, I'm pretty easy to find. Can't miss the hair. Thank you so much. And is there anything else that enclosing you would like to say, Yeah, I would just say people have had an experience similar to yours, that it doesn't have to be that way that there are really qualified and trained professionals that can guide you through a breathwork experience in a way that may change your life. And the key there is that they're qualified and trained. And there they are out there. And I would encourage you to, you know, revisit it and find some practitioners who don't just throw the trauma informed label on their work, but to maybe do some investigation, I'm always happy to refer people, I have a list of people that I work with that I always recommend for whatever issues you may be experiencing, but I'm always happy to connect them with it. So yeah, and welcome to join us on on Tuesday nights at the recovery circle, get a taste for what it's at, and to be in a supportive environment like that. So really appreciate you having me on as well. This was so lovely to connect. Yes, I hope that we get to connect in the future. And I'll be sending people your way. So thank you so much for your time. Yeah. All right. Have a beautiful day. You too. Bye bye. Thanks for joining us today, you make this possible. In order to support the podcast I've started a Patreon where I plan to release exclusive content you won't be able to find anywhere else online. I'll be offering meditations more in depth exercises that relate to specific episodes and behind the scenes info about the interviews and my personal life. You can find my patreon@www.pa T ar e yo n.com backslash la IDOPENPODCAST To learn more about how you can support our community. Another way you can support the podcast is by rating and reviewing and sharing with your friends so others can find our community of healing. I'd really appreciate it if you took the time to do that. I know your time is precious. You can also follow me at late open podcast on Instagram and Facebook. Read more about my work at passionate life.org Until next time, may this podcast connect you to new resources and empower you to heal yourself.

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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