As a Yoga Teacher and a Breathwork Therapist, I often get asked –
What is the difference between Pranayama and Conscious Connected Breathwork?
My (very) brief response is, one is about ‘control’ and the other is a total ‘surrender’. Surrender to what the body will show you.
They come from different lineages and have different intentions. Different objectives. So my question would be to anyone looking for breathwork – what is behind your exploration? Are you seeking practices to help regulate your nervous system? Or you looking for deep healing?
As the word Pranayama translates (Prana= Life Force ,Yama = Control) – this is a practice about controlling the energy in the body. Whether to energise the body (e.g – breath of fire) or to down regulate or balance the nervous system (e.g – Alternate nostril breathing), Pranayama is using the breath to control the energy in the body and thus – too our minds.
Whereas Conscious Connected Breathwork is used for therapeutic purposes. It’s about releasing control, surrendering into the experience of what your breath, your body wants to show you. This circular breathing helps us tap into subconscious parts of our mind, to bring forth subconscious material (that often dictates our everyday decision making) and bring this into our conscious awareness; where we have the opportunity to process, make change.
This practice deserves it’s own standalone article – which one day I may share – as this was and still stands, as the most powerful practice I’ve ever found on my healing journey.
I’ve trained as a Yoga Teacher, a Reiki Practitioner, a Psychotherapist but it was only when I found this practice – did I truly open my heart fully and began to heal.
I often feared if I allowed myself to step into the darkness, that I’d never come back up. But this practice showed me my resilience. It showed me that nothing lasts forever and that, this too shall pass – and it’s only when we grant ourselves permission to fully feel – that we can start to move forward. Conscious Connected Breathwork was my biggest invitation to feel what it is to be human. This messiness – the rollercoaster – the sheer beauty – the connection – and the awareness of what we are a part of.
2020 was the year that the world woke up to the importance of our breath. 2020 was the year I learnt that our breath is far more than the oxygen we inhale; but a vehicle that connects us back into our soul.
And today, I have the privilege to walk alongside people, to hold space, to guide them back into their soul essence. To release the limitations we place upon ourselves through our life’s experiences and grant permission – to live this one life fully. Until we too take our last breath.