Traumatic Stress and The Breath
There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information floating around about breathing. You may have been told to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Maybe you’ve heard that nose breathing is good unless you are working really hard. Or perhaps you’ve watch videos of people breathing rapidly through their mouths while sitting in lotus. Now add stress to your situation, and your breathing might just take off on its own.
It might be that when you sit down to try to breathe the way you think you’re supposed to you feel unable. Or maybe stopping and paying attention to the breath is the last thing you want to do — it might send you into a panic attack. But isn’t breathing supposed to calm you down?
Chatting with my friend Jane Clapp, we decided that we should really tackle some of this together. There’s a lot going on with the breath, and much of it relates to traumatic stress (and vice versa). Jane calls the diaphragm the "IS THE COAST CLEAR" muscle — if you don’t feel safe, it might be near impossible to relax the diaphragm so that it can do its work.
We’ve designed a 4-week webinar series:
Week 1 — De-armouring & the Biomechanics of Breathing
Week 2 — Activating the Ventral-Vagal Complex for Better Breathing
Week 3 — Biochemistry of Breathing & Anxiety
Week 4 — Breathing in Clinical & Yogic Settings — Myths Destroyed
Just to be clear, we can’t guarantee to fix your breathing. We can give you lots of information about what’s happening, and some tools to work with for yourself or your clients. (If you really need breathing help, you might need to book some private time with me.) You might realise along the way that some of the tools you have been using are doing the opposite of what you were hoping to accomplish.
I’m a yoga and movement teacher, and also a Buteyko Educator. Buteyko breathing is a technique developed by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s been used to treat breathing disorders, in particular asthma, allergies, snoring, sleep apnea, and metabolic syndrome, and it’s based on the science of breath. Bringing this together with my background in yoga and pranayama, I have a lot to say about inhaling and exhaling.
Jane is a movement coach, and a trauma informed embodied resilience expert. She knows a lot about our bodies and how we hold trauma, traumatic stress and history. Jane sees how this affects people’s breathing every day.
Jane and I are going to be live, together on Zoom, Thursdays at noon beginning January 9 for 4 weeks. If you can’t be there at that time, no worries, you can still sign up and you will be sent a link to the recording of the webinar within 24 hours that you can download and keep forever.
Sign-up and join us for this fascinating and informative webinar series. Click here for more information and to register.
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