SOMATIC BREATHWORK: DEEPENING PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION THROUGH BREATH AND BODY
Somatic Breathwork has been around for thousands of years and has been practiced under many names. Most recently it has been offered under the banner of Holotropic Breathwork, which is not unlike the Rebirthing movement that preceded it. Early in the 20th Century, Wilhelm Reich, often considered the father of modern somatic and bodymind therapies, discovered in his clinical work that a similar method of deep breathing activated energy, emotions, and memories in his patients. He also observed that there was a psychosomatic process that arose to inhibit this natural process of self-expression, and this is how he began to understand the formation of character and its obstruction of energy on multiple levels.
The depth and the manner in which we breathe is a fundamental indicator of the degree to which we are connected to ourselves, to our bodies, and to the natural world. Following Reich’s framework, working with the breath while softening the tensions and obstructions of “muscular armoring” can counteract the contractions of character and allow for more spontaneity, emotion, and energy in life. Ida Rolf added to this formulation the necessity of softening the connective tissues that tend to cement this chronic tension into place. There are varying types and degrees of bodywork that can be applied to this process, but the core of the process is the breath. We honor these rediscoveries of Reich, Rolf, and Grof by offering Somatic BreathWork in conjunction with counseling and healing.