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Inhale, Exhale: An Introductory Guide to Shamanic Breathwork

shamanic breathwork
Have you noticed that in times of stress you may hold your breathe or take small almost unnoticeable gasps? Then during times of relaxation like preparing for sleep, you take long, exaggerated, and deep breaths?

Do you recognize the difference in how your body feels in both of these situations?

Your breathing technique is a powerful tool to not only survive, but also to maintain a healthy body, clear mind, and conscious spirit.

Shamanic breathwork, known as pranayama in yogic practice is the process of controlling your breath through meditative exercise. To be aware of breathing patterns throughout the day ensures optimal health.

Read on to discover breathing techniques that can benefit your journey toward spiritual enlightenment and physical joy.

What Is Shamanic Breathwork?

Even though we wouldn’t survive without it, most people don’t think about breathing hardly ever. How can something so vital be so insignificant? It may be that we take our automatic response system for garanted.

In breathwork training, you learn to understand the sacred power behind breathing. Techniques used during this training lead to control of the breath, which leads to a deeper appreciation for the life given to you.

Breathing becomes not only a physical process but a mental and spiritual one as well. It opens up pathways to rejuvenate cells and organs. It places your mind in the present moment. And it connects you to a oneness of the universe.

Benefits of Breathwork

Breathwork can relieve stress, anxiety, and over-thinking. It is also a way to improve posture, remove negative energy or blockages, ease an overstimulated nervous system, and reduce blood pressure by adding more oxygen to the body.

These benefits all contribute to the natural functions of the body when in optimal condition, free of worldly strain. In this state, the body no longer acts in response to stress inhibitors, rather according to the desires of the soul.

The mind no longer resorts to past resentment or future agendas. Instead, it lives in the moment of ecstasy. It feels the power of the present possibilities.

With more oxygen going to the brain, the mind opens up new networks. This raises your level of consciousness. The path to a higher self starts with the physical breath, then control of breath, and finally understanding of breath.

Breathwork Methods

Think of the breath as a source of energy that flows in what the body needs and blows out what the body doesn’t. You keep the positive energy and remove the toxins throughout the body.

Most methods work using this simple concept. The desired results of any breathing technique are to transform yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.


One method, holotropic breathwork, means acquiring wholeness. It uses the breath to reach altered states of consciousness naturally. Music is used to accompany short breaths followed by long breaths while lying down in a group.

The session usually lasts up to 3 hours and is followed by a post-breathing discussion, reflection, or activity such as writing or drawing.

There may be a facilitator as a partner or a shaman monitor participants during the session.


This guided breathing technique focuses on using the diaphragm to direct the breath through the body in a circular motion.

During the one-on-one session, you pass through 3 stages of awareness, targeting specific areas for healing.

The first phase involves developing a constant pattern of breathing. Normally, breaths occur in patterns of disunity and abruptness. By focusing on the breath, you should be able to form a pattern of even inhales and exhales.

Once a pattern materializes, the breath begins to correct any physical synchronizations that are out of tune.

The second phase finds the source of these negative patterns. This involves opening parts of the body once closed off from the breath like parts of the stomach or lungs.

Breathing life into these deserted areas can release built-up emotions or memories that need to be released. This release will lead you to the final phase of a revelation within the subconscious.

Training in Breathwork

Many healers believe that we all possess trauma from our own births. The shock from transporting from the spirit world into the physical realm can leave us with feelings of loneliness and loss of the self.

Rebirthing breathwork uses long inhales and exhales with extended pauses in between. This allows our breath to reach the subconscious by going deep into memories of entering this life.

You become calmer and more intuitive about your true identity on this earth after a rebirthing breathwork experience.

Starting Breathwork at Home

Now that you know the significance of the life force of breath that we take for granted every day, you can begin by being aware of your breathing habits.

Take the time to meditate using your breath by taking long and open inhales followed by slow exhales. And for a guided session of shamanic breathwork contact us for upcoming group training.