I (Alistair) went to an amazing workshop this weekend with Alan Dolan.
Alan is a fellow workshop leader at the Special Yoga Centre. Or at least that’s where I heard his name first. Someone recommended going to his classes years ago but for some reason, it never quite happened.
Transformational breathing was developed by an American, Judith Kravitz but has older roots in the Shamanic traditions of the Americas. Different from the pranayama breathing that is practised in Hindu yogic traditions. And certainly wildly different from any Buddhist use of the breath. Transformational Breath looks at using the continuous breath as a way of creating a heightened state of being. In which energy flows unimpeded by normal thinking constraints. Or at least that is the way I perceived it.
I don’t remember a single thought
It was a tremendous session. Three hours long but with a breathing session of about 90 minutes that could have been 10 or 10,000 minutes long from where I was lying. Perhaps because I am familiar with the Ayahuascan state, I found it incredibly easy to slip into a very lucid, very peculiar plane where energy roared through my body. Where I could literally feel the energy centres of my body cascading outwards. I don’t remember a single thought. It was all body energy and clearing.
Alan describes it as the energy body doing what it naturally does when it’s not caught up in the thickets of thinking, little-ego structures. Bodily knots, emotional knots, spiritual blockages – they all come up and get blown away (literally) by the bellows of the breath.
Transformational breathing says that our energetic selves are way more intelligent than our thinking/conscious selves
This is really interesting to me right now because I have become aware of lots of practices that seem to circumvent the knottiness of the thinking, self-shaped mind. AIT (Advanced Integrative Therapy). EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or ‘tapping). The magnificently intense Ayahuasca therapy and this, transformational breathing. All in different ways point to the same thing: that our energetic selves are way more intelligent than our thinking/conscious selves. That we can do ourselves a great favour by getting out the way of energy and letting it happen.
I felt about a metre taller as I left the hall and slept the most beautiful sleep I’ve had in ages. If you’re near London, Cambridge (or Lanzarote!) there are more of Alan’s courses. And we spoke about maybe collaborating in the future. Yay!
I’d love to know your thoughts about transformational breathing. Drop me a message with any thoughts, comments, questions, queries or insights that pop up while reading the blog. I’d love to hear from you!