Sunday, March 11, 2012

Holotropic Breathwork Round 6: The Joyous Millipede

Yesterday I took part in my sixth Holotropic Breathwork experience and it was the most fun-filled one yet. My prior experiences have ranged from traumatic roller coaster rides of emotion with lots and lots of tears to extremely blissful meditations free of any visuals or sensations.

In fact, my prior session in September 2011 was so uneventful I was in no rush to breathe again. Luckily, I've turned Lori onto this and she wanted to do it again. This weekend was her fourth time and the third time we were partners. In Holotropic Breathwork each breather is teamed up with a sitter for a breathing session, then roles are switched for the next session so each person does both roles before the day is done.

Lori went first and seemed to have a very happy and content experience. Her hands flowed and danced about while she had a big beaming smile on her face for almost the entire first hour. Then she went into a long period of stillness and quiet only to have a more visible experience singing and sliding about on her mat for another twenty minutes before being quite and still again until the music stopped after 2 1/2 hours.

This round for me was the first time I truly had no expectations. I had already had life changing experiences and experiences that felt like glorified naps, whatever was going to show up today - I was cool with it. I was rewarded with a very cool and joyous ride. It was the most flat out fun I've ever had in breathwork. There wasn't a single tear shed.

The music is a huge component of breathwork and the soundtrack was full of great tribal drumming and the most vocalization I'd encountered. None of it was in English, but I was converting some of it into messages that fueled my experience.

I don't really recall the music starting. There was a point I felt like I'd just landed on the mat, noticed the music was cranking and I thought I better get my breath cranking because I have no idea how long I've zoned out for. I started my deep, non-stop breathing and the music had all sorts of singing in some language, I'll guess Hindi, that started creating the most amazing scene. It was a combination of Muppet sort of folks, dozens of Plush Larry's, and the Star Wars cantina band. Characters were all sorts of shapes and sizes, a few blue puffy guys were even playing the cello. I was smiling so much, filled with such joy and entertainment I was laughing out loud as I lay on the mat with my eyes closed. This "show" went on for a while and it felt like the most fun I could ever have inside my head - or where ever this was happening. At times all the Plush Larry's created a chorus and were singing to the music playing in the room.

At one point I realized I was a millipede and I was racing through the jungle trying to get to the source of the music before the song stopped. It was a very tribal sounding piece of music with some singing and I wanted to find the people and join in on the fun. On the mat I was moving my feet, legs and shoulders a lot - in fact Lori later told me I was moving my mat and lots of the stuff around me, but my arms weren't used. Which makes perfect sense since I was a millipede. As the tempo of the music sped up I moved faster and faster, yet my millipede self never felt panicked. He was so digging the music, full of joy, he/I just hoped to find the party before they stopped. At one point I burst out laughing again because I saw an old blue VW bus and Hurley from Lost was driving. He yelled out an encouraging, "Dude!" to me and was gone.

The music changed to another track but it was close enough in theme to keep my millipede-self going and I came upon a fire where a bunch of natives were dancing and celebrating. I tried to stand up and join in. I wanted to dance with them. But millipedes can't stand up. I kept trying and falling down. But there was no sense of frustration. There was never a time when I was going to give up. Trying was fun. It made me think about learning to walk - that kids just keep trying and the trying is fun. During the time I'm shifting, squirming and shimming up and down my mat and I was going into a bridge pose trying to get my millipede self standing up. It was an insane amount of fun.

My mandala March 10, 2012
Next thing I recall was that my legs turned to roots and I became one with the earth. I started having a bit of ayahuasca flashbacks and swear that old taste was in my mouth as I became a plant and then the earth. So I was the entire planet for a while, knowing, realizing and feeling that all the creatures and people I had seen were me. They were part of me and created by me all at the same time. Then some metamorphosis happened I shot up into the sky as pure energy and spent something between 20 minutes and a millennia soaring through the cosmos and floating amongst the stars.

Pretty, pretty cool.


Lenny Gibson said...

Realizing that one is the planet can put a person in a position of considerable responsibility, which is important to see as a boon, rather than a burden.

AF Grant said...

Thanks, Lenny. No burdens on my millipede back.