INSTITUTE PROGRAMS > SPECIAL PROGRAMS > BREATHEXPERIENCE IN RELATIONSHIP
Breathexperience in Relationship was developed by Juerg Roffler, director of the Middendorf Institute for Breathexperience in Berkeley, and is rooted in the Experience of Breath, the Middendorf Breath Work, developed by Prof. Ilse Middendorf of Berlin, Germany over the past 75 years. Breathexperience in Relationships is a further development of the Experience of Breath and helps to communicate, clarify, resolve conflicts, deepen and transform partnerships and relationships.
Breath is more than just the function of breathing. It provides us with more than the substance to live and it carries a deeper meaning than only the exchange of oxygen. Ancient cultures knew about the potential and wisdom of a much wider experience and understanding of Breath.
When we experience and participate in the physical sensation of the movement of breath in our body, without interfering with its natural rhythm, we learn that every single breath cycle - inhalation, exhalation and pause, is different. The cycles of breath as different as they are, taken together, create a breath rhythm like a piece of music.
Breathexperience connects us to an intelligent source within. This provides us with exactly what we need for our own individual life processes to stay in balance. However, this connection can happen only when we allow breath to come and go on its own, without influence from our will and only with our full participation and presence in our experience of breath.
In reality, even the smallest incidents in our life are reflected in the breath rhythm. When I am happy, my breath rhythm is different from when I am sad or angry. When I am physically active, again, my breath rhythm is different from when I rest or sleep, etc. My own individual breath rhythm shows my individuality.
Breath Rhythm emerges as an important indicator of all conscious and unconscious events within and around us. In Breathexperience in Relationship, breath becomes both the basis of our orientation and the source that shows us what the next step can be in our personal process and with our partner(s).
Inhalation, exhalation and pause create movements in the body that can be physically sensed. When we sense these movements, we not only have a sensation of breath movement in the body but also an emotional and spiritual experience of ourselves that comes with this sensation. It is the sensation of movement in the body that enables our feelings and thoughts to become real.
Once feelings and thoughts have reference through the body, together they support a process of identification of Self. Breath encompasses sensation, feelings and thoughts. A sense of oneness and a sense of Self can then be experienced.
When entering partnerships, and individual breath rhythms are authentic - allowing breath to come and go on its own - the recognition of one's own Self develops the potential for a meeting of another's Self. At this point comes an understanding of one's own Self and the other's Self without either one adapting their breath rhythm to the other. Both beings become involved in meeting authentically.
Conflicting parts in the relationship are replaced by an understanding and acceptance of each other's truth. More tolerance and flexibility result. Old patterns drop away as possibilities emerge for new ways of being.
Breath does not primarily orient to where there are conflicts. Instead breath has a memory and maintains the connection through breathexperience with our healthy inner core, our essence: it stimulates the whole being to participate, to help create a state in our body and being that supports spreading the knowledge of the healthy core throughout our whole body and being through breath.
We can then outgrow our conflicts and shed them as the dead leaves of a tree in autumn for the sake of next year's growth. Life forces that were fragmented and isolated by physical and mental conflicts, become available once again for processes of restoring, creating, unfolding and growth.
In a Breathexperience in Relationship process based on working with the natural breath, a specially trained facilitator shows the way for couples or small groups to work with one another and makes verbal or hands-on offers to stimulate breathexperience. This will allow the balancing and self-regulating dynamics of breath to become the source of their movements as they interact.
All offers from the facilitator incorporate recognition and analysis of breath rhythm and breath principles. Integration can happen because each participant maintains presence and participates in the process of breathexperience.
Through movements that originate from breath, there are qualities of being which manifest within each individual. These qualities include complements, which we recognize as principles in Breathexperience in Relationship. Some examples follow:
- Receptivity in breath movement has direction in breath movement as its complement.
- Inner breath movement has as its complement outer breath movement.
- Stability is complemented by flexibility.
- Instinct is complemented by spirit.
Recognizing and experiencing these complements becomes an important tool in developing balance. Allowing the breath to come and go on its own will support any process leading to balancing of all the complementary forces.
Movement that originates from the breath is simply the continuation of our inner breath being realized in the world. The body is being moved by the breath and the Self participates. This leads to true dialogue in partnership, individual or group. The result is a deeper connection and a more authentic relationship and communication on all levels.
Some responses from our practice of breathexperience in relationship:
- "It is critical for me to maintain my own breath rhythm when I relate to someone else. It helps me stay with my Self at times when I take my stand and when I become more flexible and tolerant."
- "I realize through sensing my breath rhythm, that when I'm too directive I don't listen to the other person. I want to receive myself and others more. I'd like to give more space to them as well as to myself."
- "I'm learning how to be with my Self without adapting or merging with my partner."
- "The important thing in this practice is that I can let my partner be as he is and I can be who and what I am. I feel that we're separate but can still be connected. In this way I respect myself and my partner."
- "The amazing this is that my breath teaches me to love my Self. As a result, I don't have to give myself up by paying any price to be loved."
Through Breathexperience in Relationship we come to an understanding of how important our unique breath rhythm is in ourselves and in our relationships.
Day & Time: Last Sunday of each month, noon to 3:00 pm
For dates see Event Schedule
Cost: $60 per workshop for a single person. $90 per couple
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