Highest Self Podcast 322: Why Breathwork Is The Next Yoga with Samantha Skelly
How can you change your state in just 90 seconds? Breathwork. This practice is revolutionary and ancient at the same time, using your breath to connect you deeper with your truth than you ever have felt. In this episode, I sit down with Breathwork Master Trainer Samantha Skelly to talk all about breathwork and how we can utilize it in our lifes, including common questions. She then guides us through an easy breathwork practice.
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Episode 322: Why Breathwork Is The Next Yoga with Samantha Skelly
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast, a place where we discuss what makes You, Your Soul's Highest Evolvement.
In this Podcast I love to sit down with friends and talk about their expertise on all topics Spirituality because diving into the spiritual world can be a lot. There are so many different healing modalities; practices; belief systems; rituals; lineages; it can be a lot especially when you’re first starting.
I remember how excited I was, it almost felt like a Disneyland of like “Oh, I want to learn about yoga, and breathwork, and sound baths, and witch practices, and this and that.” And even today, ten years later, I’m still constantly learning and deepening my understandings of different practices, and also seeing how much science really plays a role in these things that are ancient and time-old, but we can see that science today can prove to us why these practices have surpassed the test of time.
So, one of these practices is breathwork. So, if you’re not aware of what breathwork is, well you are working your breath but it’s not a job – basically what you are doing is, you are breathing in a specific way. There are many different styles of breathwork (we’ll talk about on the Podcast) but you’re breathing a specific way to help you clear out anxiety, stress, whatever it is that your body is holding onto, and come back to a state of bliss, peace, happiness and alignment. So, it is something that is super-easy and we’re actually going to be doing it on this Episode. The author, Sam is going to be guiding us through a quick little journey and it’s something that I love.
Breathwork to me has been the thing that has allowed me to tap into meditation so easily. I’m someone who has a very active mind. I’m an intellectual, I read a lot, I’m always learning and writing, and creating things, so it can be really hard for me to be in a thoughtless state, but breathwork is that practice that can do it for me because I’m a very body-based person. So if something is in my body like breathwork, dance, massage, things like that, it brings me out of my mind.
So if you are like me, and you are someone who has tried to meditate, tried to sit and think of nothing and it’s ended up stressing you out even more, I would highly suggest giving breathwork a shot.
So, in this Episode, we dive deep into basically any breathwork question that you may have had because I know for myself, I have had a lot of questions from “What is actually happening in your body? What does it mean if your mouth feels dry? If you sometimes have those lobster claws” which sometimes happens to you based off of how your breath is circulating. So many different things that we, when we’re doing breathwork, we don’t really think about so because we go through the practice, and right after I was like “What about this; what about that?” You get a really deep dive into what breathwork is all about and then she guides us through a breathwork practice right here on the Episode, so you’ll be able to experience it for yourself.
And another incredible thing about Sam is, not only is she an author, she’s one of my great friends, but she also has a Pause Breathwork Facilitator Training.
So, I know so many of you guys right now are going through transitions in your career, in your Dharma, in your sense of Purpose, and are wanting to do something that’s more into the Wellness, Spirituality conscious space.
So, if breathwork is a modality that you want to add into, maybe, your yoga teaching practice; your meditation practice; your Ayurveda; health-coaching, or just to go out there as a Breathwork Facilitator – so many people are hiring them, especially online, it’s something that could be done touch-free, on the internet. So a lot of work places are hiring a lot of Breathwork Facilitators right now and it’s definitely – I see it as the next yoga because it’s so easy for anyone to do and anyone to feel an immediate result with.
So, Sam founded Pause Breathwork which is a Facilitator Training, and I’ve teamed up with her to also offer my Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type Ayurveda course, which is not available anywhere else right now, for free for anyone that joins Pause Breathwork with my link.
So if you are interested in joining, in tapping in deeper and you also want to get a free 12-week Ayurvedic Nutrition Training Program on top of that, then head over to pausebreathwork.com/sahara – you can find that link in the show notes and get all the information, apply there and get started.
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Sam Skelly to The Highest Self Podcast.
And before we get started, I have an announcement for you.
So many of us are really awakening in our spiritual paths and realizing that spirituality is so much more than more information, more manifestation, more materialism, but it really all comes down to embodiment – being in touch with who you are, your Truth, your Soul’s Purpose. And we’re realizing that so much of spirituality has been so focused on the masculine, how to disconnect; how to be still; how to be nothing, but really, what the feminine wants is to be like everything, with her movements, and her expressions, and her community, and her joy, and her purpose. And this is why I created Rose Gold Goddesses – it is the feminine approach to spirituality where each and every month we are tapping into different Goddess archetypes.
So, this past month we were working with Goddess Gaia, connecting to our grounded, earthy, anchored energy, especially while the world is so chaotic.
The month before that we were tuning into Goddess Ixchel, connecting to our Womb Wisdom, our menstrual cycles, aligning them with the Moon.
Before that, we have been connecting with so many Goddesses, from Lalita Sundari – for sacred sensuality; to Durga – for courage, for our Dharma; to Quan Yin – for compassion; to Bridget – for new beginnings; and so many others.
So, if you are loving The Higher Self Podcast and these types of conversations and Episodes that really take spirituality to that deeper, ancient, embodied, earthy, and feminine element, and you’re craving to connect with Spiritual Soul Sisters who are also resonating with this more embodied approach to spirituality – then I invite you to join us in Rose Gold Goddesses, the sacred sisterhood collective, all about embodying the Goddess within.
So, besides the monthly Goddess Circles, we have so many workshops that I’ve created for you, from my Healing and Embodiment Through Dance course, to my Awaken Your Powers Masterclass with Shaman Durek; my 10-day Discover Your Dharma audio course. Starting in January, we’re going to be putting Dharma pods together, so you can create your own mastermind of people to support you to find your Dharma, and so much more. There is no Community out there like this, if you check out the website and see the transformations women have had from being a part of this Community, you will be mind-blown.
So, head over to rosegoldgoddesses.com to join the Community now, and I’m soul excited to meet you inside. Again, that’s rosegoldgoddesses.com and I’ll see you in there.
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Welcome Samantha to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you back.
I’m so excited for this conversation, thank you so much for having me on.
So the first question I’d love to ask you is what makes you your highest self?
You know, I am in Utah right now, just amongst the mountains and lakes, and I’ve been waking up every single morning and going for long bike rides and just walking by the river. And I can feel, as I am walking and breathing, that I am breathing in the essence of my soul as I’m in nature, so I have to say that.
So, right now, we are living in a crazy time, as we like to text about“What’s happening?!” And a lot of people’s fights or flights have been on this whole year. And for me, I would always say “I’m not a huge meditation person, I’d rather dance. For some reason when I sit and meditate I’m just not really getting the benefits.” I did TM training, I really tried, but it wasn’t until I integrated breathwork in, that I was like “It’s so easy for me to meditate and I love it, and I want to stay here forever” and it was adding that breathwork element in.
So, can you share with us, for people who don’t know what breathwork is, what is this incredible healing modality?
I am in the same boat as you, I always say breathwork is for the person who say they can’t meditate. And I found breathwork at a time in my life where I was really struggling with food and my body, and I had done absolutely everything to try and heal myself and I ended up going to Bali. I was reading “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and she was talking about how she went to Bali, and I’m like “Okay, I’m going to do that!”
So, I bought a one-way ticket to Bali and found breathwork. I found a class – when I first saw it on the board I was like “Breathwork! Surely that’s just breathing and I’m sure a lot of people are having that experience right now! What are these guys talking about?” So I walk up to the class and everyone’s lying down with pillows and blankets, and this man comes over, dressed all in white, and he said to me “Do you want to go on the ride of your life?” I kind of looked at him “What is going on? It looks like an adult sleepover – a ride of my life? What’s going to happen? What’s going on down here?”
Take this pill!
I’m like “Is this an orgy, what’s going on?” So, I lie down and he teaches this breath pattern and he said to me “You are going to experience the entire spectrum of human emotion over the next three hours” and the class was three hours, which was crazy. And when he said that to me I had this moment of like “You don’t know who you’re talking to” I’ve only felt either numbness in my body or anxiety for years because I’ve been in the diet binge cycle; restricting my food; using exercise as my drug, etc. but I thought I’d give it a go. So I lie down and I started breathing in this pattern and within a few moments I felt this activation in my system that I had never felt before. I felt an aliveness; this awakening come through my body; I was able to feel every single sensation in my system. I felt like I was so embodied, so in my body, experiencing absolutely everything, and then it progressed and I just cried and released so much emotion. And then I was able to tap into anger and rage, and scream, and all of this was happening without me judging my emotionality – all of it was unfolding and I was just experiencing myself going through this process.
So, I woke up, essentially, three hours later, it felt like fifteen minutes because time sort of collapsed in that deep immersive space, and I, for the first time in my life that I could remember, felt the essence of who I actually was.
Now, to answer your question what is breathwork and why is it so powerful? Essentially, we are using breath in a circular, continual way, that helps the mind unhook (I call it) or release. And when the mind releases, we then get to tap into our visceral intelligence; we get to tap into our body. And when we’re in our body, we can attune and feel everything that we block out. And so, if you are someone who doesn’t feel much emotion, chances are, you felt a lot of emotion when you were younger and it was too intense for your system, and your body, you’re protectors were like “Aghh, let’s just shut this off, I don’t want to feel this!” And so, there’s been this emotional numbness that has occurred through your life, and so, what breathwork does is, it helps reawaken the parts of us that have been dormant forever; it allows us to really shift our relationship to our emotions and really feel them – in order to heal, we have to feel.
And so, my biggest issue with meditation was, I would sit there and because my mind is so busy (and I definitely have ADD) my mind would just be – I would be thinking about not thinking, which spins me into this sort of anxious storm. With breathwork, the mind is a by center, the mind is completely relaxed, and that, for many people, is just a complete state of bliss, especially for people who are over-thinkers, over-analyzers, highly anxious, and to your point, 2020 has been a time where we are living in that sympathetic fight or flight state. I think we’re all sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop, like “Okay, what’s going to happen next?” And there’s like a bracing in our system that’s happening and it’s fundamentally created, yes, by everything that’s going on, but also us not having that real-felt grounding of safety, that emotional safety. After food, water and shelter, we all need safety. And when we outsource our safety to things outside of ourselves, and those things change, like many things that have happened this year, we then are left feeling untethered, and so we’re driving ourselves into that sympathetic state constantly feeling anxious. So, breathwork has been a game-changer for me – it’s healed my eating disorder and constantly helps me recalibrate and find that pocket in my system; that felt sense of safety.
So beautifully said, thank you for sharing that! I totally resonate when you said we kind of feel like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is this like “Okay, what’s going to happen next?” because I don’t think any of us could’ve imagined the way that 2020 kind of continued to unfold with riots, and protests, and political things, and fires, and this, and it almost feels like “Okay, what else are you going to throw at us?” we’ve got a couple more months left, and then also, it’s not like it’s 2021, everything’s shifted now, it’s all gone. Oh once we just get through 2020 we’re going to forget about it – it’s not necessarily – it brought to light a lot of things that need healing, around, but I think what has happened is, we’ve so lost ourselves in it; we’re so trying to figure out what’s happening, and taking all the information, all the news sources. And you know, I checked in with my body as I was going down these rabbit holes, I’m like “I’m not breathing. I’m holding my breath. I’m literally bracing myself physically.”
So how can you go work on your Dharma when you’re literally in this state all the time?
So, you mentioned emotional numbness and I think this is a really important topic because we speak a lot about anxiety and depression, but what does numbness – I feel like that’s more of a subtlety, and how does that show up for us?
It’s this essence of never really getting too happy and never really allowing ourselves to emote to the point where we are processing our sadness and our anger. And we can experience our joy to the degree that we’re willing to go into our darkness. And life is this beautiful – there’s duality in everything, and there’s so much light and darkness that is within us. And when we develop the courage and we have the tools to be able to truly explore our darkness, it gives us more access to our light.
Now, for me, in my diet depression years, when I was dieting and exercise addiction, and all of it, I completely cut off my ability to feel joy, and happiness, and love, and contentment, because I wasn’t willing to let myself feel pain, and stress, and anxiety, and depression, and grief, and anger, and all of that, and emotion is life. There’s so much aliveness in emotion, and one of the biggest problems is we have these debilitating associations with our sensations, meaning if we experience anxiety, the story we create is “I’m anxious, I’m weak, I can’t do this. I’ve got to suppress this, I’ve got to eat, I’ve got to over exercise, I have to have another glass of wine” whatever it is. But when we fundamentally shift the relationship to that sensation, and rather than anxiety coming into our experience and us deciding that we need to numb it, run away from it; or that we are fundamentally weak or flat, we welcome it, we feel it and we decide that “Wow, this anxiety in my system is pointing to something. It’s showing me something, it’s guiding me to something in my system that I’m not a breast to yet.”
And so, the experience when I have anxiety, it’s sort of two-fold.
Number one, I can feel my ego and my protector saying “I don’t want to feel this, I need to push this away” and then when I observe that voice I can also sense this excitement of “There’s something existing right now in my sphere and in my universe that is not fundamentally in alignment with my soul. There’s a frequency mismatch so let me feel into this; let me use breathwork so I can unhook my mind and really get into the nucleus of this pain so that I can begin to understand what’s out of alignment.” And every single time Sahara, I get it, I get the point, and it’s literally ten minutes. If I’m feeling anxiety, I will sit with it for a few moments and really just feel it without the breath, and then I’ll integrate a beautiful breath pattern which we can do a little bit on the Podcast to show your listeners; then my mind releases, I get into the body, I get into the sensation of anxiety, and I’m shown through my body what I need to pay attention to in life, and it could be cleaning up a relationship that was left sort of undone; it could be “I have broken the congruence in myself by doing something or acting out of alignment in some area”; it could be something that I’m doing to my body; it could be a conversation that I need to have; it could be something that I’m holding onto for a scarcity of reasons that just needs to go. And so, every single time there’s this diving intelligence, this wisdom that exists in our body when we breathe into it and really shift the relationship to the anxiety.
So beautifully said! And I think a lot of people feel very disconnected from their bodies and this is just a really practical tool that any of you, if you are like “How do I connect and listen to my body’s intuition?” It’s breathwork! That’s it.
So, can you guide us through a practice that we can just do wherever we are right now?
So, if you are driving or if you’re anywhere warm like a sauna for instance (I don’t know if you’re listening to this in a sauna) but if you’re in a sauna or a hot tub or driving, don’t do this practice, but anywhere else, this is totally safe.
So, the breath is called the Tri Active Breath, so it’s a three part breath, and we’re only going to be using the mouth.
So, it’s two breaths in and one breath out. So it sounds like this (practice). So, we’re going to do that for 90 seconds and then take a deep breath in through the nose, and hold at the top, and allow your body – what’s going to happen is, the experience that you’re going to have is that you’re going to hold your breath and your mind’s going to say “Okay, let your breath go” and there’s going to bit of energetic chaos that happens – allow yourself to just feel into that, for literally two seconds, and then what happens is the body; the energy sort of recalibrates and the body comes back to just feeling incredibly peaceful.
So, of course, if you want to let go of your breath, listen to your body, and also, if my pacing is too quick for you, feel free to slow down the pacing. So if you want to go at this speed (breath) that’s really cool as well.
And is it best to be sitting, lying down or does it not matter?
So, for anything more than five minutes, I always suggest lying down with your palms facing up, but for 90 seconds you can absolutely do that sitting.
Are we ready?
Okay, everyone, just closing your eyes, relaxing your shoulders, and just taking a moment and just checking in with your heart. (Breath in) feeling just the aliveness, the energy of your heart.
And just to start with, let’s just take three deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
And when you’re ready, let’s begin.
And just letting the breath do the work; feeling into your body. Beautiful work.
That’s it, keeping the breath nice and strong.
And now when you’re ready, take in a deep breath in through the nose, and holding the breath at the top – that’s it – and just notice the energy recalibrated. Notice how the mind is a little bit more clear; and there’s a little bit more spaciousness in the body to bring forth more of who you are. And when you’re ready, releasing the breath, whenever you’re ready. And coming back into your body and just noticing the subtleties; the energy; the vibration; the clarity in the mind; the openness in the heart. And when you’re ready, slowly coming back into the space – opening up your eyes. Beautiful.
I want another round of that! So, so good! Even when it came out, I always have these little questions, so I’m excited to ask them to you.
So my first question is, what do you do if your mouth gets very dry?
So if you’re doing that breath pattern (breathwork) close the mouth, take a few swallows and you can even do the bliss breath which is through your nose (breathwork) then come back to the mouth (breath). What you’ll notice is, after about the three or four point mark, the body begins to lubricate the mouth in a way that doesn’t happen normally when we’re outside of the breathwork space, but if that does happen for the first couple moments, close the mouth, take a few swallows, you can even drink a little bit of water if it’s close by and then just go to the nose breathing.
Thank you so much for answering that. My other question is, wim hof breath is super-popular right now – so are there differences in for example doing this one with the wim hof breath? What are the energetic differences?
Yeah, definitely. So Wim has a very beautiful way of using breath to place the body in incredibly uncomfortable situations, like you’ve seen him do that, the ice bath, hiking crazy mountains. So his method and his way of working is using the breath to stabilize the system, stabilize the body, so that we can physically exert ourselves and allow our minds become more powerful.
So, his method was originally created in Tibetan Buddhism and it’s called Tumo, it’s the oldest, and Tumo translates to inner fire, so it’s the oldest, most powerful breath pattern of really creating this inner sauna in the system, which is why we don’t want to do breathwork when we’re in a sauna or in a hot tub because it’s already creating so much fire. So Wim uses his breath patterns to physically exert the body; to withstand really intense climates and situations.
Pause Breathwork is more geared towards the emotional development and the spiritual expansion of the soul, of the body. So, we have a massive emphasis on personal development, spiritual development, just expansion of who we really are; how can we allow our souls to be more realized through using our breath and releasing who we thought we were.
So, some of the breath patterns that Wim and I use, are very similar, and he really goes that physically exertion root, which I love, I love extreme things; I love throwing myself in a pile of ice.
Yeah! And they’re both super-great and what I like about his is the breath holds; it really amazes you how long your body can hold its breath for.
Another question that I have is when you hold your breath in, naturally I feel my shoulders tense up, my body kind of tenses up when you’re holding the breath in, should you be allowing that tense, tense, tense release, or should you be trying to relax your body, drop your shoulders, even in the inhale?
So we don’t want to make the body do anything. The body will really just do its natural process. What’s happening there is – we are pushing the sympathetic purposefully so that we relax deeper into the parasympathetic.
So, if you’ll notice, maybe when you’re stressed, that’s your natural way of kind of the bracing. So, when we intentionally place our body in a sympathetic state, we brace up and then we have the release, and that’s when we sort of settle into that parasympathetic, rest and digest place that we all crave to be. And the body does the work for us, that’s the most beautiful thing about breathwork – you really don’t have to think about what to do. We set our intention, we craft – if the Facilitator is doing it – he’ll craft the experience for the breather; the breather just has to relax; find that felt sense of safety; breathe the pattern that they are instructed to do so, and just let the body and the breath do the work. It’s a complete mindless way of personal and spiritual development.
So let the body do whatever it’s going to do in that inhale.
Yeah! And there’s times where my breathwork experience, like this morning for instance, was a hundred percent emotional and I didn’t feel any physical anything. And then there’s sometimes when I feel really the physicality of the experience is really intense. So sometimes my solar plexus will kind of contract because my solar plexus is where I hold a lot of emotion, and so when I’m doing a lot of breath, that part of my system will contract and then it will expand, it will release. And that’s the breath literally going into these centers, breaking down a lot of the emotionality and letting it process through. Now, our mind can’t do that even if it tried which is why so many people get frustrated with personal development because they’re trying to think about how to feel better “Let me think my way out of this; let me overthink this; let me over-analyze this” well, the true path of sustainable healing is really letting the body do its thing. This is what everything that you teach with your movement practices and your whole body of work is like “How can we surrender the mind so that the wisdom and the intelligence of the body can do its job?”
I laugh sometimes that my two companies Hungry For Happiness and Pause Breathwork, I teach people how to eat properly and how to breathe properly because we’ve come so far away from our true nature; our body knows exactly what to do, we just need to move the mind out the way enough to actually extract the intelligence that’s already there.
So beautifully said and a hundred percent agree – can’t think your way through; and also the breathwork can give you healing on things you didn’t even know were there. It could be something from your childhood, your past lives, your ancestral lineage – I remember I did a breathwork class in Tulum with my husband, and he is very stoic, I call him stoic Steven, he doesn’t go too high or low, he actually prides himself for that, but for the first time I heard him crying, I opened my eyes and I was like “Is that him?” And he didn’t even know what it was but it was something came through him, he had to release that. So normally, we would never just start crying during something or if we did, like “Why are we crying? What is it?” and try to analyze it, why, but it’s something that his body needed to release through the mechanism of tears and he felt so much better after.
Yeah, it’s truly beautiful when we can completely surrender the reason why and just let the body do the work. And it’s this level of surrender that I never knew was possible – you know, we’re meaning-making machines, we feel sensation – we create a meaning, and that keeps us safe. Well, when we understand that we can have the sensation without the reason, and maybe the sensation that we’re experiencing is not from this life, it’s from the 1400s when we were a slave killed on the street, for instance, or whatever it is, or from our mothers or grandmothers, or whatever it is. There’s so much more than meets the eye and our logical mind will never be able to equate the emotionality that we’re experiencing. So, when we can just fully surrender and say “My only role is to let the body do the work and to process and release what needs to come through, we will experience just a deep sense of safety in that, and also just complete surrender.
We’ll take a quick break so I can give a shout-out to our sponsors.
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So, what’s the difference between breathing in through your nose and through your mouth? What’s the quality difference there?
It’s just intensity. So when we’re breathing in our mouth, the depth that we can get to is so much deeper. And so, when we want to go on a sort of a psychedelic-esque journey, we’ll use that breath with some intense tribal music because emotions have such an impact with emotionality in that immersive space, I mean, we do anyways, but when we’re in breathwork the body will literally ride the vibrations of the music. So, say for instance we want to do some deep healing with anger, we’ll use really intense breath and pair it with some really intense music. The bliss breath is just more gentle, so we don’t activate the system as much – so that’s a really beautiful one for people who have struggled with a lot of trauma.
When we really go into the body and if we have trauma that we have not yet dealt with or we didn’t know it was there, that can be a little bit more untethering for someone. Breathwork is the greatest thing for trauma but we’ve really got to go slow. So if you’re listening to this and you have had a lot of trauma in your past, just really be gentle because we want to open up that window of tolerance slowly. For someone who’s had a lot of trauma, chances are, you’ve numbed out a lot, and so bringing in activation, bringing in emotion into the system, can feel at first a little bit untethering.
I say it’s one of the best things because I’ve just seen the greatest transformations in people who have had trauma, but under, when you kind of go into it with the real care for your system, it could be too much and you’ll say “Oh, I don’t want to do that ever again” so, just going slow and listening to your bod, and again, if you’re pacing is much slower than mine, really follow the rhythm of your own body, and the pacing of your own body.
I’m sure you guys go over all of that trauma, form, breathwork in your training, which we’ll talk about that in the end.
So, another question I have is the Claw Hands – a lot of people, myself included, when I do that intense mouth breathwork, my hands just become little lobster claws. What’s happening and how do we prevent this? Should we prevent this?
So, it’s completely normal and completely safe, so that’s the first thing. It freaks people out because your hands have never done that before. What that’s called, it’s called Tetny, and it’s a tightening of the hands as we breathe. Now what’s happening is the breath is going into the system, unbinding, unlocking a lot of emotion, and we’re releasing it. So this is why people will get dizzy; they’ll get hot and cold; the energy is trying to leave your body through your hands, through our extremities. And so, that is the sort of the scientific, physical reason why. One of my teachers, he always says “Well we have meridians going from our heart into our hands.” And so, the spiritual reason for Tetny is an inability to let go.
So, whenever I’m in class and my students have Tetny, I’ll just repeat the mantra to them, and there’s been so many beautiful experiences of I’m like “What are you holding onto? It’s safe to let go!” And they’ll have an incredible emotional release and their hands or relax, it’s quite beautiful.
Yes, I definitely experience that and I think for me it’s wanting to be in control of your body. I feel like the same thing with psychedelics too, I never want to do too much and lose control, so it’s my body trying to be like “I’m here in my physical body” but there is this element of just surrender that you really must be okay with to have that epic psychedelic breathwork experience.
Yeah, and that surrender for many people, going back to that need for safety – if we don’t have that safety, that real rock solid safety, surrendering can be a little bit difficult. So we only surrender in proportion to how much safety do we have in our body and that can be this beautiful dance – of the more safety we have, the more we can serve it. It’s a beautiful dance that you can do with yourself and really ask yourself “How else can I create safety? How else can I feel supported?” And it’s really about noticing and attuning to the things around you already. I’ll even do a physical exercise when I’m not feeling safe in my body – I’m like “Okay, I’m sitting on this chair, and this chair is protecting me. I’m held by this chair” and I’ll notice the things that are undeniable – “I’m in this house; I’m safe in this home. I’ve got my breath. I’m safe with my breath, my breath isn’t going anywhere. And I’ve got these hands, oh my gosh, these hands can create and they can do so many things.” And then I sort of take it out to my spiritual connection like “Wow, I’m so protected by all of my guides and all of my God etc. Wow! Here’s this spiritual interconnectedness.”
We can just take it up by layers to really create this field of safety, and the more that we attune to the safety that’s already there, it’s just noticing, because it’s already there. The more that we can just surrender a little bit.
I know a big one for me is feeling light-headed and a fear of fainting. So for me, if the breathwork practice, I always feel “Okay, even if the worse thing is to happen and I am to faint, I have the floor here” so it’s like I’m not going to fall off a chair or fall off of whatever, at least I know this floor is her, supporting me.
Did you used to faint a lot when you were a kid?
No. It’s actually this weird – I can get light-headed sometimes but I never actually faint, very rarely would I actually faint, but it’s just this, my first instinct of feeling unsafe is that falling.
In fact, this year I was driving and I felt light-headed and it put in this trigger in me that every time I drive I’m like “Oh my God, what if I faint, what if I faint?” so I definitely get to do some breathwork around that.
You know what’s so crazy? I fainted for the first time yesterday, in my whole life.
How did that happen?
Eric and I went for a really long bike ride and I was freezing and so I got back to the house and I jacked the sauna to full speed, and I got in and rather than sitting down in the sauna, because it was colder underneath and hotter up top (because obviously heat rises), I stood up in the sauna and then I just collapsed. That’s never happened to me before. I told Eric, I’m like “I think I dies and came back to life” and he was like “No, no, no you just fainted!”
Yeah, it’s definitely scary. My husband Steven fainted on an airplane; they were like “Are you dead?” Probably in your case is, you went from extreme cold to extreme hot and it was just so much for your body to handle.
For me, I think it’s not – because I do intermittent fasting sometimes – so I feel like sometimes in the morning, before I’ve eaten, I’m in this kind of light-headed; like I’m super-energized and I feel light-headed right now; plus drinking coffee too.
Jittery and light-headed.
Yeah. So yeah, I think breathwork is such a great way to heal that.
So, tell us a little bit more about – if someone wanted to become a Breathwork Facilitator, bring that into their work – what does that look like, especially now with places being closed and quarantine, and people being in so much more fear too? Because this is a huge field that I’m seeing such a huge demand for, and we’ve talked about, what does that look like for the common person?
Breathwork has been just – every single person that tries breathwork or does that – it has a profound impact on their lives.
And so, I started working with a lot of yoga teachers and health coaches and wellness coaches, and I was like “Hey! (this was a couple of years ago) just add this into your practice and let’s see how your client transforms” and the results were incredible, I could not believe it. And I always say breathwork is the next big thing. We are hearing ramblings of it but it is going to bigger than meditation and yoga combined, I just know that! Because number one, it’s been around forever so it’s just a matter of us remembering this power that we all have. And there’s such a need right now for facilitators as this energy in this industry is building and growing, and I think – I had no intention of starting another business, and Pause came to me in just such a divinely, such a beautiful way. The entity came to me and was like “You are going to create this” and then the name came to me in the same car ride, it was wild.
And as I’ve been building and growing, I’m just seeing how powerful it is for people and when people start breathwork, they just become intoxicated with it, they almost become getting high off your own supply; getting addicted to the energy of doing it.
And so, few years ago I created this Facilitator Program and it’s specifically for people who, number one, want to raise the consciousness of humanity, because in my opinion that’s the quickest way to do it. When you give people a visceral experience of their body, they’re hooked, they don’t have to think about “Maybe it’s working” it’s like “Definitely, it’s working!”
So, I absolutely know the industry is going to pop in probably two to three years. Right now we’re working really hard in getting the word out and training a lot of facilitators, and really gearing up for kind of the big pop of it, but it’s for people who are so committed to human transformation and really want to help and really want to give back, this modality has just been so incredible. And especially in 2020, a lot of my alumni, a lot of my trained Facilitators have gotten fired from their corporate jobs (which is something they wanted anyways) and now have gone a 100% online, teaching breathwork online, and it’s been absolutely incredible.
They’re starting breathwork memberships; they’re doing online breathwork retreats; they’re doing breathwork events and workshops, and it’s just been absolutely amazing.
I could see breathwork studios just like we have yoga studios now. There’s so many meditation studios, probably the breathwork would be the next thing.
Oh my gosh, a hundred percent, I can’t wait for that. As soon as this virus thing goes away.
Yeah, I could totally see that. And also, even corporate right now, are really looking for ways to bring about healing for their colleagues. I had a company reach out to me, just like “Can you help inspire them?” People are, especially, so used to working in a cubicle with a bunch of people around you, and now you’re by yourself and you’re feeling really off. So, just having people come in, I think there’s going to be a huge demand from corporate places to be able to facilitate online breathwork experiences for their teams.
Corporate is investing so much money in wellness right now because they know (they’re finally realizing) that wellness is the foundation of everything. They’re like “I want my people to be more productive and more inspired, and have a better culture” it’s like, we’ve got to start with the individual. And so that’s why they’re reaching out, and a lot of my alumni are doing online sessions for corporate companies – Google, Nike and Amazon, it’s crazy.
I even want a Pause Breathwork Facilitator to come do breathwork with my team, so I’m going to have to get a name and hire someone because it’s so important, because people, especially right now, there’s so many moving pieces to having an online business so it’s important to people to be able to stay focused and be able to multi-task and prioritize, and that can’t happen when you’re not connected to your body.
Absolutely! We create, so we call it ‘creating the feel’, so on our team meeting we’ll all sit, we call it the Pause Packet, we have all these weird names in our company, and we’ll sit there and we’ll create the feel through breath and we’ll notice the interconnection between all of us. And even just the attunement to all of us working on the same mission, this heart center connection, the culture it creates is just so powerful, it’s so beautiful. Obviously it’s a breathwork company, so we do that all the time, but I mean, in any company, just sitting down and connecting through breath – my exhale is your inhale, we are all one, we are made from the same stuff, and when we notice and attune to the oneness and the harmony that we are – especially now when there’s so any narratives driving disconnection and separation; especially now, to notice the truth, which is oneness, and notice that we all come from the same place, we are these human beings that are just so precious. Every life, every soul is so precious! And really noticing that through breath has been, gosh, such a game-changer.
It’s such a game-changer! And we’ll share more details if people want to become Pause Facilitators; we have an epic discount for you; I’ll be offering my 12-week Eat Right For Your Mind-Body Type Ayurvedia course as a free bonus, so, that link is in the show notes. I think we also have a link ‘Pause Breathwork’ link; all of that link will be in the show notes.
But I’d love to ask you, right now your new book is coming out, and you are on your Podcast speaking towards doing all of the different pieces in this book. The last time we had you on, we went in really deep into your story about emotional eating and hungry for happiness, and I know so many listeners are hungry for happiness coaches too.
So, I’d love for you to share a little bit about how you’re using breathwork in your life, dealing with all of the stress of being a woman on a mission in this time that it feels like the world is so noisy.
I love that! I wake up every single day with an intent to quiet down the noise and really find a voice.
So, there’s three pillars of connection that’s speaking to us at any given time.
- We have our Mind, which is noisy and busy, and full of judgment and this and that.
- Then we have our Emotions.
- And then we have our Intuition.
If I ran my business, identified more with my emotionality and my mind than my intuition, it would be game over. And so, breathwork has been my saving grace, not only to heal myself from my eating disorder, but every single day. There’s no way I’d be able to run these companies and manage all these employees. I know that the sensations that are activated in my system, that my mind tells me is this thing over here, it’s not that; it’s like “Okay, that situation outside of myself brought forth something in me that I get to heal. Breathwork helps me put value where value needs to be, and when we externalize an internal issue, we’re missing the point. And so, I’ll use that 90-second breathwork that I did on the show; I’ll use that 20, 30 times a day to place me back in my body and understand that my external world is only showing me the blind spots of where I need to pay attention to; where I need to come home to; where I need to heal. And so, something crazy will happen in the business and I’ll be chill, and my team’s like “How are you not freaking out about this?” that happened today actually – our whole website and server just went down for no reason.
That happened to me last week, and they were also like “How are you so chill about this?!”
They are like “Sam, there’s thousands of dollars going to these phones“ and I’m like “Oh my God, cool!” There’s an activation in my system; the activation is fear and worry, okay, well what is that? Well, I’m going to disappoint people” because they’re going to go to my shipment and there’s going to be a lie, okay” “Well, where does that come from? Oh, okay, well, disappointing people when I was a kid” Alright “Well, how do I compensate?” Well, I normally overcompensate and freak out and try and make things better but I’m just going to sit in the sensation and just be within and let my inner child know that it’s actually okay if people are disappointed with you; it’s actually okay if people don’t like you. You’re still so worthy and you’re still so amazing!” And so I was talking to my inner child as I was trying to fix this problem and my team was like “You’re being so chill” and I’m like “Yeah, cool, it’s all good, I’m not going to get worked up!” And it got worked out really quick, it wasn’t this whole dramatic situation and I think, again, when we try and fix the ‘problem’ with the energetics of the mind, we just add more energetic chaos and it just builds and builds.
Right, and everyone stresses out and then they’re not able to think clearly, and there’s more error. And also you freaking out is not going to solve the problem, it’s not going to bring your website back up, it’s just going to add more stress to it, so, there’s no point. Sometimes there is a point in anger and it can be directed towards change but in a situation like this, all you really can do is let go, and in that letting go you’re able to rise up and maybe see the solutions that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
Absolutely! And yeah, that would have been shifted into aggression, I would have been mad at my team. Whereas, I absolutely love dancing with anger, creating with anger, writing with anger (you know how it is, it’s awesome).
So beautifully said! And yeah, I think this is really the time right now to hone in on your practices. I think we’re realizing that this experience of 2020 and beyond, is going to be very different for every single person, and that has to do with what your internal energy is like. And we really are setting forth a vibration and it does come down to worthiness. I think the biggest block that’s keeping people from practicing breathwork, signing up for a program, whatever it is, is worthiness.
I know for me, sometimes I wake up and I’m like “I have these emails” and I kind of go straight into it, and I’m like “Why did I not do my breathwork? Do I not think I’m worthy of ten minutes of having these email wait; having the people on the side wait?” And when I do do the breathwork, I’m like “Oh my God! How do I not do this every single day?” because it’s such a game-changer, so it’s just reminding yourself of how you’ll feel after and realizing that you’re worthy of the time that it takes.
Absolutely! That’s such a big one! It’s that achiever “You’ve got to do all the things or else you’re not going to be loved!”
Exactly! So good!
So, where can listeners learn more? I know you have an App coming out soon – The Pause Breathwork Facilitator, all of the things.
Yes! So, all of the breathwork stiff is over at pausebreathwork.com; the Facilitator link is pausebreathwork.com/sahara I believe, right?
We’ll have that link in the show notes.
Beautiful! So that’s if you are interested in stepping into this work and serving the world through breathwork.
The App is almost ready! So that will be ready probably in a month or so. I’ll share that on my Instagram @samanthaskelly that’s kind of where everything is shared.
And then the “Hungry For Happiness” book is hungryforhappiness.com/book and when you purchase the book you’ll get access to my 21-day Food and Body Medication series as well.
So beautiful! So thank you for another beautiful example that you are – is, you have these two in trust which were unique in a way, of healing our emotions around food and breathwork, and you really went for them fully, training people in them. But really, they are interconnected, so you’re really giving permission for people who maybe they have two separate interests – maybe they’re interested in spirituality or technology, or this and that, and it feels totally different but you can still completely go towards them and somehow find a way to link it back up.
So thank you for saying yes to all sides of you and being an example that that’s possible.
Thanks for that reflection, I appreciate that. Yeah, just follow the fun, follow the energy, there’s guidance in the energy!
Yes! Absolutely! Well thank you for being our Queen!
Yes, of course! Thanks for having me babe.
[54:54] End of Interview
How incredible was that conversation with Sam! I truly believe that breathwork is going to be the next yoga because it’s so easy; anyone can do it; they don’t need to be flexible; they don’t need to be wearing work-out clothes; they don’t need to believe in spirituality. Anyone, in just 90 seconds even, can have an experience. And if that felt so profound, imagine what a whole hour of doing breathwork can feel like! Plus, there are so many different styles of breathwork out there which I love because you can kind of craft the experiences for different people, according to what they’re feeling – overwhelmed, anxiety, stress, whatever it is.
So, if you’re wanting to dive more into this, studying it and becoming a Pause Breathwork Facilitator, I really recommend Sam’s program! She is an expert Facilitator Trainer, she has another training called Hungra For Happiness which is all about emotional eating. So, she’s someone who can really train masterful Facilitators, which is not something everybody can do.
So if you are wanting to step into your role of teaching breathwork to other people, I really recommend doing her training.
So, like I’ve mentioned, we’ve teamed up to also offer my Ayurvedica Course for free, which goes into all things Ayurvedic – nutrition, digestion, food, grocery shopping lists, recipes, really helping Ayurveda integrate into your life from a nutrition and food perspective, and that’s the sort of thing that you can really, beautifully facilitate hand-in-hand with breathwork for your clients.
So, if you’re wanting to dive further into this, head over to pausebreathwork.com/sahara mention that you were referred by Sahara to receive your Ayurvedia Course for free and I’m super-excited to see you Facilitators out there changing the world and helping people connect back to their truth, to their breath, in such a beautiful and simple way.
If you loved this Episode, I would love to send you a free gift which is the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind Body Type“. This is a different book than “Eat Feel Fresh“. My first book ever which is not released anywhere, and I am gifting it exclusively to those who leave a review of my Podcast in the iTunes store. So all you’ve got to do is head over to iTunes where you’re maybe listening to this Podcast and leave a review, take a screenshot that you’ve left it and email it over to me at email@example.com and I will send you back the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind Body Type“, which goes all into Ayurveda, Doshas, Plant-Based Nutrition, Body Types - all of the things in a really fun and engaging way. So this is my gift to you for free for supporting the Podcast. Every single review I personally read. It really helps the Podcast be listened to by more people so we can raise the vibration of the planet together, and I am soul grateful to have you on this journey.
Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you on the next Episode. Namaste.
Episode 322: Why Breathwork Is The Next Yoga with Samantha Skelly
By Sahara Rose