‘My Brothers Breathwork experience was all positive. Despite the odd feeling of being in an all-male environment everyone present seemed to fully engage with the simple instructions given to fully embrace the moment. The calmness in my mind afterwards cannot easily be described. There is no “downside ” to breathwork. This work seems to strip away any inhibitions and preconceived ideas about how we should react. A deep innermost honesty seems to rise to the surface to enable stereotypical ideals to be set aside.’ ~ Peter
This was the feedback from Peter, a recent Brothers Breathwork participant. Over the last 8 months, Grounded Life has been holding a space at Aho Studio for men, aka Brothers to come and breathe together.
The Brothers Breathwork was born out of hearing the devastating news that in the UK today, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45.
I was personally startled when I saw this and immediately felt the call to hold an all-male space. Since then we have had more and more people supporting and sharing the work, also passionate about the cause.
There is great energy behind this and the way the Brothers have been showing up fully has been nothing short of inspiring. But why are suicide rates higher in men than women and what are the root causes? I think it’s safe to say that the current suicide statistics are evidence that our present relationship to trauma and stress is not working and that the male population are not receiving the support or recourses that they need.
Part of the current mental health issues for men, reflect feelings of disempowerment and a lack of control of their lives. In my personal experience, especially in the men’s groups, educating people to the powerful effects of Conscious Connected Breathing and other simple breathing exercises puts people back in control of body, mind and emotions.
From my understanding and research, there are many interlinked root causes that have gone relatively undetected and unaddressed for generations.
One simple root cause is that of the fight/flight mechanism; men are no longer required to engage in the physical act of fighting or fleeing, historically this was our body’s way of producing balancing hormones to negate stress hormones. Failure to resolve toxic stress hormones means that they can be allowed to build up to unhealthy levels, eventually spilling out into physical, mental and emotional responses and conditions.
Culturally, men have been more conditioned to repress their emotions and often battle to process high amounts of stress and trauma in healthy ways.
It is scientifically known now that trauma can be passed down genetically. Similarly, our beliefs and ideas are also frequently inherited from the cultural zeitgeist that we are born into. Although this plays a role in shaping who we are, our lives are not predetermined by our past. We can break the often unconscious cycles of our bloodline when we are willing to consciously look at our own ‘stuff’. Through conscious breathing we have an opportunity to transform belief systems & release old trauma. Science is becoming very clear around the benefits of being more connected to how you are feeling and the remedial effects that come from connecting and breathing with sensations and your felt sense.
So let’s talk about suicidal thoughts, have you ever had any? Have you ever thought, ‘I wish I wasn’t here or in this life?’ Often there are parts of us that are ready to die but also parts of us that want to live. This type of inner work helps men and women to distinguish and observe which parts of them want to be present and live and which parts of them are ready to be let go of. What if the parts of you that didn’t want to be here were supported through a process of conscious death and release, whilst allowing you to reconnect to the parts of yourself that feel alive and want to live? This is a normal process when dealing with life transitions or rites of passage, which seems to have been lost in our culture in many respects.
This cycle is a natural part of growth and nature, we at the Brothers Breathwork open up to this continuing cycle using the breath, resulting in a deeper awareness & understanding and therefore a greater capacity to navigate the more difficult feelings within us.
Imagine breaking free of the limiting beliefs that sabotage you, having the powerful part of you called forth with a new set of beliefs. Imagine celebrating the leader within you. Having a place inside you that is safe that is a recourse and allows you to be who you authentically want to be.
The goal is to support and encourage men to use practices like conscious breathing and breath awareness outside of the workshops, to assist them in daily life.
This would not only have an impact on the individual and their fellow brothers, sons, fathers, partners, husbands but also their daughters, sisters, girlfriends and wives. There has been some incredibly moving & heart-warming feedback from the partners of the participants, sharing how the work has helped with their home relationships.
The male & female dynamic is rapidly changing and I strongly believe that we need to work and support each other, or we won’t work at all!
Workshops are an open invitation to brothers to come and experience first hand the power of their own wisdom and recourse, by connecting to their breath in this way. This work is for anyone who has felt trapped in themselves, who suffers from anxiety, depression, overload, stress, confidence issues, lack of self-worth. Those who cover up the deep need to be accepted & meet the expectations they feel are bestowed on them. Those who feel frustration, stress, PTSD, stagnation, holding the weight of responsibility, chronic worrying, overthinking, trouble sleeping or switching off, feeling lost, breathless, disconnected or uninspired. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed, conscious breathing helps to regulate feelings and reintegrate what is waiting to be processed. Issues with relationships, personal boundaries and addictions are also able to shift – you should know that we have had some extremely positive & encouraging results with guys who have attended from 12 step programs such as Cocaine Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
Through these workshops men have more access to the breaking of limiting belief patterns, releasing tension in the body & learning to manage stress and emotion. The work also provides breakthroughs in releasing old trauma, mental and emotional blocks, promoting self-acceptance and compassion.
We are creating a personal tool kit that is pragmatic for daily practice and life, becoming more centred and able to respond to situations and environments with a fresh perspective, less tension and from a place of ease & confidence through the uncertainties of life.
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