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Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt

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Hello practitioners, coaches and family,

 

I’ve been asked to write a bit about “highest and best practices” which support the professional facilitation of breath work.

 

Time and time again, in listening to those who have had “challenging” experiences receiving the gifts of breath work, we have been shown large gaps creating a distortion of professional standards in the practice of pranayama facilitation.

 

Bless the hearts of those who wish to share the experience of breath work with others. Please note, much damage has been done to the reputation of the work by those unskilled who choose to teach others while refusing training. We believe everyone deserves exposure to transformational practices. We are also calling for a more professional approach to a seemingly simple, sometimes “non-interactive” healing art.

 

We believe strongly that this gap in knowledge has been created due to the lack of yogic history, theory and training that accompanies trainings available to those interested in the power of the practice.

 

This “gap” provides many opportunities to increase the integrity surrounding current models and to share with some focus and intensity in The Breath Centers Trainings not only the expansive yogic history and Ayurvedic medical applications of breath work but also the moral and ethical standards that accompany a solid, safe practice.

 

Here is a peek into subjects that are covered in levels l – lll. Please take into account first, that most who are attracted to Breath Work, are experiencing challenges in their lives related to health, loss, lack and or life transitions. This means that assuming “neutral posturing” and addressing only the “power of the breath” and the fact that the actual healing that might accompany the practice lies between your partner and their higher selves, dreams and highest potential is of the utmost importance.

 

To take on more is dangerous and suggests you are in part, responsible for the participants outcome which compromises karmic lessons and life experiences that may serve better to integrate over time in the building of their “wisdom escrow”. No one who assists others in self-realization needs to be left “holding the bag” for someone else’s process.

 

All sessions should be met with deep, gentle, compassion and open with slow Socratic communication followed by acceptance and understanding of ones condition and current goals.

 

If trauma is to be cleared the facilitator must be prepared to hold space for as long as is necessary while simultaneously considering the container set to support their own needs and availability of time.

 

Touch must be a permission-based action that does not jeopardize the participants balance as re traumatization is quite common during emotional release. We also combine the “Yoga Alliance Standards” with the general guidelines of HIPAA and suggest strongly exercising the practice of doctor client confidentiality without ever diagnosing or acting as a medical professional.

It is imperative that no one relies on their experience in yoga therapy as an alterative to medical advice from their doctor. Our coaches are taught to vet their potential partners for a clear medical history and current use of medications prior to their sessions.

 

One of my closest friends recently transitioned after refusing Western Medical treatment. He had made the decision to exclusively utilize Yoga, Cleansing and Ayurveda in his treatment plan. It is difficult for me to reflect on how I supported him in this decision even though it did not “feel right”. Life is far too precious, now he is gone.

 

The Breath Center has defined with some success a solid portion of “highest and best practices” to share as a section of the current training programs offered. We have seen a level of great success for those who choose to apply these guidelines when practicing with others.

 

These are but a few points covered during level l and ll trainings. We commit to excel in upgrading and bringing to the forefront current issues not being addressed in the professional practice of breath work and pride ourselves on offering “solution based”, gentle practices that elevate the modality to an ever increasingly respected position within the wellness community.

 

Looking forward to our collective this month,

 

Michael

 

 

 

 

 

The Things my Teacher Never Taught Me

By | Fine Tuning, Offerings | No Comments

“Liberation can be accomplished by that pranayama which is attained by disjoining the course of inspiration and expiration.”

– Patanjali

 

The question we often hear is, “If I am infinite & an expression of the Divine, if I am what I affirm of myself in my daily practice – then why do I sometimes feel so small, incapable, and fallible?”
Getting a taste of our limitlessness divinity creates multifaceted results. On one hand – we know we are more than just human. And on the other hand, we are still human. 
The enlightenment process is a one of discovery, surprise, and even discomfort. Unwinding the layers of resistance, releasing stories we’ve wrapped around ourselves to comfort us from the winds of vulnerability – can sometimes come as a shock to us!
Breathwork Training with Michael Brian Baker has been called an enlightenment experience, and it is the full ride – moments of deep resonance and personal healing, bliss, awareness of self, and relief knowing that the secrets hidden from ourselves can be seen and profoundly loved on. It is deep, and even challenging as we face aspects of ourselves we have hidden away for fear of failure, success, or rejection.
This is why we laugh A LOT in our Teacher Trainings. In joy, we chuckle at our patterns, at the sweet, childlike nature we are striving in to “get it all right”, at the perfect, chaotic, mind-blowing, heartbreaking, beautiful insanity of it all.
We learn to see ourselves as love sees us. 
We have created a container where you explore the hidden aspects of YOU, of the mystery schools, of mysticism, neuroscience, sacred earth practices, and the evolution of humanity.
We share the tools that are sometimes infamously sidestepped or even missed in the excitement of awakening.
What happens when someone goes into a cathartic release on your table? What is happening when YOU are going through a cathartic release? How do emotional, mental, spiritual, physical imbalances play out when exposed to breathwork? What stops you from sharing your gifts when the world is requesting you at its table?
What does it mean to practice breathwork & other healing modalities where the facilitator and the recipient feel safe to heal and hold space?
We want you to have a solid foundation in knowing yourself & your empathic depth, and how this can be either a powerful area of mastery or a leak in your container as a facilitator. We unveil the tools needed to have your feet, heart, and body firmly planted on earth, so that you can stretch high into the etheric worlds, and have your internal safe container to come back to when you have completed your work. We want you to have the scientific information behind this work, the lineage which formed the experience we have today with the practice, the teachers who have passed it down, and why they have passed it down at this time.
Breathwork has the capability, when practiced with integrity, grounded education, morals, & safety, to transform heal and bring lasting and sustainable peace for the recipient.
If you have stayed with us on this ride, you know from your own experience, that this is true. Or, if you haven’t yet had the experience, you may feel the stirring in your heart, the birthing of knowing within you that there there is something more to discover in this journey towards healing. We share the hunger to see awakening happen on planet earth, both for the future of the generations to come, and for the sake of all sentient life.
Deep within our genetics is a code that yearns for liberation, be it from the grind that life presents, from the disagreements in relationships, “current state of affairs”, technology overload, dramatic changes in Mother Earth’s environment, keeping the body alive and vital in often toxic living spaces, and even from ourselves.
Who are you? What are you curious about? What are you birthing in this moment? What area of your life is experiencing the trembling or shaking vibrations of change?
Reach out to us. Share with us. Come be with us at a Teacher Training, at a Community Breathwork, or Private Session.
And know that whether you are emulating Durga with many arms managing your world with vigor, or are “stuck” a little or a lot – you are loved and  appreciated.

“Offering inhaling breath into the outgoing breath, and offering the outgoing breath into the inhaling breath, the yogi neutralizes both these breaths; he thus releases the life force from the heart and brings it under his control.” 26-2 The interpretation is: “The yogi arrests decay in the body by an addition of life force, and arrests the mutations of growth in the body by apan (eliminating current). Thus neutralizing decay and growth, by quieting the heart, the yogi learns life control.” – Krishna quoted in the Bhagavad Gita, interpretation by Pramahansa Yogananda

Grieving the Matrix

By | Fine Tuning | One Comment

In the mist of the morning, I look in the mirror and accept that one of the most deceptive enemies of the ‘Vital Arts Practitioner’ has caught up with me.

 

Age. At the very least, it is now in my field.

 

Silver grey has corroded the once deep brown whiskers on my face which detail the many sleepless nights working in realms I care not to revisit, although my exposure and travel through them has built a strength and knowledge within me that if ever called forward again would guarantee protection and a much softer landing after integration is actualized.

 

I sigh and am shifted into the gentle awareness that the time I am searching to reclaim, which has markedly “slipped away”, is actually chronicled on my chin, in the lines on my face, surrendered in my eyes. I have earned these “mortal” stripes and the compassion, clarity, magic, and wisdom that it brings cannot be traded for any amount of gold.

 

I witness two doves outside ascend harmoniously and land in unison atop a light post, and am reminded of the love in my life, partnerships and the commitment made when choosing this body: to experience, then share the reintegration of love and respect with the longing hearts that seek the blessings that come to those focused in service.

 

Having signed up for this journey, I have gone through quite a stunning process that has thinned the veils and revealed truths that remain less than comfortable for me. These realizations have placed me in precarious situations where clumsy behaviors have left me open to internal deception and parasitic intellects that derive their security from the most potent distortion bought, sold and accepted by the human race which is “fear”.

 

When first I began to open, I was working a somewhat “normal” job fueled by fear anchored firmly in keeping a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and clothes on my back. It makes perfect sense that those concerns would be embedded deep within me as a result of my direct caregivers being raised by souls subjected to war, famine, and rampant disease.

 

This realization forged the capacity to associate as “witness” to my outer experiences which slowly developed the internal compassion to dissolve the program and pattern of fear which was buried deep within my foundation. I knew it had been propagated from generation to generation with little or no real presence to what was “current” in “my” actual life. I was carrying the burden of those “too distracted to be proactive”, caught in the program of yesterday and unable to receive the present of the present.

 

By the age of three, I knew I was different. This awareness was amplified when, fairly early on in my youth, I was branded with the belief system that if I didn’t follow the model set forth for me by my care givers, I would suffer a long painful life. To quote verbatim the words that would insure my failure as a developing youth, “This is not Michael’s world, you cannot do things your way and you will never live up to your full potential, if you do not… (follow the demands we have placed on you with little or no attention given to your design, gifts or desires.”)

 

When I began following a life of loving service, my long lost childhood knowing of sustainable, benevolent magic was reawakened, which by the way, has much more to do with a deep connection to the earth’s cycles and, more than anything else, concentration and focus on peace and prosperity for prolonged periods of time. Some refer to it as meditation.

 

Here is a very loose time line that I have seen duplicated many times over by those who choose to apply themselves to and through The Breath Centers Gestation Package, which I lovingly have coined the “The Adult Hogwarts” of our time.

 

First phase

Dissatisfaction with life path, loosing connection to all relations and finding that those whose advice has been trusted and followed are just as or more lost than we.

 

Second Phase

Realization that the focus on developing a career to provide a better life for our families and us is a major distraction that creates critical separation between our vital internal connection and those we love.

 

Third Phase

Clarity that whatever we choose as a new direction in our lives must serve humanity in a way that we can really get behind and that it must include and secure within it a platform for our creative freedom, humor and continued stimulation. It must also be sustainable, meaning it can support no one else’s dreams but our own and has to serve others with such impact that there is little need for old structures that “normally” accompany building a fulfilling life.

 

Fourth Phase

Choosing a focus of study enveloped in one of the many and varied healing arts and then experiencing doubt and discomfort around the change and objections that accompany ones awakening and separation from mass group consciousness and the ignorance that fuels it. Along with this comes the realization that our ingrained fear around not being able to “make a living” at it is has been unsubstantiated, as we have survived quite nicely albeit a couple bumps which happen regardless in any new life experience.

 

Fifth Phase

After getting some traction and time under our belts as practitioners, we begin to believe deeply in the art, it’s power, and our ability to facilitate it.

 

Sixth Phase

Believing we are actually “the healer” and becoming so full of spirit in the right hemisphere and the etheric, we become quite disconnected from daily “real world” responsibility and sometimes even become critical of the process and the systems that are in place to provide contrast for the change coming in the future.

 

Seventh Phase

The Fall – Spirit can get loud when we are working out of alignment. This is what I call the “Shamanic Spanking” period, where the newly awakening and all high being is thrust back crashing down to earth, be it by loss of loved ones, health crisis, or relationship dissolve. This could be anything that doesn’t mirror the high and holy life experience one has made for themselves while conveniently overlooking their own spiritual bypass and ego as it allows them to check out of their own continued process.

 

Eighth Phase

Consideration of leaving the whole thing behind and returning to the matrix as a result of too much time spent in the esoteric. Becoming somewhat apathetic to the great numbers of those resolute in denial and distraction and the feeling that the dissolve of the savior complex has left one with little to prop themselves up on.

 

Ninth Phase

The Slow but Subtle Return

We have all of the connection to the earth, multiverse, spirit and etheric we could possibly need. We have learned that boundaries and permission are the only way we can survive in the assignment we can now really never back away from. Beginning to take interest in the workings and limited reality within the matrix and involving ourselves in discussion and group mind set at which ever frequency it is holding, knowing very well that this is what we came here for and that including all forms of reality at all levels of awareness is the only way to meet each where it is currently residing. We experience a reflecting back of increased possibilities for higher ways of evolving without judgment, critique, or adding to the very energetics that arrest the development we have committed to accelerate and support.

 

Number 9, the completion of cycles. I am in so much joy I am sometimes uncomfortable with it. It is overwhelming to have all things working together in a way that is abundant yet requires great character and integrity, lest the lesson get tremendously loud. Great gobs of gratitude for the “caregivers” that created the perfect contrast to the discovery of life’s greatest dreams for without their perfect balance of shadow, we would not be basking in such Clear, Sparkling, Benevolent Light.

 

Celebrating grey, it’s a perfect balance between light and dark…(Wink!)

 

For the good…

 

Michael

 

 

 

Exhale Holy Laughter

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By Suzy Adra, Level 1 & 2 Graduate

I could begin this post by mentioning the beauty of Ojai and the amazing setting we were in. I could write about each person at the Teacher Training and how they contributed to my learning in ways that were seen and unseen. I could also write about what an amazing teacher Michael is and how grateful I am for his style of teaching and how he ties it all into one coherent whole. I shall choose to write about my own experience, as that is all I really know for sure.

In the training, Michael Brian Baker asked me if I would be okay getting on the massage table to demonstrate a “one on one” session as the rest of the participants watched. I have done breathwork sessions where I become one with the breath, with the music, or blended into nothingness where the breath just takes over, and breathes me. I have also had sessions where I would literally have to get up and go vomit my guts out.

This time with Michaelwas different then anything I had experienced before.

Emergence, Art by Suzy Adra

 

Michael guided me to begin the breath as usual. As I lay there, inhale inhale exhale, inhale inhale exhale…the familiar dry mouth began, my mind calmed down, and my body started the familiar tingle. I felt Michael working energetically. I could not see him because my eyes were closed but I could feel the energies moving in and around me.

Suddenly, this strange rumbling began from deep within my core… “Can this be for real?” I thought to myself…and then… I began to laugh uncontrollably!

“It’s all a cosmic joke”, kept flashing in my mind’s eye, accompanied by the urge to share it, so I said it outloud.

“It’s all a Cosmic joke!”

Seeds Never Ask Why They Grow, Art by Suzy Adra

 

More laughter followed, and the more I laughed, the funnier it got, and I just could not get myself to stop laughing.

I had the best laugh of my life!

As I laughed, I realized the extreme sadness that the laughter carried and I recognized that it was not foreign to me. I have always used laughter to distract myself from every misery. Sarcasm has always been one of my favorite things.

There she was, the wounded warrior laying with all the years of waging war with herself, and had she finally made it to this table. After a lifetime had passed, she finally said the battle had to end,  laughing her guts out at the insanity of it all in front of twelve complete strangers.

I concluded, I will not accept this “self” abuse anymore.

I will not accept it on behalf of all the women who came before me and who will come after me.

I am not sure how long I was laughing, but it seemed that the entire creation was laughing with me.

The World is my Home, Art by Suzy Adra

I began to feel so much gratitude for the intensity of this release, gratitude for Michael for guiding so gently and holding space, for these strangers who were silently sitting and witnessing this healing with all the patience of a caring, nurturing of the attentive mother.

It is true that we all have the power to heal ourselves. Whenever we are ready, whenever it is ok to let go. When we have forgiven ourselves and integrated the reasons for our suffering. Having someone guide us and bear witness is necessary for this healing to occur and it is a privilege both ways.

I have travelled high and low, learned so many modalities, seeking, searching for resolution. I used the breath for so long and even used it in a recent retreat I facilitated, and yet it is beyond me why it took so long to recognize this breath as the gold.

Have you ever wondered why yoga is so powerful? Have you ever wondered why working out and sports are so powerful? Have you ever wondered why when you dance it feels so amazing?

The secret is the breath.

The breath is our direct connection to source.

The breath never lies, it is the healer, it is truth. It is holy.

Inhale… & Exhale Holy Laughter

To attend a Teacher Training with Michael Brian Baker’s The Breath Center, please go to: thebreathcenter.com/gatherings/trainings

This blog has been shortened and edited for content. To see Suzy’s full blog post, please visit her website here. 

Suzy Adra is a student and practitioner of many disciplines and tools: archaeology, archives, fine art, ayurveda, yoga, meditation, breath work, metaphysics, creativity, consciousness, philosophy, energy healing, and trauma release techniques.  Her current focus is on helping individuals access their creative self through several modalities.  She believes, that for this to happen, there is a required need to release previously held beliefs about oneself, and the world.  Suzy has studied with Michael Brian Baker’s The Breath Center starting in June 2016, and is a Level 1 & Level 2 Graduate. She is available for sessions at suzy.adra@outlook.com .

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