Integrative vs. Meditative Breathwork

The Pause Breathwork Technique has two different styles of breathwork, integrative and meditative. Both of these types of breathwork are essential for self-healing, for connecting with your intuition, and for, ultimately, connecting to your highest self. 

I’ve had amazing results and amazing transformations in my life with both styles of breathwork. Breathwork changed my life. I am completely different from the person I was before breathwork.

My breathwork practice started with integrative sessions found on Pause Breathwork’s Instagram. These 30 minute integrative breathwork sessions dropped me into my body and taught me how to be present. Every morning for months, I connected with my breath. I slowed down enough to notice how I was breathing and how that directly translated into how I was showing up in my life.

 After months of integrative breathwork practice, I tried one of Samantha Skelly’s meditative sessions. The meditative practice was much different than the integrative sessions I had been accustomed to. The practice is much longer, more like a meditation. Overall, meditative breathwork has helped me release trauma and stagnant energy from my body. Both of these styles can help you change and transform.

Integrative Breathwork- Breathwork for Relaxation

Integrative breathwork sessions are anywhere from three to 15 minutes of active breathing. In these sessions you may use a variety of breath patterns or breath blends. The popular box breathing, where you inhale for a count of 4, hold at the top for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, hold at the bottom for a count of 4, and repeat, is an example of an integrative breathwork pattern. During an integrative session, the breather can either sit or lay down on their back. Integrative breathwork can be done anytime, and anywhere. The goal is to integrate the breath into your daily life, to start noticing those moments where you are holding your breath or breathing rapidly, and begin to shift the breath.

Integrative breathwork is great  for creating more presence in your day. It can help you when you’re feeling anxious, stressed or nervous. Integrative breathwork is really great for those in the moments where you just need to calm down, relax, or connect. Integrative breathwork is great for self-regulation. If you notice you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or anxious, you can use integrative breathwork to connect back into your body and into the present moment. 

Why Integrative Breathwork?

If you read my last blog post, I mentioned how integrative style of breathwork caused my “aha moment,” where I had a breakthrough realization on how I had been hiding from my truth. It is possible to have intense experiences with integrative breathwork. Breathwork can really activate your nervous system and begin to move stuck energy in the body. In addition, a lot of people tend to hold on to their breath. We spend our lives in high-stress environments, we constantly have something to do, or need something to do. We all have phones, these incredible devices at our fingertips, that keep us distracted. It’s so easy to become disconnected from ourselves, from our bodies. Integrative breathwork is a way to connect back in. I had spent so much time disconnected from my body and when I began a breathwork practice, it reactivated my system. This type of activation can stir-up a lot of emotion and sensation in the body.

Meditative Breathwork- Breathwork for Transformation

Meditative breathwork sessions are much longer; there is anywhere from 20 minutes to hours of active breathing. Typically, the breather is laying down, flat on their back. During these sessions you may only use one or a few different styles of breathing patterns. The breath patterns used in the Pause Technique are tri-active, halo-active, and hybrid-active breaths. Tri-active is the most intense of the three meditative breath patterns. A lot of breathwork facilitators use this breath pattern in their breathwork journeys. The tri-active breath pattern goes by many names. It is a 3-part breath done all through the mouth, where you inhale into the chest, inhale into the belly, and exhale through the mouth. 

The goal with meditative breathwork is self-healing and personal transformation. The intent with a meditative breathwork session is to access altered states of consciousness. This method of breathwork is best practiced with a trained breathwork facilitator, like myself, to help resource the breather as they move through the experience and release any stuck emotionality. During these meditative experiences the breather can experience a variety of emotions and sensations, or even visualizations. 

Why Meditative Breathwork?

Meditative breathwork has helped me tap into my own personal power. I have been able to release trauma from my body. During a traumatic event our bodies naturally go into a fight, flight, or freeze mode when the sympathetic nervous system is activated. Trauma is any event that is too much, too soon, too fast, and usually without consent. When this happens the energetic imprint can get stuck in the body. Breathwork is one way that we can release this stuck energy.

So Which is Better?

Integrative and Meditative breathwork methods both have their time and place. Breathwork can be an incredible, transformational experience. It is so important to work with a trained facilitator to find a practice that works best for you. The most important thing with breathwork is to work at a pace that feels good in your body. Breathwork can stir-up a lot of energy and emotion. Breathwork is a self-healing process. Your body knows exactly what you need and what to do. A trained, trauma-informed facilitator will encourage you to work at a pace that feels good in your nervous system. 

Breathwork is something that we can have access to at any moment in our day. Breathwork creates connection within our bodies. A breathwork practice is completely individualized and can look different for all types of people. An ideal practice is one that works for you and feels good in your body. A trained facilitator can guide you into a practice that works best for you. 

If you would like to learn more about how breathwork can help you please book a connection call with me. We can discuss your goals with breathwork and how to use it to create lasting change in your life. 

If you would like to try a meditative session, check out my group offerings or book a 1-1 breathwork journey.

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