To get the maximum benefit from your breathwork experience, it’s important to devote some time and space to your inner journey — this is the process that we call “integration.” It’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s where you take the things you learned about yourself in your breathwork session and “integrate” them into your overall being.
When we hear the word “integration,” it is usually around plant medicine or deep psychedelic experiences. So why would we need integration for breathwork?
Well, there are many forms of breathwork and when it comes to Sonic Neural Breathwork, the breathwork technique I designed a few years ago, there can be a very profound energetic shift during the inward journey the participant embarks on.
Sonic Neural breathwork is designed to release trauma from the body and mind through a trance state and cathartic movement. The practice lasts about an hour and can be very profound, moving, and powerful for the participant.
Similar to a plant medicine or psychedelic experience, this can leave the participant feeling raw, vulnerable, or out of their body afterward, which can lead to the participant being very susceptible to the energy around them Making it very important for them to completely reconnect with their body and balance their energy as soon as possible after the breathwork session.
What is Breathwork Integration?
Breathwork integration is similar to plant medicine integration in the sense that it revolves around self-love, nature, and healthy practices.
Here are some breathwork integration practices you can implement right after your Sonic Neural Breathwork session.
- Spending plenty of time in nature, barefoot, connecting with the earth, meditating in nature, relaxing by a tree. (Here are some guided meditations you can utilize)
- Spending time by yourself or with people who are nurturing, healing, and understanding of your journey.
- Self-love practices such as Long nurturing salt baths and naps.
- Eating grounding, healthy foods such as fresh veggie salads, pasture-raised meats, and roots such as radishes and beets.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Listening to music you enjoy.
- Journaling (Just emptying the mind onto paper is great)
- Doing something fun with your hands like sports, dance, pottery, etc. (I personally love ping pong!)
You can find a detailed list of breathwork integration practices here.
Benefits of Breathwork Integration
There are typically 3 sequential sections that create the whole experience when it comes to deeply moving, spiritual experiences.
- Preparation (Preparing for the breathwork)
- Initiation (The breathwork exercise)
- Integration (Integrating your breathwork experience)
While we aren’t going into detail on preparation and initiation in this article, these sections are obviously very important as well.
If I had to break down the level of importance via percentages, I would say Preparation = 20% Initiation = 40%, and Integration = 40%.
So, as you can see, integration is JUST AS important as the breathwork practice itself! Making it an essential part of your Sonic Neural breathwork experience/practice.
The Benefits of integrating your breathwork experience are plentiful. When we properly integrate the deeply introspective experience that occurs during Sonic Neural breathwork, we can really reap the benefits it has to offer.
For example, if for some reason, a participant wasn’t able to integrate their experience and they rushed back to work, an unhealthy diet, and a crazy home environment, that participant could end up in WORSE shape than before they practiced breathwork.
This is due to the participant being very energetically sensitive to their environment and overwhelmed by what is typically the norm. Bringing them into a state of fight or flight, anxiety, and stress. The OPPOSITE of what we want to curate.
On the other hand, if the participant takes the necessary time to integrate their experience properly with the information provided in this article, they would be able to completely come back into their body, give themselves the necessary time to process everything that came up during the breathwork, and come back into their daily environment with intentions of making necessary changes that will benefit their health and overall well being.
As you can see, it is not only important to give yourself time and space to process your experience, but if you are choosing to make big changes in life, you will need to give yourself the time necessary to strategize those changes and decide how you will apply them when you return home.
Now I know that not everyone has time to spend on a long integration process, and for those folks, taking at least a few hours for self-love, journaling, hydration, and healthy food is the bare minimum.
This article first appeared on the author’s blog and is used here with permission.
Ben Holt is an internationally acclaimed Breathwork Facilitator, transformational retreat leader at Connect and Evolve, therapist, psychedelic guide, filmmaker, and musician. Please visit the author’s website here for more information.