This month I would like to share with you a unique breathing practice taught by Michael Brian Baker. He is an independent breathworker, and has not trained with any of the well-known Rebirthing or Breathwork schools. I love his approach, and I love him. Michael is very conscious of energy, and he understands how breathing can ignite vital force in the body. He is devoted to guiding as many people as possible toward an experience of this universal life force.
Like many of us, Michael had a spontaneous awakening to the Spirit of Breath. And more than that, he embodies a sacred tradition that began in prehistoric Africa, spread to ancient Egypt, and then inspired the early yogis of India. His teachings bring together the modern consciousness movement and personal growth seminars like EST (the Forum) and Insight, with the Shaktipat experience and South American Medicine Ceremonies. He refers to his work as Ceremonial Breathing, and as a journey of emersion into self-realization.
He is dedicated to guiding people into witnessing their own spiritual awakening. He is also devoted to inspiring and supporting large group initiations. I feel that Michael is responding to the need for genuine rites of passage and the lack of them in the western world. The results of his practice are like ayahuasca or peyote ceremonies, but instead of ingesting substances, he turns people on with the breath.
His approach is based on sacred geometry and numerology, and before his sessions, he does invocations and he asks Spirit for permission and guidance. He is also up to date on the latest research in neuroscience and brain plasticity, and he is passionate about teaching medical students and young doctors about breathwork and other natural healing methods.
Michael is particularly skilled—gifted in fact—at “singing” people through those periods when spiritual evolution and personal transformation cause our egos to go into a panic. And although he talks about alchemy and animal totems, and he makes use of earth, air, water and fire rituals, he does not want to be known as a shaman. In fact, he prefers the term showman. I smiled when he referred to himself “Spirit’s errand boy” or as “Spirit’s bitch!”
Here, I ‘d like to give you a very brief description of his Breathing Initiation. First, understand that the breathing pattern he uses is a two-part breath. The first part of the inhale is in the belly and the second part is in the chest, then simply relax and release the exhale all at once. Breathe this way in a continuous rhythm.
Next, he suggests incorporating the “ocean breath” also known as Ujjayi breathing. By tightening your throat slightly, you create a sort of “Darth Vader” sound. This is an ancient yogic practice with a number of health benefits, not the least of which is that it helps to bring more conscious awareness to your breathing.
- While looking at a clock, breathe the two-part breath continuously for 7 minutes.
- Then inhale and hold your breath for 1 minute.
- Release the breath, rest, relax, and breathe normally for 1 minute.
That completes one round of Michael’s Ceremonial Breathing technique. Do two more rounds like this.
As I said, I am only giving you a small taste of this unique breathwork practice. Still, I know that you will have a valuable experience if you try it. To recieve all the benefits of this beautiful method, I suggest you contact Michael, check his schedule, and plan to attend one of his events. Visit: www.TheBreathCenter.com.
Good luck in your practice and many blessings on your path!