The power of our own breath to heal and transform on a physical, emotional and spiritual level, has been known (and practised) by yogis and shamans since ancient times. By consciously working with our own breathing patterns, we can tap into the ability to reset our nervous system and uncover and release all sorts of tension and blocks in our body and in our lives.
So, it’s no surprise that breathwork as a healing practice has experienced a resurgence in modern wellness circles, typically offered in conjunction with yoga, sound meditation, shamanic journeying or on its own in guided breathwork sessions.
Personally, I’ve found the breathwork sessions I’ve done to be the most powerful of any healing sessions yet. What follows is an overview of a few of the most revered breathwork practitioners around the greater Vancouver area, along with a snapshot of how each of their unique breathwork techniques can support personal transformation.
Carmen Ganne, is an advanced breathwork practitioner who specializes in conscious connected breathwork, which is designed to provide emotional integration and nervous system reset. In her words: “How you breathe is a direct reflection of how you show up in life. So as you work to open your own breath pattern, you are able to bring deep awareness and flow into areas in which you have held dense, stuck energy, old stories, tension and dis-ease.”
As a Yoga Teacher + Breathwork Facilitator with a background in social work and somatic therapy, her breathwork offerings are based on the belief that an openness and willingness to be real – paired with movement and authentic expression – are critical to releasing stuck energy and old patterns.
Carmen’s breathwork offerings support deepening connection to self first as well as between moms & daughters and couples. She travels to schools across the NorthWest offering breathwork and yoga, to help young kids benefit from this work. You can experience Carmen’s work privately in a session or via her upcoming group breathwork events which can be found here.
Amber Host, who runs a dojo called Ancient Fire located in Olympic Village, brings a shamanic and ceremonial approach to the breathwork sessions she offers. Amber’s path to breathwork began 15 years ago when she was on a mission of self healing. After years of extensive Ayahuasca exploration, she dove into breathwork and finally discovered the full body and soul healing she was seeking. In her own words, “I had a deep heart wound that needed healing. Breathwork allowed me to fully feel what I needed to, in order for the wound to be released.”
Not necessarily a quick fix, Amber describes breathwork as a tool for awakening, explaining, “Breathwork helps bring to the surface what is wanting to be cleared, in order for us to live more authentic and free. When we breathe, the innate healing intelligence takes over and assists in creating space in the places where we are holding trauma and stress. With this practice, we actively participate in our own rebirth. We open and heal the contracted parts of ourselves and allow the body to reorient itself towards a natural healthy balance.”
Amber has spent years training in many different modalities of breathwork including Shamanic, Transformational, Holotropic, Breathwave and Breath Experience. Ancient Fire offers monthly breathwork ceremonies which you can explore here.
Edward Dangerfield’s path to breathwork began after he was stuck in an avalanche and suffered from PTSD. Going through a nervous breakdown (or spiritual awakening, depending on your perspective) led him to explore many ancient healing practices, combined with Western science, in an effort to restore and repair his own nervous system.
Most influenced by the work of Robin Clements, Edward’s approach to breathwork is focused on helping people understand the science and biology of how breath can actually transform. He explains it as follows: “Helping people understand the science of breath creates a lot of safety for those new to this work. I teach people the way breath relaxes the rib cage, moves through the body and changes blood chemistry, which changes our brain function, and leads to deep restoration. The result? When we change our brain function we change the way we show up and operate in life.”
Edward’s philosophy is to give his clients the tools they need to create lasting transformation- without his help. He believes breathwork is a powerful tool to returning people to their essential wholeness. He offers many events and retreats through his company The Biology of Breath, which you can find around Whistler, Squamish and Vancouver.
Jenn Field, offers breath events and trainings on the Sunshine Coast and around the Lower Mainland. With a background in social service work, and various other alternative healing modalities, Jenn moved into breathwork after experiencing it’s transforming benefits. Her focus is on awakening and embodiment, bringing consciousness to wherever its required. She explains how she works as follows: “Mentally and emotionally, breathing helps us integrate those places where we haven’t had a chance to be fully present with ourselves. This usually means gaining access to wherever our patterns of stress have impacted us. By staying consciously connected to our breath, we learn to stay consciously connected in our day to day life.”
The physiological benefits of breathwork include an increase in oxygen and circulation, this helps decrease inflammation and helps the nervous system move into a parasympathetic, or ‘rest and digest’ state. Conscious breathing lowers adrenalin, cortisol, and even slows down aging, potentially correcting and preventing diseases.” Overall, Jenn’s passion is to empower people to empower themselves. As the owner of Halfmoon Haven, most of her events and teacher trainings are hosted at Halfmoon, but she does travel around the Lower Mainland, and internationally, as called. Check her full schedule here.
Interested in exploring more options for breathwork teachers and events around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland? You can find a full list of breathwork events coming up here.