My Breathwork Experience // The O2 Awakening
Mind blown and holy fuck.
That is my summary of my experience at the O2 Awakening breathwork workshop.
If you have the opportunity to attend a breathwork workshop hosted by Hellè Weston, Lukis Mac and Victoria Bauman of then my recommendation…150% do it.
Breathwork is "a direct experience of transformation and healing through the power of breath".
During their breathwork events, individuals are guided into an altered state of consciousness to access parts of themselves that usually function outside of daily awareness. With their guidance, you have the ability to unlock emotions, traumas and energy that have been suppressed in order to feel, heal and reclaim your authentic power.
The O2 Awakening is a 4-hour experiential workshop where you'll learn how to enhance your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being through the power of Breath.
You are guided through a daily practice that you can include as part of your daily ritual as well as a one-hour breathwork journey.
What I thought was going to happen was absolutely not what happened, in the best possible way.
I thought breathwork would be a variation of meditation; gentle, relaxing, inward. But it was more like meditation on steroids.
Hellè and Lukis (Victoria was absent for the NZ leg of their tour) were the perfect mix of spirituality and science, raw and badass yet down-to-earth and gentle. They created such a safe space for everyone, first by the way in which they opened up to share their own personal experiences of growth and transformation and secondly with their casual approach towards the powerful shifts and discomfort we would feel with our own versions of expression.
Yeh, I mean I felt kind of weird when they said people would potentially be yelling, screaming and crying but I was like fuck it, I'm all in; what have I got to lose here other than some emotionally repressed baggage?
They began with the 5-minute daily breathwork ritual. A circular non-stop breathe in and out through the heartspace that almost felt like hyperventilation.
During this short intro I felt a little lightheaded and my ego flared up and spoke to me in a very prominent voice "I give you permission to quit now".
My "A-ha" moment was hearing how my ego was trying to keep me safe. It was very subtle, it gave me permission to give up "it's OK you've done your best you can stop now". But once I pushed past that initial discomfort I felt this sensation of transcendence. Like I was more than my mind and body.
5 minutes in and I'm thinking this breathwork business is great, I can totally do this. Thank you and cheque please.
Well. We hadn't started the one-hour breathwork journey yet, had we?
One Hour Journey.
And so begins the one-hour breathwork.
I mean it's intense. It is full on energy moving epic fucking madness. As soon as I start I want to stop but I also can't. Your body is in synergy with the constant ebb and flow of your breath and then on top of that the power of the energy from the entire room - it is completely magnetic.
Physical Sensations, Control + Panic
A tingling sensation is creeping up my legs and I slowly to start to lose feeling in my extremities. My hands are cramping up (tetny: a completely safe and natural reaction to breathwork that stops once the breathwork is complete) and I have zero control over them.
I’m starting to feel trapped; like a prisoner in my own body. I’m terrified and panicked. My mind and my body are not communicating. I’m trying to move my arms, my legs…anything but I’m completely paralysed.
My body temperature is rising and that is causing me to panic as well. I am sweating.
I can hear myself screaming for help and this is when my emotions start to come out; I'm afraid, I’m alone, no one can see or hear my cries for help, I want out but I can’t see how to get out.
Taken out of the context of my experience that is often how I imagine many of us feel in our everyday life; suffocated by indecision, panicked by lack of control, alone, afraid and internally crying out for someone to help us.
Suddenly I sit up and start scribing in my journal. I'm getting flashes of what feels like a dream, memory or vision.
Fragments of a Past Life
It's so strange to see what I'm seeing in my mind as if I'm dreaming yet I'm very much awake. All the panic from before has gone and the loss of mobility seems strange now.
The vision I'm experiencing is being part of some ancient primal tribe. I am part of a group of priestesses and goddesses and sisters. We teach in secret and are revered but also feared mainly by men as it seems to be at a time when feminine power is feared and men and institutions want to take that power from us; they call us demons and witches and proclaim us from hell. Female oppression has us in hiding but there is a knowing that female empowerment will rise again one day.
I then start hearing and seeing random flashes of broken memories and shunted words.
"We are your sisters. We create through you"
The images I see are unclear but seem to be of fire flickering, sensual dance and naked women.
Suddenly I feel afraid, I'm having visions of all the times I have died. I have been burned alive at least twice, buried alive and I've been chained up and left to die of starvation and cold. I have been slammed for being a temptress, a witch, a harpy, the devil itself all because people were threatened by the unwavering power of a
I start to hear an influx of woman's names. These aren't mine these are the names of my sisters. I can see that we are very elemental with our practices and are very attuned to the energetics of Mother Earth; moon and sun, earth, fire, water, air, smoke.
The messages that I begin to receive are that there is no need to be afraid because my sisters who are my ancestral guides protect me as I do them in different ways. I need to trust the process and that external validation will lead me nowhere but to circumvent my truth. That we are a group of souls who's role in this lifetime is to collectively heal the wholeness of all of our selves and that my personal wholeness lies in the embodiment of my fears.
I am told to lie back down and continue the breathwork journey.
'But I am afraid', I say, 'I don’t want to not have control'.
They remind me that control is just illusion. We are never in control. There is no need to be afraid, because I am never alone and that I need to trust the process.
I lie back down.
More Visions + A Huge Energetic Shift
I blank out at this point. I have no memory of anything up until I start to see a rainbow of colours, very auric like a tangible representation of energy floating in my field of vision. Then a bright glowing white circle that grows bigger as it gets closer to me, it’s an eye, the eye gets terrifyingly close to me staring at me and penetrating through to places I don't want it to look at.
My whole entire body physically starts to shake uncontrollably. Vibrating as if I’m having a spasm. I cannot control it but I am also not afraid, I allow it to run through me as if my body cannot handle the amount of energy that is moving through me. Then the vision I was having earlier comes very clear to me FAST.
I have a vision of being burned alive on a pyre, on a makeshift raft as it flows down a gentle stream, river. I realise that the pain I was having in my right leg earlier was the fire that I am seeing in my vision as it climbs up my legs.
My sisters are standing along the river bank with hands interlocked; singing for me in a way that sounds like mournful wail, letting me know that I am not alone. My hands are bound behind my back pulling my chest forward, opening my heart outwards toward my sisters, towards Mother Earth, towards God. I lift my gaze upwards to the sky, it is clear, calm, the stars are alive.
With a prayer I surrender my body to the Universe above. I see the tops of trees silhouetted against the night sky drifting past me and feel embodied by the knowledge that though physically painful I am safe and loved. My throat tightens from the smoke (I am physically feeling my throat tighten), my left arm has no feeling at this point as the fire spreads up my body.
The people I need will find me I don’t need to effort to find them. I realise that I don’t need validation in this life, I don’t need to prove myself because this lifetime is just one small drop of water in the ocean of lifetimes. I am measuring my successes and failures as if my time here is finite but this is just one short human body experience. I have thousands of years of human body experiences before me and thousands of years ahead. I’m defining my entire existence by this small moment in time. It is bigger than that.
My gifts aren’t cultivated here and now they are cultivated over eons of years and experiences. They live on in me now forgotten but not gone asking me to find them to rediscover them.
Tears of acceptance, trust and love that I am part of something bigger are running down my face.
I feel powerful. I know what I need to do to move forward. I am a magnetic powerful energetic being. I am part of a collective consciousness of my sisters, my priestesses my goddesses. I am more than me.
Suddenly I understand; there is freedom in your power, in your fear, in your shadow. That my particular key to freedom is via my fears.
I'm sure everyone's experience was unique to them. But I felt like a new person when I came out of it. I felt a deeper understanding of my purpose and the depth of my ability to connect with a bigger part of myself that I definitely wouldn't be able to access in my day to day conscious state. There's so much peace knowing that the path ahead is nothing to fear and that my soul perfectly orchestrated the events in my life for the evolution of my highest self.
try it for yourself.
I highly recommend you experience the O2 Awakening yourself if this is something that you feel called to do. While not everyone will have a past life vision like I did (side note I do dabble in past life regression and meditation frequently) what you see and experience will be exactly what you need to know at that moment in time.