This article is written in partnership with Breathwork Online—they’re committed to guiding people through an evolutionary process in breathwork, and the deep sense of healing that comes along with it. We’re honored to work with them. ~ ed.
“If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.” ~ Pema Chödrön
I suck at meditating.
I’ve tried all the apps, I’ve silenced my surroundings, I’ve put a mask over my eyes—and still, especially in the daytime, my mind jumps over thought hurdles faster than an Olympic track star.
Therapy has been instrumental in my healing journey over the years, and I marvel at how far I’ve come since the period of time when I rolled through life as a shell of myself—but I still see my trauma rear its head occasionally in my breathless anxiety attacks, in my ruminations, and in my shaky self-trust.
As trauma survivors, we’re not huge fans of change, so this past year has given us a lot to chew on, emotionally. The pandemic has rolled out an electric undercurrent that has amplified our triggers when they strike—morphing them into thunderbolts that cause destruction in our days.
I recently made a major life change in “the year of changes,” and started a new career after six years with my former company. Mix that with quarantine and there have been a few moments when my anxiety has evolved into a Category 5 storm.
The coping mechanisms that have carried me—writing, singing, playing the ukulele, exercising, dancing—just weren’t keeping me afloat like they once did. I desperately grasped for a lifeline, and I found one that could actually dig deep and disrupt the undercurrent: Neurodynamic Breathwork. Some have even called it: “Post-Modern Industrial-Strength Meditation.”
Michael Stone, Founder of Neurodynamic Breathwork Online, has adapted the process of hosting in-person breathwork seminars, and over the last three years, has brought the transformative power of the experience online. His research into neuroscience, combined with a transcendent Ayahuasca adventure, set him on a path to help as many people as he could to rewire their brain’s pathways.
On a whim, and with an open mind, Michael followed a new romantic interest—who was intent on seeing the pink dolphins of the Amazon—to South America. But once they arrived, he met much more than some majestic sea creatures. He stuck his foot into the door of a psychedelic world that has shifted the mindsets of countless Shamans, healers, and truth-seekers for centuries.
Transformed by the experience, his analytical mind sought out a method to achieve the same other-worldly results—without the help of a substance—and thus became the impetus for a lifetime journey, which ultimately led him to create Neurodynamic Breathwork.
What’s so special about Neurodynamic Breathwork?
The psychoactive effects of LSD, used in clinical trials for patients in therapy, were proven to foster a sense of openness, honesty, and deeper connection. The good news is that you can reach these same expanded states of awareness, and have similar profound healing experiences in a completely natural way—through Michael’s online, live-facilitated breathwork practice from the comfort of your home. All you need is: your breath and music.
“Therapy is great—but it has its limitations. Everything has to be processed consciously—through our ego-mind and mental defenses” Michael said.
With all my years spent in therapy sessions, as honest and forthright as I feel like I’ve been, there’s always been an element of wanting to be “liked” by my therapist. It’s a tough pill to swallow that we’re pouring our souls out to a stranger who’s never laughed with us, grabbed a drink with us, or seen our most shiny moments. They’re getting our raw side, and it’s tough to shut those thoughts down when we’re on the clock.
The same happens for me when I meditate—my ego-mind is sitting close by on my shoulder, whispering sweet worries into my ear.
When we have so much weight to bear, both from our past and the pandemic present, we need access to that door—the one Michael stumbled upon in South America, and the one that gives us unadulterated access to our inner guide, our psyche, and our embodied intuition.
Our anxiety is on a mission to shut our inner guide down, and it sneaks its way into our consciousness when we’re not able to silence the noise both around us, and within us—and that’s exactly what Michael’s program empowers us to do; using the power of the breath and a dynamic, musical journey.
There’s no directive beforehand, no prompts, and no talking during the session. Unfiltered breathwork, emulating the free-flowing benefits of a psychedelic substance, begets the most profound outcome. With Michael’s guidance and support beforehand, we can unlock the intuition that’s deeply rooted in us, and grant ourselves the ability to achieve life-altering inner peace—trust me, I’ve seen it first-hand.
I tried a session, and all I can say is: Whoa.
My Zoom camera was most certainly off for this one—I didn’t want any veteran breathworkers to see me floundering in the shallow-breath end.
I quickly learned that there are three key elements to a successful Neurodynamic Breathwork experience:
>> The Preparation: Michael greeted us (all 100+ of us) with a warm welcome, and explained the tips and tricks needed to fully immerse ourselves in the power the session has the potential to emit. Positioning, technique, and safety were covered in depth. I definitely needed the heads up about my woozy head when I took a quick bathroom break.
>> The Experience: I was skeptical. Although Michael’s earnest explanations gave me all the confidence in the world in his abilities, I didn’t feel the same way about my own. But while focusing on my breath in his recommended form and allowing the visceral music to dance on my ears, I started to really feel something. My hands tightened, my head tingled, and tears were forming in the corners of my eyes. Suddenly, I snapped out of the fog I had been in all day.
I started feeling guilty about missing monumental moments in the news—and then I realized I had missed texts from my mom, and then I started to miss seeing all the humans that I love. I was missing everything. The tears were pouring now. I kept my rhythm steady, and stayed with them. I just laid there, and stayed. It was a catharsis I could have never anticipated, and it changed me.
>> Integration: One session was enough evidence for me to see that this is something that holds immense power, and it’s no wonder that Michael’s style of breathwork has the potential to be 10 times more powerful than meditation. That said, it won’t reach its full healing peak after a one-and-done—and without a supportive community.
Each session ends with a Share Circle, weaving a tapestry of forthcoming individuals, usually from 30 different countries around the world, who open up about their experiences. Some are light-hearted, some bare the depths of their souls, and some offer kind energy while they listen with intent. It’s all confidential, sacred, and holds immense power. People reverberate off of each other’s frequencies and develop unbreakable bonds in the process.
The practice and implementation of this work on a consistent basis has allowed tens of thousands of people in Michael’s network, within the last three years alone, to see its indelible rewards.
Feel Empowered to Heal: What this can really do for you.
Michael had what he would call a pleasant childhood, but he always struggled in one area of his life: relationships. School was a cinch, his career came with ease, but finding a partner presented challenges that felt more complex than a Rubik’s Cube.
When he started practicing Neurodynamic Breathwork consistently, he envisioned not only snapshots of his life, but his parents’ lives. As Jews in Germany during the war, their sense of safety was non-existent.
Michael had an epiphany during a session that generational trauma had its grip on him, and only when he identified this through breathwork was he able to peel away the sense of insecurity that held him back from taking risks in his life, and in his relationships. He came to realize that, despite his unconscious inherited belief that the world isn’t safe, he was capable of transcending his past, and truly letting someone in.
Everyone’s story is unique, but flexing the breathwork muscle consistently can support you in reframing old trauma, enhancing your physical well-being, finding your purpose in life, and, in my case, healing anxiety.
Take it from a few of Michael’s regular breathworkers:
“I had another major breakthrough during my Neurodynamic Breathwork Session last week. It was my first experience ever of fully loving and accepting every piece of myself. I broke down in tears and finally, finally saw the amazing person that I really am, including the pieces that I have always rejected. I am now integrating this into my life in a wonderful way” ~ A. F., San Francisco
“…the online breathwork sessions have been helping me with my back problems from a car accident 3 years ago. I get so relaxed after the breathwork that I can stretch like I’m supposed to without pain and now I’m starting to be able to turn at the waist again. AMAZING!” ~ E. R., San Fernando Valley
“After doing a few sessions of Breathwork Online, I feel that I have finally gotten some insight into how and why I am sabotaging myself in having successful relationships with men. Now that I am actually aware of this previously subconscious block I feel confident that my next relationship will be very different.” – J. N., LA
When we’re feeling stuck, even with the help of therapy, and meditation, and our coping mechanism toolkits—Breathwork Online introduces us to our authentic selves in a way that allows us to trust our intuition—many of us for the first time.
It’s possible to meet yourself on a different frequency, and travel to heights you never believed were possible. All the power you need to enhance your life and relationships is within you—and all you need to do to access it is breathe—and be brave enough to trust it.
If you are curious about this modality and would like to try it out, Michael is offering everybody who reads this article a free session. You can go to https://breathworkonline/ej to sign up. Let the journey begin!