Ayahuasca and Breathwork | Why and How they Work Together

Published: Mar 19, 2023 | Revised: Jan 21, 2024
Written by: Marce Ferreira

Ayahuasca and Breathwork | Why and How they Work Together

You may have noticed that many Ayahuasca retreats also offer Breathwork training and sessions. In this post, we’ll explain the relationship between these two practices and why they often go together.

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The Ayahuasca brew is a psychedelic substance known to be able in supporting us to dive deep into our subconsciousness and help us bring our inner drives, uncertainties, and fears to the surface. In fact, one of the important applications of Ayahuasca is that of self-discovery and personal development, notably on an emotional and spiritual level.

Like Shamanic Ayahuasca healing, Breathwork is typically used therapeutically to clear energetic blockages, release traumatic emotional experiences, and to stimulate physical, emotional, and spiritual changes by deliberately inducing and accessing special and altered states of consciousness.

The techniques used to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being within Ayahuasca practices compared to Breathwork sessions are rather different though. Ayahuasca is a psychoactive plant medicine i.e. herbal medicine to be taken orally by drinking it, but Breathwork applies substance-free techniques of conscious breath control.

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Mind though that there are many types of Breathwork, yet Shamanic Breathwork and Holotropic Breathwork (sometimes called psychedelic breathing) are more often than not the Breathwork modalities of choice used in combination with Ayahuasca ceremonies.

During (or alongside) Ayahuasca ceremonies and retreats Breathwork may be used to enhance the psychoactive experience by entering our inner self in additional ways. Breathwork i.e. conscious breath control can also be used to instantly relax us when during an Ayahuasca session emotionally disturbing psychedelic or hallucinating experiences start to overwhelm us.

Another use of Breathwork is to prepare us on the Ayahuasca experience, or to be able to better manage nausea, vomiting, and purging during Ayahuasca sessions.

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