Vivation Breathwork was created by Jim Leonard in 1979, and is a breathing modality primarily aimed at resolving negative emotions (fear, anger, sadness, and so on), stress, and/or trauma.
The practice is also thought to improve relationships, increase self-awareness, develop your spirituality, break habits and addictions, improve your meditation practice, and give a greater sense of physical, emotional, and metal well-being.
The core premise behind Vivation Breathwork is that when we directly connect with our feelings at the physical level, negative thoughts about those feelings can be bypassed, resulting in a more honest and pleasurable experience. This can result in an efficient integration of our feelings, transforming suffering into bliss.
Vivation Breathwork sessions are based on five elements: Circular Breathing, Complete Relaxation, Awareness in Detail, Integration Into Ecstasy, and Do Whatever You Do, Willingness is Enough. Moreover, Vivation underlines the idea that anybody is able to heal themselves from the inside.
In this type of connected Circular Breathing the exhale is entirely relaxed, not forced and not controlled. This also means that there’s no hyperventilation in Vivation Breathwork. Circular Breathing is done in three rhythms: Slow and Full, Fast and Full, and Fast and Shallow.
Complete relaxation involves relaxing mind and body as much as you can, accepting feelings that are there or come up as is.
Awareness in Detail
This element involves focusing one’s awareness in detail on the strongest feeling of the body, that is, becoming fully conscious of it and let it emerge entirely.
Integration Into Ecstasy
The idea here is to being open and receptive to whatever feelings are already present. As feelings are usually only experienced negatively as a result of mental judgments, it’s a support to just observe and thereby also let the positive sides of a feeling surface, which additionally means that the feeling is automatically integrated in your being.
Do Whatever You Do, Willingness is Enough
Willingness is about the disposition to be as honest and receptive to the intrinsic positivity of a feeling as you can. In fact, in Vivation Breathwork, integration is seen as a function of willingness, and therefore considered the most important of all the five elements.