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Dr. Liara Covert

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Breathwork Psychotherapist, Author, Speaker, Coach

   

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Entries in Simon & Schuster (1)

Wednesday
Nov282018

Interview with Dan BrulĂ©

Another synchronicity guides me to connect with Breathmaster Dan Brulé. He was recently offering workshops in Melbourne and the Gold Coast (Australia). Since the early 1970’s, he’s shared his craft with more than 150,000 people in over sixty countries.  His invites us all to pay attention to the simple things, to uncover the hidden power and wisdom in the the rhythm of the breath.  Thanks for generously creating time and space for this interview.

Breathwork is often described as a New- Age technique more people are trying as a quick fix to perceived problems.  What is your view and how did you get into it?

Breathwork means using the breath for self-healing and personal growth. It is an ancient practice that focuses and quiets the mind. It is a mindfulness practice that also relaxes and energizes the body. I used breath control in the military to manage my mental and emotional state—for self-control. It has been my primary path and method of spiritual development. It is just as ancient as it is New-Age.

So true! Your insight helps to demystify breathwork. More people are beginning to view this practice as a bridge between body-mind, cultures, eras and ways of life.  Remote viewing is a practice used by the military that also entered the mainstream. As people share tranformational breathing experiences, more people get curious.

Celebrities like Christy Turlington, Oprah, Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson and Naomie Harris, use breathing techniques to reduce stress, connect with audiences and achieve their version of success.  Who else can benefit from breath awareness?

People from every walk of life and in every profession from Navy Seals and martial artists to psychotherapy and corporate executives practice breath awareness and breath control to destress and to perform better.

How did it happen that you came to be Tony Robbins’ breathwork coach? How does this help you both?

I met his son Jarek through a mutual friend and teacher Marc Divine at the Sealfit Training Center in San Diego. And another mutual friend and breathworker Binnie Dansby was present at his birth. It’s a small world! Jarek told his father about me, and Tony called me up. He was already aware of breathing. He notices when people hold their breath or when their breathing pattern changes in relation to their psychological, emotional, or physiological state.

He himself has been practicing certain yogic breathing techniques for a long time. I have spent virtually my whole life studying and practicing, and Tony appreciates the value of that level of focus and dedication. He decided to tap my knowledge and skills to help him in his quest of maximizing his potential to lead a more extraordinary and successful life. He lowered his blood pressure by 15 points within a week of our first session, and became a fan and supporter.

Wow! That stands out as an impressive example of the effectiveness of breathwork. When individuals respected in the public eye like Tony Robbins, experience measurable health benefits, and long-term change, you would imagine this would prompt more people to give it a go.  

People who have used a range of therapies claim breathwork has freed them from repressed trauma and addiction, enhanced their creativity, and sharpened their intuition, literally changed their lives.  Why do you feel more people are not aware of such evidence and that such ancient techniques are not more widely available or accessible to the masses? What is required in your view, for this to happen?

Yes, those are some of the natural benefits of breathwork, and there are many more. People who work in high stakes, life or death situations, are trained to breathe. The average person is not. Maybe it seems too simple, too basic, too obvious, and so many people overlook and underestimate its power and potential. Yet, the simple things, the basic things, are always the most powerful. The answer is more education. And it’s happening. Breathing is entering the mass consciousness. It is being taught and practiced all over the world. Plus, science and medicine are catching up: the health benefits are unarguable.

It is said that the only way to strengthen our relationships is to make conscious and take responsibility for the emotional and childhood issues we bring.  From your experience, how does engaging in breathwork empower people to have stronger, more intimate and successful adult relationships?

Our health and happiness depend on what we do with our consciousness and our energy. When we breathe, we are controlling both. Our breathing habits and patterns reflect and express psychological, emotional and behavioural habits and patterns. When our state changes, our breathing pattern changes. And it’s a two-way street: when we change our breathing pattern, we change our state. And we can use breath awareness and conscious breathing to interrupt habits patterns. We can use breathwork to manage or release emotions rather than be controlled by them.

Some people who give breathwork ‘a go’ describe that it feels like the body is being gently electrocuted, that they begin to hear higher frequencies and sensations.  Some people connect with non-physical energy, expand perception and return to this world similar to those who have had a near death experience (NDE).  That is, they have a deeper understanding of love and their purpose for being here. Share a mystical happening or revelation that you have experienced & how it changed you.

My experience is that we are all connected, and everything is comprised of energy. Good breathwork awakens a felt sense—a direct experience—of this energy. Call it prana, chi, ki, life force, spirit. This inter-connectedness of all life is not just a pretty spiritual idea: it is a fact in reality.

We are all sucking off the same bubble of air that surrounds this planet. The breath that is in you now, was in someone else a short time ago, and it will be in the dog walking down the street and the bird flying overhead tomorrow.

The breath literally connects us. It connects our mind to our body, it connects the conscious and subconscious mind. It connects us to each other, to life, nature, and the world. And it connects us to our source, our essence, our creator.

Since we are all connected, how can I hurt you without hurting myself? And since we are all connected, maybe no one is totally free until we are all free. And maybe if one of us can become completely free, all of us are liberated in the process.

And so, maybe the best thing I can do for my own freedom is to free everyone. And the best thing I can do for everyone else is to free myself. Breathwork awakened me to this truth, and it forces me to live from this truth. And that changes everything.

Freedom is certainly something many people reach for outside of themselves.  Your message invites us all to recognize the power of interconnecteness as it takes shape in our experience.

Dr. Stan Groff is known for his research into psychedelics and Holotropic Breathwork.  Leonard Orr is said to have coined the term Rebirthing.  Arthur Janov coined Primal Scream Therapy. We hear breathwork draws from psychotherapy, psychology and other paradigms. How would you describe your approach and who are your mentors or inspirations?

I have studied and travelled extensively with both Leonard Orr and Stan Groff, and many others: Bruno Hans Geba, Carl Stough, Nancy Zi, Hu Bin, Swami Rama, little know masters, and of course Babaji… I found inspiration in China, India, Europe, Canada and the Northwest Territories, South America, Russia and Australia.

I like to mix and match both ancient and modern styles and schools and methods. I have taken the best from all of my teachers, and added in my own work, my own accidental and intuitive discoveries. Like any artist, I like to have a lot of colours on my palette. And so, I have developed an approach that is both unique and universal.

Tell us about your recent book Just Breathe. Why did you write it and what is your purpose in doing so?

Basically, I wrote JUST BREATHE because I had a friend and student who was a publicist and she got Simon & Schuster interested enough to offer me a very generous advance to write a book that could bring breathwork into the mainstream. The synopsis of the book describes and explains my reasons: The extraordinary abilities and high states once reserved only for the great masters, saints, yogis and warriors, and only after years of work— ordinary people, deserve and can attain these same extraordinary abilities and high states very quickly, just thru breathing! When something beautiful and powerful happens to us, and helps us, we have a natural desire to share it with the world.

What a heart-warming motivation you share and testament to the power of synchronicity.  To recognize the illusion of separation is to move from the perspective of student to master within.  Everyone and everything is here to support our inner evolution, Yet, when seeing from a place of fear this is not so obvious.  Shifting from fear to love changes this.

The surname Brulé is said to have its origin in Switzerland, where the name arose from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to emerging mediaeval society. What do you see as your unfolding life purpose in this era? How do you see collective human reality shifting? (i.e. do you sense we are catching up with a future version of ourselves who is watching the evolution through our memories?)

Hmmmm… I never heard that about my name. There was an American Indian chief and tribe by that name, and my great grandparents came from Canada… Anyway, breathwork is my passion (pass-I-on) and my profession (profess-I-on). It is my purpose and my mission in life to serve the spirit of breath. And because of it, I am able to be living my dream.

And oh yes, we are being all being called to uplift ourselves and each other and the planet. Things are accelerating, evolution is accelerating, and breathwork is the tool of our time. It helps us to come up to speed with the profound changes taking place in us and around us.

If you could offer our readers any advice or leave them with specific insight, what would it be?

Sometimes what we are seeking is right under our nose. It is not an accident that the lungs are wrapped around our heart. When we breathe, we open our hearts. It’s not a coincidence or an accident that breathing is both completely automatic and also completely under our control: that is an invitation, an opportunity, to take part in our own nature, our own evolution.

Every breath is a blessing. Every breath is a prayer. We only need to see it as such, to make it so.

Please add anything else you feel would benefit our readers.

Breathwork is the new yoga. It is meditation for people who can’t mediate! Whenever we turn to our breathing, tune into it, pay attention to it, we come more fully into the present moment. Breathwork awakens body intelligence, heart intelligence, as well as mind intelligence. It brings us more fully into who we really are.

And, there is no need to breathe in any certain way. The simple practice of Breath Awareness, breath watching, changes everything. And simple things like yawning and the sigh of relief, when done consciously and often can change everything!

Remembering to stop and take a conscious breath, to feel ourselves open and expand with the inhale, and relax and let go with the exhale… if we can remember and chose to do this in certain moments, it can make all the difference in the world!

The root of the word inspiration, expiration, respiration… is spirit. Every ancient language seems to have the same word for air, breath, and life. I think that means something. But then again, as one of my teachers once said: “Concepts get you nowhere. Training gets you everywhere!” And so I encourage your readers to practice and train!

Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to do what I love: wake people up to the breath and breathing!

Infinite blessings and appreciation for this timely dialogue. Invite readers to check out Dan Brule's book and explore options to learn more about breathwork.  For example,  check out Shane and Angelina Saunders offer the Podcast The Breathing Edge, and recently interviewed Dan Brulé.  They remind us all, "life is better when we breathe." If it resonates, attend a workshop, connect with a breathwork therapist near you. The Guy Lawrence Podcast also presents a glimpse of Dan Brule's master training on his show. Also invite the audience to check out the Australian Breathwork Association and Interview with Jaan Jerabek.