Drinking Ayahuasca: breath holding and body disconnection
During my integration circles, I often hear people saying, after a night of drinking Ayahuasca, that they feel that they've been holding their breath or they can't breathe throughout their journey. When under the medicine we feel and notice that we've been holding our breath or can't breathe. Also that our body doesn't respond to our commands as much we want them to. Laying there aware of the body but the neural paths are somewhat impaired that we cannot make a brain to muscle connection. It may feel something like sleep paralysis.
There could be many views in finding the reason for this phenomena. An innate reaction to tension, pressure building up inside that must be released like a pressure cooker. Other could be the journey we are into, we somehow are deep into the consciousness expansion where the physical body is no longer at play thus allowing the mind to dive further into the journey unrestricted by the body.
If we are conscious when noticing these things, we can practice breath holds, long deep, slow inhale through the nose and loud, forceful exhales. We can experiment regulating the breath by bringing awareness to the breath. In doing this we realize that it is exactly what we need as the breath is life and connects with everything. It brings us back into the present, grounded instead of a feeling of being disconnected.
You can also bring your awareness to the body part you want to move and visualize the neural connections wiring the brain part that makes the command all the way to the toe or muscle you want to move. Imagine a surge of energy flowing from point A to point B and activating that body part you want to move. If you want to go to the bathroom but cannot move, this exercise can help you take control of your body and your mind. You can also try vocalizing the command " move " to the body part you intend to move. In the worst case scenario where everything fails, you can just be with it, accepting it as is. Eventually, the connection is re-established and we are able to move that body part ( with some delay) or vocalize a call for help.
Ever felt like holding your breath or unable to move under the medicine? Please share your story.