Breathwork with Black Girls Breathing
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
As long as you have Breath, you have options. As you probably know by now, breathwork is a form of deep breathing techniques harnessed to move us through emotional, physical, and spiritual discomfort. This often looks like a rapid series of inhales and exhales paired with the stomach’s rhythmic movement, creating an intense and clarifying meditative experience. There are many studies surrounding breathwork in relation to mental health, and doctors Richard P. Brown and Patricia L. Gerbarg confirm that breathwork has shown effectiveness in relieving symptoms of PTSD and anxiety and restoring balance to stressed-out nervous systems. Even with claims of such effectiveness, breathwork still maintains an air of mystery. We turned to Black Girls Breathing founder and breathwork-er Jasmine Marie to learn more.
Jasmine Marie’s breathwork began at the Dream Center, a community center started by her church in Harlem. “My first experience illuminated how much tension I had been holding in my body. I was able to address it at that moment, and I immediately felt relief and lighter as soon as it ended.” After practicing for four and a half years, she felt a calling to begin her training and certification to facilitate breathwork herself.
How can breathwork further support you?
Jasmine Marie: “We all have that ability, but this world doesn’t help us strengthen our connection to it. We’re taught only to believe what we see, not lean into the innate wisdom of our bodies.” Beyond that, breathwork is an incredible tool for healing trauma and stagnant energy trapped in the body before it turns into physical ailments. “Black people are faced with daily trauma, stressors, and generational wounds. We deserve to cultivate a space of our own that feels like we are safe and loved. Breathwork does that for me and can do that for us as a people.”
Black Girls Breathing is committed to making virtual breathwork circles ALWAYS accessible to Black women. Their reallocation initiative works to provide access to breathwork within a safe space designed to cater to their community’s unique mental health needs. This movement has helped expand their collective, allowing their participants to come and breathe through the challenging moments of life.
It is a horrifying reality that 90% of Black Girls Breathing participants currently have health insurance, yet only 28% of those women have regular access to free or reduced mental health services. Black Girls Breathing provides support to hundreds of Black women regularly, all free of cost.
“Healing to me means coming back home to yourself, to the truths that live within. Returning to that space that feels like home, where we feel like the love and truth that we are.” – Jasmine Marie, Black Girls Breathing founder
To support Black Girls Breathing, they are currently raising funds to further their mission of providing free breathwork to Black women donate below.