Conscious breathing is one of our most important tools for self-regulation. Through breathing we bring energy into our body, create space and allow emotions and sensations to flow.
1. Gentle and Deep Breathing
It is always amazing to observe that most of us have a rather shallow breathing. Especially when we are excited, the breathing becomes faster but far from deep or conscious. This exercise helps to arrive in the body and to better perceive the sensations.
Stand next to your partner. One palm rests gently on the pubic bone, the other on the sacrum. Give your partner a moment to get used to this touch. Explain that you will now breathe together. Likewise, inform your partner that you will use your hands to guide the path and pace of the breathing.
Ask your partner to breathe in deeply and gently. Let your palm gently make its way up to the sternum (breastbone) and stop there. The aim is to coordinate your pace so that your partner reaches his full lung volume as soon as you reach the sternum. Let him hold his breath briefly (about 3 sec.) before exhaling gently and slowly. Your hands follow the way down towards the genitals. If his breath is too shallow, show him where he has gone and ask him to go deeper on the next breath. A good length of exhale is about 7 seconds.
Slowness is especially important in this exercise. Show your partner how to do the exercise, so you take away any insecurities.
Spur your partner on and at the same time let them know that there is no wrong or right. Unfortunately, we all breathe too shallowly and miss out on a lot of body awareness and space for sensations on the body and in our emotional world.
When you reach the genital area, make sure to stay only in a gentle touch. The intention remains with the breathing and not with the stimulation. If your partner has difficulty performing this breathing, do not do too many repetitions but encourage him to practice a little. Deep and conscious breathing takes practice and many people find it a little tiring at first. It can also be that your partner gets a little dizzy, because unusually much oxygen gets into the body. You have to get used to this first.
2. YIN Breathing - Gentle, Slow, Calming and Connecting. Loosen Up, Move, and Smile ;)
Yin breathing promotes opening the space between us and our partner. Only in this way can we meet on the physical and emotional level.
We perform the breathing sequence in a grounded state, making sure to maintain eye contact. It is not an eye duel but an attentive welcome. Smile at each other and nod encouragingly to gently support your partner.
Synchronous breathing is not easy for everyone. Make sure you stand comfortably and move your pelvis or head slightly if necessary.
Make sure you have a good stance. Invite your partner to keep eye contact. Make him aware that he can move at any time if he needs to. Palms together, drop your shoulders. Gently inhale through nose, exhale through mouth. Match each other. Repeat two to three times until the partner is breathing calmly and relaxed with us.
Now we ask our partner to move the arms slowly upwards with us. We make sure that the palms remain parallel to each other. Slightly below the shoulders we stop the movement and ask our partner to gently hold the inhaled air. We observe our partner and after a few moments we let him exhale again gently while we slowly move the arms down again.
A variation of 02. is to open the arms backwards in the top position into a generous, welcoming embrace (we embrace the whole world). Make sure that the held air is held without effort. The whole process happens gently and mindfully. Observe your partner and adjust the breathing rate to his or her capabilities.
Finish the exercise by asking your partner in the lower starting position to breathe evenly with you again. Also, during the exercise, keep giving instructions such as "... one last time" so that he feels safe and accompanied. The exercise can be intensified by asking your partner to feel your palms, your warmth, your energy with his own palm.
3. Yang Breathing - Vitalising, Stimulating, for Strength, Controlled Release. Visualize the warrior in you and enjoy the power in the genital. It also helps to growl a little :))
In contrast to the gentle Yin breathing, Yang breathing is about our access to the masculine power. It is often misunderstood and, especially nowadays, associated with rather negative aspects.
We concentrate on the creative power and the enjoyment of the liveliness that is meant by it. Sporting ambition and the playful elements of measuring each other. Feeling one’s own strength and impressing the other with it.
Likewise, the element of sexuality of the power of fusion and conquest belongs to it. These are qualities that we as men have partially forgotten or are ashamed to experience with pleasure. The image we mentally and emotionally strive for in this exercise is that of a loving warrior. Powerful and emotional. Strong, proud and at the same time sensitive, aware of his power and always paired with respect and a sense of responsibility.
The origin of this exercise lies in martial arts. The aim is to pump energy from the universe into oneself. To feel this power consciously and to enjoy it. The next step is to give this untamed power back to its source in a focused way. Thus we use this source mindfully and consciously, without falling prey to its volatile nature.
Demonstrate the exercise before asking your partner to do it. Also explain the intention of this breathing. There is a big difference in the position the person puts themselves in when practicing. We are pumping energy into our body and enjoying its effects, we are not loading negative aggression into our system. We hold our hands in front of us in an open, receiving position. Now we imagine that we are claiming a piece for ourselves from the inexhaustible source of energy. With a sharp and powerful inhale, we grab the energy and transport it into our body.
We hold the energy in our body with tense muscles and the breath held. We enjoy the held power and let it bubble and circulate in the body. Encourage your partner to enjoy this feeling. Give hints where he can feel the power (legs, belly, genitals...). Pay attention to how well your partner can handle this tension and the held air. So don't let him hold it too long, especially on the first pass.
This step of the exercise is about returning the pent-up energy to the universe in a focused way. We bring the thumbs and index fingers of each hand together to form a triangle. This focuses the energy flow and also gives us more physical support. The movement is done while gently exhaling the held air.
Throughout the exercise, make sure your posture is comfortable. Bend your knees slightly and also use your pelvis for the second and third pass. This increases the effect. Again, watch your partner and give them time to do the exercise at their pace and strength.
4. The Power Exchange - Playful, Flirtatious, With Humour
This exercise is the continuation of Yang Breathing. Now that we can channel our own power, it is a matter of feeling ourselves and the powerful presence of the other in interaction with our partner.
It’s a playful challenge, a flirtation. I show you my power and impress you with it.
Cheer each other on, but always stay in a playful intensity, we don’t want to defeat and humiliate the opposite, but win the competition and celebrate together.
Also the sexual energy is stimulated, because we give each other wordless promises. Feel my power, feel what I have to offer you. All this can be yours, but you have to earn it.
The art of this exercise is to feel yourself and the other person. Try to increase a little with each pass. Also use your hips and make sounds. Growling and laughing are allowed.
We offer our partner our forearm to embrace. Then we grab our partner's forearm and find a stable position. It is important to remain in a playful and not negative, aggressive intention during the exercise. We measure ourselves with our partner. It is a friendly competition and not a duel.
The inhalation is sharp and tight, as in yang breathing. Instead of a fist, however, we hold the force through our grip on our partner's forearm. We try not to distort our face and use our gaze to seduce our partner. We encourage our partner to grip harder and feel ourselves and us at the same time.
On the exhale we release the grip and enjoy the pleasant release of tension. We are allowed to laugh. The exercise is repeated two to three times. At the end, shake out arms and legs to release excess tension and to release from the pitch/roll.
5. Connecting and Letting Go - Ending as a New Beginning, Creating Space for The New
This exercise is a possible conclusion for the breathing exercise “The Power Exchange”.
Now that we have opened a very strong field of relationship between us and our partner, it is also a matter of entering into the power of parting.
Our life in general consists of a whole series of encounters and the directly associated farewell. In this exercise we learn what both aspects feel like and how space for new things can arise from loss.
To make the experience as powerful as possible, try to imagine a situation where you really will never see your partner again.
Take the strength out of the grip around your forearms. Regain your own breathing and continue to maintain eye contact. Slowly loosen your grip but stay in contact.
The active partner now begins to move away from the partner very slowly. Pay attention to the fact that this process must happen slowly.
The withdrawal continues until only the fingertips are touching. Remain present in the intensity of touch and emotion.
Take your time and wait for the right moment to decide to break physical contact. Again, pay attention to the emotions that arise when letting go of the touch.
Find your own space, your own breath and stay in contact with your gaze for a while. Everyone may decide when to withdraw completely. Again, stay present in the body and the emotions.
Say goodbye and thank you at the same time with a "Namaste". It is important now not to remain in sadness and a sense of loss. Be aware of these emotions if they come and let them go without judging them. We remain open to new encounters, aware that at a certain point we will have to let go of them in order to make room for new ones.
6. Sighs, Moans and Groans - Regulation and Communication without Words
Another important chapter in the field of breathing is sighing and groaning. In general, I include all sounds that are reproduced by the client during bodywork.
It is always amazing to observe how little space clients give themselves to make room for their emotions and feelings. We are brought up to go through life as silently as possible. Not to attract attention and to remain productive and efficient. As a result, we not only suppress the signals that our bodies give us, but we also do not make any sounds that could express a sensation or an emotion. Only when pain is actually involved, we complain or make a sound to prevent further pain. If it is about the beautiful things in life, we rather allow ourselves a pleasurable sigh.
Teaching clients to breathe audibly, and in the next step also to make room for emotions and sensations with sounds, is one of the first and most important exercises before we enter a session.
Many clients are embarrassed to make loud noises. So they need support. As soon as moaning and sighing are mentioned, most people think of superlatives and moments that are rather indecent for many. So it helps to take the reins and show the client how such a sigh can sound. If the first shame is overcome, most lose their inhibitions and growl, sigh, growl, howl or rant freely from the liver.
To get started, I like to give clients examples that they can work well with. “Think of your favorite food and the sounds you make when it tastes especially good”. “Imagine you come home after a hard day at work and you run a warm bath. You let your body slide into the warm water and just let everything go…”. If the examples don’t help, I demonstrate and encourage clients to join in.
Allowed is what wants out of the body. An authentic feeling remains important. There are certain clients who fall into an automatic sighing pattern, there again an impulse must be given so that the client becomes aware that every breath and every sigh may come when he wants.
In deeper, structural massage work or in difficult situations, it can be helpful to ask the client to take a deep breath. So observe the client’s breathing and posture to get signs of what might be a good next step. A verbal prompt is not always a good idea, as the client needs more concentration to use the language and may move from their emotional process back into a cognitive process. It therefore also helps at the moment when deepened breathing becomes necessary to simply take audible deep breaths yourself. Many clients follow this example automatically and unconsciously.
7. Breathing for the Masseur
One of the most important methods of self-regulation for the practitioner is breathing. To use this tool correctly is an art in itself. Especially in the field of tantric work and body-oriented sexual counseling, we need breathing as a support for ourselves and for the clients.
Breathing is a great support in bodywork or as a means of self-regulation in difficult emotional situations. Not everyone finds it easy to access good breathing. It takes some practice and good body awareness to discover the subtle moments when a long and deep breath can work wonders.
When do I need more breath? When do I need to calm myself emotionally? When can I support or reinforce a movement with breathing? When do I breathe audibly? When is my own breath disturbing for the client?
Many questions that we will explore in this and other posts. Again, however, I would like to state that there is no single, correct way of breathing. Discovering your own breathing is the biggest and most important step.
8. Cheering Each Other - Animate with Sounds of Pleasure
Sexuality and sex are rarely silent. As a participant in a tantric session, it is therefore also an issue how strongly I can animate my partner or client with sounds to enjoy his pleasure even more. A delicate tool that one should modulate well.
Everyone knows them, the sounds of pleasure. For some, moaning and groaning comes automatically and subconsciously, for others it’s almost a shameful experience, and for others it’s a complete no-go. The fact is, when it comes to things of pleasure, we are rarely silent. In couple sexuality, we need the sounds to communicate no verbally with each other. What do we like? What less? What do we want more of? How close to orgasm are we? For each piece of information we have a special grunt or sound.
But as soon as we concentrate on our own pleasure, the soundscape tends to be quieter. Actually, it’s a pity, because here again the sighing and breathing can play a big role for our sense of pleasure.
In tantric work and in body-oriented sexual counseling, however, the situation is a little different again. We experience pleasure in the presence of and through another person. However, this person is merely the mediator for my own experience, not an active participant. Thus, many clients are not quite sure how to handle the situation. Am I allowed to moan? What is it like for the massager? Why don’t I hear anything from him? Isn’t it strange if I get loud in my pleasure now?
Questions about questions. The interaction in this situation is thus known on the one hand, but not at all on the other. The lack of acoustic participation can therefore be a problem for the client. For many people these signals are necessary to be able to increase their pleasure. If they are missing, it can even become difficult to get an orgasm.
Being able to give the necessary acoustic signals is not an easy thing to do. It takes quite a bit of courage to give the client this support, completely without your own pleasure feedback. How do I growl or moan without any stimulus? What kind of moans do you think the client likes? There are no direct answers to these questions, so it’s a matter of simply trying things out and finding out what fits or doesn’t fit in which situation. As a beginning, audible breathing is a good start. If the response is positive, in most cases there will be an echo from the partner. The echo can be a moan, or a physical reaction, or both. Avoid putting on an act. We humans have very good hearing and instincts. If a sound is not authentic, it tends to be unsettling. So test for yourself what is appropriate for you. Also listen to your own sounds of pleasure and use what fits the situation and comes from the heart. Incentive can also be sexy. A sign that you support your partner to come to climax and less that you are just on the verge of an orgasm.
Avoid becoming verbal. For many clients this acts more as a brake on pleasure. Not necessarily because what you say to him does not fit, but because the neurological processes for verbal communication are quite different than for emotions and sensations. Thus we end up from the sensation in the thinking and that is rarely advantageous when it comes to lust life.