How To Tame The Ego & Monkey Mind Thoughts During Breathwork

Quieting the Ego and it's monkey mind thoughts in your breathwork session

Breathwork is a powerful practice that can bring immense benefits to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. However, even seasoned practitioners encounter moments in their breathwork sessions when the ego tries to dominate. This often takes the form of persistent “monkey mind” thoughts that refuse to subside, symbolizing a form of resistance from the ego. It’s normal to experience resistance and monkey mind thoughts in the beginning of a session, however, it should subside if you continue with the breathing technique we use. If you find that the ego mind remains restless during a session or that it temporarily quiets but then returns, you have two options for transcending its influence, both of which we will outline in the following sections.

What is the Ego Mind & What Does it Have to Do with Monkey Mind Thoughts?

The ego mind is a term used to describe how our conscious self (the ego) interacts with our thoughts, feelings, and other mental processes. It’s the part of our mind that influences our self-awareness, self-identity, and conscious decision-making. It’s responsible for how we see ourselves, our instincts for self-preservation, and self-aggrandizement. It also serves as the intermediary between our innermost desires and the necessity to conform to societal norms.

The concept of the “monkey mind” stems from the ego-identification process, which aims to reinforce and perpetuate the misconception of self-identity with the ego. It describes the never-ending flow of thoughts, concerns, and diversions that can hinder concentration, clarity, presence, self-growth, and inner tranquility.

What to Do When Monkey Mind Thoughts Try to Dominate Your Breathwork Session

Choice #1: Refocus on the Neurodynamic Breathing Technique

The breathing technique we employ in Neurodynamic Breathwork sessions is deep, diaphragmatic breathing through the mouth, a little faster than normal, with no gaps or pauses between the inhale and exhale. This technique when followed fully, causes our blood to get more alkaline, which in turn, reduces activity in a specific part of the brain called the Default Mode Network (DMN)

The DMN is the part of the brain that is responsible for the mental constructs of self and ego. When this area of the brain is quiet, the ego loses its grip, and we gain access to the subconscious mind and to unconscious material. This material is not usually accessible in everyday life, and access to it is what makes breathwork such a powerful and transformative practice. If you perceive your ego mind asserting dominance during a breathwork session, redirect your attention to the breathwork technique. Fully immerse yourself in your breath, and you’ll find that the ego’s influence subsides, allowing you to regain control of your journey.

Choice #2: Embrace and Amplify the Emotions

When the ego is asserting itself with monkey mind thoughts during breathwork sessions, look for what emotion is being brought up. Consider this as an opportunity to delve deeper into your emotions and explore them more fully. Immerse yourself in the specific emotion that surfaces when your thoughts reappear. It may be frustration or anger, boredom or resistance … whatever feeling surfaces, permit yourself to feel it fully. Let go of any judgment, there is no such thing as good or bad emotions, they are all an important part of the human experience. So breathe into the emotion and allow it to spread throughout your body, intensifying it with each breath.

While focusing on this emotion, listen to your body’s signals. What sounds or expressions does it want to make? These can manifest as sighs, groans, cries, or any vocalization that emerges organically. Trust your instincts and let your body release the pent-up emotion in the form of sound. This will almost always catapult you back deeply into your process.

Closing Thoughts on the Ego and Monkey Mind in Breathwork Sessions

When the ego and its monkey mind thoughts resurface during your breathwork sessions, remember that you have two potent techniques at your disposal. By incorporating these techniques you can deepen your journey, and over time, the ego mind’s influence will become less disruptive not only in your breathwork sessions but also in your everyday life. This will enable you to lead a more mindful, balanced, and authentic life, and unlock the gateway to your ultimate potential.

Cultivate More Presence, Harmony, & Abundance in Your Life with Free Neurodynamic Breathwork

Discover the extraordinary world of NeuroDynamic Breathwork, a practice that transcends conventional breathwork experiences. Unlike traditional methods where participants simply follow a facilitator’s guidance, NeuroDynamic Breathwork is a non-directive, science-based modality born out of Michael Stone’s extensive practice of Holotropic Breathwork (previously hailed as the most researched and impactful breathwork modality), and years of research and experimentation to craft a breathwork modality that delivers an unparalleled level of immersion via a safe online setting. Regular NeuroDynamic Breathwork sessions will help you unlock the your full potential and experience a profound sense of calmness, clarity, and connection to your inner self.

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