How to Work With ‘Feeling Stuck’ & Resistance in Breathwork

Feeling stuck and other types of resistance in breathwork

Feeling Stuck? Some People Have All The Luck!!

At some point in your breathwork process, you will get to a place where you feel that for several sessions, “nothing is happening,” that your experiences are not very intense, that you feel “stuck” or that you cannot get out of your thinking mind. You try breathing deeper, you try lying down, you try sitting up, and nothing seems to help! So what is that all about? Why is it that for a while breathwork experiences can be incredibly deep, intense, and profound, and then suddenly it can feel like nothing much happens at all? Below we’ll delve into the reasons behind feeling stuck in breathwork, highlight how this feeling can serve as a potent catalyst for personal growth, and provide steps for working with this feeling to unlock your full potential.”

If You’re Feeling Stuck, You’re Ego Mind is Likely at Play

Our ego mind doesn’t like change, in fact, it fears change and works diligently to make sure things always remain the same. This can significantly impede our journey toward healing and personal growth. The resistance to change the ego creates is not out of malice, but rather because the ego genuinely believes that keeping everything the same is the only way to ensure our safety and protection. It fails to recognize that certain beliefs, behaviors, and ‘old stories’ are no longer serving us and that we would benefit greatly from working through and releasing them.

To prevent change, the ego will employ various tactics, such as inducing feelings of boredom, fear, anxiety, or drowsiness, as well as a sense of stuckness. When you encounter such resistance, recognize it’s as a sign that you’re on the precipice of change and are moving in the right direction. And then push forward with confidence!

How to Quiet the Ego Mind in Breathwork

If your chit-chat ego mind refuses to settle during a breathwork session, bear in mind that while you may not have direct control over your thoughts, you do possess the power to influence your response to them. This means you can choose where to direct your attention at any given moment. Redirect your focus away from your ruminating thoughts and towards your own body, which is a truly wondrous creation in the vast expanse of the universe. Within your body resides an astonishing wellspring of “body wisdom” that the thinking mind can only begin to fathom. Trillions of cells collaborate harmoniously, orchestrating the intricate processes of food digestion, physical movement, cognitive function, sensory perception, and the assimilation of countless bits of information streaming in every moment.

So, stay in your body, turn yourself over to this amazing source of wisdom. Shift your attention to your breath, your emotions, the rhythmic beat of your heart, the gentle rise and fall of your chest with each breath, and even the subtle wiggling of your fingers or toes. Work on being 100% present in your body. Your body is always in the now, in the present moment. On the other hand, your mind is always in the future or the past, remembering or planning. Remaining in the state of presence while nurturing an unwavering, profound focus on your body can weaken the grip of your ego, as it succumbs to the overwhelming power of body and breath awareness.

Remember, There Is Always Something Happening In Breathwork

When you feel stuck, the natural reaction will be to resist or ignore that feeling because it is frustrating. Your mind wants “something to happen” and nothing you do is catalyzing that desired experience. But try to remember that there is always something happening in a breathwork session. The challenge is to open yourself up to it; to tune into the right channel. Sometimes, the experience can be more intense, sometimes more subtle. And almost always, it doesn’t look or feel the way your ego mind thinks it should.

Feeling Stuck in Breathwork Reflects Stuckness in Life

If you are feeling stuck in breathwork, you will almost certainly find areas of your life where you are also stuck. Try to remember that the feelings you are experiencing of stuckness did not originate in the breathwork. They are feelings that originated with feeling STUCK in various areas of your life.

So if you experience resistance or frustration to the sense of stuckness in breathwork, inquire into it. Does this feel familiar? Have you ever felt like this in your life? Have you ever set a goal (relationship, financial, etc.), and then felt like no matter what you did, you couldn’t make progress?  How did you react to that?

Feeling Stuck & As Though “Nothing is Happening,” is a Potent Opportunity!

When you feel stuck in breathwork, try to reframe it as an excellent opportunity to work through your resistance. When you do this, that feeling of stuckness can be one of the most important, meaningful opportunities that breathwork brings you. How you respond to being stuck in breathwork will ALWAYS mimic how you respond to being stuck in various areas of your life. So persisting through moments of resistance in breathwork can lead to profoundly advantageous outcomes, potentially catalyzing breakthroughs across various aspects of your life.

When you experience stuckness, I encourage you to look deeply into your life and dive into your stuckness there. This is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with your life’s vision, identify the gaps between your current situation and your goals, and create a plan. Take some time to inquire into the following:

Are you aligned with your life’s purpose, investing your time in activities you genuinely adore, and making progress in the areas that matter most to you? Is your relationship at a standstill? Do you procrastinate? Do you have a job that no longer ignites your passion or experience recurring emotional dramas? What steps can you take today, tomorrow, next week, and next month to get unstuck and move forward?

You can use the same tools you use in breathwork in this inquiry and planning process –  dive into the feelings and let your emotions drive you forward to a solution. Instead of listening to your ego mind which will try and get you to be lazy and put up with the situation, dive deeply into those feelings of stuckness. Once you allow yourself to fully experience and embrace the frustration, it can serve as a powerful catalyst, compelling you to propel forward and initiate a transformative shift. And then MOVE! TAKE ACTION! Genuine progress requires you to embrace an active role in your life, taking focused and purposeful action, for change will remain elusive until you assume this responsibility.

How To Work With Feeling Stuck & Experiencing “Nothing”

  • Thank your inner intelligence for bringing up this learning opportunity.

  • Remember why you decided to participate in breathwork. What is your vision of where you want to go? What benefit do you think you will get from these expanded states of awareness? Reconnecting with your goal fuels the determination required to stay committed and dive in wholeheartedly.

  • STOP RESISTING the feeling of stuckness. Fully feel it, dive deeply into the stuckness, let it fill every cell in your body. Give yourself permission to feel 1,000% stuck.

  • Observe what emotions arise … often you’ll find frustration. Or anger. Or sadness. Notice those emotions, and fully embrace them. Remember, if you resist them, they will persist!

  • Notice what stories your ego mind tells you about your experience. Are there ego thoughts like “No matter how long I do breathwork, this will never change?” or “I don’t have time for this,” etc. Notice the stories. Notice that they come from the ego mind. Then let them go and recommit to being present in your body, or in the music, or in your emotions. Or anywhere in the direct felt experience of the moment (just not in the head).

  • Whatever comes up, strive to drop into it … Express it fully. Make loud sounds. Move your body. Allow the emotions, sound, and movement to set you free!

Join Our Global Breathwork Community with a FREE Month Subscription

Over 35,000 individuals hailing from 120 diverse countries have embraced the transformative power of Neurodynamic Breathwork. Our online sessions are affordable and accessible with several classes on offer every week. If you would like to join our transformational sessions, and partake in faster, deeper breathing to transcend your ego mind, cultivate deep healing, and step into your fullest potential, we invite you to register for free! After your first free session, you’ll receive an email with access to a whole month of free online facilitated breathwork.

Click here to find out more about our online breathwork process.

©2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Subscribe to our mail-list!

Join Breathwork Online’s 65,000+ subscribers and receive news, special offers, invitations to free breathwork sessions, events and conferences, and inspirational material on breathwork, healing and personal development. Become radically self-empowered with us. Unsubscribe at any time.