Shamanic Breathwork

Davide and Akari do not make music. They make love to everyone that is prepared to allow their healing into their hearts. I was privileged enough to photograph a recent Shamanic Breathwork experience in Koh Phangan, Thailand.

The preparation is a ritual. A colourful tapestry is lain down and an altar unfolds. Images of gods and goddesses pop up, flutes, singing bowls and a handpan are positioned while crystals and fresh yellow flowers appear. There is a cool breeze and the hum of cicadas outside. They meditate. I meditate. The breeze turns to wind and a storm erupts over us as the ceremony begins. Howling winds and pelting rain drone to the shamanic singing of Davide as the drum beats steady.

“You are strong. You are very powerful. You are love,” he says.

The breathing quickens. In, in, out. In, in, out. In, in, out. In, in, out.

The effects become visible. The pair dance through the circle feeding off each other and the energy being stirred up in each being by this literal and figurative storm. They do not need to communicate with words. A signal is enough. The music, the rhythm, the affirmations to unravelling souls are not choreographed. They are spontaneous and reactive. The music takes people deeper. There is a sense of responsibility that they hold close to their hearts. They know that these meditators are giving them trust. They give love in return.

Akari’s voice emulates the wind that brought the storm, but this wind brings calm. What is left behind are the forever changed minds and hearts of those present. The bansuri flute plays us back into the now. People wake. I have lost the time. The journey has been immense.