Pranayama Yoga – Breathwork

Written by Sam Slovick (from LA Yoga Magazine April 2010)

The Kyoto Hotel in downtown Los Angeles is a portal today. Braced against the streets of chaos, the Little Toyko-5 star is pressed tightly against the homeless vortex of Skid Row. In a few hours, Reluctant Healer, David Elliott will incite another kind vortex here. A whirling mass of self inflicted healing in a pranayamic workshop.

Neatly dressed in a sweater and jeans, he’s breathing easy in the pristine sanctuary of the rooftop garden. Elliott listens with the detached indifference of a spiritual clinician. He speaks with the calm reserve of a Southerner.

A practiced wordsmith, he has just released his second book, Healing. His first work, The Reluctant Healer, was decidedly well received and remains a valuable resource for anyone considering the path of healer.

“I teach people how to heal themselves by getting in touch with their energy, and teaching them how energy can melt through any block or illness, and ultimately the energy I’m talking about is love…self-love.”

Pranayama is a healing modality. From the Sanskrit; prana or breath is the life-force; yama, means to suspend or restrain. The breathwork is an aspect of what David Elliott does in totality. It’s one element in a larger toolbox that makes up his practice.

“It’s a tool to help people to get out of their heads… to help people to open up. Open their heart up and stop thinking or being focused outside themselves. So with the breathing meditation we’re teaching people to focus inside. To still themselves and ultimately to open up and let the universe come through as love…as self-love,” he says.

Tracing our collective trajectory to this place in time when we are vastly more complicated than our predecessors, Elliott articulates the challenges his work confronts and the people it serves.

“We are complex by the nature of technology and information. We’re totally occupied. The modality of breathwork brings you to a still place where you get into the moment. Ultimately I’m creating an experience for people to feel their spirit. To feel their spirit coming into their body as a vibration. When people feel that they heal. They unblock. They let go of the past…of the stuff that they’re holding onto to that’s keeping them stuck and out of the moment.”

Sam Slovick: What happens in your workshops?

David Elliott: We’re creating a vortex. We’re creating a big amount of energy that’s moving in the room. And as people tap into that it takes them into experiences where they feel very deeply their emotions. We’re getting people to disengage with all the shit that they’re coming in with. And in that moment we’re…expanding that moment, expanding their awareness. Literally what we’re doing is we’re stimulating the hypothalamus; related to the crown chakra. When that happens the endorphins that are released start to trigger [a cascade effect in] the other ductless glands [which are associated with] the chakras and that’s what creates the big influx of energy.

David’s evolution as a healer has imbued him with the ability to reduce the essence of his work to a seemingly simple assertion: “We all have the power to heal any affliction right inside ourselves. The biggest problem that people bring to me is that they’re not connected to themselves. Through that disconnection, there is this focus outside oneself to find all the answers.”

SS: What’s your highest aspiration?

DE: My highest aspiration is to help as many people as I can to find their way to their truth and to find their way to healing, to their purpose and then through that to help a culture and a society become a little more peaceful and have a little more fun and be a little less stressed out.

SS: What’s your biggest challenge?

DE: To slow down and to connect to each moment in its fullest way, in its greatest potential to express and be connected to love; to be having fun in everything I’m doing. And, of course, dealing with people with chips on their shoulders.

SS: What’s your saving grace?

DE: That I’m having a lot of fun doing what I’m doing and I try not to take most things too seriously. Through that I’m finding that it’s helping me to become a better teacher, healer, father, artist and writer. So my saving grace is the moment-to-moment application to what I’m preaching.

David Elliott is breathing easy. Sitting still on the roof, the skyline looming in the background he considers everything and leaves me with this: “I would really like for people to know that they can heal themselves. If they take the information from this book, Healing, they don’t even have to buy it, they can go to my website and download it for free…if they apply the information they will heal. I believe that the work I do absolutely connects people to their genetic imprint, to what they already know and that’s why this work tends to happen so fast for people.”

To learn more about David Elliott’s work, or to download a free copy of Healing, visit: thereluctanthealer.com.

Participate in ongoing breathwork workshops with Elliott’s students based on his work or find out more about training programs at The Hub in Los Angeles: thehub-la.com.

Sam Slovick is writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. He is a regular contributor to LA Yoga Ayurveda and Health magazine and the LA Weekly. samslovick.com

Checkout The Daily Heal for more information on meditation.

One Response to Pranayama Yoga – Breathwork
  1. ~jessy
    April 2, 2010 | 3:22 pm

    Nice work. Thank you for sharing :-)