If you experience any sensations that feel health and/or life threatening, listen to your body and stop immediately. Use your best knowledge. Some discomfort is very normal in SOMA Breath, but it is not normal to experience pain. Use discernment. Every single person is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all guidance we can give here. Trust your innate body knowledge and your intuition.

If any experiences continue after a SOMA session has ended and you are worried, it is best to seek medical advice before practising SOMA Breath again.

We also recommend that you consider working directly (either face-to-face or online) with one of our amazing SOMA Instructors who can help guide you through the process.

Tingling sensations and lightheadedness

This is normal and experienced frequently during SOMA Breath sessions.

Here’s why:

When we hyperventilate, we increase blood oxygen levels, and decrease carbon dioxide levels. This decrease in carbon dioxide leads to vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) that supply blood to the brain. Reduced blood flow to the brain leads to tingling sensations and lightheadedness.

Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps, also known as tetany, can be quite an alarming experience during a SOMA session. However, they are quite normal and should be nothing to worry about. Here’s why it happens:

When we hyperventilate, we increase blood oxygen levels, and decrease carbon dioxide levels. This decrease in carbon dioxide reduces the ability for calcium to bind to the cells in our body. When your body doesn’t have enough calcium, it can lead to muscle spasms called tetany.

Similarly, tetany can be a result of altered pH levels in our body.

If you experience tetany while practising SOMA Breath alone, and you want it to stop, simply return to normal breathing and your body will restore its natural balance. If you are in a SOMA Breath workshop and you require assistance for tetany, you can make it known to the instructor(s) and/or helper(s) and they will help you.

Headaches
Headaches are a normal experience in SOMA Breath, but you can take measures to reduce the feeling:

Are you well hydrated? It sounds very simple, but being well-hydrated is really important. Up your intake of water and see if this helps.
Are you breathing forcefully? Breathing with force creates tension in the body. Practise the techniques regularly and ensure you are inhaling smoothly, with no force, contracting only the pelvic floor muscles on the inhale. Release all tension from head to toe on the exhale.

When we hyperventilate, we increase blood oxygen levels, and decrease carbon dioxide levels. This decrease in carbon dioxide leads to vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) that supply blood to the brain. Reduced blood flow to the brain may cause headaches.

Does your headache cause you significant, even unbearable, pain? Stop practising right away. Some discomfort is very normal in SOMA Breath practices, but experiencing pain is not typical. Seek advice from a medical professional before practising SOMA Breath again.

Does your headache persist even after you’ve finished your session? Then it is best to see a medical professional before you next practice SOMA Breath.

Please use discernment and decide your own limits. Every single person is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all guidance we can give here. Trust your innate body knowledge and your intuition.

Shoulder and/or Neck Pain
Are you breathing forcefully? Breathing with force creates tension in the body. Practise the techniques regularly and ensure you are inhaling smoothly, with no force, contracting only the pelvic floor muscles on the inhale. Release all tension from head to toe on the exhale.

Are you sitting with good posture? If you slouch, your back and shoulder muscles may be weaker. Sitting up straight requires the use of those muscles and if they are not used to being engaged, there will be some discomfort. Practice sitting with a straight back and good posture every day, and those muscles will get stronger. Eventually, that discomfort will disappear!

Lower Back Pain

Are you breathing forcefully? Breathing with force creates tension in the body. Practise the techniques regularly and ensure you are inhaling smoothly, with no force, contracting only the pelvic floor muscles on the inhale. Release all tension from head to toe on the exhale.

Are you sitting on a stable surface? Sitting on an unstable surface like a mattress, for example, can alter our posture and lead to lower back pain. Sit on a chair with your feet firmly on the floor, or sit cross-legged on a cushion on the floor, or anywhere else that is a solid and stable surface. Alternatively, try lying down and see if that feels better for you.

Are you sitting with good posture? If you slouch, your back and shoulder muscles may be weaker. Sitting up straight requires the use of those muscles and if they are not used to being engaged, there will be some discomfort. Practice sitting with a straight back and good posture every day, and those muscles will get stronger. Eventually, that discomfort will disappear!

Yawning
This is normal. You are breathing in different rhythms than your body is used to, and if you are incorporating SOMA into your daily routine, it means you are entirely retraining your body how to breathe. Yawning is a normal response, and it will reduce with time.

If you feel exceptionally tired during breathwork, it is because you need more high-quality sleep. Adjust your sleeping habits accordingly.

Feeling Tired

If you feel tired during breathwork, it is because you need more high-quality sleep. Adjust your sleeping habits accordingly.

Additionally, breathwork can release emotional and energetic blocks, which can also lead to feeling tired. Keep up your practice and let go of everything that surfaces. In time, you will have more energy than ever before!

Ears Ringing/Buzzing Sounds

This is normal. Hearing sound in your head with no external source is called tinnitus. You may experience a ringing sound, while others may experience whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking. Or nothing at all.

Tinnitus has many causes. It can be continuous or it can come and go.

Some people also associate this sound with connecting to their higher self, greater energies of the universe, and/or their guides.

Do you experience pain with this sound? Does it persist after you stop practising? If you have concerns, please see your doctor or physician before practising SOMA Breath again.

Changes In Body Temperature

This is normal. Some Pranayamic techniques have been used to keep warm in cold climates, like the high altitudes of the Himalayas. SOMA Breath can even be used (like The Wim Hof Method) for cold exposure like ice baths.

Belching

If you are breathing through your mouth, you may be swallowing excess air. Make sure to breathe through your nose as much as possible and this will stop.

Hiccups

Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. When we breathe consciously (as in SOMA Breath), it’s the diaphragm contracting out of rhythm that causes hiccups.

Blurred Vision

If you notice blurred vision or tunnel vision lasting after your SOMA session has ended, please seek professional medical advice before practising SOMA Breathwork again.

Increase in sexual energy

Many people notice an enhanced libido or an increase in sexual energy when they start practising SOMA Breath regularly. No need to be alarmed! Sexual energy is also powerful manifesting energy and the source of creativity and imaginative thinking. It can be channeled into productivity and flow state.

Emotional Release
Emotions, trauma, and trapped energy are stored in our muscles and the cells of our body. Breathwork can bring them to the front so we can process them and release them in order to move forward in our lives.

Other ways to release trapped emotions and energy from our physical bodies include: Yoga, exercise, massage, using your voice (shouting, singing, expressing yourself authentically).

Vivid Dreams
Another way that stored emotions release is through our dreams. You are processing information, beliefs, paradigms, frameworks, and more on many different levels. You may like to consider keeping a dream journal during this time.

Questioning Life Choices/Awakening
When we practice breathwork, we quiet our mind, all of the chaos falls into place, and we come into alignment with our true selves. That is why some people report moments of sudden insight and realisation, and bursts of creativity and that great idea they needed to move forward and solve a problem.

This can be quite a powerful process, and it is also a deeply empowering process. You have the choice now to release that which no longer serves you and step into your higher calling.

If you are overwhelmed, use some self-help techniques, work with one of our SOMA Instructors who can guide you through the process, or consider seeking professional help.

Was This Page Helpful?