Category Archives: Breathwork

Our Spirit Journeys: The Backstory

Andes mountain scene - a spiritual retreat to Peru in April, 2020Since we announced our 2020 Spring Spirit Journey to Peru, some have asked how our Spirit Journeys fit into the larger context of our work with Constellations and Breathwork.  Here is how it all started. Many years ago when we were heavily focused on breathwork, we offered breathwork in a warm swimming pool here in the Boston area.  And we all discovered that being held in warm water while opening the body and heart is incredibly beautiful and powerful. As we dried off and shared our experiences, the idea of doing breathwork in a warm ocean was raised.

This idea eventually culminated in our first “breathwork training in the sun” in Holbox, Mexico. It was an amazing success.

We named our journey Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces, as it included visits to Mayan sacred sites. At these sites, we did ceremonial work as well as daily breathwork sessions in and out of the water, opening those sacred spaces inside ourselves. Of course, “sacred shopping” was added as another activity by the group as we explored the little island!

Once we had a flavor of how deep our transformation can go when we give ourselves time away from routines and engage the forces of the elements, we were hooked on offering Journeys of the Spirit.

Our subsequent journeys also involved an element such as water (our Dolphin Journey in Bimini) or fire (Desert Wisdom). They often included animals such as the camels in the Sahara or the horses we rode during our trip to the Badlands of North Dakota (“Eagle Medicine”).

Some of our journeys have been Vision Quests. Others have included shamans or healers from the local area. Our shamanic hosts worked alongside IAI facilitators to show us how they access healing and spirit in their own tradition.

I have loved each one of our journeys.

You can watch some of the mini videos we made of previous journeys if you’d like.

Coming Soon ~ Vision Quests In Massachusetts

As we realized what powerful healing comes through Mother Nature and the elements around us, the IAI team began dreaming of offering Vision Quest experiences here in Massachusetts so that more people can afford to journey with us.

That is when Maya and I bought an old farm in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Since then, it has been seven years of clearing land and old houses and re-building the property. And we are almost finished! Our Constellation Barn is close to completion and with luck, it should be operational by the spring!

Still, we have gone many years since offering a Journey of the Spirit, and in the meantime, I have been exploring as I always do before inviting you to join me. It takes a lot of organizing to meet the right people, find the right power places, and decide how to put a group experience together.

Inner Light: A spiritual Retreat to the Andes of Peru

Well, it has come together at last!!

I am delighted to be able to invite you to the sacred valley of Peru and the glorious city of light, Machu Picchu, in April of 2020.

Samvedam on top of Huayna Picchu.

Some amazing shamans of this area have agreed to work with our circle. We will be in ceremony with them throughout our journey. You can also book private sessions with one of them.

When I explored Peru, I had a private session with a local shaman. It was a profound experience that opened new doors for me and helped me close some old ones.

The highlight of my visit there was being in the temple of the moon, which is out of the way on Huayna Picchu. We will go there for a ceremony first thing one morning, when hopefully nobody else is there yet. The views are absolutely breathtaking with Machu Picchu nestled below us in the expansive panorama of the Andes.

Please take a look at the program.  Our guides on the ground are Pierre and Janice, who know the area very well, speak the language, and are both shamans in their own right.

They are fabulous and make all the logistics so easy.

Machu Picchu

If you are up for an adventure and the timing is right for some inner transformation, please join us next April. We have planned for 10 days, as for most of us, this is a trip of a lifetime. The Andes are stunning and there is so much beauty to see.

I look forward to this adventure with the “just right” small group that is called to join us!

Click here for more information.

Samvedam and the IAI team

A Lesson from the Hummingbird

by Samvedam Randles, LMHC, Dipl. Psych.

A Lesson from the Hummingbird, counseling services in Boston, MA.This month brought the pendulum of our collective psyche into full swing!

Intensity of emotional reactions to the presidential election flew high. As I endeavored to meet each person in my office with calm centeredness, I found myself challenged by the wild array of personal shadows being flushed out of their hiding places. It felt as though we were experiencing a collective immersion of shadow reactions to the seismic political shifts taking place: fear, grief, dismay, anger or despair flooded my office.

Having just re-centered from one version of reaction, I would then sit with someone who felt quietly hopeful and wished to celebrate the change, but did not feel safe expressing this publicly. My work was to be present with each person no matter where on the pendulum swing we started.  

As the waves kept moving in and out, I found myself remembering the tiniest of creatures, the hummingbird. When I traveled to Peru last spring, I enjoyed watching these lovely beings, so wondrous in their deftness and precision. A hummingbird’s wings move faster than our eyes can perceive, yet it remains calm in its center so it can enjoy each flower and drink deeply from its nectar. The gift of this image seems like a good teaching this month. Stillness in rapid action became my mantra as I practiced staying present with each person I met.  When presence holds us in each moment, it becomes more than a mantra; it becomes effortless.

Healing in Community

In the midst of this election month, our Constellation Learning Group, which meets one weekend each month, launched beautifully. Grounding into the felt-sense within our bodies evoked calm and allowed us to support each other. The teachings of the Family Constellation work expanded our horizons as we were reminded that it is the nature of the pendulum to swing; and that none of what we experience is either actually new or unique to us.

Breathwork, another powerful practice, assisted quite a few folks with releasing pent up emotion and coming back to their center. Gathering in the safety of community to learn new tools that help us understand and grow from challenges feels timely and important.

What helps you find inner stillness when the pendulum swings wildly?

Breathwork as Transformation ~ A Student Perspective

by Helena Greaney, Breathwork Facilitator

“Breathwork classes. Drop-ins Welcome.”

The sign at the Center for Body Oriented Psychotherapy was intriguing. I went to a class. There were about ten people in the large room in the Victorian house in Union Square (Somerville MA), and several of us were new to Breathwork.

Samvedam Randles was our facilitator. In the introduction she told us, “You will lie on the floor with your full attention on your breathing for approximately one hour.”

“You will breathe through your mouth ,” she continued, “ deep into your belly, and then expand the breath up to your chest. You will let go like a sigh. Like this. She demonstrated. “The breath is circular; the inhale goes into the exhale and back again to the inhale. You want to eliminate the pause between the inhale and the exhale. This will intensify the breath.”  Continue reading Breathwork as Transformation ~ A Student Perspective