Written by Miguel Amado
In this special interview for MysticMag, Patricia Coester told us how she discovered the power of breath and how she helps people and how breathwork is a form to speak to your body. Check out our talk below!
When did you discover that breathing techniques could open so many possibilities and that you wanted to help people with it?
I’m originally from Switzerland and was working there as a coach for 20 years. It was always my passion to work with people, to support them in their personal path.
When we moved to Costa Rica, I wanted to learn something new. I tried a breathwork class and was so fascinated by what happened inside me. I experienced something new and deep. In the moment I knew, it wanted to learn all about it and share it with all the clients. Later, I learned from many different breathwork styles. I was traveling to be a student again. In the last five years, I’ve been teaching breathwork in Costa Rica.
Do people come to you or do you travel to other countries to teach people?
I work here and I have plans to travel to Mexico next year, so I can teach there too. I like to combine places I like and to work there. When I go to Switzerland, I sometimes do classes and workshops on demand, for instance.
What are the main struggles and issues people bring to you?
Many things. It can be sadness, anxiety, struggles, unhappiness, physical pain, emotional pain, problems in relationships. Usually, people who do breathwork classes are open to new experiences. They might have experienced many methods but are still struggling.
If you go to a psychotherapist, you mainly talk, which is OK. But sometimes we need other methods to go a little bit deeper. I’d say everything we experience – physical pain, relational problems, suffering – is stress. This stress causes problems in our body, so we need to address not only our mind, but also our body.
Everything is stored in the body, positive and negative things. In the breathwork, you can speak to your body. I’d like to explain what my 3 most important topics in breathwork are. Is that, OK?
First of all, it’s a process of awareness. You learn to become aware of your breath. We are breathing 25,000 times a day unconsciously. It consists of observing how the breath goes: if it takes place in your chest or in your belly and how you feel when observing the breath.
When you become more aware of your breath, you become more aware of everything around you. When I talk to you, can I listen to you or am I busy with my own thoughts? Only when I am in peace with myself, I can truly listen to you. Only when I am present, I am able to fully listen. Observing is basic of all breathwork, no judgment but becoming aware of all details.
The second topic is the conscious breath, here we change our breath for a certain goal we want to achieve. Let`s say you are feeling anxious you can use a specific technique to calm your mind. Or you need more energy, but you are tired, there are other breathing skills who help you to become awaken and focused.
Normally our breath has 4 faces: , we inhale, have a pause and exhale, a pause. In breathwork sessions you skip the pauses and breathe faster. You are over breathing and exhaling much CO2. The more you breath, the less oxygen is available. When we over breath, the blood vessels in our extremities and brain constrict. That means you are creating an oxygen deficit in parts of your brain. The vessels constrict in your frontal lobe and you feel less inhibitions. All of those suppressed parts of your psyche, who are normally inhibit by your logical thinking, they can suddenly flow. You can suddenly cry, laugh, feel your suppressed emotions.
The third topic is relaxation, which means relaxing completely while you are breathing. If you breathe, tensioning your body, you create even more tension. Many people are having difficulty relaxing nowadays, and can only do it when they sleep, because they are always thinking. Breathwork helps them to let go and relax completely.
In breathwork many things can happen I can give you an example. Let’s say you’ve always heard as a child you were not good enough.
Usually, in such cases, we live that way: we choose our partner, who confirms we are not good enough, and can’t be successful at work because we always feel the same thing.
We continue that pattern until we work on it and question why we say to ourselves that we are not good enough. But that feeling is stored in us and we cannot choose. We are prisoners of that pattern.
In a breathwork session, you might feel whole or connected for the first time in your life. That makes something with you and you can work with that. It will not be solved in one class, it’s a process like everything. But you can let go of this old pattern, which might not be helpful for you today. The result should be that you can choose and don`t need to life anymore with all the limitations.
Do you think it is possible for everyone to take time off and concentrate on breathing to improve their life or is it a constant work to do that?
I think everybody can do that because it actually is very simple. If you’d be my client, for example, I help you to take one conscious breath and you start reconnecting with yourself. In the beginning, it takes patience, but over time it gets easier.
Like everything in life, it is a practice. But you can choose how much you want to work on it every day. You can do it step by step and very slowly, as long as you continue. Always keep on doing it.
How were your first steps?
I was not always living here and had times of difficulty in my life. I think everybody who supports people went through a struggling time. I came from a very difficult childhood, so everything helped me. Breath, for me, is the easiest because you can do it anywhere and don’t need anybody for that, except in the beginning. Everybody should know about the power of the breath.
How do you combine your experience and knowledge in your coaching program?
As a trained psychotherapist, I do understand the struggles and can support people. People may sometimes cry and be very sad and you must be able to deal with those big feelings. People might never have felt something so strong, so maybe they’ll be shocked or afraid. It’s important that they can feel, they are safe, it is safe to feel.
Usually, I don’t teach a program every person has other needs, in a Coaching I adapt to their struggles.
Please share a special message with our audience for these challenging times.
Every inhale is an opportunity to take in something new and every exhale is the opportunity to let go of something that doesn’t serve you anymore. We suffer so much of all things that we miss the present. Every breath gives you the opportunity and, if you are aware of that, it’s an amazing tool.
I inhale, I let go and I am here. And now I can make a decision. The breath can be your best teacher and friend.