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Today we have a truly transformative episode for you. We’re joined by the remarkable Mary O’Dwyer, a Transformational Breath facilitator. 

Mary takes us through the profound world of Transformational Breath—a practice that facilitates healing on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level that can be so life-changing, especially for someone struggling with a chronic condition like endometriosis.

Expect to learn how your breathing pattern might be revealing more about you than you know and how, through breath work, you can release layers of learned thought patterns and trauma that you might not even realize were there. 

For anyone seeking to embark on this healing path, Mary has extended an invitation for a free breath pattern analysis, offering a sneak peek into the personalized methods that can alter your breath—and quite possibly your life. Links are included below!

Learn more about Mary:
Website: www.thebreathofnewlife.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebreathofnewlife

Instagram: @breathofnewlife

Free breath pattern analysis booking: https://calendly.com/thebreathofnewlife/a-personal-needs-assessment-with-mary

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Connect with Alyssa:

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Learn more about Alyssa

Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational purposes only. This may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.


Full episode transcription:

Alyssa Chavez:

Hello and welcome back to the Endo belly Girl Podcast. I have a very special guest to share with you today. This is somebody who I have known personally for over ten years now, and she has carved out this wonderful pathway towards healing that I think can really benefit so many of us. Mary O’Dwyer and I met years ago when she used to take my yoga class. She actually lives locally here in my community, and she ended up going on to really dig deep into the world of transformational breath, and I’m going to let her tell you all about what that is and how it can be beneficial for us Endowarriors. But this really is right in line with my belief that healing, whether it’s for Endometriosis or anything that you’ve got going on, really has to be a mind, body, and spirit approach, and Mary is all about that as well. She has some wonderful insights to share with you all. We had this wonderful, beautiful conversation talking about healing on so many levels, so I am going to let Mary take it away and share all this wonderful information with you, and I hope you enjoy.

Alyssa Chavez:

All right. Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the endobelly Girl podcast. I am super excited here today to have our guest, Mary O’Dwyer, who is a transformational breath facilitator. And Mary and I actually have known each other for quite some time. Mary used to come to my yoga classes years ago now, and so we kind of got to know each other through that. And since then, I’ve really gone into this nutrition pathway. She’s gotten really into all of her breath work that she’s doing. And so we’re really excited to sit down and have a little conversation today about what she does and how it can be beneficial for all of you.

Alyssa Chavez:

So welcome, Mary.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Oh. Thank you, Alyssa. I’m so excited to be here. And yes, it has been wonderful to watch your journey over the years. I think I started doing yoga with you it was like, back 2012, 2013. So it’s been over ten years since we’ve known each other. So it’s wonderful to be here with you today.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah. And thank you so much for taking the time to come on here today. Now, I know the very first question that everybody is going to want to wonder is, where does your beautiful, wonderful accent come from?

Mary O’Dwyer:

And when Irish people are listening, they can barely hear it. They tell me, I’ve lost it, but Americans can kind of pick it up a little bit. There’s some words that might come out. So I grew up in Cork, Ireland, and I left when I was 22. After I graduated, I actually went to Sweden first for six months, came back to Cork for a short time, then came to the United States to pursue a doctorate degree in food science, which I graduated with in 1999. At that point, we moved to Temecula, and I worked in my field for a number of years, and then my eldest son had been diagnosed with autism. So about 2007, when he started to struggle, I decided to leave work. My husband was in a position where he could support the family financially, and I decided to use all my science knowledge to support etham my son and his journey.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And that was my segue into alternative healing, where I kind of unlearned everything about processed food and how to process this and went like, a 180 into, like, oh, all those things that my mother said and did were accurate and true because my mom was, like, doing the home cooked foods, drinking the nettle juice before it was in vogue. And to be fair, I had taken a lot of those cooking lessons from her. I did cook fairly clean, but I just learned so much more. So that’s kind of my journey, how I got into an alternative wellness field.

Alyssa Chavez:

Nice. That’s very cool. I love that story. And can you share with us a little bit about how you bumped into transformational breath in particular? And just kind of first of all, if you can tell us a little bit about what transformational breath is, because I know it’s something that I wasn’t super familiar with. I actually got to do a session in person with Mary. She lives locally in my community here, so I was able to join her, and it was a wonderful experience. But for those who maybe aren’t familiar, could you share a little bit about what transformational breath is and then just kind of what your journey was of how you got into it?

Mary O’Dwyer:

Okay, I’d love to. So transformational breath is a healing modality working with your breath, breathing in a very specific way that allows us to access physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. And that sounds like a lot, but what does that actually mean? So in practical terms, what that means is that you learn to breathe with your diaphragm, which means that you’re taking a full, deep breath without efforting or using additional respiratory muscles in the body. When we breathe with our diaphragm, we access the relaxation response in the body, which means we turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, turn off the sympathetic nervous system, which is a beautiful, wonderful thing. The way that we breathe in transformational breath creates an environment where we get into a little bit of an altered consciousness, where we start to become aware of the mental tapes, some of that negativity in our subconscious that we’re not really always aware of. And some of that is beliefs that maybe we’ve just outgrown, that are now outdated, that we’ve outgrown. Sometimes it’s beliefs that we have adopted from our parents or from our culture without ever questioning, is this true for me? Or Is this true any longer? Is this still valid? And so when we have this awareness, when we’re in an altered state, we can start to shift them and let go of them and have these AHA moments and let go of some beliefs that have been driving us that we have had no recognition of. It also allows us to access emotions that we have repressed and suppressed.

Mary O’Dwyer:

I’m sure you, Alyssa, and your listeners can recall a time when you found yourself holding your breath. It’s something that we all do. We learn to do this as children. If we don’t want to feel an emotion, we hold our breath. And as a way to manage that emotion, emotions are simply an energy in motion. And so to stop the flow, to stop that motion of that energy, we hold our breath, stops that sucker right in its tracks so that we can suck it in, bite our tongue, do all the things so we don’t fall apart in a place where we think we might get teased or it’s not safe. And so allowing ourselves with the breath work and transformational breath, to go back and reprocess those emotions, because when they’re not processed in the moment, they get stored in our body. Just like we store stress in our neck, in our shoulders, we store our embarrassment, our fear, our loneliness, our depression, we store all of it.

Mary O’Dwyer:

We’re just not aware. And so it allows us to access that and to let those goes. And it’s kind of like that feeling of having a big cry and you just feel so relieved afterwards and so much lighter. And then the third part is the spiritual healing. And this is about allowing ourselves to connect really deeply with ourselves, because breathing is respiration, respiratorization. And so it allows us to reconnect with our spirit, the spirit of whatever it is that you have faith in. The spirit of peace, of calmness. Because as we let go of some of our negative tapes, of some of our repressed and suppressed emotions, we naturally raise our vibration.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And when we’re vibing a little higher, it’s much easier to access those emotions that are also a higher vibration, contentment, calmness, peace. So that’s kind of what transformational breath is all about in a nutshell. And then you might laugh when you hear my story with it. So my story is the yoga studio that used to teach from was Temecula Yoga Collective. And they were advertising a workshop, and I think it was either October of 2012 or October of 2013. And all I can remember from this flyer was that this workshop would promise me peace and joy for $25. And I am like, I am all over that. And so I showed up and it was actually at the Temecula Yoga Collective.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And so that was my first experience with transformational breath and I was the person who fell in love with it. I had a really life changing first experience. Not everyone’s first experience is that way. I think for me, it had to be because I was so academic, so logical, so rational. And so in order for me to really embrace something that was so out of my comfort zone, it had to sort of hit me over the head with a two x four, so to speak, a spiritual two x four. And I just fell in love and I became the groupie. I started showing up to all of the things, I did the groups, I did the privates, I did the six session programs, I did the six week programs, I did the six day programs, I did the training. And here we are ten years later, and I am now a trainer with the Transformational Breath Foundation.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And I have created my whole business around breath work using other modalities as well. But the foundation of everything I do is with Transformational Breath.

Alyssa Chavez:

Nice.

Mary O’Dwyer:

That’s beautiful.

Alyssa Chavez:

That’s a very cool story. I love that. And I think that’s so true for most of us, right? We bump into something and just have this life changing experience and end up just going all in on it. So I think that’s really cool. I really love what you were talking about. I love the concept of the different levels that come with Transformational Breath. So you have the physical level, you have the emotional level, you have the spiritual level. And I really love that because I fully believe not just with endometriosis, but with anything that may be going on in your body, whether it’s a chronic illness or mental health struggles or whatever you may have going on.

Alyssa Chavez:

It’s so much more than just healing on the physical level that we tend to think of initially. I’m a big proponent of the mind body spirit idea. We all need some level of support on all of those levels. And I love that Transformational Breath really approaches all of those. I think that’s a beautiful thing. I know from my experience, when I did that session with you, I did feel so much lighter. And just like I was able to let stuff go during that session, which was very cool, because when you are living life with health struggles and along with health struggles, especially when it’s chronic like endometriosis and there’s a lot of pain involved and even a lot of trauma. If you’ve been through surgeries and you’ve been through infertility or pregnancy, loss, some of these other things that can come with it or you’ve been through.

Alyssa Chavez:

Maybe just not feeling listened to some gaslighting going on or just not feeling supported by your family and your friends. There’s so many more layers to it than just the physical pain and physical symptoms that we experience. So that’s one thing that I really love and wanted to share with my audience here today, was the idea that, okay, we can heal on a physical level, but there also are so many more layers to that. And I really love that.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Yeah. And I agree with you wholeheartedly, that there are all the layers and we can’t ignore any of them. And the physical healing, all of that intervention is needed and required and very valuable, but it does not negate the need for the emotional support, the emotional healing, the spiritual support, the spiritual healing and the mental too, because what are the outcomes? What’s going on in our brain? Are we focused on the worst possible outcome? Are we anticipating in advance what’s going to happen when our next cycle comes up? So there’s all of the layers and we need a lot of support to shift those things. It’s easy. One of the things I hate most in the spiritual healing and alternative wellness is like just be positive. It sounds great, but you know, no, you actually have to process. You can’t deny reality. You can’t deny that you’re in physical pain.

Mary O’Dwyer:

You can’t deny that you’re feeling unheard. You need to allow those feelings to be processed in a safe place with somebody who can listen to you and actually help you to integrate that and not just mentally circle the drain. I call it helicoptering or circling the drain, where we just mentally tell our story to everybody who will listen. That’s just wallowing and staying in it, but really going deep and really allowing ourselves to integrate those feelings. And then that will truly take us to a place of being more positive, where we can uplift our mindset, where it’ll be easier for us to connect with those positive aspects and positive timeline. I call them timelines, right. That we want to connect with.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. And I always tell people when it comes to really wanting to go in and heal your body, it’s really a matter of looking at it from all directions and bringing in different ideas and different modalities. Of course I work a lot with nutrition and gut healing and balancing hormones and things like that, which is wonderful, but there is certainly a component of it that goes into other aspects as well. So I love that you talk about that. And one thing that I really liked about transformational breath in particular and I know I experienced some of this myself, but I guess I wasn’t really sure how to even put it into words. So hopefully you can help with that. I heard you mention somewhere you were talking about transformational breath being like therapy without words and I really loved that description because I have not really spent a lot of time in regular therapy myself.

Alyssa Chavez:

It’s just something that I have found. Just speaking for myself personally is not really for me. I don’t love sitting there and just going over and over and over the problem and talking about it and it just doesn’t feel great to me personally. I know for other people it can have a lot of benefit. I know there are many wonderful therapists out there who work in that more traditional setting and a lot of people do have wonderful benefits from it and mental health is certainly a big part of healing, like you were saying. But can you talk a little bit about that aspect of transformational breath about how it can be a modality for therapy, for kind of releasing? I know we touched base on that a little bit already, but how does that really work? How can you do therapy without words?

Mary O’Dwyer:

Well, there’s a book maybe misquoting it, but I think it’s called The Body Keeps a Score or something like that. And then there’s another one, feelings Buried Alive never die. And so talk therapy can be really powerful if the source of your trauma or their pain that you’re dealing with was rooted in a memory that you can recall as a child, right, because everything, no matter what’s happening in your life, circumstances, it all started in childhood. The first seven or eight years of our life, we all experienced traumas. And that’s whether we grew up in what we would all describe as a toxic or traumatic home, or whether you grew up in a relatively normal environment because you might have heard a parent say, Jeepers, they’re a pest, or jeepers, they’re too loud, or jeepers, would they ever just run away for an hour and give me a break? And as a child, we could hear these things that an exasperated parent could say and be overheard and that could traumatize a child, or a child might get lost in the grocery store for two minutes and freak out and that could be a really big trauma. So we all accumulate these traumas, and I’m going to call those traumas the pebble in the pond. Okay? And so when these things happen, we form a subconscious belief around them. And most of us could agree that before age seven or eight, we don’t have a whole lot of discernment.

Mary O’Dwyer:

But we could form beliefs, though that are like, for example, I formed the belief growing up that I had to perform in order to get my parents love and approval. Now, that wasn’t true. My parents loved me. Of course they wanted me to get good grades, but their love was not dependent on me getting good grades. But that was the belief I formed. And it was kind of interesting. I didn’t realize that until I started learning this stuff and I could look at some of my siblings and go and go, well, they definitely didn’t have that belief that I had. They knew that they were loved no matter what.

Mary O’Dwyer:

So that pebble in the pond starts and then just like when you throw a pebble in a pond, it has ripples, right? And so our life then will bring experiences that are a ripple from that pebble that was planted or thrown in the pond in early childhood. So traditional troc therapy works really great when they can go back through those ripples and find the causal point if we have a memory. However, a lot of us don’t have good memories before age five or six. They’re very scattered, they’re very elusive. That’s the word I was looking for. And so that’s where work like transformational breath comes in. Because all of that trauma and all of those memories are stored in the body, on the cellular level. And when we can get in there with the breath, we start to access those old memories, those old wounds, those old traumas without an agenda.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Because the breath has its own divine intelligence. And I always start my sessions calling on divine assistance, calling on our higher selves, calling on all the forces of the faith that we hold, the love of the universe source to direct the healing, so that everybody receives and feels whatever is required for them. And so people will often experience in this session tears and they’ll have no idea what they’re crying about. And it’s because it’s something that happened early, earlier in their development. And then things will start to shift in their life and they’ll be like, oh my gosh, those things that bothered me before don’t bother me or don’t trigger me anymore. The other thing that happens with transformational breath is the very first thing we do. We start working with somebody. And when you’re in a group like you were Alyssa, you didn’t even know that we were doing this.

Mary O’Dwyer:

I think you might have seen me do the demo where I did the breath pattern.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah, yeah.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And so one of the things we do is we will look at every breather and we’ll see what’s going on with their breath. Where is their flow, where is their restrictions. And so wherever there’s mean, that tells me a lot about where there’s openness in their life. If they have a lot of flow in the upper chest area, those people are usually very creative, they usually are very trusting of love. They have an easy time receiving love and they just go about life, kind of expecting love and life to come in. They usually also have a really strong connection. They can meditate really easily, they’re really connected to themselves and their intuition. Then you have people that are really strong belly breathers.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And so these are the people that are really grounded, those dependable people, those people that you can ask to do something and come hell or high water, they will get that thing done. And then we have the other breeding patterns and I’m just describing a few, but there’s another that’s like the super achiever, right? The person who puts all the effort in and they’re the people that show up in a big way. They’re kind of the big personalities as well, often. And they are their perfectionists. And these are the people that will get things done to the nth degree. They will go over and above every single time. And so some of these aspects of our personality are wonderful. Like the person who has the big wide open heart, right? They’re super connected, they’re super loving.

Mary O’Dwyer:

They’re super effusive and giving and receptive to love. And yet they may not be very grounded. So they may be getting all of this ideas, but they may not be able to bring anything into reality. They may never be able to finish what they start. They’re the personalities that we joke and call like squirrel, squirrel, squirrel. They run after the next shiny object, right? And then you have the person that’s really grounded, right? They’re super grounded and they’re dedicated and they’re hardworking. But they may spend their whole life doing what they think they’re supposed to do and never really asking themselves is this what I want? So there may be a sense of contentment from the fact that they accomplish a lot and can get a lot of things done, but maybe not a true sense of giving themselves permission to follow their heart’s desire and do what they love. And these are the people that tend to do things for others a lot.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And while they get a joy from it, they’re not truly living in what could bring them and the world a lot more. And then the superachiever, right, the person who goes over and above, sometimes they don’t have great boundaries. They just say yes to everything because they are super capable. And then they’re drained. Their energy is drained. And then when they don’t take care of themselves, they end up with health issues, maybe back issues, because of all of that taking on. And so by working with the breath, we can alter the breath pattern so that we start to bring more flow. For the big open hearted person, we start to bring more flow to the belly so they become more grounded.

Mary O’Dwyer:

For the person that’s that super achiever, we help them calm the breath so that they become a little bit more grounded with oh, I can have good boundaries and say no. Oh, I can open my heart a little bit more so that I can start to feel into do I really want to do this or not? And then for the person that’s super grounded, we get to open up their heart space a little bit more so that they can keep that groundedness, keep their ability to get stuff done. But now they start to tap into like, well, what are the things I want to do? What’s important to me? It could be as simple as like, where do I want to go for dinner? What do I want to wear today? It’s okay to be different. And they start to allow their essence to shine through. And simply by working with the breath, we can achieve all of those things. And that’s where the therapy without talking analogy came in.

Alyssa Chavez:

That’s incredible.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Yeah, it really is. And it was huge for me because I was the person. I was kind of that super achiever personality. And so getting grounded helped me really go, oh, I am overloaded. I need to say no to task X, Y or Z and to tune into myself and reframe it for myself and understand that by me saying no wasn’t letting somebody down, but it was giving somebody else an opportunity. And in the beginning I would have to say, okay, I can’t do this, but let me go recruit somebody who can. But now I’m in a place where I’ve been doing the breath work long enough and I’ve changed that pattern completely where I can just say no, I’m so sorry, I’m not available. I am not your best person to do that at this moment because of just my limitations right now.

Mary O’Dwyer:

So for those of you that are maybe listening and have had an experience where like my monkey mind, I can’t meditate, it’s possible I have learned to quiet my mind. It’s not always quiet, that’s okay. But I have learned not to attach in meditation and to be so much gentler with myself and to really honor the completion of a task rather than competing all the time and really learning. We hear, oh, I want to enjoy the journey. It’s not about getting to the destination. Well, when you’re an A type overachiever, it’s all about the destination and how fast you can get there and how much sooner than everybody else. Did you get there faster than the last time? And did you do it better and bigger than before? Right. And you don’t enjoy the journey.

Mary O’Dwyer:

But now I truly have changed that within myself. And if I go for a run and sometimes I run and I feel like I’m a gazelle and then I look at my time and I’m like, jeez, that was an eleven minute mile and I felt like a gazelle. But I focus on I felt like a gazelle. Isn’t that wonderful? Other than that was an eleven minute mile, I could probably walked it as quick.

Alyssa Chavez:

I love that.

Mary O’Dwyer:

It’s been magical.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah, it is. It’s so fascinating how much impact and how wide of an impact your breath has on your life. It’s something I think so many people just take for granted because you’re going to breathe all day long whether you think about it or not. I mean, breathing can be an automatic thing. That’s how we stay alive, thank goodness, because that way we can still breathe while we’re sleeping and all that. We need to be able to do that. But there’s also so much that we can do with our breath. And I love even I know you had talked about that a little bit in the group session that I went to, but I love that analysis of like, you can tell so much about a person’s personality by the way that they breathe.

Alyssa Chavez:

And I find that so interesting and I certainly because I have been teaching yoga now for, I think, twelve plus years. It’s been a long time. I haven’t analyzed breath to the level that you have, but even just from it is certainly a part of what we do in yoga is connecting with the breath and everything. And I do certainly see different ways that people breathe. Some people breathe very shallow into the top of their chest. Some people take really deep, full breaths into their diaphragm. Some people do, like you said, breathe more into your belly. And it’s so interesting now to kind of make those connections with what their personality is like and what they may have experienced in their life and what their beliefs are.

Alyssa Chavez:

And I think that that is really a lovely, very cool insight.

Mary O’Dwyer:

It is. And the beautiful thing about it is that you get to start changing those things without, quote unquote, having to work on it and struggle. Just do the breath work and it starts to evolve and unfold all of its own accord, which is beautiful.

Alyssa Chavez:

That’s so cool. Now, I’m sure that everybody listening is a little bit curious now, like, okay, we’ve talked about the benefits of transformational breath and what it can do for you, all the different levels in your body that it can help you with. But can you talk us through a little bit of, okay, if we were to come into a transformational breath session with you, either one on one or in a group or however you may be able to access it, can you talk us through a little bit of what that actually looks like? What do you really do in a session? How do you facilitate that? And what is that general experience like for somebody?

Mary O’Dwyer:

Okay, I would love to do that. So in my groups, there’s generally when somebody comes that’s new, I have a little description of what to expect so that you can read that and then I kind of review the highlights of that before we get started in the group. And I always like to practice the breath with people and so I’m going to do that now with your listeners so that they can just kind of get an idea of like, what is a connected breath and how is that different from regular breathing? And so a connected breath is where we breathe in and out with no pauses. And yet we’re not rushing the breath because the mind, sometimes when we take out the pauses, the mind wants to go, oh, you just need to breathe faster. And so it’s not about breathing faster because that’s going to bring in effort. It really is just about bringing in the inhale. And we keep our focus, if we were to focus on one aspect of the breath, we would keep more of our focus on the inhale because that intransformational breath represents bringing in your good and then the exhale represents just letting go. And so for us.

Mary O’Dwyer:

We breathe in for a count of maybe two or three and then the exhale is really short and relaxed and the only things we’re using is our mouth, our lungs and our diaphragm. Mouth, lungs, diaphragm. And so we breathe through our mouth because we want to connect with the lower chakras in our body, which is where we tend to store most of our human stuff and experiences. The mouth breathing also helps us to access the diaphragm and it also brings in a little bit more volume of breath. So that’s just going to help the process. Now out in the real world, you breathe through your nose, that’s all good, it filters a lot of stuff and yoga breathing through your nose. That’s all wonderful. Transformational.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Breath is very specific about only using the mouth breathing during the session, not out in the rest of your everyday life. So the way we breathe is hopefully you guys can hear. So join me if you want. We’re just going to do about five more. And so that’s kind of the pace of the breath. And as we start to breathe with that in the session, I guide everybody into that breath and then I guide everyone to place their hands on their belly to see if there’s expansion in the belly with the inhale, hopefully there is. If there isn’t, I give a couple of cues that will help you to bring some movement into the diaphragm. So there’s a number of things I can do by moving your body to get your diaphragm to activate.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Once we have the breath connected, once we have the exhale nice and soft and relaxed, you’ll hear music going in the background. I start with an invocation calling on that higher power to assist us. And then you’re just going to keep that breath going. And as the breath starts to come in, you’re going to start to notice sensations in your body because this is a really high vibration that you’re bringing in. So this is the prana, it’s the qi, it’s the life force energy that you’re bringing in. It is spirit. Holy Spirit. And so you’re going to experience that in your body as maybe heat, as coolness, as tingles, as waves of energy, as feeling floaty.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Or some people feel a little heavy like they’ve got a weighted blanket on. So they’re kind of the typical sensations that people feel and they might feel those in their arms, their legs, their face, their neck, their back, everywhere or just in certain places. And then as we continue, you may start to feel some emotions come up too. And this is when the breath is starting to activate those repressions that I talked about. And so you may find yourself crying, coughing, burping, and maybe having a memory too of maybe something that’s happened in your past that was upsetting to you. And so the invitation is to allow anything that comes up just to be there because that’s coming up to clear. Even if it’s something like, oh, irritation that the music is too loud, or the music isn’t loud enough, or the person next to me is making sounds I don’t like, or the mat is uncomfortable, or I don’t like this blanket, it’s crap, all of those things. Or some people are like, I don’t like the music.

Mary O’Dwyer:

The words in the music are too whatever. And so those things are bringing up energies in your body that are actually coming up to heal. So the invitation is to stay with them, to feel them. And then if anything becomes overwhelming or distracting, you use your sound to move it. And so that’s what we call a tone, which is like a clear. And for a lot of people, that’s kind of the weirdest thing about transformational breath. And yet I really try and normalize it when I explain this because I think most of us would have experienced that when something goes wrong in life, something doesn’t work out. The tech is kind of being funny with you.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Just Google won’t let you log in or the computer isn’t working, or you drop something on your toe. Many of us will let out a catharic sound that might be an F bomb or a yell of some description. And when we make that sound, it’s very expressive, right? And it helps us to release some of that energy. So it’s actually something we organically do. So in the session, we keep it to a clear sound just so that we don’t get into chaos or words being expressed that might trigger other people. And we can also bring movement with that so much like sometimes if you’re really angry, you get a sensation, you want to punch something. Well, like little children, right? The old children throw a fit, they throw a temper tantrum, they move their whole body. We get to do that.

Mary O’Dwyer:

If you’re feeling a lot of energy in your arms or your legs, you get to move that. Sometimes I’ll actually encourage you to do that as well, just to create opening. Because sometimes if we’re the type of person that kind of holds back and controls and really is very reserved in our expression, be that verbally or through our emotions, we may tend to need to kind of like little encouragement to loosen up, so to speak. So I’ll have you just move your body to kind of physically loosen up some of those muscles so that we can create more flow and create some loosening and allow the breath to access maybe some emotions that are trapped in those areas to come up and out. You’ll hear me use Affirmations throughout the whole session which support the release of whatever is coming up. So that could be things like it’s safe to be here, it’s safe to love, it’s safe to trust. It’s safe to surrender. I’m proud of myself.

Mary O’Dwyer:

It’s okay to be proud of myself, it’s okay for me to let go. And those are just to support people. They don’t need to memorize them or repeat them. I do put my hands on people as well, sometimes just encouraging flow of breath to the chest or the belly. I may get in there, and especially if I’m working with a small group or one on one, I’m going to have opportunities to get into the body and find some tight spots, much like a masseuse does. But these tight spots that come up are actually trapped emotions that are like right under the surface, that are ready to release. And so putting a little pressure on those helps them activate them so that they can come up and out, which is beautiful and wonderful. And then towards the end of the session, the music gets a little quieter and this is where we transition then into the spiritual healing of this work.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And I once again do another invocation calling on everybody’s higher self so that they can feel that connection with it, so that they can also invite in a connection with whatever it is that they have faith in. And I kind of start going hands off at that point, as my husband calls it, like she stops poking and prodding us. And you just get to have an experience. And some people maybe feel like they’re meditating. Some people kind of feel like they’re floating away. Some people see colors, get a visit from a loved one, have some awarenesses. Some people are doing the grocery list. And I always say it’s all okay if you find yourself doing your grocery list.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Or one of my favorites, pre fighting with your spouse, you just come back to your breath. Because our mind does things, but it’s okay. There is a divine intelligence to the breath. So no matter what your experience or judgment of your session I’ve been doing this now for ten years with thousands of clients, and I rest guaranteed that everybody is getting exactly what they need, whether that’s a physical healing, a mental, emotional or spiritual healing. I don’t need to know. They’re receiving us. And at the very end, I always give a few moments of silence just to allow ourselves just to sort of suspend and to pause and just to allow everything we received to really be anchored in and absorbed. And I encourage everyone to actively choose to leave behind all that we’ve released.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Because we can release stuff, but we can pick it right back up and bring it back too. It’s really important. I’ve been really feeling that recently the last few months, that conscious decision to leave behind everything that we have released and bring everybody back to the room. And then usually we have a share and people can share their experiences. And I just make sure everyone is nice and grounded because our joke is you don’t breathe and drive, make sure that you’re nice and grounded before you get back in your car.

Alyssa Chavez:

Oh, yeah, I know. That was my experience. We finished. And I was like, I am not getting behind the wheel right now. I need to just chill here in the room for a good 1520 minutes and just come back into my body because it was a very powerful experience of release, and like you said, letting go of things that I don’t even know that I knew was there.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Exactly. And ten years later, I’m still letting go of stuff that I didn’t know was there because there’s all these layers, and it’s wonderful. And it is the reason why I really do give 15 minutes at the end of every class to let us really all come back to Earth fully and completely.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah, I think that’s an important part of it. Personally, in my experience of it. I think probably like most people, I’m sure when you’re first starting out was a little hesitant about the sound part. In particular, you were talking about know, Mary really walked us through ahead of time what was going to happen, what to expect. And when she was talking about, she almost described it as like throwing a tantrum. Like, you’re just going to kind of let your voice go. It can be loud, you can yell, you can bang on the floor. And I was like, okay.

Mary O’Dwyer:

I was the exact same way.

Alyssa Chavez:

Rangers, I’m going to just randomly throw a tantrum. I don’t know about this, but the way that you facilitated that and some of those affirmations that you were using of just, it’s okay to let go and just encouraging us. And the way that you mentioned too, like, okay, when it’s in a group session, if one person starts, it’s very common that other people are going to join in. And that was absolutely my experience, was I’d hear one person going, and then it was like, okay, you know what? My body really needs to release something right now, too. And I found that the second I started doing it, any discomfort around that was gone. It was just like, no, I need this. My body needs to let this go. I’m going to yell and don’t care who hears it.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Funny story about sounds. So I was just like, you really uncomfortable. And my very first session when I went that workshop, in my own mind, I’m like, okay, I’m on board with everything but that toning thing. Yeah, that’s not happening at all. But of course it did, and it was so wonderful, and yet I was okay with sounding in the sessions, but when I would go to the day long programs or the week long programs, they would always have these sound exercises, and I was allergic. I was very uncomfortable with sound. I’m not a good singer. I’ve always thought my voice sounded weird.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And people have always teased my singing voice because apparently not only do I not know the words. I can’t keep a tune, I have no pitch, nothing. And so I’ve always been very self conscious about my voice. So the founder of Transformational Breath, Judith Kravitz, who started this work back in the early 70s, she is still training people to this day, and I’ve done about half of my training with her, which is wonderful. I feel I’ve gotten a lot of this training from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. But in one of my last trainings, one of the more advanced level trainings, she got wind that I was really uncomfortable with sound. And so she had me do a 15 minutes presentation to her on sound. Sound healing, the benefits of it, the science of it.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And I was like, when she gave that assignment to me, I was like, oh, my gosh, Judith, I can’t believe you’re doing this. This is like anything I can say can and will be used against, you know, I was laughing and joking, but inside I was like, oh, my gosh, my stomach was just cringing. I went and I did it and, oh, my gosh, I thanked her profusely because I fell in love with sound and the power of it and the healing of it, the science, what it does in the moment, but what sound vibrations are doing, it’s not just about releasing. I learned that when we sound, yes, we release. It helps to release that emotion, but also that sound vibration is vibrating and massaging our body from the inside out. And our own voice is the perfect frequency for our body’s healing. It was like, blew me away. And so now I’ve got my drum.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Did I have my drum the day we did the session with you?

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah, I think you had meant to bring it, but you forgot that.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Maybe I forgot it. Yeah, I know you talked about it, though. Yeah. So I bring my drum to a lot and now I’m like that gal, that’s drumming over people. Yeah. So not me ten years ago. Right? Yeah. I want to share.

Mary O’Dwyer:

So for anybody that’s listening and going, I’m not on board with this. You don’t have to. I’m never going to force you. You can. If you need to, I will meet you where you’re at. But when you embrace it, it is one of the most powerful tools that you can have in your tool belt.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah, it’s so funny the way you were talking about it, because I know I have had a very similar experience with my voice has always been something that’s been a challenge for me in my life. My family and close friends when I was growing up used to joke that I didn’t learn to talk till I was about 16 years old, which, I mean, obviously that wasn’t physically true. Like, I could talk, but I was a very shy and quiet child. I actually find it quite ironic that I have a podcast now because if you would have told child media about that, I think I would have laughed you out of the room. But I think that using your voice can be so powerful, and I love that. What you said about how the vibration of your voice is perfect for you and your unique body, I think that that’s really cool. I hadn’t heard that specifically before, but I think it can be a powerful tool for people who do struggle with using their voice and speaking up for themselves and being able to say what they need to say and own who they are. And I think that that really can be a powerful healing tool for so many people.

Alyssa Chavez:

So I love that. Okay, we’re going to pull it out.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Of you, even if it’s not super comfortable, because there’s a lot of cultural thoughts around. You shouldn’t yell. Children should be seen and not heard. And then as women, if we speak up for ourselves or be assertive, oh, they’re bossy or they’re bitchy or whatever it is. And so there’s an awful lot of influence and programming around there about us being proper little ladies with a lady inside voice, ladylike voice that’s not very ladylike. Well, when it comes to our emotions, our emotions don’t care whether we’re a ladylike or not. The emotions just need to come out however they come out. And yet when we learn to do it properly, we can do that without hurting anybody else, because we don’t need to direct our angry voice or our traumatic voice or our experiences onto others.

Mary O’Dwyer:

We can do that in a very safe way. And I do teach people how to bring this breath work home so that you can work with yourself at home. You don’t always need to come to me. Obviously you can anytime you want, but it really is about to empowering you to learn tools that you can bring into your life.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah, I love that. All right, Mary. Well, I think this has been a wonderful conversation. I hope that people get a lot out of it and kind of learn about a new tool that they can use. Is there anything else that you feel like we’ve missed that you’d like to talk about or share today?

Mary O’Dwyer:

Yeah, I think one of the things I’d like to just mention real quick is people who are listening with endometriosis are maybe going, well, what has this got to do with my physical healing? Because we didn’t really talk about that. But one of the things when we’re looking at I talked earlier about the breath analysis, where there’s flow of breath and where there might be restrictions, often where there’s restrictions is also where health issues happen. So when I look at people with endometriosis fibromyalgia, back issues, digestive issues, 99% of the time they’re going to have very little or no flow at all to their belly. And so by opening up and bringing breath there, it starts to bring the life force energy. And my analogy, I love analogies, is let’s say you have a stream of flowing water, right? The flowing water stays nice and clean and clear, and the animals will drink out of it, right? But if you have a pond that’s stagnant, what starts to happen? Algae starts to grow, right? And things start, leaves start to accumulate and start to rot, and animals don’t drink out of it because there’s a stagnancy there. And so where we’re not bringing breath, stagnancy is going to start to come there. And so when we can reintroduce the life force that starts to bring and activate your own body’s natural healing in there. And then you described in the beginning all the traumas that surround endometriosis, the physical from surgeries, from procedures, the not being heard, the pain, all of it, right? All the layers of trauma, we store that there.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And so when we can get in with breath and start to loosen it, it allows even more breath. And so it just opens it up. And what I have seen with clients is when clients come into me with physical ailments, I never promise, I can never guarantee a result. This is not a, oh, five sessions and your endometriosis will be gone, your fibromyalgia will be all better, your period pain is gone, because that’s out of my really, spirit is in charge, the breath is in charge. Your life path, your healing path, your healing journey is the dictator there. But what I have seen with anybody that has come to me with physical ailments is that they will tell me that either pain disappears, sometimes it disappears immediately, sometimes it’s gone in six weeks, sometimes six months. If they have something like endometriosis or fibromyalgia, they will tell me that their flare ups are further apart, decrease in intensity, and that this is the other unique thing, because I was considering this when we talked beforehand about some of the things we wanted to talk about. I was just reflecting on my clients that have had big shifts in their health.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And one of the things that I’ve also noticed is that intuitively, as they do the work, they start to change other things in their life, like maybe the people they’re around, the cleaning products, how they eat, and all the things that they knew before, but they were never able to stick to. Suddenly those things become easier to do. And it’s because they’ve started to shift their vibration, raise their vibration, and so now they’re attracting more foods of that vibration, more cleaning products that match that vibration, more people into their life that match that vibration. And so it all works together in concert that we can’t really explain logically and rationally, but I’ve seen it unfold hundreds of times and it’s just the most beautiful thing in the world.

Alyssa Chavez:

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense to feel better. It makes you want to make these positive changes in your so.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Exactly.

Alyssa Chavez:

It makes a whole lot of sense. All right, Mary, so if people want to find out more about who you are, what you do, how you work with people, because I know you do work with people locally if you happen to be in the lovely Temecula Valley here, but you also do some virtual work as well for people who are located elsewhere, right?

Mary O’Dwyer:

Correct, yes. So I offer both online and in person sessions. I do groups that are now hybrid, actually. So if you’re local at Tuesdays at 10:00 A.m., you can come. And I also have some people online. I do regular Wednesday night groups here locally in Wildemar. I do monthly workshops at Temecula, yoga collector for Elisa teaches. I’ll be resuming those January of 2024.

Mary O’Dwyer:

And I also work with people one on one. I offer free consults to people. So one of the things I’m going to invite your audience to sign up for Alyssa, and I will send you the link, is something what I call a free breath pattern analysis. So for anybody that’s been hearing about the breath pattern and where there’s flow and restriction, you can set up a free 30 minutes session with me. We’ll either do it online or in person, depending on where you’re located. And I will look at where you’re breathing, and I will give you some feedback on what’s going on with your breath. And I will also give you some tips and cues that will help you start to open that up so that you can start doing that work at home and start to create opening in your own breath pattern right from the get go.

Alyssa Chavez:

Nice. That’s incredible. Thank you so much for that.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Oh, you’re welcome.

Alyssa Chavez:

I will absolutely link to all of the places to find Mary in the show notes, but can you just tell us if somebody wanted to look you up and they’re listening, where is the best place to find you?

Mary O’Dwyer:

Okay, the place on social media where I’m the most engaged is on Instagram, and that my handle is Breath of New Life. And the symbol is a big b and it’s kind of yellow. I’m on Facebook as the Breath of New Life, and my website is www.thebreathofnewlife.com. And if you want to email me if you’ve got a burning question, it’s Mary. Mary@thebreathofnewlife.com.

Alyssa Chavez:

Perfect. Well, thank you so much, Mary, and thank you so much for everything you’ve shared with us today. I think this is a wonderful conversation. I think people will really enjoy hearing about it and learning about this new well, new to most people, I think, method of healing. And just thank you so much for everything you’ve shared.

Mary O’Dwyer:

Oh, you’re welcome. It’s been a pleasure. It was wonderful. And I’m excited to see where this takes your takes your audience, and I look forward to being of service.

Alyssa Chavez:

All right, thank you. Bye.

alyssa chavez, whole woman wellness. health into your own hands, endometriosis

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