Yoga Passport Teacher Profile: Jacques Theron, Shaman

Yoga Passport is a unique Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training that I’ll be co-teaching at FocusOm beginning in January, 2109. It emphasizes the ultimate goal of yoga: to connect with one’s inner spirit. We’ll explore not only the tools of classical yoga, such as asana, pranayama and traditional meditation, but more modern practices as well. Many current practices help create a state of “yoga”, by quieting the mind, cultivating a healthy life, and connecting us to our own inner wisdom. This program offers a survey of many tools presented by many teachers, to broaden the students scope on their spiritual journey. If you’d like more details about this program, click here.

In yoga we call the control of the breath Pranayama, but it’s important to understand that many spiritual traditions have recognized the power of the breath in accessing higher states of consciousness. Yoga Passport is excited to welcome Jacques Theron, a shaman and breathwork teacher, to our faculty to share the theory and practice of ecstatic breathwork with our students.

While Jacques shares many different traditional shamanic practices through his teaching, both individually and in larger group settings, it was the breathwork that originally spearheaded his journey to becoming a spiritual guide.

“I first had the opportunity to practice breathwork when I was in my 20s, with someone who was apprenticing in order to teach themselves,” Jacques says. “I was already experimenting with meditation, and the breathwork practice was an amazing experience, almost like a rebirthing. Immediately after the first practice, I began to see shifts and changes in my life. Things really began moving. A breathwork session is like the planting of a seed, but it’s the space between the sessions where you begin to see the manifestation, the changes in your life.”

Jacques was searching for a stronger spiritual connection when he began practicing breathwork, and it led to his studying many different traditions, such as Buddhism, and ancient Egyptian and Greek mythologies, before connecting with Shamanism in his 30s.

“Breathwork and shamanism are very similar practices. Shamanic work and breathwork are both about entering a trance-like state. It’s in the trance space that a strong connection to the divine, the magic and mystery of the universe, is attained,” Jacque explains.

“There is a therapeutic aspect to breathwork as well.  We have two different brains,” Jacques explains, “two ways of thinking. We have a logical, rational brain which has become dominant in our world. We also have a creative, spiritual, inspirational brain, that we can access through these practices.

“Breathwork integrates the physical, instinctual and logical brain with the abstract, spiritual, and ethereal side. This is really helpful when working with something like an addiction. Cravings, which correlate with the body and the behavioral side of us takes over and keeps us stuck in an addiction. The breathwork helps us access our connection with our Divine, which in turn creates immense change in our lives.”

While Jacques shares these techniques with individuals, as well as teaching courses and giving presentations, he continues to integrate meditation and breathwork into his personal practice, and has never felt it’s power diminish. 

In our Yoga Passport program, Jacques will be leading not only a ecstatic breathwork practice, but sharing a deeper level of information with our students; the theory of breathwork, and an overview of different styles and types in several traditions.

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