Alyse Bacine has been a breathwork facilitator for over 15 years and has valuable tips and tricks to put you into a state of clarity and relaxation in this time of go-go-go!
She has an extensive background in the mental health field and has her Master’s in Counseling Psychology and certifications in both Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness Practices.
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We had the pleasure of interviewing Alyse, and she shared that breathwork can drastically reduce stress in the body. Just a few intentional breaths can lower cortisol levels, which helps keep us from being in a state of fight or flight.
“It forces us to be present with ourselves, instead of, for example, stressing over accomplishing our summer goals. It can even help us process emotional trauma or pain and bring us into a state of relaxation so that we can think rationally when old memories resurfaced from family functions (baby showers, weddings, bbq; you know the drill),” she says.
“Being in a state of calmness can also help us get better sleep and improve our reactions to certain situations as well as balances our immune systems so that we can stay healthy all year long.”
Keep reading below for the full interview.
Kelly Castillo: Hi, Alyse!
Alyse Bacine: Hello!
KC: Nice to meet you. I’m Kelly. How are you?
AB: Good. How are you?
KC: I’m good. Thank you for being with us. We have talked about breathwork a little bit on our site in the past, but it’s been quite some time, so I want to make sure we explain and introduce our readers to the concept of breathwork and what that is. I’d love to hear, obviously, more about you and what you do and kind of how you got here, the whole story.
AB: Okay, awesome. Sounds good.
KC: What can you tell us about yourself and what you do?
AB: I actually discovered breathwork over 20 years ago when I was 19 years old. I was just kind of on a personal growth journey and I had discovered yoga, which led me to discovering breathwork. There was something about it that just drew me in, and I became really kind of obsessed with it. I just loved the concept of being able to use the breath to expand your consciousness, to change your perspective, and to heal and grow, because I was dealing with my own stuff in my life at that time. I had an eating disorder and anxiety. I was just looking for ways to deal with it and also ways to understand why it was happening.
I think breathwork kind of gave me this insight into my subconscious mind, into the deeper layers of why things were happening the way they were in my life. At that time, in my early 20s, I did four breathwork training programs. I did a breathwork teacher training program. I followed different teachers around the country and did different trainings. I started teaching it, and I started having clients and teaching at a young age.
It was always kind of something that has been foundational for me in my life, because I discovered it at such a young age, and I started practicing it and teaching it at such a young age. But I didn’t fully embrace it as what I did until later on in my life. I have a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and I was a school counselor for 10 years. Then, around 2018, 2019, I got a really strong nudge to move forward with what I kind of always knew I was supposed to be doing. Because I kind of knew that, as a school counselor, I was only utilizing like 10% of my gifts or ways that I was able to really help people.
I started my business in late 2019, early 2020. I initially thought it was just going to be about breathwork because that was what I did and that was what I knew. It quickly just evolved into a lot of things. Mainly, what I do now is I utilize breathwork along with other tools like energy work and the Akashic records to help people move through deep-seated familial and ancestral trauma.
KC: I think that’s interesting how you were able to pivot like that. I mean, I know that was a difficult time with COVID and everything. A lot of people kind of were forced into a career rethinking, and a lot of people started side jobs at that time or made their side jobs their full-time career. I think it was, for all of the world, probably a big time of change. Did you find that that transition was easier because of what everyone was going through? Because I know a lot of women, really, they think about these midlife career changes, and it’s really scary. I think, maybe during COVID, was it easier?
AB: It was easier, actually. It was really interesting for me because I really started right before COVID. It was kind of like the very end of 2019, early 2020 when I really started. And at that time, I was still working at my job as a school counselor. Then, when, I think it was March 13th, we all went home. I never went back. So, it really just kind of gave me the opportunity to fully focus on my business. I mean, I still had to work virtually and really just dive head first, and then I was able to grow it. Then in December of 2020, I ended up leaving my job full time, like fully leaving my job.
KC: That’s amazing. I mean, to be able to grow something during such a difficult time and take that leap. I mean, that’s really admirable. But I’d love it if you could explain to people a little bit more about the concept behind breathwork. I mean, you touched on it, but what the Akashic records are and who can benefit from this practice.
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AB: With breathwork, I truly believe that anybody can benefit from it. Because it can be used for so many reasons, whether it’s just that you want to relieve stress, or you want to sleep better, or you want to feel more connected to yourself, to using it because you want to support yourself in making a big transition in your life or making some kind of big change or healing on a deeper level. It can help you with so many things.
The thing that I always say about breathwork is there’s kind of two things that are happening while we’re using the breath and while we’re consciously connecting to our breath. One is that we’re forcing ourselves into the present moment. When you’re focusing on your breath, if you think about it, you can’t take a breath in the past, and you can’t take a breath in the future. So, you’re forcing yourself to be present. The present moment is the quantum field, it’s like this field of infinite possibility. The more you’re connecting to this field of infinite possibility, the more infinite possibilities start to open up for you.
What I start to notice with people is that, when they use their breath, they start to become connected to and aware of things that they might have always wanted but never thought were possible for them that, all of a sudden, feel attainable, or all of a sudden feel possible. Or things will just naturally start happening that feel really aligned for them that they never kind of thought were possible before. That’s something that kind of expands your vision of what’s possible.
Then the other thing about it is it helps us to move energy. Especially as a school counselor, working with kids for so long, one of the things that always baffled me is there’s really little to no education or training on how to deal with our emotions. As human beings, we’re emotional people, and that’s how we process information. That’s how we experience the world, is through our emotions. No one tells us how to manage them, how to deal with them, how to feel them. Usually what we’re taught is [that] they’re uncomfortable and inconvenient, so just don’t feel them, don’t show them, so we ended up suppressing them. Most people are walking around with a ton of suppressed emotional energy, which leads them to be easily triggered, having anxiety, physical problems, right?
When we use the breath, we’re actually giving our body and our psyche an opportunity to process suppressed emotional energy. What happens is we start to feel, release, and integrate old suppressed emotions, old beliefs, old traumas that are being stored in the body and stored in our energy field. When that happens, we start to shift the way that we feel on a daily basis. Instead of living in reaction to the past, we start living more in the present moment and start to be able to have an experience of the present time without constantly feeling like we’re living in reaction to something that happened in the past. Our perspective changes where, before, we might have been seeing the world through a certain lens of negativity, or fear, or anxiety. We start to open up and see things differently.
Then, it also gives us access to the subconscious mind. A lot of times, we have a lot of thoughts or beliefs living in the subconscious that we’ve picked up from childhood, we picked up from our parents, our environment. We don’t realize that these subconscious beliefs that we have are kind of driving the bus, right? It’s kind of what we’re seeing in our outside world that we’re projecting onto it, but we’re not even aware of it. When we use the breath, it helps us to dip into the subconscious. A lot of times, people will have awareness of something that happened as a child that maybe solidified some kind of belief about the world that they’re now experiencing in their life, that they can realize isn’t actually theirs, and they don’t have to operate from that belief anymore.
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Breathwork really gives us a ton of ways to start to live differently and see life differently. I really, truly believe that anyone can benefit, no matter what your goal is. As far as the Akashic records, the way that I like to describe the records is it’s kind of like a living library of information of everything that’s ever occurred in the universe. It’s kind of like an energetic imprint of everything that’s ever happened. The way I like to describe it is like a frequency of information. For me, when I access it, it’s almost like I’m tuning into a radio station, where I just tune into this frequency of information. Then I get information in the form of emotions, images, visuals. I hear things, I see things. Then I just kind of translate that for somebody.
For example, if I’m reading your records, what I’m tapping into is your soul, the evolution of your soul, and where you’re at now, where you’re wanting to go, and additionally, what’s most likely blocking you, or what you need to move through in order to get there. Just by kind of tuning into your energy, I’m able to kind of access that information, and then relay it to you in a way that would be helpful for you in order to go to that next level of growth. I think, also, the Akashic records could be for anyone. I know there’s so many people who’ve said to me, “I’m scared to have an Akashic records reading,” because maybe there’s something they don’t want to find out, or they don’t want to know. But I really don’t think it’s scary at all, because it’s really about your growth and about accessing your highest potential, your highest timeline, what’s really available to you on a soul level, and what you’re really wanting from the perspective of your soul.
It’s kind of a deeper dive into deeper levels of your consciousness, but I truly believe that it can help anybody. Also, it’s one of those things where it’s how deep do you want to go with it? It could be something where you just read a book about it and you try to access your own records, or you could go as far as to do a yearlong training and read records for other people. It really just depends on what you’re interested in. I think the records are also the kind of thing that if you feel interested, if you feel pulled to it, if you feel drawn to it, most likely there’s something in it for you.
KC: That makes sense to me. I think people who are ready for the message, or the people who feel drawn to that practice or that message, for sure. If someone has an interest in this, or they’ve tried, maybe like I have, failed spectacularly at meditating in the past, but I have done breathwork. That seems to make it easier for me to focus on something and shut my brain off from the racing thoughts, because that’s my issue with meditation. But if someone has struggled, is breathwork something that you would recommend? Do you put it in the same category as meditation, or is it a form of meditation?
AB: I would say it’s in the same category. I don’t know that I call it a form of meditation because it’s a little bit different. It’s more active. With meditation, the focus is really like stillness, and just kind of observing your mind, and just kind of like being still with yourself, whereas breathwork is more around moving and shifting energy. With breathwork, there’s still that aspect of being with yourself, but you kind of have this tool of the breath that you’re using to move the energy that’s coming up.
I think if you do struggle with meditation, it is a great alternative because it kind of gives you something to do instead of feeling like you’re overwhelmed by being distracted, or your own thoughts, or thinking about what you have to do later. Sometimes that happens during the breathwork too. I’ve had plenty of times during our breathwork session that I’m fantasizing about dinner or whatever. But it gives the body and mind something to focus on. Then, also, it’s moving and shifting the energy, so you are going to feel a huge energetic shift after you breathe.
KC: Do you think it’s something that people can kind of teach themselves to do, or do you think it’s something that you really need a professional to kind of guide you in the beginning, or is it a practice that even beginners could do?
AB: I think it’s both. Again, it depends where you want to go with it. For example, on my website, if you sign up for my email list, I send out a breathwork session that you can try. So, it’s basically me talking you through the breath, and you can do it on your own, listening to my voice. I give a how-to video, so I show you how to do it. That is great and that’s a great place to start, especially to see if it’s something that resonates for you, if it’s something that feels impactful for you. But if you really want to take it to the next level and really get everything out of it that you can, then I definitely recommend working with somebody because when it comes to these deeper points of growth and shadow work, or transformation, or anything when it comes to facing deeper things within yourself, you want to get support with that, right? Also, the breath will bring those things up, but it’ll bring those things up even more powerfully if you have somebody there to support you.
While it is a great thing to do on your own, especially, for example, with my clients, when we were together one on one, I have them do the breathwork on their own. I give them recordings, and I have them do it on their own. Then, we come back and we talk about things together on our calls, we do energy work. It is something you can do on your own, but I definitely recommend having support from someone if you are really wanting to create some deeper changes in your life.
KC: I know you mentioned the benefits, working through generational trauma or ancestral trauma, which I don’t know if everyone realizes that that’s a thing. It is a scientifically proven thing. It’s really interesting to me, some of the studies they’ve done even with mice and how they respond generations after trauma. I think that’s something that’s just kind of becoming part of society’s awareness. I don’t remember it as being something that was talked about in the past as much as it is now. Seems like the younger generations that are coming up are much more aware of mental health, trauma, and healing, and things like that, and all the options available.
Can you explain a little bit for people who don’t know the concept of ancestral trauma, what that is and how breathwork can help to heal that?
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AB: Yeah, sure. Ancestral trauma is basically the trauma that we take on through the ancestral line that’s actually passed down through our DNA. Basically, what is living in our DNA is everything that our ancestors went through, from every amazing thing to every random conversation to every traumatic thing. On some level, we are still holding that within ourselves. So, for example, I have a Jewish lineage and I had ancestral trauma around the Holocaust that I had to work through that came up for me at certain points. Where it’s like, I know that I wasn’t there, but I can feel the energy of that, and I can feel its impact in my body. That’s just one example. We all have it. I don’t think there’s anybody who hasn’t had trauma in their lineage just based on everything that’s happened on this planet. I don’t think anybody doesn’t have that.
It’s not something where you have to always know what it is. The way that I always see it for people in their energy field is that the ancestral trauma kind of converges with this lifetime’s family trauma. Because the trauma is being carried down the ancestral lines, our families in this life will usually play it out on some level too. It might not be the exact same thing, but it’ll be the same energy because everybody’s carrying it, and we play it out in order to heal it. For example, if there was trauma around, I don’t know, being poor, or not having enough food or something like that in your life. Maybe in this lifetime, it’ll just be more around not having enough money, or fear around not having enough money, or struggling with money or something and you will live in a household that’s playing that out. That is family trauma, but it’s also coming from your ancestral line.
When you shift and heal that dynamic in this lifetime by doing this inner work, like breathwork, which will give you access to the subconscious mind, where you might have a thought or memory of watching your parents arguing about money or talking about how they don’t have enough, and you’re internalizing that as, “Okay. This must be what reality is, that money is hard to come by. I’m always going to have to struggle.” Then, you are playing that out, but you have that awareness and you shift it, that’s how you heal ancestral trauma, because you’re now not going to pass that on to your children, so it stops with you.
KC: Yeah, I think that’s really important. I think a lot of people don’t even realize how affected they are by things that have happened, either in their direct past or their generational line, whether we’ve been through all these World Wars, and the Great Depression, and these big events in life, and how that has really shaped a lot of people to have mindsets that they don’t even realize they have. I mean, I think that having a scarcity mindset is more common than having a mindset of abundance. It’s just the fact that people don’t realize where they get their thought process from or how deep it goes.
AB: Totally, yes. No, they don’t realize, and they think it’s just the normal way of thinking or something. But it’s actually just been passed down to you through the generations, and then it was passed down from your parents’ parents to them and now to you, and it’s totally optional. We don’t have to carry that out. We don’t have to continue it. Especially if we get curious about it and are like, “Hmm. Well, what else is possible for me?” Then, you actually can look at it, recognize it for what it is and choose differently.
KC: Absolutely. Like I said, I feel like the generation that’s kind of like my kids, my kids are all in their 20s, and they have a totally different mindset about healing and mental health and fixing the things that bother them about their lives. Where, if I look at my parent’s mindset, they’re like, “Oh, shove it down and don’t think about it.”
AB: Yes, exactly.
KC: Which makes me really optimistic for the future, because it seems like we’re going through such a big transitionary time in the universe right now, a time of the biggest awareness probably that’s ever been as far as accepting people for who they are, accepting yourself for who you are, and healing traumas, and getting therapy and all the things that are being mainstreamed that, in the past, were not.
If somebody is curious about this whole process, or curious about how to start, would you recommend – depending on their level of healing that they need to do – would you recommend people start with breathwork, or start with meditation, or Reiki, or energy healing? Or is there a path that’s correct for people in general or is it so individual?
AB: I think it’s really individual. If you are someone who has trouble with meditation, I would definitely recommend starting with breathwork. I kind of started with breathwork. Like I said, I was 19 when I discovered it, and that was before I had done any kind of meditation or anything. I think, for me, with the trauma that I was carrying from my parents, and all of it, it just really helped me to get into my body more. Because I think what a lot of us are walking around with is just being totally in our minds and not actually being in our bodies. And our bodies are the way that we receive information and feel into things and use our intuition. When you use the breath, it forces you to get into your body and ground into your body, so that you can then start to feel more connected to yourself.
I think it’s such a great place to start because you establish that connection with yourself. And then you can trust yourself more to follow your intuition to what feels naturally like it will be next for you on this path. Because I really do feel like it’s so individual to everybody. I mean, people kind of come to me from all different ways, whether it be through wanting to heal trauma, or wanting to grow their business, or just feeling stuck in their lives in general, or wanting to call in a relationship. I feel like that path is kind of different for everyone, but it’s just so important to trust what you feel drawn to. For example, like we were talking about the Akashic records, if you feel interested in that, listen to that, because that’s your soul, that’s your higher self saying “This way, go this way.” When you listen to that, it just then puts the next step in front of you, and the next step in front of you. If you feel interested in breathwork, if you feel called to it, definitely try it and see how it is for you. I know, for me, when I first did it, I didn’t even have anything particularly happen very much at all. But there was just something about it that I felt like I knew what was going to help me or I just felt drawn to it, so I just kept going, and here we are.
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KC: We’ve done some episodes on that in the past, but I really believe that — especially as women — trusting our intuition, it’s definitely something I’ve taught my daughters, is to just listen to that little voice in your head. Don’t talk yourself out of it, because that’s kind of what we’ve always been told, like, “Oh, I’m being silly, or oh, there’s no reason for me to feel that way.” But if you follow that, even if it’s – it doesn’t have to be an intuition that’s negative, it could be something you just feel interested in. If you follow that, it generally puts you in better alignment with where you’re supposed to be, at least in my experience.
AB: Totally. Even if it doesn’t make sense, just follow it anyway, because it’s probably going to lead you somewhere you want to be.
KC: Yeah, and I think nobody likes to be new at something and feel clumsy about learning something. It’s awkward. But there are obviously people out there like you who can kind of help and guide through the beginning stages, because nobody likes to feel like they’re the new person that doesn’t know what they’re doing.
AB: I know, it’s so true. Like, you don’t want to go to that first yoga class because you’re like, “I’m going to look stupid.” But you know, I think some of the reasons we get held in a certain pattern is because we’re afraid to feel what it is to get to the other side. We’re afraid to feel the fear, or we’re afraid to feel awkward, or we’re afraid to feel rejected, so we don’t move forward. But what really expands your growth is when you’re willing to feel that, when you’re willing to go through that in order to get to the other side. I know, especially in the beginning, it’s difficult. But if you feel drawn to something, just listen to it and be willing to be uncomfortable so that you can see what’s on the other side.
KC: I think it’s such a sign of maturity to be able to enjoy something that you enjoy without having to be good at it. I know I struggle with that. I always want to do things that I’m good at. But sometimes the things I enjoy the most, I’m not great at, but they bring me joy. That’s reason enough. It doesn’t have to be your life’s career path, or you don’t have to be – if you enjoy a sport, you don’t have to be professional at it. You can be terrible.
AB: Yes, exactly. I love dancing, and I’m horrible at it.
KC: But sometimes that’s the joy of it, is that you don’t have to take it so seriously. If people are curious, if this is something they’re hearing about for the first time and they want to know more about it and see if it’s something they want to pursue. I assume you have all of that information on your website and they can kind of do a deep dive.
AB: If you go to my website, alysebreathes.com, you can sign up for my list and you’ll get that. It’s actually – it’s called an Expansion Toolkit. It’s a breathwork session, a meditation, and journaling prompts to go with it, so you get all of that sent to your inbox when you sign up. Then, also on there, I have some articles I’ve written just about breathwork, like just explaining a deeper dive into why breathwork works. I also have an article I wrote about trauma, and why breathwork helps to heal trauma, and then about relationships and breathwork.
I have a ton of information on there if you want to read and understand more. Then, also, I have my podcast where I kind of explain a lot of deeper dives into everything, so you can also check that out. It’s called Reclaiming Consciousness.
KC: Okay, great. I think I would encourage anybody who feels even curious, if not led, to this to explore it. I was working with a Pilates instructor years ago, who was also an Ayurvedic practitioner, and she was explaining breathwork to me. It’s the first time I’d ever heard of it. I was thinking to myself, breathing is that thing we automatically do, so that we don’t die. Everyone does it. But when she had me practice with her a little bit, I realized what a difference it made for me – because I am one of those people who has a hard time shutting my brain off – what a difference it made for me in being present, like you’re saying, in my body, and how I hadn’t even realized how disassociated I was from my physical body, which I think is probably more normal than people realize.
AB: Oh, yeah. It definitely is.
KC: I know, if for anyone who’s hearing of this the first time, if you’re curious, if you’re led to it, if you think I’ve never heard of that, sounds really strange – I would definitely encourage you to go to the website. We’re going to put the links for everything in the article as well as in this video so that people can just click through. Because I think this is, like you’re saying, something that will benefit everyone. And yes, breathing is something we all do, but doing it intentionally is a whole new ballgame.
KC: Is there anything else that you want to share with our listeners in particular? Do you have anything coming up that you want to share with us or something they should be looking for?
AB: Well, I always have new programs coming up. I’m launching a new mastermind called Accelerated Wealth. That’s more for business owners to really just learn how to expand and grow their reach and their income. So, I have that coming up. Then, always, my flagship program was called the Metamorphosis. That’s my program where I really help you clear and shift familial and ancestral trauma, which is really my deep, sweet spot and my body of work that I love sharing with people, and it’s just such a valuable toolkit. When you get it, when you get the toolkit, you have it for your whole life. It’s just such a special thing that’s close to my heart. That’s always in rolling enrollment, so you can definitely check that out on my website too, and reach out to me if you have any questions.
KC: So you mentioned your – is it a business coaching that you do or a series – is it just for women who are interested in this line of work or women who are doing entrepreneurial stuff in general?
AB: Entrepreneurial stuff in general for Accelerated Wealth. Basically, it’s business, but it’s from my lens of trauma. The way that I look at things is if there is some level of growth or expansion that you’re wanting to get to that you haven’t gotten there yet, there’s some kind of block or trauma that needs to be shifted in order for you to get there. My specialty is helping you see that, and then helping you clear it so that you can reach your next level in business. Because, a lot of times, what’s blocking entrepreneurs or people from growing or reaching that next level is some kind of internal block, story, or belief that they’re telling themselves about why they can’t get there. This program is really focused on that and helping you remove those blocks to growth. It’s just specifically for entrepreneurs or women who have their own businesses who are looking to grow and expand in that way.
KC: Oh my gosh. That’s such a valuable thing. I can explain to people, for myself just – it was a huge leap for me when I just decided that I give myself permission to be successful or to think that I deserved that. That was huge, but I can’t – I could never explain to anyone else how to do that. It just clicked for me at one point, and then the whole world changed. But the fact that you’re able to kind of mentor women through that process, because I can’t even explain what clicked or how that happened, but it did. And it is a major game changer, life changing, generationally. I definitely think that’s of high, high value. I think that’s something that women struggle with, especially. We put that ceiling on ourselves, we upper limit ourselves. The fact that you’re able to help people with that, that’s amazing.
That’s great that you’re doing that. Because, obviously, you made a huge life change, so that’s a scary thing. Anybody who’s willing to kind of invest in their dreams that much, that’s really great.
AB: Thank you.
KC: Well, I am definitely going to put all of those links. I think this is really important. I know my audience; I have a lot of moms who listen. So, I think, as a mom, we have a responsibility to heal our own issues so that our children don’t have to spend as much time healing as we do.
KC: Because we are the first generation to really embrace all different kinds of mental health and healing. So, let’s do the work so that our kids have less to do.
KC: Well, thank you for joining me today. I really appreciate your time, and it was great to talk to you. I think this is really valuable information, so I’m really excited to share this with all of our readers and all of our watchers and listeners.
AB: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
Have you tried breathwork? Did it benefit your emotional state? Share with us in the comments!
About Alyse Bacine
Alyse Bacine has been a breathwork facilitator for over 15 years and has valuable tips and tricks to put you into a state of clarity and relaxation in this time of go-go-go!
Alyse has an extensive background in the mental health field. She has her Master’s in Counseling Psychology and certifications in both Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness Practices.
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