By C.J. Vetter
HAYS COUNTY – In today’s modern world, it’s easy to forget to take a moment and just breathe. But sometimes, even when you do, that’s not enough.
That’s where Michele Schalin and her business, Mindful Metamorphosis, comes in with its new line of events called Breathwork. Her latest event at the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum in San Marcos has been met with a positive response, and she plans to host more in Hays County.
Utilizing her 30 years of experience as a mindfulness coach and meditation guide, Schalin combines the techniques of breathing therapy and sound healing to create a new experience focused on improving mental, physical and emotional health. The experience has participants breathe at a fast rate for 45 minutes at a time to place themselves in an energized and altered state of consciousness, in a technique known as holotropic breathwork.
“With this technique, there’s so much oxygen going into your brain. You’re breathing in and out through your nose, and you can feel the difference,” Schalin said. “Basically, your cognitive brain and your ego are taking a nap and you can almost get a micro psychedelic experience and you can get these amazing insights or answers in your life.”
Attendees paid $40 for a two-hour long experience in this first of its kind event in Hays County. Guests are led into the room and asked to lie down on mats as Schalin leads them through the breathing section. Long inhalation through the nose, followed by short, strong exhalations through the mouth are done to relax the body. Once the rhythm of breathing has been set, chimes and gongs are played to introduce different frequencies for the sound healing section before the session comes to a close.
Marnie Colehour was one of the guests who went through the experience.
“It puts you in a more realistic, grounded, in-touch version of yourself, and everybody can use that, especially these days,” Colehour said. “I highly recommend people at least give it a shot and really make a solid effort. Don’t come in kinda-sorta, you got to be all in.”
Those in attendance reported feeling a heightened level of energy and a sense of clarity by the end and some reported seeing visions and experiencing the meeting of ancestors or deceased family. Samantha Scarborough, an attendee, commented on the effect the session had on her.
“I felt some tumultuous emotions, but I was able to deal with them. And I also felt answers to issues that I was struggling with arise here,” said Scarborough. “I also had visual hallucinations that are similar to when you have a semi-lucid dream. I’ve done meditation before, but this felt especially deep.”
The next session will take place on July 20 at 7 p.m. at the LBJ Museum. Students will also be offered a special price of $25 instead of the usual $40.
“I’ve never had a time where I facilitated an event where the experience wasn’t good for everybody, they put their all into it, and I think they’re pretty happy,” Schalin said.