Being Breathful

What is Breathfulness?

Breathfulness is an idea that arose out of my daily practice to describe a state in which I felt that everything was just riding on my breath. I believe it's a state of mindfulness than can arise when we've learnt to focus on our breath in a certain way. In fact, I've concluded that breathfulness is an essential support for mindfulness and for meditation. However, to be able to tap into this possibility, it's first necessary to find a way to relate to our breath in a relaxed and positive way. That's why, for some of us with certain issues, there need to be an approach which a few years ago I began putting together under the heading of 'Breath for Health', which I've now made the title of a book.

Breath For Health

Many of us who suffer long-term conditions related to our breathing are understandably hesitant about actually working with our breath. However, many conditions can be alleviated, or made more bearable, through appropriate work with the breath. This is why in 2018 I started 'Breath4Health' classes, to apply my knowledge and over 30 years' experience of practice and teaching around the breath to anyone I can help.

Breathing Classes

In March 2020 my Breath for Health classes moved online, and those classes in their turn led to a book 'Breath For Health', which I am currently submitting to a publisher. As for teaching, at the moment, I'm focussing on teaching remedial remedial 1:1. So if you're suffering with asthma, COPD, or long Covid or are prone to panic attacks, please contact me for an individual lesson. Here is a response to the online classes I held during the pandemic:

"First of all thank you so much for your excellent breathing classes. I have now incorporated the exercises into my daily yoga routine. I can't believe that having practiced yoga most of my adult life I have paid so little attention to breathing. I was diagnosed as a mild asthmatic decades ago and my wheeze has now gone! " (Vicky T).

Befriending the Breath

Once we've become comfortable and a little practised at working with our breath, we can progress into areas where we can feel we're working alongside our breath - this I refer to as 'befriending the breath'. Starting from a foundation such as the coordination of breath and movement, and taking this friendly, cooperative approach with our breath we can progress further. This can take us into more precise applications of the breath in Asana (posture) and Pranayama (breath-work) and to the more subtle Yoga practices known as Mudra and Bandha. The rapt attention required prepares us for Dharana and Dhyana (concentration and meditation). However, by adopting our breath as friend and partner, one who takes the lead at times, these subtle qualities can appear relatively early in our practice. In our tradition, at every stage, we adapt lessons and practices to suit the needs and aspirations of the individual or class being taught. Everyone can be found some way of participating and benefitting.

Last Updated: 26 September 2022