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 can for many of us be 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'.

Remedial Breathwork

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 2019 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. Because many of you who can benefit are still considered 'vulnerable', these classes, for the time being, have moved online.

Zoom Breathing Classes

I shall be recruiting next month for another series of remedial breathing classes and I'm inviting people with asthma, COPD, or long Covid and those who are prone to panic attacks to enrol, Click here to see details : Here is a response to my previous series:

"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: 21 January 2022