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Uddyotani Helen Doherty

Image of Uddyotani Helen Doherty - Breathworks Accredited Teacher

I came across mindfulness through my interest in Buddhist meditation. I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation for over 20 years. I currently work at Leeds Buddhist Centre teaching meditation and mindfulness as part of the Buddhist Centre program. I began supporting Breathworks Mindfulness for Health courses in 2007 and soon after became a trainer as a natural response to pain and illness, wanting to offer mindfulness in secular contexts so that they can be of benefit to everyone.

I began my working life as a research fellow in plant science with Leeds University and with the Open University. I loved the depth and approach of the research world but wanted to work more with people in their everyday lives. When I left research I worked in public libraries and educational settings with excluded groups and disabled people. I enjoy trying to make knowledge and skills available and to communicate mindfulness in simple terms accessible to all.

I have delivered Breathworks courses through hospitals and with the NHS Expert Patients Program, and through schools. I work with a group of local Breathworks trainers bringing a peer-based approach to our teaching and am part of an active community of mindfulness practitioners.

Qualifications

I have a BSc(Hons) Biological Science from Edinburgh University and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds. I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. I completed my Breathworks Teacher Training in 2009 and also the Mindfulness in Schools .B Foundations (teacher) training in 2015.

Teaching Specialisms

I have experience teaching the Breathworks Mindfulness for Health course for the general population and offering regular practice days for previous participants. I teach Mindfulness for Stress for the general population and have adapted this for use with teachers in schools. I have also completed the Mindfulness in Schools .B foundation training for use with teachers. I have an interest in Mindfulness and compassion and teach a local 8 week course exploring kindness and compassion for mindfulness practitioners.

Supervision Training and Experience

Breathworks supervision training with Mindfulness Network CIC (University of Exeter) - 2016.

Interests

I am passionate about supporting people to become confident in their own experience of mindfulness, and to become empowered in their own lives including living with pain and illness. I love seeing the transformative effects of kindness as people begin to trust in this and open up to it as part of their practice. I enjoy working collaboratively with fellow trainers and creating a sense of community amongst Breathworks practitioners. I am part of the teaching team at Leeds Buddhist Centre and with Buddhafield North running camping retreats including Mindfulness in Nature. I enjoy exploring new ways of teaching meditation and mindfulness and being part of a deepening community of practice. I live in a co-housing community and have an active engagement with co-operative living and working, as well as growing food and care for the environment. I am currently training to be a counsellor.

Personal Practice

I have a regular meditation practice which has taken different forms over the years. I have always loved the Mindfulness of Breathing and Anapanasati practice as well as ‘just sitting’ and use these as an ‘anchor’ when I explore other things. I appreciate the ‘kindly breath’ approach of Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, as well as structured metta practices such as the metta bha-vana and Tonglen. I work a lot with the body, exploring the balance of effort and relaxation. I am a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order and practice with the Triratna Buddhist Community. I spend time each year on retreat and have regular communication about my practice with experienced meditation teachers.

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