This 5-day immersive online retreat will offer a varied programme to help you come to a deeper experience of your body’s nervous system.

Breathworks Co-founder Vidyamala Burch and experienced yoga and bodywork teacher Padmadarshini will guide you through a mixture of theory, practice, meditation and movement to build a closer understanding of how your body functions.

So why the nervous system?

The human nervous system plays a fundamental role in how we experience everything that happens in our lives. As your body’s command centre, it controls your movements, thoughts, memory and automatic responses to the world around you. It also affects every aspect of your health, including our ability to heal, digest, breathe and sleep.

The retreat will be a balance of meditation and enquiry to develop awareness and sensitivity to the body (learning how to track, regulate and work with the nervous system) and somatic movement exercises to explore the mind-body connection and how our inner and outer environments work together.

You will also learn how to strengthen and activate your parasympathetic nervous system – our body’s ‘rest-and-digest’ system, with valuable tools for how you can dial back on your fight, flight, freeze response (which heightens stress, tension and anxiety) and promote more ease, fluidity and healing in your body.

Across five days, you will come closer to learning how to balance inner and outer worlds, how to tune into your body to create an environment for ease and healing, and how all of the above can profoundly help in the way in which you navigate life.

What will you gain from attending

  • Learn how to become more in tune with your body’s systems
  • Develop an understanding of the science of the nervous system and how that relates to everyday experience
  • Learn strategies for self-regulating to create balance in the nervous system
  • Learn tools to strengthen your parasympathetic nervous system
  • An opportunity to explore embodied practices of meditation and movement
  • Experience a retreat from the comfort of your own home


For movement practices, it is recommended that you come prepared with equipment. While these aren’t mandatory, they will help you set up the best conditions for the practice. If you don’t wish to purchase these items, you can make use of props at home (variations for these will be give).

  •  You will need a practice space (a clear area on the floor that you can comfortably lie down in)
  • Thick blankets. It’s recommended to have 2 – 3 thick blankets that you can lie down on and place over you to keep you warm. Yoga blankets can be purchased here.
  • A bolster. This is a supportive cylinder cushion used for lying down poses, see here. Alternatively, you can also use a thick blanket rolled up.
  • An inflatable exercise ball (18 – 23cm). You can purchase one here, or use a small pillow (that can be placed under the head)

Who this is for 

We ask for participants to have at least 6 months of meditation experience.

Movement practices are suitable for all abilities (adjustments will be given for those who have limited movement) but please do listen to your body on the day and what you are able to do.



Zoom (download for free here).


Start time: Thursday 3rd March, 10.30am 

End Time: Monday 7th March, 5.30pm

(UK time; see this Time Zone Converter for your time zone)


Thursday 3 March



10:30 – 1:00 pm

Welcome and Introductions

3:30 – 5:30pm

Afternoon session (with regular screen breaks)

7:30 – 8:30pm

Evening session / meditation (with the option to finish early or move if you need to) 

Friday 4, Saturday 5, Sunday 6 March (same schedule across 3 days)

7:30 – 8:20am

Morning meditation (with the option to finish early or move if you need to)

10:30am  - 1:00 pm

Morning session (with regular screen breaks)

3:30 – 5:30pm

Afternoon session (with regular screen breaks)

7:30 – 8:30pm 

Evening session / meditation (with the option to finish early or move if you need to)

Monday 7 March

7:30 – 8:20am

Morning meditation (with the option to finish early or move if you need to)

10:30am  - 1:00 pm

Morning session (with regular screen breaks)

3:30 – 5:30pm

Afternoon session (with regular screen breaks)

How To Prepare For An Online Retreat?

Here are some ways you can set yourself up for a retreat at home: 

  • Wear loose and comfy clothing.
  • Find a quiet space in your home where you can practice undisturbed. Make yourself comfortable with cushions and blankets close by should you need them.
  • If possible, unplug from as many digital distractions as possible (this helps to create a sense of being on retreat).
  • Keep hydrated throughout the retreat. 
  • If possible, prepare your meals beforehand so that you can relax in the break periods.


Meet the Retreat Leader

Vidyamala Burch

Vidyamala Burch is a mindfulness and compassion teacher, author, disability spokesperson and Co-founder of Breathworks. 

Originally from New Zealand, Vidyamala sustained life-changing spinal injuries in her teens. She started exploring mindfulness and meditation to help her manage her condition and found the results to be life changing. 

Vidyamala’s vision in establishing Breathworks was to translate ancient Buddhist practices into language that is accessible to anyone living with difficult circumstances - regardless of faith, culture or race. Her particular interest is how to work with physical suffering, but her approach can be applied to working with any sort of pain or difficulty. 

Vidyamala is an award-winning author and has written three books: Mindfulness for Health, Living Well with Pain and Illness and Mindfulness for Women. She was awarded an honorary membership from the British Pain Society for her contribution to the field of pain management in 2018, and the Shaw Trust’s Power List has named her one of the most influential disabled people in the UK for three years running.

Vidyamala teaches retreats and workshops and speaks at a number of international summits and events. Her teachings can also be found on meditation apps Insight Timer, Simple Habit and See more about her work here.

Padmadarshini Cole

Padmadarshini is an experienced yoga and movement teacher with a diploma in Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. She has dedicated years to exploring movement and ways that we can live with greater ease through inhabiting our bodies - physically, energetically and emotionally. 

Her years of yoga training led her to explore bodywork and movement therapy where she trained under Linda Hartley, and she has been exploring approaches to movement and stillness that invite us to listen deeply to how our bodies need and want to move.

Her style of teaching is guided by embodied practices to tune into our innermost environments and impulses. A felt sense of tenderness, connection and belonging underlies all of her work.

Padmadarshini regularly leads retreats teaching meditation, yoga, bodywork and Authentic Movement. 


Individual Rate

Full priced rate.


Supporter Rate 

Pay for yourself and help support one person to join on a Bursary.


Concessionary Rate

For those in financial hardship who cannot afford our full priced rate (see below for more).


Bursary Rate

A limited number of places are reserved for those unable to afford the Concessionary Rate.


A Guide to Concessionary & Bursary Place

Breathworks is a charitable organisation with a mission to make the benefits of mindfulness accessible to everyone. To help remove barriers for people in financial hardship, we offer a limited number of concessionary and bursary places on events and courses. We operate our booking system on the basis of self-assessment and trust. Please have a careful read of our eligibility guide below, and contact us if you have any further questions.

Concessionary Rate: applies to individuals with an income of less than £18,500 a year (or less than £24,000 if you live in London). 

Bursary Rate: a limited number of bursary places are reserved for individuals with significant financial barriers that limits them from affording the Concessionary Rate.

Please note that we usually record our online CPD events for training purposes and so that we can widen the pool of people we can make the learning experience available to after the event. If you don't wish to be recorded, please feel free to switch off your video and/or audio during the event.

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price

Individual - Nervous System March 2022

Decrease Increase £225.00

Supporter - Nervous System March 2022

Decrease Increase £360.00

Concession - Nervous System March 2022

Decrease Increase £150.00

Bursary - Nervous System March 2022

Decrease Increase £110.00