Breathworks Founder Vidyamala Burch and bodywork teacher Padmadarsini Cole will be bringing back their popular retreat theme this year of balancing the nervous system. 

Balancing the Nervous System

Across the week you will learn how to regulate, balance and allow the nervous systems to thrive. You will have the opportunity to delve into mindfulness and embodied movement under the experienced guidance of long-time teachers in a serene and natural environment.

Those who have taken this retreat in previous years are very welcome. The retreat will be a great opportunity to delve into greater depth, experience and knowledge of the theme along with new content from the teachers. 

Why the Nervous System? 

It is through our nervous system that we experience ourselves. A vast network of interconnections throughout our entire body, it organises and regulates everything we experience both internally and externally.  The nervous system plays a fundamental role in our functions including sleep, breathing, digestion, heart rate, healing, memory and movement.

Vidyamala and Padmadarshini share an on-going passion for understanding how we can all find ways to access greater ease through practices that support balance and regulation of the body’s system. They continually deepen their knowledge and practise and love sharing this with others.

What will I learn? 

You will practise calming and restorative meditation and movement exercises, complemented by theory to help you come to a closer understanding of your body and how it functions.

  • Learn how to become more in tune with your body’s systems 
  • Learn strategies for self-regulating to create balance in the nervous system
  • Learn how to strengthen and activate your parasympathetic nervous system  (the body’s ‘rest-and-digest’ system)
  • Deepen your meditation practice
  • Explore embodied movement practices and their benefits 
  • Immerse yourself in supportive practices to bring ease and relaxation

What Can I Expect?

The well-paced retreat schedule includes guided meditative practices to help you develop awareness and sensitivity as you begin to track and regulate the nervous system. 

Through body scans and  somatic movement exercises  you will begin to explore the mind-body connection and how our inner and outer environments can work together. Exercises are suitable for all bodies and abilities, with adjustments and adaptations given for those with limited movement.

We are holding this retreat in a hybrid format, with in-person ticket options below.

Residential Retreat

How to prepare for an online retreat

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

  • Wear loose and comfy clothing
  • Dedicate a quiet space in your home where you can practise undisturbed
  • Let friends, family and others know that you are on retreat so that they can respect your retreat environment
  • Unplug from as many digital distractions as possible 
  • Keep hydrated 
  • If possible, prepare your meals beforehand so that you can relax in the break periods


We recommended the following equipment for your movement practices. While these aren’t mandatory, they will help you set up the best conditions for the practice:

  • A practice space (a clear area on the floor that you can comfortably lie down in)
  • 2 - 3 thick blankets, similar to the ones here
  • A yoga mat or something similar to be comfortable doing floor-based movements" (if you are unable to get on the floor we will suggest ways to adapt the movements)
  • A bolster or 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) - see here, or alternatively a thick pillow (that can be placed under the head)

Who this is for 

People with meditation experience (of  6 months or more).

Movement practices will be suitable for all abilities with adaptations and options given for exercises.



Zoom (download for free here).


Start time: Friday, 6 September, 19:30 

End Time: Thursday, 12 September 21:00

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

Please note, bookings for this event will close on Thursday 5 September at 2.30pm. 

Retreat Schedule

Friday 6 September




Introduction to retreat

Saturday 7 to Thursday 12 September

7:30 – 8:30

Meditation & movement

8:30 - 10:30


10:30 - 13:00

Morning session with teaching and practice. Includes a break

13:00 - 15:30

Lunch break

15:30 - 17:30

Afternoon session with teaching, practice and small groups (with a break)

17:30 - 19:30


19:30 - 21:00

Evening session with meditation and body scan


Meet the Retreat Leaders

Padmadarshini Cole

Padmadarshini is an experienced yoga and movement teacher with a diploma in Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. She has dedicated many 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 Move

Vidyamala Burch

Vidyamala is a mindfulness and compassion teacher, award-winning author and coach. She began teaching her mindfulness approach for managing pain and illness following her own personal experience living with health challenges. At age 23, she sustained spinal injuries that required multiple surgeries and left her with partial paraplegia and chronic pain. She began to explore mindfulness and meditation as a way to manage her pain and found the results to be life changing.

In 2004, she developed the world’s first Mindfulness-based Pain Management (MBPM) programme which has now been recognised by the NHS and global health boards and has reached over 100,000 people coping with pain, illness and stress.

Vidyamala’s list of accolades includes an OBE for services to Wellbeing and Pain Management and an honorary membership from The British Pain Society for her outstanding work for the alleviation of pain. She has been recognised as one of the most influential disabled people in the UK for four years running by the Shaw Trust Power List.

Vidyamala offers wise and kind guidance and through her work hopes to pass on the tools that have helped her reclaim a full, happy and meaningful life.


We're offering four different pricing options to those wishing to join us, and asking participants to pay the highest sustainable amount that they can, so that we can offer places at a reduced cost to those less able to afford a place.

Until 21 June, you can spread the cost with interest-free, monthly payments. Click here to learn more.

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 £22,000 a year (or less than £25,000 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. 

Spread the Cost
Until 21 June, you can spread the cost with interest-free, monthly payments. Click here to learn more.

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 Rate - Online Nervous System - Sept 2024

Decrease Increase £340.00

Supporter Rate - Online Nervous System - Sept 2024

Decrease Increase £430.00

Concession Rate - Online Nervous System - Sept 2024

Decrease Increase £240.00

Bursary Rate - Online Nervous System - Sept 2024

Decrease Increase £150.00