In January 2018, we launched an improved version of our already very highly regarded teacher training programme. 

The Breathworks Training Programme is designed to develop your understanding of the principles and practices of Mindfulness-based Pain Management (MBPM), as well as training you in the essential Breathworks approach, which combines mindfulness and compassion as powerful ways of working to transform people’s experience of pain, illness, stress and anxiety. As you advance in your training, you will become familiar with the Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses and be enabled to deliver them effectively to a wide range of people. You will learn to present Breathworks key concepts clearly and facilitate group learning; effectively and confidently guide meditation practices and mindful movement; and support people in practising mindfulness in daily life. You will be paired with a personal mentor from our training team who will support you through your training course.

The training consists of five stages:

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Introductory Training
  3. Development of Skills
  4. Advanced Teacher Training
  5. Application of Skills

To download or print a PDF of the pathways diagram below, please click here.

*As explained below, MBSR/MBCT teachers who complete this pathway can apply directly to the Advanced level training (TTa).

1.     Prerequisites

Before you begin your training, you must fulfil the three requirements for training with Breathworks:

Breathworks Mindfulness Course

We ask that you either complete, or have completed within the last two years, one of the following courses: 

Please note: you must have attended at least 70% of your qualifying prerequisite course (attending a fellow trainee's Practice course will not count)

Meditation Practice

We ask that you have a mindfulness meditation practice of at least one year by the time you attend your first training event. For example, if you have been meditating for 6 months and apply in December to attend our June retreat, you will have been meditating for a year by the time you attend the retreat, which meets the prerequisite.

Retreat

We also ask that you have been on a teacher-led meditation retreat (of a recommended 5 days length). If you have not been on retreat, you can still start your training and fulfil this prerequisite by going on retreat before completing your training with Breathworks.

The Breathworks 5 day residential Mindfulness for Health course or any of our meditation retreats will fulfil this prerequisite.

2. Introductory Training

There are three elements to our Introductory Training:

Online Orientation Workshop

The online Orientation Workshop will consist of online content to read and view, followed by a webinar with a Breathworks trainer. The workshop will include an introduction to Breathworks, an overview of the training, a period of meditation practice, reflective journalling and an exploration of how to work with your personal mentor through your training.

Preparation for Introductory Training Event (TTi)

Prior to attending TTi you will need to:

  • read Mindfulness for Health and the Little Mindfulness Workbook
  • watch a video of Vidyamala telling her life story and how she came to found Breathworks
  • read or watch other preparatory materials
  • complete and review with your personal mentor meditation diaries for the Mindfulness for Health meditations

For more detail about preparing for your training event please click here

Introductory training event (TTi)

This six day course, offered in both residential and non-residential formats, includes an introduction to key MBPM (Mindfulness-based Pain Management) concepts and the foundational Breathworks principles and practices, combining mindfulness and compassion in our approach to working with pain and difficulty. There will be an overview of the structure and content of both Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses (and key differences between them), and training in mindfulness teaching methods, enquiry, group facilitation skills and key concepts from both courses. You will deepen your own engagement with the Breathworks meditations and have opportunities to practise guiding meditations yourself. The TTi course combines interactive adult learning with experiential elements and meditation practice, including periods of silence to support us in deepening our personal mindfulness practice.

Breathworks Introductory Training is for anyone who is:

  • interested in learning more about how to incorporate MBPM into their work with people with chronic pain, stress and illness
  • interested in learning more about the Breathworks approach combining mindfulness and compassion in working with pain and difficulty
  • intending to working towards becoming a Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher accredited to deliver 8-week courses in Mindfulness for Health and/or Mindfulness for Stress

Breathworks Introductory Training enables participants to:

  • further your understanding of mindfulness and compassion and their application to human suffering
  • deepen your personal mindfulness practice
  • begin to communicate your understanding and experience to others
  • practise guiding meditations and mindful movement
  • learn key concepts from Breathworks’ Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses

"A huge thank you to Ginny Wall - the Head of Training at Breathworks. You inspired me beyond words, with your unconditional warmth, compassion, understanding of the human condition, and tremendous skill as a facilitator and communicator. My admiration for your skill as a teacher continues this week as you steer us through every eventuality we may come across as teachers ourselves in the future. I have seldom come across such high quality inspirational teaching even though I work in the teaching profession myself' Thank You".

Alison Salter, Breathworks Teacher in Training

3. Development of Skills

During your training with us, at any time prior to running a Practice Course, trainees must:

Support a course

Trainees regularly tell us that they gain invaluable experience and deepen their understanding and confidence by supporting a Breathworks course during their training with us. This requirement can be discussed with your personal mentor, to ensure you find the right opportunity for you.

This could involve supporting:

Attend a Mindful Movement training weekend

A weekend of Mindful Movement is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the movements learnt on Introductory Teacher Training (TTi). The weekends are relaxing and informative, highly praised by participants. Students can attend this event at any point in their training process after attending TTi, and before commencing with a supervised practice course.

Mindful Movement is not an exercise programme about stretching further and holding poses for longer. It will certainly help to improve strength and flexibility, but the main emphasis is on developing a quality of awareness as you move by becoming more mindful.

Regular, gentle movement practised with awareness and care is crucial to a sustainable quality of life. Mindful Movement is a range of conscious physical movements done with awareness. It teaches us to move our bodies within realistic limits and to gradually build strength, stamina and flexibility over time.

This non-residential weekend will help you develop your personal understanding and practice of the movements as well as teach them to others.

In preparation for your Mindful Movements weekend, you will complete and review with your personal mentor meditation diaries for the Breathworks Mindful Movements. For more detail about preparing for your Mindful Movement training event please click here to go to the detailed page on preparing for your training events.

4. Advanced Teacher Training

Advanced teacher training is offered covering the whole Breathworks approach, including the Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses. Trainees can focus more on the Health or Stress course content during their Advanced Training event but they will be accredited in the Breathworks approach, so they can deliver either of our 8 week courses, or draw on the Breathworks approach in their other mindfulness work.

Preparation for Advanced Training Event (TTa)

Prior to attending TTa you must:

  • complete Introductory Training (TTi) or Breathworks for MBSR/MBCT teachers
  • watch teaching videos covering key concepts
  • read Living Well with Pain and Illness and Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world and Mindful Self-Compassion 
  • submit and review Mindfulness in Daily Life (pacing) diaries with your personal mentor 
  • become familiar with the Mindfulness for Stress meditation practices and reflect on them informally with your personal mentor

For more detail about preparing for your training event please click here.

Advanced Training Event (TTa)

Advanced training is offered in six day residential and non-residential formats. TTa gives trainees an opportunity to explore in depth the key concepts and practices in the Breathworks courses and offers extensive opportunities for developing teaching and facilitation skills, as well as deepening and extending your personal mindfulness meditation practice.

As with TTi, this course enables participants to further their understanding of mindfulness and its applications to human suffering; deepen their personal mindfulness practice; communicate their understanding and experience effectively to others.

There will be opportunities to guide meditations and mindful movement; practise delivering key concepts to a group and also to receive feedback. You will work with the Breathworks Teaching Competencies as a guide to developing your good practice as a mindfulness teacher.

In addition, there will be sessions on:

The course is mainly experiential, conducted in small groups in which we explore our own (students and trainers) processes in mindfulness. Periods of silence are included to support us in deepening our personal mindfulness practice.

5. Application of Skills

Upon completion of Advanced Training (TTa), students will run a Practice Course in order to apply the skills they've learned during their training. You can do this by running an independently led or co-led practice course with another trainee or accredited Breathworks teacher. We ask all students not to plan a Practice Course until they've attended TTa and consulted with their personal mentor.

During your Practice Course you will deepen your understanding and skills in delivering your chosen course, and will be supported in this by an experienced Breathworks supervisor.

You will:

  • write a weekly reflective journal
  • receive advice and support from your supervisor
  • submit participant evaluation forms after the course
  • discuss appropriate next steps with your supervisor

On successful completion of the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme participants will be able to:

  • teach the Breathworks Approach to people with chronic pain and illness, or stress and anxiety
  • seek accreditation as a Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher, enabling you to deliver our Mindfulness for Health (MfH) and Mindfulness for Stress (MfS) courses

 A certificate of attendance will be given on completion of each course.

How long does it take to become an accredited Breathworks Teacher?

As a member of the UK Network of Mindfulness-based Teacher Training Organisations, we offer training that is recognised for listing as a recognised mindfulness teacher. In order to be included on the listing, teachers must meet certain criteria, including having completed a training programme of no less than 1 year. 

We strongly encourage you to take time after each stage in your journey with us (but not more than 2 years between each stage). This space between training stages will support you to reflect on what you've learned, continue to deepen your own mindfulness practice, and integrate the Breathworks approach and practices into your life, work, and personal practice. We know from personal experience that this takes time.

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