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About Breathworks and Mindfulness

From humble beginnings to international recognition, Breathworks' mission is to bring mindfulness as a tool for reducing suffering to people worldwide; regardless of their situation.

About Breathworks

"The Breathworks approach to Mindfulness-Based Pain Management (MBPM) is the most comprehensive, in-depth, scientifically up-to-date and user-friendly approach to learning the how of living with chronic pain and reclaiming one’s life that I know of.....I admire Vidyamala tremendously... her approach could save your life and give it back to you."
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses Professor Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Breathworks is based on the experience of Vidyamala Burch who sustained a severe spinal injury in 1976 when she was sixteen leading to multiple surgeries and partial paraplegia. Over 27 years ago she began exploring mindfulness and meditation to manage her persistent pain and in 2001 wondered if she could share these life-changing skills with others who were suffering from pain, stress or illness. She was soon joined by Gary Hennessey and Sona Fricker, both mindfulness practitioners for over three decades and together they developed Breathworks as it is today.

Along the way, Vidyamala wrote two books Living Well with Pain and Illness and Mindfulness for Health (co-written with Danny Penman). These form the 'backbone' of the Breathworks approach to mindfulness-based pain and illness management (MBPM) and the Mindfulness for Health course.

To further develop the Breathworks Approach, Gary Hennessey combined his experience of MBPM, meditation and mindfulness to create the popular Mindfulness for Stress course, which has helped hundreds of people to find balance in their lives.

As Breathworks grows, so does the core team, the international pool of trainers and the community of Breathworks teachers and course graduates. Today, thousands of people worldwide have benefited from the Breathworks mindfulness methods for managing pain, stress and illness.


What is Mindfulness?

There are many ways to describe mindfulness including:
"Mindfulness means deliberately attending to and becoming more aware of our experience: our thoughts, feelings and body sensations. This allows us to clearly perceive thoughts, physical sensations, emotions and events at the moment they occur without reacting in an automatic or habitual way. Experiences don’t overwhelm us and we become steady through life’s ups and downs."

Hundreds of books have been written on this very subject and yet it is still a challenge is to describe it in a nutshell.

Perhaps the most concise way to describe Mindfulness is that it is simply as a special kind of awareness. This means you can be fully 'awake' to life in each present moment; fully alive and vibrant.

Mindfulness works! Try it and you’ll discover its benefits and its magic. Once learnt, it is freely available to everyone, any time, no matter your age, gender, religion or cultural background. (read more)

In order to share this wonderful tool called 'mindfulness', the founders of Breathworks have developed courses and resources that can be accessed in a number of ways. So wherever you are, whatever your health and mobility, you can find a way to learn mindfulness for relieving the suffering that comes from living with pain, illness or stressful circumstances.

We are also dedicated to training as many people as we can to teach mindfulness to others.

We do hope you enjoy exploring our website and you find what you are looking for!

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