The Breathworks Foundation

Making mindfulness accessible

We are a registered charity, with a mission is to make mindfulness accessible to everyone. Being an organisation that gives back has been important to us from the very beginning. Our Founder Vidyamala was living on benefits for many years before she was able to secure funding through a disability grant to start Breathworks. We know that many who benefit the most from our services are least able to afford it, so we are committed to help those in need through bursaries, scholarships, free resources and other funding initiatives.

Support us today.

Endure24 is an awesome long distance run which involves running as many loops as you can of a hilly, off-road 5 mile trail route around Wasing Park in Reading. You start running at 12 noon on Saturday, and finish at 12 noon on Sunday, camping on site and stopping as often or little as you like.

I was planning to run Endure24 Reading in the summer of 2023 for the second time, having completed it in 2022 and achieved 40 miles in total, but I had a few injuries which necessitated deferring it to 2024.

My awesome coach Kelly Watts at MyProCoach has been fantastic in helping me to change my training to find things I can do, initially with a duathlon plan when tendonitis in my ankle flared up and then when I wasn't able to swim due to a frozen shoulder, to a long-distance bike training plan and then finally when my broken wrist and everything else was recovered enough, I was able to get back to running after 18 months away!

I started back running in November 2023 doing at least a mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, following a 10k training plan. In January I've started the training plan for Endure24 ... things are getting very real as the average duration has gone from 20 to 60 minutes!

I'll be posting updates on my Instagram profile, @TrainingWithEDS - so do follow me there!

The reason I've picked up these injuries in the first place is because I live with a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which means that the connective tissue in my body is built in a way that it is too flexible. This means that all of my joints are hypermobile, so they move too much which often causes pain and partial dislocation. It also means that I'm very prone to inflammation-related injuries. The only real treatment is dealing with acute injuries when they occur, managing the pain, keeping inflammation down, training in strength and conditioning so that your muscles which have to support the joints are as strong as they can be, and most importantly working on your mental states.

You can read more about this process in the first posts on my Instagram account, TrainingWithEDS.

The teachings that Breathworks shares with the world have been fundamental in helping me to change my mindset and approach life positively, with all its challenges and difficulties. Mindfulness and kindness helped me at my worst moments, and continues to be a great source of inspiration and confidence. I honestly don't know where I would be if I hadn't come across these teachings, so I'm passionate about making sure that others who are struggling with pain and ill health are able to access them just like I was able to.

Breathworks recognises that it is very often the people who are most in need of mindfulness and compassion training who are the least able to pay for and access it. I am a passionate supporter of Breathworks and one of the Trustees, and want to help them raise funds to award scholarships and bursaries to people experiencing financial hardship. This means they are able to attend Breathworks courses and Teacher Training to learn vital life-changing skills.

Breathworks also undertakes invaluable research work continually developing the already impressive evidence-base showing how effective Breathworks programmes are for people living with pain, illness and stress.

I really appreciate every donation that folks make to this page, it helps Breathworks to make a difference to the lives of so many and will have a big impact in the world. Thanks in advance for giving what you are able to give! Ruth Cheesley