Do you want to deepen your own understanding and practice of mindfulness and compassion, while learning how to share the benefits with others?

Apply to the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme!

  • Learn to teach a highly adaptable system of practice and enrich the lives of others with mindfulness and compassion

  • A respected qualification - accredited by the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches

  • Experiential, rather than academic, training methods, and a unique focus on kindness and compassion

About Breathworks Teacher Training

The Breathworks Teacher training programme is a highly effective pathway to become accredited as a mindfulness and meditation teacher, gain the skills to lead meditations, meditation interviews, and teach mindfulness and compassion to groups and individuals.

It is available in a few different formats, and you can now do your Introductory Teacher Training Online.

Our teacher training is widely regarded as one of the most thorough and in-depth available.

You will become accredited to teach Breathworks’ two signature courses: Mindfulness for Health, for chronic pain and long-term health conditions, and Mindfulness for Stress, for stress, anxiety, and mental unrest.

In addition, as a teacher accredited in the highly respected and adaptable Breathworks approach, you will be free to teach mindfulness outside the structure of those courses as well.

Our approach was developed to be effective enough to work for chronic pain and long-term health conditions, and it is extremely versatile.

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Contents

The Breathworks Approach
Why train with Breathworks?
   - Master Mindfulness and Compassion
   - Earn a Respected Qualification
   - Membership And Teaching Community
   - Specialisms & Experience
   - APPG Mindful Nation Report & Health Statistics
   - An Inclusive Community
   - Support, Materials, Mentoring, & More
   - An Amazing Programme
Teacher Training Programme Overview
    1. Prerequisites
    2. Introductory Teacher Training (TTi)
    3. Development of Skills
    4. Advanced Teacher Training (TTa)
    5. Application of Skills
Meet the Breathworks Trainers
How Long Does It Take to Become an Accredited Breathworks Teacher?
Fees
   - Stage 1
   - Stage 2
   - Payment Plans
   - Funding
   - Terms & Conditions
Teacher Training Event Dates
What Now?
FAQs


The Breathworks Approach


Breathworks courses teach a highly adaptable system of understanding, teaching, and practising mindfulness and meditation. It includes:

  • The importance of body-based practices, including the body scan and mindful movement

  • How mindfulness and compassion practices can be profoundly life-changing and transformative for those suffering from chronic pain and health conditions

  • Learning to switch from ‘doing mode’ into ‘being mode’ - learning the difference between thinking about experience and being directly aware of it

  • Understanding the key difference between Primary Suffering (e.g. a pain in your leg) and Secondary Suffering (e.g. worrying about what the pain could be, whether it will get worse, etc. etc.)

  • The essential role of compassion and kindness - towards others and towards yourself

  • How to incorporate mindfulness into daily life


“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 or illness and reclaiming one’s life that I know of… I admire Vidyamala tremendously.”

     - Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of MBSR, Professor Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School

We have a handy acronym to summarise the Breathworks approach: Be AWARE:

Be: Being Aware — of body, emotions, and thoughts as foundation


A: Acceptance — turning towards the difficult


W: Wonder — seeking out the pleasant


A: Arising & Passing — living with flow, with a broader sense of perspective


R: Relating — building a sense of connection with others


E: Engaging with life — and living with choice

Breathworks has an emphasis on compassion, gratitude, and kindness, alongside mindfulness, which doesn’t tend to be found in other training programmes, such as MBSR and MBCT. Our emphasis on the body as a vehicle for mindfulness practice means that we also include mindful movement practices as an important component of our courses and training. Breathworks has its roots in mindfulness for pain and health conditions - and we believe that kindness and body-based practices are powerful tools for transforming suffering.

Get a taste of the Breathworks Approach in this short video:

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Why Train with Breathworks?


MASTER MINDFULNESS AND COMPASSION

Benefit from the unique practice opportunity of studying and practising with deeply experienced trainers and fellow teachers in training. 

Learning to teach with Breathworks was the best thing I’ve ever done for my own mindfulness/compassion practice."

      - Breathworks Teacher in Training

Since our teaching methods are experiential, rather than academic, you will easily be able to apply what you learn to your own mindfulness and meditation practices. We want you to teach from your own deep experience of these skills.

EARN A RESPECTED QUALIFICATION

We are a founding member of the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches (BAMBA). This is the closest thing that exists to a regulatory body for mindfulness training in the UK. There are a lot of low-quality teacher training programmes out there, and BAMBA acts as a stamp of approval that signals the highest quality programmes. 

Completing the Breathworks teacher training programme allows you to become a BAMBA-approved teacher as well, and to be listed on their website as a registered teacher so that those looking for mindfulness courses can contact you.

Breathworks courses ensure that you feel confident and ready to navigate the many challenges and rewards of being a mindfulness teacher for groups and individuals.

MEMBERSHIP AND TEACHING COMMUNITY

When you become a Breathworks teacher, you join a group of experienced teachers and trainers, and get the benefits of their wisdom, experience, and advice.

Breathworks also runs several continuing professional development events for our teachers every year, including online workshops, retreats, workshops, and courses. 

These cover the latest developments in the mindfulness field, such as the latest science into chronic pain management, trauma-sensitive mindfulness, as well as teaching techniques, and practice opportunities. We also offer our teachers discounts on our events and materials.

SPECIALISMS AND EXPERIENCE


Breathworks was established in 2001 and has become the international field leader in secular mindfulness training for pain management, long-term conditions, and stress.

Founded by expert trainers and practitioners Vidyamala Burch, Sona Fricker and Gary Hennessey, the Breathworks programmes are based on four decades of mindfulness and meditation experience, as well as Vidyamala's own journey with pain and illness.



One of the most important outcomes of mindfulness practice is the reconnecting of body and mind, The Breathworks approach brilliantly shows us how to develop that crucial connection and use it to cope with pain and illness."

    - Chade-Meng Tan, Jolly Good Fellow of Google


The Mindfulness for Health book, which accompanies the course, won first place in the 2014 British Medical Association Book Awards in the popular medicine category. 

It was also added to the Reading Well: Books on Prescription Scheme as a self-help resource recommended by doctors for chronic pain, and made available in libraries all over the UK.

In 2018, Breathworks founder Vidyamala Burch was awarded honorary membership to the British Pain Society thanks to her extraordinary service to the field.

Breathworks courses have been the subject of numerous published papers, and many internal evaluations, and the efficacy of our approach has been demonstrated time and again. See our research page to find out more.

A unique part of the Breathworks programme is the emphasis on compassion alongside mindfulness in our courses. This is in contrast to approaches such as MBCT and MBSR, which tend to focus on the cognitive aspects of mindfulness practice. We want our teachers, and those who complete their courses, to be able to respond to their own suffering, and the suffering of others, with kindness. From this more spacious perspective of acceptance and kindliness, one is empowered to accept and respond, rather than react, to their difficulties.

APPG MINDFUL NATION REPORT AND HEALTH STATISTICS

Following recent NICE recommendations (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and the findings of the 'APPG Mindful Nation Report 2015, there is currently a growing need for mindfulness teachers with the expertise to deliver high quality mindfulness programmes. 

Additionally with 15 million people in England alone suffering with a long-term condition and 14 million people with chronic pain, there is a real need for effective low cost, long-term sustainable health management programmes such as those provided by our programmes.

 

AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

One of Breathworks' core values is inclusion, whereby everyone in our diverse training community is treated with respect, their voice heard and their experience valued. We ask all our trainees to uphold a  common commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

SUPPORT, MATERIALS, MENTORING, AND MORE

When you complete Breathworks teacher training, you get access to a trove of valuable resources. Many of these will be given to you on your teacher training event, in the form of a student manual (and access to its contents online) which includes advice, tips, and reminders on how to lead classes, guide meditations, enquire into students’ meditation practice, facilitate group discussions, and teach effectively.

This also contains detailed lesson plans for our two signature courses - the Mindfulness for Health course, for chronic pain and health condition, and the Mindfulness for Stress course, for stress, anxiety, and mental unrest. These lesson plans and other resources are invaluable, both in teaching these courses to others, and adapting them to teach other material as a mindfulness teacher.

Throughout the teacher training process, you will be paired with a personal mentor to guide you through the process, and give you personalised feedback and support.

AN AMAZING PROGRAMME

The trainers provided us with lots of support… and to develop our own style of teaching. It was excellently handled - I’ve learned a lot.

     - Recently Qualified Breathworks Teacher

And of course, we think the best reason to start Breathworks Teacher Training is our incredible programme! Find out more about it below.

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Teacher Training Programme Overview

This is an overview of the programme. You can download and find everything else you need to know in the Guide to the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme.

The training consists of five stages:


1. PREREQUISITES

Find out whether you meet the prerequisites to apply for the teacher training programme here:

We have three prerequisites:

1. At least a year of mindfulness and meditation practice by the time you begin your TTi event

2. The completion of a Breathworks course within approximately two years (to find out more about which courses qualify, download our detailed Guide to the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme.)

3. If you haven’t completed a meditation retreat, you can still begin the training, but before you get your accreditation as a meditation teacher, you will need to have completed a meditation retreat (5 days suggested length). This doesn’t necessarily need to be with Breathworks


2. INTRODUCTORY TEACHER TRAINING (TTi)

Online Orientation Workshop

To prepare for your Introductory Teacher Training Event (TTi), you will join an Online Orientation Workshop - a group video call with a Breathworks trainer to give you a welcome to Breathworks, an overview of the training process, and an exploration of how to work with your personal mentor through your training. You can find out more about this and see which dates and times are available on the Guide to the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme.

Preparation for Introductory Teacher Training Event

Before your training you will also have some preparatory reading to complete and videos to watch, as well as meditation diaries to complete for several weeks to review with your personal mentor. (Due to the time these diaries take to complete, we recommend that you book your TTi event at least two months in advance). Find out more about what preparation is required in the Guide to the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme.

Introductory Teacher Training Event

There are three different formats that you can choose from to complete your introductory training:

  • a 6-day residential course, which takes place at a retreat centre or similar location

  • two non-residential modules of 3-days each, held at one of our centres in Manchester or London

  • or, from 2020, a purely online format (more details on the Online Introductory Teacher Teacher Training Page)

The training itself will consist of extensive practice in:

  • Teaching mindfulness

  • Guiding meditations

  • Conducting effective meditation enquiry

  • Leading mindful movement sessions

As well as:

  • A complete introduction to key Breathworks and MBPM (Mindfulness-based Pain Management) concepts and the principles behind the courses

  • An overview of the structure & content of Breathworks courses: Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress

  • Experiential workshops from our Breathworks Trainers in effective teaching methods

  • Understanding the practice and benefits of mindful movement

  • Furthering your understanding of mindfulness and compassion, and their applications for human suffering

  • Deepening your personal mindfulness and meditation practice

  • Learning to effectively communicate your understanding and experience to others in your teaching

TTi follows a programme that we’ve refined over many years to support rapid learning, but also to be spacious and nurturing of your personal mindfulness practice.

3. DEVELOPMENT OF SKILLS

The development of skills stage consists of two sections, which can be completed after TTi, any time before your practice course in the 5th and final stage of training.

Mindful Movement weekend

This mindful movement weekend is a two-day workshop on teaching and practising the mindful movements included in Breathworks courses.

These mindful movements were developed to be easily accessible for everyone and are not about flexibility, strength, or exercise. They were adapted from movements from yoga and qigong, and they are a powerful tool for grounding ourselves, developing mindfulness in movement, and learning to get in touch with the profound wisdom of our bodies. You can book your mindful movement weekend on the Registered Students Page.

Supporting a Course

This is an immensely valuable opportunity to deepen your confidence and experience by supporting a Breathworks course. You could support a course being taught at one of our centres in Manchester or London, one of our group online courses, or one offered by a local Breathworks teacher. Other options include supporting a residential Mindfulness for Health course, a meditation retreat or Masterclasses offered by Breathworks.

It will give you the opportunity to practise teaching, as well as to get familiar with the practicalities of running a course.

 

4. ADVANCED TEACHER TRAINING (TTa)

There is some preparatory reading and meditation diaries to complete before you attend your TTa. Find out more about these in the Guide to the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme.

You can complete your TTa as a 6-day residential course at a retreat centre somewhere in the UK, or in two 3-day non-residential modules in Manchester or London.

Your TTa event will take place in small groups with a Breathworks trainer, covering key concepts and practices in more depth, and practising the skills of a mindfulness teacher.

Trainees will further their understanding of mindfulness and compassion and their applications to human suffering, deepen their personal practice, and communicate their understanding and experience effectively to others.

You will work with the Breathworks Teaching Competencies as a guide to developing your good practice as a mindfulness teacher.

There will be sessions on:

  • The use of 'enactments' in teaching

  • Ethical practice

  • Meeting the BAMBA Good Practice Guidelines

When you're ready, you can book your Advanced Teacher Training Event on the Registered Students Page.


5. APPLICATION OF SKILLS

Upon completion of Advanced Teacher Training, students will run a Practice Course in order to apply the skills they've learned during their training. You can do this by running a practice course independently, or co-leading one with another trainee or accredited Breathworks teacher.

You will be supported in teaching by an experienced Breathworks supervisor. You’ll write a weekly reflective journal, feedback to your supervisor on your experiences, challenges and successes in teaching your course, and receive support and advice.

Find more information on arranging your practice course on the Registered Students Page.

Apply Now


MEET THE BREATHWORKS TRAINERS

Meet the Breathworks Teacher Trainers who will be guiding you through the training programme on the Breathworks Trainers Page.


HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME AN ACCREDITED BREATHWORKS TEACHER?

You are free to book these events whenever you want to. However, bear in mind that you must take at least a year to complete your teacher training with us.

We encourage you to take time between each stage in your journey with us 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.


FEES

Organisation Individual Concession
Stage 1* £2500 £1600 £1300
Stage 1 Online* £2250 £1250 £1050
Stage 2 £2950 £2100 £1750
Study Materials Free Free Free

*You only need to complete one of either the Stage 1 training online, OR the Stage 1 training in person - not both. 

Stage 1 – Introductory Teacher Training payment covers:

  • Online Orientation Workshop

  • Six months support from your training mentor

  • Mindfulness for Health meditation diary review and feedback from your mentor

  • One of either:
    • 6-day Residential Introductory Teacher Training Retreat, including accommodation

    • Two non-residential 3-day training modules
    • Online training - twice weekly online learning sessions for 5 weeks (find out more on the Online Introductory Teacher Training page)

Stage 2 – Advanced Teacher Training payment covers:

  • Six months support from your training mentor

  • Mindful Movement meditation diary review and feedback from your mentor

  • Mindful Movement weekend

  • Mindfulness in Daily Life or Mindfulness for Stress Meditation diary review and feedback from your mentor

  • 6- day Residential Advanced Teacher Training Retreat including accommodation/Non-residential Training modules*

  • Supervised Practice Course mentoring 

  • Online post-Practice Course workshop (optional) 

*Full board & lodging, including delicious meals and plenty of snacks and drinks, is included in the fee - no extra or hidden charges. Accommodation on the training retreats is in shared rooms. We manage to keep the accommodation costs this low with the special support of Taraloka, Adhisthana and Vajrasana Retreat Centres. However, this does mean that we require participants to help with washing-up, setting tables, and a short period of general clean up at end of the retreat.
There is an additional fee of £300 if you choose to do the non-residential training modules in London.

For overseas trainees who are unable to attend a Mindful Movement weekend, please contact the Breathworks office to discuss fees.

PAYMENT PLANS

A deposit of 25% the total cost is required to confirm a place on a course; full payment is required 6 weeks before the start of the event.

To help spread out the cost of training there is an option to pay for a course over 6 equal monthly payments: see Terms and Conditions below for full details.

In the event that you can no longer attend the course you have booked, it may be possible to transfer to another course at a later date: see Terms and Conditions below for full details.

FUNDING

We are aware that the cost of training may be prohibitive for some, and there are some options that you may wish to explore:

We offer a concessionary rate of training, which we recommend to those earning less than £17,000 a year (see pricing table above for details)

If you are experiencing significant financial hardship, you may be eligible to apply for a bursary place. You should be able to fund yourself at least 50% of the concessionary training fee, and our charity arm, The Breathworks Foundation, will fund the remainder of the event fee. To apply, please click here.

Please feel free to contact us for details of the above.

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS (INCLUDING CANCELLATION POLICY)

A PDF containing the Terms and Conditions can be found here: Terms and Conditions


TEACHER TRAINING EVENT DATES

RESIDENTIAL TRAINING DATES 2019/ 2020

Date Location Training Type
Nov 9-15, 2019 Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training
Feb 29-Mar 6 2020 Taraloka Retreat Centre, North Wales Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training
May 16-22 2020 Vajrasana Retreat Centre, Suffolk Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training
July 11-17 2020 Adhisthana Retreat Centre, Herefordshire Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training
Oct 10-16 2020 Adhisthana Retreat Centre, Herefordshire Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training

*Please note that Vajrasana has heavy fire doors which affect access for people with mobility issues. We apologise for this and are happy to discuss your access needs with you to look at the most appropriate support or booking we can offer.


NON-RESIDENTIAL MODULAR TRAINING DATES 2020

Students must attend a residential retreat for at least one level of training (TTi or TTa). If choosing the non-residential option for either their TTi or TTa, students must be able to attend both modules 1 and 2.

INTRODUCTORY TEACHER TRAINING (TTI)

We currently have no scheduled dates for non-residential TTi events.

ADVANCED TEACHER TRAINING (TTA)

3 - 5 August 2020 (Module 1) Manchester
24 - 26 August 2020 (Module 2) Manchester

ONLINE TRAINING DATES 2020

Find dates for the online TTi on the Online Introductory Teacher Training Page.


WHAT NOW?

Apply! If you meet the prerequisites above, we warmly invite you to take a look at our teacher training event dates above, and submit your teacher training application today.

If you are already a Registered Student, check out the Registered Students Page for details about next steps.

If you would like to find out more, and have the opportunity to ask some questions, you can sign up free to our Teacher Training Programme Information Webinar, led by Breathworks Head of Training Ginny Wall. Register your interest on this form and we’ll let you know the next time we run a webinar.

Or Apply Now


FAQs

I’m concerned about the cost of the programme - is there any help I can get?


Yes! We recognise that the cost of the programme can be a struggle for many people, so we have a number of options to help you out:

  • To help spread out the cost of training there is an option to pay for each stage of training over 6 equal monthly payments: see Terms and Conditions above for full details.
  • We offer a concessionary rate of training, which we recommend to those earning less than £17,000 a year
  • If you are experiencing significant financial hardship, you can apply for a bursary place. If successful, The Breathworks Foundation may be able to fund up to 50% of the course fee. The Foundation is Breathwork’s partner charity, which aims to make mindfulness teaching accessible to everybody, regardless of circumstances.

I want to be an self-employed mindfulness teacher - will I be able to get enough students?

We obviously can’t say for certain that you’ll be able to get enough students - it will depend on factors like how much you’re able to raise awareness of your courses, and how many people are in your area. The reality is that you will need to put work in to make sure you get students. While a small number of Breathworks teachers are full-time mindfulness teachers, most combine it with other sources of income. We try to help as much as we can by giving you a profile on our directory of local teachers, which people can search when they’re looking for a course. You can also get a place on the BAMBA directory.

Is Breathworks the best choice of teacher training organisations?


Breathworks is one of the longest-standing teacher training organisations - in fact we’re a founding member of BAMBA, along with Bangor and Oxford University. Our commitment to revising, updating, and improving our programme every year for the many years we've been training teachers means that training with us is a safe bet.


However, deciding which is the right organisation for you to train with depends on what you want to teach! Breathworks has an explicit emphasis on compassion, gratitude, and kindness, alongside mindfulness, which doesn’t tend to be found in other training programmes, such as MBSR and MBCT. Our emphasis on the body as a vehicle for mindfulness practice means that we also include mindful movement practices as an important component of our courses and training. Breathworks has its roots in mindfulness for pain and health conditions - and we believe that kindness and body-based practices are powerful tools for transforming suffering. Whether you choose to train with us depends on whether this approach appeals to you, and if you’re unsure, we recommend you take a look at the other options on the BAMBA website.


Training seems like a big time commitment - what if I can’t find the time or meet all the requirements?

Most trainee teachers take approximately two years to complete the teacher training programme. This seems to be ample time for somebody with a family and a full-time job, however, you’re welcome to take more or less time depending on your other commitments.

If attending a 6-day residential retreat would be challenging, you have the option of completing either your TTi or TTa as two 3-day non-residential modules, which take place about a month apart, instead. TTi will also be available in an online format in 2020 - details coming soon.

If you have other concerns about your ability to meet the requirements of the programme, please contact our office at [email protected] to discuss your options.

Will Breathworks training benefit my other practices?

Breathworks is an extremely versatile approach to mindfulness. It is so effective in so many areas because it cuts to the core of what makes mindfulness practices work. There are Breathworks teachers who are yoga teachers, nurses, counsellors, doctors, etc. who have all found the approach beneficial to their work.

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