Overview of the improved Breathworks Training Programme – from January 2018

The Breathworks Training Programme is designed to develop your understanding of the principles and practices of 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 choose whether to focus on the Mindfulness for Health or Mindfulness for Stress course and be enabled to deliver it 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

(Click here for a Jan 2018 onward training pathway diagram)

1.     Prerequisites

Before you begin your training, you must fulfil the requirements for training with Breathworks (see prerequisites).

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:

  • 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

See preparing for your training event for more information.

Introductory training event (TTi)

This six day course, offered in both residential and non-residential formats, includes an introduction to key MBPM 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

Training Programme Application Form

APPLY for Breathworks Teacher Training (Please check prerequisites before you begin)

If you need to complete the training application form by telephone with a member of our admin team (eg. because of visual impairment or dyslexia), please email info@breathworks.co.uk or ring 0161 834 1110 to make an appointment.

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. See preparing for your training event for more information.

4.     Advanced Teacher Training

Advanced teacher training is offered in either the Mindfulness for Health or Mindfulness for Stress course. Trainees will opt to focus on the Health or Stress course for their Advanced Training (and will stay with Health or Stress for their Practice Course and be accredited to deliver that course). You can do the other Advanced Training at a later date if you wish to be accredited to teach both Health and Stress courses.

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 for your chosen course
  • read Living Well with Pain and Illness (Health course trainees) or Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world and Mindful Self-Compassion (Stress course trainees)
  • watch or listen to recommended talks online
  • submit and review diaries with your personal mentor (Mindfulness in Daily Life diaries for Health course trainees, Stress course meditation diaries for Stress course trainees)

See preparing for your training event for more information.

Advanced Training Event (TTa)

Advanced training is offered in five day residential and six day non-residential formats. TTa gives trainees an opportunity to explore in depth the key concepts and practices in their chosen course (Health or Stress) 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.

Accredited Breathworks teachers can do the Advanced Training in the course they are less familiar with for CPD.

Advanced Training Registration Form

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 (depending on which course you have specialised in at the Advanced Training stage)
  • seek accreditation as a Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher, enabling you to deliver either our Mindfulness for Health (MfH) or Mindfulness for Stress (MfS) course
  • complete the other Advanced Training for the course they are less familiar with, and become accredited to teach both Health and Stress courses (without needing to do a second Practice Course)

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

Testimonials from Previous Training Events

"Provided us with lots of support and encouragement to explore the different ways that people learn, our own strengths and weaknesses, and to develop our own style of teaching."

"Since doing my Breathworks training in 2009, I've done a number of other mindfulness trainings. The Breathworks training was, by far, the most inspiring and enjoyable. Congratulations for the fantastic work, you and the whole team, are doing."

"Really appreciated the practice teaching sessions - excellently handled. Learned a lot."


"I just wanted to take a moment to express how amazing this training retreat turned out to be for me. I know you saw the transformation I experienced on a surface level in terms of my expression of pain (fibromyalgia) and I can attest the internal transformation was even more meaningful and life affirming. Thank you both for creating a space that was so loving and safe to allow for this level of vulnerability. I am really excited about continuing my education and practice of the Breathworks teachings both on a personal level and as part of my ongoing professional practice. I honestly cannot wait to attend the next level of training (more intensive and longer retreat) and only wish that I could just come to the UK this summer. However, I can tell you now to "sign me up" for the next event in the United States in the Spring of 2016. I really believe this model can help so many people and needs to be out there in the community!"

Carolyn Licht, PHD, NYS Licensed Psychologist, New York