Welcome to the Breathworks Teacher Training Programme. Breathworks offers teacher training for those interested in learning Mindfulness-Based Pain Management (MBPM) for people with Chronic Pain and Long-Term Health Conditions (LTCs), as well as those wanting to become a Breathworks Mindfulness for Stress Teacher.
If you are already a student in the programme or a Breathworks teacher, please choose from one of the following options:
- Why Train with Breathworks
- Training Overview (incl. Pathways and Prerequisites)
- Meet the Trainers
- Orientation Workshop
- Event Dates
- Becoming Accredited
- 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 with an emphasis on experiential rather than academic styles of learning. Founded by expert trainers and practictioners 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. A unique part of the Breathworks programme is the important and explicit emphasis on Compassion alongside mindfulness and cognitive strategies in our courses, which makes a huge difference in how people are able to respond to their own suffering, and the suffering of others, with kindness. (In contrast, approaches such as MBCT and MBSR focus more on mindfulness and cognitive strategies, where compassion is implicit.) At Breathworks, we support people to accept each moment of suffering so that they may meet it like they would a person they love who was in pain. From this place of acceptance and love we learn to respond, rather than react, to suffering.
- Membership and Teaching Community
Breathworks is a founding member of the UK Network of Mindfulness-based Teacher Training Organisations and today has accredited over 336 teachers in over 24 countries with over 600 current students in the training programme. A large proportion of our teachers and trainers have come into Breathworks through their own experience of pain, health conditions, anxiety, stress or difficulty, meaning they are teaching from their own experience of the transformative effect of mindfulness and compassion.
- 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 programs. 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.
- Mission, Accessibility and Partners
As a social enterprise, Breathworks mission is to help as many people as possible live happier and healthier lives regardless of circumstances. Some of the ways we try to further our achievment of this is with subsidised places for those in financial hardship through the Breathworks Foundation, making our courses accessible to different abilities through face to face and online courses as well as award winning books and resources and through working with many public service partners and clients.
- Research and Social Value
At Breathworks, we aim to continually evaluate the clinical effects of our mindfulness-based pain management programme and to maintain an ongoing programme of research partnerships and collaborations. In 2016 we were also awarded the Social Value Quality Mark - Level 3 which demostrated that for every £1 invested in Breathworks courses produces savings of at least £5.76 in reduced costs to health and other public service needs, employer costs and increased community contributions.
- Being 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. If you become aware of any conduct during a training event that is in breach of this commitment, whether it affects you or another person, please speak to a senior trainer.
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:
- Introductory Training
- Development of Skills
- Advanced Teacher Training
- Application of Skills
To download or print a PDF of the pathways diagram below, please click Pathways Diagram
*As explained below, MBSR/MBCT teachers who complete this pathway can apply directly to the Advanced level training (TTa).
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:
- Breathworks Mindfulness for Health 8 week courses. Ideal for people who can get to a course nearby.
- Breathworks Mindfulness for Stress 8 week courses. Ideal for people who can get to a course nearby.
- Breathworks 3 day course for MBSR/MBCT teachers. Mindfulness teachers who have completed this course can apply directly to Advanced level training (TTa).
- Breathworks Mindfulness for Health Online course.Home based group online course enabling you to practise at home and with others (please select one of the courses specifically aimed at trainee teachers if possible)
- Breathworks 5 day Residential Mindfulness for Health Course – great if you can’t get to a local course
- Breathworks Mindfulness and Compassion for Health Professionals. Two 3-day non-residential modules, recommended for NHS and health professionals
If you complete an MBSR/MBCT 8 week courses led by a teacher who meets the UK Network Good Practice Guidelines you can also apply for Breathworks Teacher Training with the additional pre-requisite of completing a Breathworks online Mindfulness for Health course.
Please note: you must have attended at least 70% of your qualifying prerequisite course (attending a fellow trainee's Practice course will not count)
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.
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 Immersion retreat or any of our meditation retreats will fulfil this prerequisite.
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
For more detail about preparing for your training event please click here to go to the Registered Students webpage
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
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:
- an 8-week Breathworks course in your locality being run by an accredited Breathworks teacher
- one of our online group Mindfulness for Health courses
- a Breathworks immersion retreat
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 Registered Students webpage.
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 to go to the Registered Students webpage.
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 use of 'enactments' in teaching
- ethical practice
- meeting the UK Network of Mindfulness Teachers Guidelines
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.
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.
- 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.
for trainees completing TTi from January 2018
Training Fees 2018
Stage 1 (Introductory Teacher Training) payment
Stage 2 (Advanced Teacher Training) payment
Study materials (with 25% student discount)
Total cost to complete Breathworks Teacher Training*
All prices include VAT
Training Fees 2019
Stage 1 (Introductory Teacher Training) payment
Stage 2 (Advanced Teacher Training) payment
Study materials (with 25% student discount)
Total cost to complete Breathworks Teacher Training*
All prices include VAT
*On completion of Teacher Training, you will be invited to apply for accreditation; click here for full details of accreditation.
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
- TTi (residential retreat or Manchester modular event – there will be an additional fee for London modular events of £300)
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
- TTa (residential retreat or Manchester modular event – there will be an additional fee for London modular events of £300)
- Supervised Practice Course mentoring
- Online post-Practice Course workshop (optional)
Accommodation on the training retreats is in shared rooms. Full board and lodging is included in the fee. 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. Costs for non-residential modular training events in Manchester are included in the fee, and there will be an additional fee of £300 for modular training events in London.
*For overseas trainees who are unable to attend a Mindful Movement weekend, please contact the Breathworks office to discuss fees.
- 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.
We are aware that the cost of training may be prohibitive for some, and there are some options that you may wish to explore:
- You may be able to apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan
- 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 complete this form.
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 July 2018
The following study materials should be purchased and reviewed before attending introductory training.
All prices include VAT
Total Cost of Study Materials with 25% discount*
*We offer study materials at a 25% discount to Breathworks trainees. Once you have booked onto your first training event, you will receive information by email about how to purchase materials at this discounted rate.
Postage and packing are not included in the above prices. All materials are also available to purchase on the training events.
I was born and raised in New Zealand and first became interested in meditation in 1985 when receiving hospital treatment for a spinal injury. I intuited that meditation and mindfulness could offer me a unique means of easing the mental suffering associated with the physical pain I was experiencing, which has turned out to be the case. For the subsequent twenty years I have continued to follow this thread, moving to the UK in 1990 to live at a retreat centre in Shropshire, training further in meditation and preparing for ordination into the Western Buddhist Order, now the Triratna Buddhist Order.
My spinal condition deteriorated further in the late 1990s and I now use crutches or a wheelchair for mobility, but my overall quality of life has continued to improve as I have become more and more adept at managing my responses to my physical condition and enriching my life in other ways.
In 1996 I moved to Manchester and in 2001 I started teaching mindfulness-based approaches to others living with physical pain and illness, with funding from the Millennium Commission. In 2004 I founded Breathworks with Sona and Gary, both good friends of mine, who are very experienced meditators and teachers. I am deeply committed to the project and find it extremely satisfying.
I have been on a number of conferences, courses and training retreats with experts in the field of pain management and mindfulness, enabling me to draw on a wide range of approaches in my teaching – using both mindfulness and other recognised pain management interventions. I also continue to attend and lead residential intensive meditation retreats several times a year.
In my early twenties I started practising hatha yoga, and then took up meditation at a Buddhist centre in North London. That was back in the early 1970s. Soon after, I was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order, now the Triratna Buddhist Order.
For the subsequent nearly forty years I have devoted my life to practising and teaching mindfulness, meditation and Buddhist philosophy around the world.
I was involved in the establishment and running of several Buddhist centres, including founding a public centre in Stockholm, Sweden, and working as director of a retreat centre in the UK, where I spent much time leading and attending intensive retreats. I have led retreats and Buddhist training programmes in the UK, Germany, Holland, Sweden, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Following a powerful experience on a retreat some years ago, I have felt a growing urge to devote more of my life to caring for people who suffer from pain and illness. At that time I had developed a close friendship with Vidyamala and was inspired by the work she was doing teaching mindfulness-based techniques to manage long-term health conditions. I trained with Vidyamala in the Breathworks Programme in Manchester and am now based there. I am also involved in expanding the Breathworks Programme into other areas, such as the suffering that arises from the complexities of modern life.
I have been a devoted mindfulness and meditation practitioner for over 15 years. My professional background includes youth work, strategic planning, change management, and teaching and training programme development. I have been working as programme director at Breathworks for the past three years, delighting in the opportunity to use my experience and skills to help grow and develop Breathworks.
My favourite part of the job is supporting students in the training programme to bring more and more of themselves into their mindfulness practice and teaching. I believe that all people, given the right conditions and supports, can learn to thrive. I am also an ordained member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, teaching meditation and Dharma at the Manchester Buddhist Centre and on residential retreats.
Colette is a a Senior Mindfulness Teacher and supervisor with Breathworks CIC, Manchester and a Trained Mindful Self Compassion Teacher. As a freelance mindfulness teacher she delivers a range of mindfulness-based courses in Liverpool, the North West and Wales, including:
Breathworks Mindfulness for Stress Course
Growing from a professional background as an Occupational Therapist in Mental Health, I now specialise in Mindfulness Teaching.
I'm experienced in providing both Breathworks Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses in various NHS settings with service users, carers and staff across Dorset.
As a Breathworks Associate and Senior Trainer, I am involved with the Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher Training programs and offer Practice Course Supervision for trainees and ongoing supervision to our accredited teachers.
I'm also a Senior Counsellor for the Dorset Community Pain Service (DHUFT) where I lead Breathworks Mindfulness for Health programs for people living with chronic pain conditions. I enjoy my work, finding great encouragement in the transformative power of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion to reduce suffering, enabling real qualitative changes to take root and flourish.
Living with my family in Dorset; my daily personal mindfulness practice is grounded in the rich complexity of everyday life. My commitment to living practice is supported by ongoing supervision, CPD and regular meditation retreats.
I adhere to the Good Practice Guidance for Mindfulness Teachers (2011).
Andrea Cygler is originally from Manchester but is now based in Liverpool. She is an experienced and well-qualified wellbeing practitioner who has taught and practiced complementary health, therapeutic touch, meditation and relaxation techniques, stress management and resiliency training for 20 years, working with all ages and diversities, all over Merseyside and the North West.
Although she had tried different forms of meditation over the years it was only after an 8 week Mindfulness course that her practice become sustainable, enjoyable and truly beneficial. She has trained as a Mindfulness teacher and qualified with Breathworks in 2014. She now teaches on their Manchester programme and is part of their Teacher Training team She has also done some MBSR training with Mindflow and is a qualified to teach the Mindfulness in Schools Programmes to children and adults . She runs her own mindfulness courses and meditation sessions in Liverpool and is part of 'Mindfulness Liverpool'.
I am a Buddhist and have worked at the Manchester Buddhist centre since 1997. During that time I have enjoyed teaching many meditation and Buddhism classes. Hence I have been practicing Mindfulness for over 20 years, as I have very regular meditation practice. I particularly enjoy teaching in group situations and since qualifying with Breathworks as an accredited Mindfulness teacher I have taught many of the Mindfulness for Stress courses.
Over the last 18 months I have seen many people benefit from these course and now have resources to work with their anxiety and stress. As well as being a Mindfulness teacher I am also an Alexander Technique Teacher. I trained in Kendal for 3 years and qualified in 2010. The Alexander Technique, known mostly as a technique to improve posture, is really all about mindfulness and becoming aware of our helpful and unhelpful postural habits. If we can use ourselves well we will function better, so mindfulness of our bodies as well as our minds will lead towards greater well being. So I enjoy using my AT skills combined with the Breathworks material. Its a recipe for success and offers very practical ways forward.
As Breathworks’ Head of Programmes, I oversee the Breathworks mindfulness teacher training programme, supporting trainees to develop and deepen their meditation practice and teaching skills. I also look after the wider programme of Breathworks courses and retreats for the general public, health professionals and established mindfulness teachers, and am enjoying developing our e-learning offer. I also regularly teach Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses in Manchester and online.
I had already been meditating for many years when I came across the Breathworks Mindfulness for Health course. I was going through a period of emotional pain and anxiety due to family circumstances, and really needed something to help me cope. I found the Breathworks approach transformational, with its combined emphasis on awareness and compassion - it proved a real turning point for me in my mindfulness practice and life more generally.
I have practised and taught meditation for over twenty years. My background includes teaching, retreat leading, writing, youth work and educational programme development. I enjoy working in contexts as varied as community centres, workplaces, festivals, schools, homes and faith communities.
As well as my work in Manchester, I also offer mindfulness courses and events in Cumbria, Northumberland and south Scotland, plus one-to-one mindfulness teaching via phone or Skype. So, if you would like to discuss options about any of these, please do get in touch.
I learned to meditate over 30 years ago and have had a regular, personal practice for almost 20 years. My background is in Psychology and Education and I am trained in group work and CBT, through previous employment with social care agencies. I am trained in a wide range of body-work practices, which also inform my mindfulness work.
I qualified as a Breathworks trainer in 2005 and was a member of the training team 2006-2010. I have returned to training teachers in 2017. Between 2005 and 2011, I provided many mindfulness for health and stress courses, day events and practice sessions in the South Wales area. I have developed and delivered work for carers and parents and have trained to deliver mindfulness in schools. More recently, I have delivered mindfulness training for health care professionals.
I am currently training in mindful, body-based psychotherapy (Hakomi). Where appropriate, I employ elements of body work and Hakomi skills in individual sessions, to support personal exploration, positive change and growth.
Amalacitta (Cate Clark)
I regularly run Mindfulness for Health courses in Manchester “I’ve seen it change lives, including my own”. I came to Breathworks, on the advice of my GP in 2006 as a way of helping me to manage chronic pain, it made such a difference to me I decided to train with Breathworks a year later.
I am now a Senior Trainer with Breathworks and I am one of the Training team, teaching others to become accredited Breathworks teachers. Mindfulness and meditation help me to maintain equilibrium and to live a richer and fuller life.
For many years I worked as a commissioned artist, mostly in steel, making sculptural seats and signs for environmental organisations. The work I made was concerned with a sense of place and the importance of wildlife in our lives. I live in West Yorkshire with my partner and our dog on the edge of the Pennines.
Following a career in the private sector as a personal development coach and counsellor, Steve has been teaching accredited mindfulness courses for over five years. He is an Associate/Senior Trainer at Breathworks and is part of the Teacher Training Team. He is also furthering his study at Bangor University - Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice working towards a Masters Degree in Teaching Mindfulness-based Teaching Approaches.
His first experience of mindfulness came while searching for a "cure" for his own chronic pain condition and he now uses mindfulness on a daily basis to help manage his own pain condition and the stresses and complexities of modern life.
Abhayada Thomas Sopp
I'm a trained cabinetmaker as well as a youth and child care worker. I had my Breathworks Training in 2008, partly in England and Germany. Since 1993 I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation and started to teach both in 1998 at the Buddhist Centre in Essen. Since 2008 I'm self-employed and offer Breathworks courses, workshops and trainings together with Tanja Stevanovic and other trainers in Germany.
Accredited Senior Breathworks Teacher Trainer with extensive experience of mindfulness and compassion practice and teaching. He is the founder and director of "Respira Vida Breathworks" (www.respiravida.net), based in Spain.
Dharmakirti has trained with Breathworks since 2007. He has taught the standard 8 week MBPM programe all over the world, and led health professionals workshops and teacher training retreats during the last 10 years to several hundred people in Spain, England, Portugal, México and Argentina.
In 2012 he started running a Spanish language based "Respira Vida Breathworks teacher training programe".
Dharmakirti has been practicing Mindfulness and compassion on a daily basis since 2001, and is an ordained member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, an international network dedicated to communicating Buddhist values in ways appropriate to the modern world.
He has led and attended more than 60 mindfulness and compassion retreats. He is an accredited Ontologic Coach and co-creator of two "8 weeks programes": Mindfulness Based Communication & Relationship (MBCR) and "Transforming arrows into flowers".
He is co-founder of Meditation and Science Association. And teacher of the Master of Mindfulness of the University of Zaragoza and Bodhiyoga Mindfulness Yoga School.
Fidelma has been teaching Breathworks courses and workshops since 2008, to individuals with conditions ranging from back pain to neuropathic pain, to M.E. and fibromyalgia, to Motor Neurone Disease, and to groups with M.S. and M.E., as well as people with stress, anxiety, and anyone interesting in enhancing their quality of life. Her mindfulness practice has enhanced and transformed her life and her teaching stems from a desire for others to have the opportunity to experience the same benefits.
I have been meditating regularly since 2007 and teaching both the Breathworks courses since 2012.
Mindfulness meditation is now a part of my everyday life and I have found it indispensable for helping me maintain mental wellbeing after many years suffering with depression and more recently have found it hugely beneficial for managing my physical health.
I find teaching the courses immensely rewarding and enjoy participating in them as much as leading them. I am motivated by wanting to give as many people as possible access to the essential skills of Mindfulness that I have found so invaluable.
I am also a Breathworks Associate trainer and have been mentoring student teachers in this role.
I am committed to the ongoing development of my personal, teaching and training practice and regularly attend meditation retreats and professional development training.
I participate in regular supervision, both one-to-one and with a local peer supervision group.
In my role as a Mindfulness Teacher and also in every part of my life I aspire to hold in my heart the practice of being receptive and accepting in my connections with myself and others and of responding from kindness to whatever flows in my awareness.
On the 3rd day of my own Breathworks-Training in 2006 I knew that I wanted to teach the Breathworks courses for the rest of my life. At the end of my training I quit my job and became self-employed with Breathworks in 2007. My aim is to spread the Breathworks approach all over Germany to make it available to everyone who wants to get to know our methods, spirit and practices.
Therefore I offer courses, workshops and trainings together with Abhayada and other trainers in Germany.
I am a Biologist. Since 1999 I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation, after having learnt it at the Buddhist Centre in Essen. Breathworks helped me to deepen my experiences. I became able to connect more with my body and my emotions in meditation but also in my daily life. So it changed my whole way of living and interacting with other people. My passion is to give this gift I got from Vidyamala, Sona and Ratnaguna to all the people who are suffering from chronic pain or illness - or whoever would like to get to know a way of living with more contentment and happiness.
A health professional with many years experience teaching mindfulness. As a Breathworks Senior Trainer, I have been involved in training other teachers as well as developing special programmes for those on incapacity benefits and as part of a Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TAMHS) initiative.
I also teach specialist courses combining mindfulness and nature connectedness. As a doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Health and Science at the University of Cumbria I am investigating the benefit of connections with nature as part of a daily mindfulness practice.
I was UK delegate to the first Asia Pacific ICHPER (UN International Congress on Health, Physical Education and Recreation) Conference in Malaysia and I am one of the two UK members of the International Adventure Therapy Committee and am vice-chair of the Institute of Outdoor Learning Outdoor and Adventure Therapy Group. I have presented at conferences in the Czech Republic, London, Geneva and Johannesburg.
Anjali has been facilitating mindfulness courses since 2010. Previously a qualified nurse she enjoys bringing mindfulness to a wide range of emotional & physical conditions, including palliative care. A practising Buddhist of twelve years, she also practises mindfulness through art & dance.
"I did the online orientation for the TTi last week and it was great! Really got me looking forward to the training and I found it so useful" - E.D.
For anyone starting Breathwork teacher training from January 2018, you must complete an online Orientation Workshop before your TTi training event. The aim of the workshop is to introduce you to essential elements of the training programme, lay foundations for understanding the Breathworks approach to teaching mindfulness with compassion, do some practical introductory work, and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have at this stage.
The workshop will consist of:
- Online content to read and view (allow about 2 hours), followed by
- A 2-hour webinar with a Breathworks trainer, using a simple online tool called Zoom
The workshop will include an introduction to Breathworks, an overview of the training, a period of meditation practice, a reflective journalling exercise and an exploration of how to work with your personal mentor through your training.
When you apply to begin your training, you will be asked to specify dates when you could participate in an online Orientation Workshop before your chosen TTi event. You will then book dates for your Orientation Workshop and TTi event when your training application is accepted.
Dates for online Orientation Workshops are:
- 2-4pm Sunday 9th September 2018
- 4-6pm Wednesday 10th October 2018
- 2-4pm Sunday 11th November 2018
- 2-4pm Sunday 6th January
- 4-6pm Wednesday 6th February
- 2-4pm Sunday 17th March
- 4-6pm Wednesday 17th April 2019
- 2-4pm Sunday 12th May
- 4-6pm Wednesday 12th June
- 2-4pm Sunday 7th July
- 4-6pm Wednesday 7th August
- 2-4pm Sunday 8th September
- 4-6pm Wednesday 9th October
- 2-4pm Sunday 10th November
- 4-6pm Wednesday 4th December
Two weeks before your Orientation Workshop, you will be contacted by email with links to online content to read and view, and an invitation to your Zoom webinar.
Residential Training dates 2018:
If your Introductory teacher training takes place from January 2018 onwards, you can book onto an Advanced Teacher Training event from (and including) September 2018. Please remember that we ask you to leave at least six months between your Introductory and Advanced Training events.
- July 14-20 – Vajrasana Retreat Centre, Suffolk (Introductory teacher training) - This event is now full
- Sept 15-21 – Adhisthana Retreat Centre, Herefordshire (Advanced Teacher training) This event is now full
- November 17-23 – Vajrasana Retreat Centre, Suffolk (Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training)
- Jan 26-1 Feb 2019 Taraloka Retreat Centre, North Wales (Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training)
- Mar 9-15 2019 Vajrasana Retreat Centre, Suffolk (Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training)
- May 18-24 2019 Vajrasana Retreat Centre, Suffolk (Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training)
- July 20-26 2019 Adhisthana Retreat Centre, Herefordshire (Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training)
- Sept 21-27 2019 Taraloka Retreat Centre, North Wales (Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training)
- Nov 9-15 2019 Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire (Introductory and Advanced Teacher Training)
Non-Residential Modular Training Dates
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)
- 8 - 10 April (Module 1) Manchester
- 3 - 5 June (Module 2) Manchester
- 31 July - 2 August (Module 1) London
- 28 - 30 August (Module 2) London
Advanced Teacher Training (TTa)
- 31 October - 2 November (Module 1) London
- 28 - 30 November (Module 2) London
- 5 - 7 August (Module 1) Manchester
- 2 - 4 September (Module 2) Manchester
- 2 - 4 October (Module 1) London
- 20 - 22 November (Module 2) London
Who are Accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teachers?
Breathworks Mindfulness Teachers have completed the Breathworks Training Programme and been accredited by Breathworks to run both of our signature 8-week courses, Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress.
Requirements for Accreditation
Before accreditation you will have:
- Adhered to the UK Network Guidelines for Mindfulness Teachers and a Breathworks Code of Conduct
- Successfully completed introductory and advanced levels of our Teacher Training programme
- Supported a Breathworks course
- Completed a Mindful Movement weekend
- Completed all diaries and reviewed them with your personal mentor
- Run your own practice course or co-led a Breathworks course to apply skills learned in training between introductory and advanced level training
- Discussed accreditation with your Breathworks personal mentor based on the outcomes of your training and application of skills
Students can attend Advanced Level Training and support or run practice courses as many times as they'd like until they are ready to apply for accreditation.
Benefits of Accreditation
All accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teachers enjoy the following benefits:
- Access to and use of curriculum and all related materials for the Mindfulness for Health and/or Mindfulness for Stress courses, with free curriculum updates when available
- A free listing of contact information on the Breathworks website
- Use of the Breathworks name and logo for marketing purposes
- 10% discount on all Breathworks Continuing Professional Development events
- 25% discount on all Breathworks study materials
Once accredited, Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher are expected to pay an annual fee of £80 to maintain accreditation. In addition, you must do the following:
- Adhere to the UK Network Guidelines for Mindfulness Teachers and a Breathworks Code of Conduct
- Complete an annual survey to provide information and feedback to Breathworks
- Submit evaluation forms annually from at least one course they have run in the past year
- Attend any required events for Breathworks teachers (no more than one per year when needed)
- Attend at least one CPD event/year. This event can be a Breathworks event or an event offered by any member of the UK Network of Mindfulness Teacher Training Organizations
- Attend at least one 5-7 days long meditation retreat per year
In order to continue to deepen your own mindfulness practice you are expected to attend one 5-7 day residential, silent, teacher-led retreat each year. Longer retreats allow a deeper sense of stillness and silence, providing more space to be with the fullness of your experience as its emerging. This kind of space is difficult to find in our day to day lives, which is why longer, silent retreats are so critical for mindfulness teachers. If your life circumstances (for example, raising young children or caring for an elderly parent) make it difficult for you to meet this expectation, please contact the office so we can discuss your option.
The accreditation fee is part of Breathworks teachers CPD (continual professional development). It allows us to maintain your accreditation, organise events for our teachers and provide teaching resources. It also allows access to a range of information and networking opportunities to assist you in your role.
In order to ensure that your annual accreditation fee goes directly to supporting activities that benefit accredited teachers, all fees will go directly to Breathworks CIC, rather than the Breathworks Foundation. In order to maintain accreditation, all teachers are expected to pay this fee on an annual basis.
There are two different ways in to our Teacher Training Programme:
- If you are new to Breathworks and have fulfilled the Prerequisites for training, or
- Are a qualified mindfulness teacher (MBSR/MBCT) and have completed the Prerequisites and the Breathworks 3 day course for MBSR/MBCT teachers
In either case, please fill out the Training Application Form. Please note that you must have completed the prerequisites before attending your first training event.
There is an application fee of £15, which you will be prompted to pay on submitting your training application form.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0161 834 1110 to make an appointment.
If you would like to also book your TTa (advanced teacher training) residential or modular, please click here to be taken to the Registered Students page on the website. Please remember that we ask you to leave at least six months between your TTi and TTa events.