This week, Mystic Mag had the opportunity to speak with Michelle from Simply Breathtaking. We talked about her beginnings, what services she offers, and what she loves most about her profession.
When did you first know that being a Transformational Breath Facilitator was your calling and how did it come about?
I was someone who appeared to have it all. I was confident yet serious, busy and invested in so many people, and had many adventures with my husband and dog. I had a good job and thrived on the stress, I worked hard, cared for my family, I always had something I had to do, have I mentioned I was busy? I did not see the cracks, but on reflection they had been there for a very long time.
In 2019, the year of my 40th birthday, my life changed overnight. I woke up one morning and I was having trouble speaking. After some panic and medical appointments, it transpired that I had burn out, my brain had simply decided it could not cope anymore and turned itself off. The medical term being a mental breakdown. This couldn’t be right, I was busy, I was coping, I didn’t feel stressed, so many people relied on me, I needed to fix myself and fix myself quickly. I needed a second opinion. People like me did not have mental exhaustion. Oh, the wormhole of anxiety this created.
Over the coming months I had to get off the rollercoaster of life. I only left the house to walk my dog, I didn’t see people, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t communicate. I fell further into the wormhole, I had anxiety, depression, I couldn’t sleep but was tired all of the time, I just couldn’t see an end to it all. The fibromyalgia that I had lived with for over ten years got worse and my thoughts at this time were getting darker every day. I needed help.
It was whilst out walking one day, nature played a big part in my healing, where I listened to a podcast which would bring around the change in direction in my life. Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast featured Rebecca Dennis who is a Transformational Breath® Facilitator. At this time, I didn’t know what this meant, but just listening about how this breathing technique could help with breathing had me engaged. I finished the podcast and started researching the breathing modality discussed and without much more knowledge I booked onto a 2 day Reclaim Your Breath Workshop which I attended with the mindset of I need to breathe, or I am going to die. It really felt like this was my last chance. Well, the two-day course was so transformative that at the end of it I felt lighter, I had fewer black clouds in my mind and I could actually breathe without panic. I was energized and for the first time in a while, I was positive. I didn’t understand it, but I knew I needed more.
When I came home, my husband was so positive about the sudden change in my demeanor and with his encouragement I looked for the next step and this was to attend a 6-day seminar. Breathing was healing me; breathing was changing my life. I didn’t need to talk about feelings and I didn’t need medication. For the first time ever, I was helping myself. It was on completion of the seminar that I knew my life would never be the same again. Transformational Breath® changed my life and all I knew was that I needed to bring this to other people, why was this not readily available to everyone?
So here I am, a fully qualified group leader. I have fallen in love with Transformational Breath® and with who I am now. I am calmer, I take more time for myself and I listen to my body and my breath. I have let go of a lot of anger, judgment and self-criticism and I just live as much as I can in the now and I attribute these changes to Transformational Breath®.
I now only have a problem with my speech if I’m overly tired or if I have allowed the stress to creep in and this is o.k, I am at peace with this now. It’s like I have my own little notification center that tells me when I need to slow down. I do struggle to ‘find’ words at times but this is a scar that I am learning to live with and my continued breathwork practice helps me with this. I still have a full life but at a much more gentle pace. I slowed down and everything actually managed to carry on around me, what an eye opener that was. But ultimately I’m still me, just a softer and calmer version of me. My aim and ambition is to help as many people as I can and I want to make Transformational Breath® available to anyone and everyone but my desire is to help people like me who may have some mental health issues and are struggling to know where to turn.
What services do you offer?
Our Company is co-owned and run by me (Michelle), and Sally. I am based out of the West Midlands and Sally is based out of the South East. We see personal clients in these locations. We can also work with people virtually online.
As well as in person sessions we also come together to run workshops and you can find us currently running workshops out of the West Midlands, Reading and Wakefield.
We run regular weekend retreats either purely focusing on Transformational Breath, these are called Reclaim Your Breath weekends and attendees can experience the power of breathwork over at least 3-4 sessions during each day. We also run empowerment and mindset retreats that encompass breathing but have many more supplementary activities to promote a lifestyle of awareness and balance.
We are also able to work within the corporate world bringing Breathwork to teams and companies, helping people to identify the stress within their colleagues and to share techniques to calm, soothe and rebalance. By being able to do this we can help employers to reduce the sick leave due to stress and mental health issues within their business.
So in short there is something for everyone and our website is a treasure trove of information.
What exactly is Transformational Breath and how can fixing one’s breathing affect their everyday life?
Transformational Breath® is like a superhero power that you already have, but maybe you haven’t used it to its full potential. You know the saying if you don’t use it you will lose it? Well the same applies to the magic of breathing. Transformational Breath® is a form of breathwork that involves a specific breathing pattern designed to help individuals access and release emotional and physical blockages in the body that have been stored consciously or subconsciously over our lifetime. It combines conscious diaphragmatic breathing with a variety of techniques such as sound, movement, and affirmations to promote relaxation, stress reduction, and overall well-being. The 3 basics of Transformational Breath® are
1) breath to the belly – breathing with the correct muscle. . . the diaphragm,
2) a connected breath – breathing in and out with no pauses and
3) a gentle relaxed exhale.
The goal of Transformational Breath® is to improve the quality of your breath, which can lead to a host of benefits in your everyday life. Simply by changing your breath you can change your life by
- Improving energy levels: Breathing more deeply and efficiently can increase the oxygen supply to the body and brain, leading to greater energy levels and improved concentration.
- Reducing stress and anxiety by practicing conscious, diaphragmatic breathing, you can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Promoting relaxation and better sleep: Deep breathing can also help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, which can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.
- Enhancing physical performance: Improved breathing can help increase stamina, endurance, and physical performance in activities such as exercise, sports, or even public speaking.
- Improving emotional well-being: Transformational Breath® can help individuals access and release deeply held emotions, traumas, and blockages, which can lead to greater emotional well-being and a sense of inner peace.
- Strengthening the immune system: Deep, diaphragmatic breathing can stimulate the lymphatic system, which plays a crucial role in the immune system. This can help strengthen the body’s natural defenses and improve overall health.
- Reducing pain and inflammation: Improved breathing can help reduce tension in the body and promote relaxation, which can help alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Improving digestion and gut health: Deep breathing can stimulate the vagus nerve, which helps regulate the digestive system and promotes better gut health.
- Increasing self-awareness and mindfulness: Transformational Breath® involves focused awareness on the breath, which can help individuals develop greater self-awareness and mindfulness in their daily lives.
Overall, Transformational Breath® can have a wide range of positive effects on your physical, emotional, and mental health, which can translate to improved quality of life and greater overall well-being. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, improve physical performance, or achieve greater emotional balance, the power of conscious, diaphragmatic breathing can be a valuable tool in your journey towards optimal health and well-being. Like I said at the beginning it’s a superpower you might not even know you have!
Breathing is magic and it is FREE!
What can a person expect from your sessions?
In a Transformational Breath® session, the facilitator will typically start by assessing your current breathing pattern and look for any areas of tension or discomfort in your body. They will then guide you through a series of breathing exercises, often using specific hand positions and movements to help you deepen your breath and open your respiratory system.
Throughout the session, the facilitator may also use various techniques such as sound, affirmations, and gentle touch to help you release any emotional or physical blockages that may be preventing you from breathing fully and freely.
You can expect to lie down or sit comfortably during the session and breathe for an extended period, usually around an hour or so. The breathing exercises may be intense at times and it is possible to feel any and all emotions, but the overall experience should be relaxing and rejuvenating.
After the session, you may feel a sense of lightness, clarity, and peace, as well as a greater awareness of your body and emotions. You may also experience physical and emotional release as well as increased energy, focus, and overall well being.
It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with Transformational Breath® is unique, and the benefits can vary from person to person. Nonetheless, many people find the practice to be a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation.
What is the most important detail in maintaining a relationship of mutual trust with clients?
In maintaining a relationship of mutual trust with my clients, the most important detail is creating a safe and supportive environment. A lot can get processed during a session and it is imperative to foster an environment of trust, respect, and openness that allows clients to feel comfortable and safe as they explore their breath and emotions.
It’s also important to actively listen to clients, without judgment, and to create a non-judgmental and compassionate space where clients feel safe to express themselves. Some elements of Transformational Breath® can at times feel, for want of a better word. . . ODD!. Knowing that the space is held without judgment helps clients to fully embrace the “ODD” and to keep going with their breath journey.
What is the best part of your job?
As a Transformational Breath® facilitator, I find it deeply gratifying to support individuals on their journey towards growth and healing. I consider it a privilege to be able to guide people through the process of identifying and processing their physical and emotional blocks, which can be significant barriers to personal growth and fulfillment.
Through my work, I am able to help individuals build awareness around their breath and body, and learn how to access their full breath capacity. This can be a transformational experience that allows individuals to release tension, increase their energy, and improve their overall wellbeing.
Witnessing the transformation that takes place during a session, and seeing clients overcome obstacles and flourish, is incredibly rewarding. I feel immense joy in knowing that I have played a role in helping individuals achieve their personal goals and live a more fulfilling life. Often within a short period of time.
It is an honor to be able to support individuals on their journey towards healing and self-discovery. I really wouldn’t want to do anything else.