Written for my friends and colleagues on the Transformational Breath® path…
The joy of training in-person again
My last in-person Transformational Breath® training course was in 2019. We all know what happened next. The Transformational Breath® Foundation responded by creating new online professional trainings and hosting regular breathing circles over Zoom. Thankfully, therapists like myself were able to continue our learning, with a strong sense of support from Founder Judith Kravitz and her team.
And yet I missed human contact. The comforting touch that is integral to Transformational Breath® as acupressure points all over the body are activated, gently restoring the full capacity of the respiratory system. I also missed the high vibrational energy that is created when a group of people breath together. The fizzy, charged atmosphere that helps you drop into the breathwork experience even more deeply.
In short I was craving coming together with my peers. Finally, the opportunity materialised at the end of October. Level V Group Leader Training in Tuscany.
Lessons in leadership
Group Leader Training is designed to do exactly what it says on the tin. For one week Transformational Breath® Therapists from all over the world come together to learn the most effective ways to share and present Transformational Breath®with groups of all sizes. So many different topics were touched upon, explored from both a theoretical perspective and through a range of experiential exercises:
- Presentation structure: How to land WHAT Transformational Breath® is, its history and core components. WHY it is important, the physical and emotional benefits, as well as the potential for it to expand consciousness. HOW to do it, clearly demonstrating the basics of the technique.
- Appealing to different kinds of minds: Everyone takes in information differently, so we need to communicate in ways that speak to Visual, Kinaesthetic and Auditory learners. We practiced using visual aids, embodied movement, and adjusting the pace and tone of our voice to get our message across.
- Stillness and grounding: Being with any nerves that arise as we step into the role of public speaker, and managing them through slow and steady physical movement and breathing into the belly. Embracing moments of silence too. Getting comfortable with them and using them to powerful effect.
- Conveying our personal story: Authentically sharing the life experiences that led us to discover Transformational Breath®, without holding back from the emotional aspect of our journey. It’s not about hogging the limelight. It’s about connecting with our audience at eye-level, one human to another, to inspire them to embrace this powerful healing tool.
Practice (amongst friends) makes perfect
When it comes to leading groups, there’s only one way to get good at it and that’s practice practice practice. From day one we were invited to present to our peers, just a few minutes to a small group, building up to longer presentations towards the end of the week. I know a lot of people are put off doing Level V because of the public speaking, but the whole experience was incredibly supportive. The teachers always deliver feedback comprising of praise for everything you did right, as well as feedback on what could be better. You’re never made to feel stupid, far from it. Everyone receives balanced, positive and constructive negative feedback, after every single exercise. So you really are ‘all in it together’ with your peers.
The students on the course were all so encouraging too. A lovely group who genuinely wanted to see each other all do well. (Missing you already guys!) I think that’s another great reason to take the plunge and enrol for Level V. You meet like-minded people, all on the breath path, and you get to know each other on a really deep level through spending your whole day together and doing so many interpersonal games and activities.
I came away feeling I’d made new friends, who saw parts of my personality that usually take much longer to come out. I felt safe showing the vulnerable parts of me. Also the daft, silly parts...
And finally, what’s a leader without love?
I learned a lot on my training, but if there’s one thing that’s stayed with me it’s Judith’s explanation of what is at the core of the Transformational Breath®, its essence. In spite of all the scientific knowledge and practical techniques that therapists like myself bring to our clients, no transformation will occur without the ability to create a safe space, free from judgment and filled instead with love.
The body has a natural intelligence. It is a master of protecting itself, and so it will only allow painful emotions to surface and come to pass when it knows it is being met with compassion.
For me this elevates the path we have chosen as breathworkers. In sharing the breath, we share love. That oh so precious thing so urgently needed in the world today.
If you were on the fence about becoming a Transformational Breath® Therapist or Group Leader, I hope this is the nudge you need…