Breath in the time of COVID: A holistic approach to breathing & breathlessness

Breathing and breathlessness have taken on a new significance since the Covid-19 pandemic. Building on life experience as a singer, clinical music therapist, mindfulness and yoga teacher in community and healthcare settings, and medical humanities research from the Wellcome funded Life of Breath project, Kate will share her work on the importance and meaning of the “intra and interpersonal” breath.

Kate Binnie Covid

“A con-spiracy of love, through breath”

In the fallout from this strange year, we will explore ways of repairing an intimate and natural relationship with our breath to support self-awareness, self-regulation and wellbeing. We’ll also think about how we might use the relational breath to help people experiencing or caring for those with breathlessness and/or restricted breathing, including those recovering from Covid-19.

Workshop Content and Approach

This is not a pranayama workshop. The session will integrate practical and philosophical approaches from several disciplines including physiology (the mechanics of breath), yoga & mindfulness philosophy & practice (the healing breath) and Western psychodynamic and philosophical thought (the meaning of breath). All of this is rooted in Kate’s lived experience; from learning to care for herself and others through a personal exploration of the breath across the lifespan – from first to last breath.

"This workshop is open for all people interested in breathing and in learning about holistic approaches to breathing. How do we breathe, and how do we form a relationship with our breath?

As a yoga teacher, I can say that no-one ever taught me to find my natural breath, only to manipulate it (to deepen, slow, relax, hold, pump, et cetera) using techniques of Pranayama - but I am not teaching that here.

My interest lies with unwinding tension, holding, stress, worry and constrictions of breathing, which are highly prevalent across all of society and affect us in ways in which we might not be aware. How can we as yoga teachers, therapists and healthcare professionals begin to help people to understand their breath, at a time when breathing and breathlessness has become of international concern?"

Kate Binnie

What will I Learn?

  • A basic understanding of the physiology of breathing and breathlessness
  • Gentle moving and self-massage practices to foster embodiment, and to release bodily tension which can inhibit natural breathing
  • Experiential practice and enquiry to “light up the lamp of awareness to illuminate our breathing” (Thich Nhat Hanh) without forcing or manipulating – learning to feel and enjoy our natural breath without preconceptions of what is “right” or “wrong”
  • An understanding of breath as the building block of our individual and relational lived experience (and why this is important)
  • Ways to understand and meet common “dysfunctional” breathing patterns with take-home tips to practice and share with students, patients & family members

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is suitable for all breathers; yogis and non-yogis, therapists, healthcare professionals, patients, their caregivers and/or anyone interested in exploring a multi-dimensional and holistic approach to breath.

Certification

Upon completion of this workshop, you will receive a Yogacampus Certificate of Completion.

Hours

Breath in the time of COVID counts for 3 hours available for Continuing Education hours through Yoga Alliance.

Meet the Teacher

Kate Binnie is a music therapist, mindful yoga teacher and researcher based in Oxford working clinically and in the community with people living with chronic and life-limiting conditions. She is a lecturer on the YogaCampus Yoga Therapy diploma and runs the Yoga in Supportive and Palliative Care and into Bereavement training (link & date). Her recent work with www.lifeofbreath.org at University of Bristol investigated the potential for breath-body-mind integration techniques to help people living with chronic breathlessness. She gives bi-annual training workshops at Oxford Centre for Palliative Care Education and Research, is a guest lecturer at King’s College London (palliative care MSc), at Oxford Brookes (psycho-spiritual care PG cert) and is also a collaborator on the University of Oxford Medical Humanities project Lives in Medicine. Kate recently began a PhD at the Hull York Medical School funded by Research England and the International Investment Initiative, exploring the emotional component of breathlessness in advanced and chronic illness.

www.katebinnieyoga.co.uk

Twitter @holisticEoL

Kate Binnie

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