Stress is endemic in today’s world, with many people being subjected through the demands of work, home, illness or relationships to an almost relentless onslaught of triggers. Statistics show that around 70% of GP visits are for stress related conditions, whether they be the debilitating physiological conditions that arise as the immune system weakens, or the more prolific emotional conditions that affect us as we simply lose the ability to remain clear and focussed.

Using ones breath to calm down or stimulate is not a new phenomenon, but as yoga teachers and students have known for centuries, and medical science is beginning to acknowledge, the breath also has recuperative powers. Chronic or short term stress causes us to change the pattern of our breathing as we call into play the sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight response), what many of us are lacking is the ability to switch on the parasympathetic nervous system to return us to a place of calm or balance once the threat has passed, or even tap into during periods of prolonged stress when we could use a break. The breath is a powerful ally when we need support to cope with temporary or long term physical or emotional upheaval.

Chronic stress also alters the physical body, as the breath is affected and breathing patterns become shallow and fast, our shoulders hunch, chest and jaw tighten and fatigue, tension and pain set in. Improving the breath and our relationship to it helps to improve posture, strengthen the immune system, reduce anxiety and increase our ability to cope with and enjoy life.

I will work with you over a number of sessions to teach you to understand and recognise your breathing patterns, control destructive thinking, and release tension from your body. You will develop the skills necessary to use your breath constructively, as well as simple postural exercises so that you can use your body to support the process of releasing physical and emotional tension.