Our breath is a gateway to greater awareness, wellbeing, and health. In my last article for Shut Up & Yoga, I shared that active breathwork has been the wellness practice that’s most supported my own journey with anxiety. I also shared a bit on the science of how active breathing physically impacts our bodies and minds.
It’s been a game changer for me personally, teaching me to feel connected and safe in my body, and to tap into my own inner wisdom and intuition. So much so that I’ve decided to become a certified breathwork practitioner, and begin weaving the benefits of breathwork healing into my other work as a business guide. If you’re considering becoming a certified breathwork facilitator or adding breathwork facilitation to your existing offerings as a yoga teacher, healer, or coach, the following list includes breathwork facilitator training options I recommend based on the research I’ve done.
I’ve taken one of these and plan to take at least one or two more of these programs to equip myself to facilitate others. If you have questions about any of these programs, feel free to comment or send me a note – I’m happy to share my experience.
Shanila is one of the younger trainers I’ve come across but that doesn’t reflect her depth and capacity as a teacher. She brings an energetic approach to teaching what she calls “decolonized breathwork,” honouring its indigenous roots and teaching others to do the same. Her live, online certification program offers 50 hours of training and guided sessions.
In this program, which I recently took myself, you start with two full days of training, where you learn to develop the intuitive skills, boundaries, the practical knowledge, the science, and the deep-rooted cultural history of breathwork. You’ll also learn about energy guidance, techniques of visual meditation, novice crystal usage, and how to apply the foundations of breathwork. Shanila describes her approach as a combination of science and woo (or the mystical). You’ll learn to hold space, facilitate sessions, and develop grounding practices to equip you to show up in great presence. The live training happens over two days on Zoom, followed by a requirement of 25 hours facilitating breathwork and 25 hours attending breathwork sessions. I’ve personally found this to be a great start to learning breathwork facilitation, and actually getting direct experience.
Learn more about Shanila’s next facilitator training. Details here.
If it was at all possible for me to have attended Tai’s Facilitator Training this year, I would have signed up for this program in a heartbeat. However, Canada stopped all flights to Costa Rica, so I was out of luck. Why does this program appeal to me? Tai is a highly skilled teacher who’s created a breathwork facilitator program that covers the spiritual, energetic, and psychotherapeutic dimensions of breathwork. She also addresses what we know (and don’t know) from a scientific and physiological lens, including nervous system regulation, gas exchange in overbreathing and resulting effects, and how breathing affects the vagus nerve and Heart Rate Variability. Her program emphasizes the importance of trauma-informed awareness and what it means to hold safer spaces for deep and expanded-state work.
Because it’s a live, week-long experience with a group of 16-18 people on average, this training offers an intimate, hands-on environment to learn and practice various facilitation techniques, and to receive feedback and mentorship.
Tai will be posting dates for the next training soon, and you can request to be notified as soon as registration opens – as these trainings fill quickly with limited capacity!
Learn more about Tai’s next facilitator training here.
Cost: $1,695 USD. (Does not include cost of travel + accommodations) She typically offers these trainings in tropical locations like Mexico and Costa Rica. BIPOC scholarships available.
One of my favourite breathwork teachers ever is Carmen Ganne, who is hosting her next Breathwork Facilitator Trainings in Spring 2022. Carmen offers a deeply immersive experience—a combination of in-person and online learning with ongoing mentorship and education to safely and effectively equip you to become a certified, highly capable Breathwork Facilitator.
Carmen incorporates the energetic, intuitive, scientific, human connection, and mechanics of this powerful modality. Whether you are looking to infuse breathwork into your current business or practice or you’re looking to move forward as a breathwork practitioner, this Facilitator Training Program is very comprehensive. You’ll receive in-depth and embodied knowledge, information, tools, and practical, hands-on experience to translate breath patterns in yourself and others, and to confidently, safelyfacilitate breathwork journeys for clients. As a teacher, she is known for making herself available for personal support.
Carmen’s next facilitator training is happening July, 2021, and will be a unique, intimate hybrid experience. Her 2022 trainings will be announced on this page soon.
Amada Asta created the Transcend Academy breathwork practitioner program with the intention of giving each student everything they need to serve any type of client that comes through the door. This program takes place entirely online and is a trauma-informed, 21-week long experience that sounds incredibly comprehensive.
It covers both the spiritual and scientific aspects of breathwork. Students begin with a Level 1 that includes 10 private, one-on-one breathwork sessions (I’ve never seen anything so personalized before) to help each future practitioner process and integrate all that arises. It also includes business courses and coaching so that students learn how to launch their breathwork business. Follow-up mentorship is also offered for recent graduates to provide support after they’ve begun to take clients.
Transcend’s next facilitator training happens in September, 2021. Details here.
Cost: $5,500 USD for all three levels.
Having done quite a few private and group breathwork sessions with different breathwork practitioners, the four programs above appeal most to me personally because they all teach about the science and the spiritual benefits of active breathwork and because I’ve personally met and resonate with these particular teachers. Since taking my Level One with Breathwave, followed by Shanila Sattar’s Facilitator Training, I’m realizing how much there is to learn about this ancient practice and how important it is to feel fully equipped before sharing it with others in the role of a facilitator.
Akin to psychedelics, active breathwork can feel like it blasts you wide open. Personally, I know I’ll be taking more trainings in the future with the teachers above. Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll leave you with this list of breathwork playlists to inspire your path forward.