At the start of last year I packed up my house, corporate career and London life to embark on a three month sabbatical in India. Sensing such a journey would lead me down a path of no return, I set off with the intention of an adventure, with underlying hopes for some clarity on my next step forward in leading a more fulfilling and inspired life.
No surprises then that whilst in Goa, an abundant playground for spiritual seeking, I was able to immerse myself with mind enhancing and soul restoring experiences aplenty. This, coupled with the much needed time and space to simply be, gifted me with the guidance I could never have sought for myself through effort or strain; surprisingly arriving in the most natural and lucid of ways – through the simple act of breathing.
Breathing in an old yet familiar way, breathing into a state of what I can only guess to be pure consciousness. Feeling my connection to self, life and source becoming magnified with every inhalation and exhalation. Sensing how exhilarating yet easeful the experience of life can be when fully surrendering mind and my perceived sense of control to the infinite wisdom of the body and instinctual behaviour.
For anyone that has experienced Inspirational Breathing with Nicola before no doubt you will be able to relate to my experience. Perhaps you too received the message loud and clear “This is It.” From that first and pivotal session I knew I had at last discovered what I had been long looking for.And so followed my enrolling in Nicola’s five day Foundation Course and later Graduate Program. Taking me from group breaths on the beach in Rottingdean to assisting her on 18 attendee strong workshops at Goa’s foremost yoga retreat centre, and what an exploration it has been.
Nicola’s absolute dedication to the breath-work, and mission in sharing it as widely as possible, is infectious and overwhelmingly refreshing. Too often I’ve found myself on a course where the teacher or facilitator lacked the enthusiasm or expertise I had anticipated. To learn from the source of a subject is both rare and inimitable. During the Graduate Program Nicola had us facilitating breath sessions for one another from day one. Whilst challenging, this allowed the course content to be experienced on a far deeper felt sense, gave us ample opportunity to share and work through the various fears we faced as they arose, and resulted in a far more confident attitude to being able to take forward the learning with our case studies at the end of the course.
With both courses being limited to four students at a time this allowed for deep learning, unrestricted sharing and close bonds being formed with one another. During both, I felt like we formed a little family for our time together, in full support of one another as we encountered the highs and lows that such self discovery inevitably brings with it.
Nicola’s passion for food and nature is evident throughout, resulting in nourishment on every level. The views from our lunch time bbq on the South Downs and the taste of Goan figs coated in bergamot raw chocolate will remain with me for a long long time! When doing this deep inner work to know that you are nurtured and held in such a beautiful way really makes all the difference.
It’s been reassuring to know that the support and sense of community remains strong once the course is over, with Nicola being easily reached for feedback, further learning resources being readily available via inspirationalbreathing.com, a graduate Facebook group and Nicola offering up plentiful opportunities to shadow her, be that assisting on future workshops or courses, or pitching up a tent together at festivals as Inspirational Breathing tours the UK.
For anyone feeling the call to sign up for the Foundation or Graduate Program I wholeheartedly recommend them both, be that as a gift to yourself for personal growth, or as a new rewarding career path. The word that continually comes up from those I now facilitate breath work sessions for is ‘profound’; and having experienced many times over the simple magic that is Inspirational Breath, as both receiver and facilitator, I can assure you that it remains as such, no matter which role you play, and no matter how many times over you choose to consciously breath together.