Breathpod is a business that delivers breathing and coaching programmes that help individuals, groups and businesses access their full potential through breathing workshops.
The one-to-one sessions, workshops and events accelerate performance, increase productivity, communication, confidence, focus, alleviate stress, anxiety, fatigue and help reduce negative emotions such as anger, fear, frustration and depression.
In this next blog for the wellness Wednesday series, Georgie from London Living was lucky enough to chat with the founder, Stuart Sandeman, who shares his experience of breathwork and how it helps him transition the tricky periods, both in his personal life and business life, and how breathepod was born.
Where did the idea come from, were you in the wellness industry before breathpod?
Short answer is no! Wellness is the last thing I thought I would be doing if you asked me this 5 years ago. I didn’t even think breathing could be a job!
My pursuit for optimum performance began when competing internationally for the Scottish Judo Team. As a successful athlete, I developed a winning mindset and learned the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, self-motivation, using visualisations, goal setting, and tools to manage anxiety. Using this experience, I trained and coached the University of Leeds Judo squad whilst studying a BSC in Mathematics and Geography.
After graduating, I followed a career in finance working in UK and Asia markets. During this time I dealt in a number of equity derivative based products, negotiating transactions and motivated teams of traders in a fast paced, dynamic, highly volatile and stressful environment. Whilst working Nikkei 225 stock market in 2011, my conscience was affected by the devastating Tsunami that engulfed Japan. Realising how limited our time is on earth; I decided to follow my passion for music. After securing a number of record deals, I toured the world as an international DJ until another life defining moment struck; I lost my girlfriend to cancer. At this time I found solace in a deep conscious breath work practise called Transformational Breath. I discovered that by following this connected pattern of breathing, the stress and anxiety lifted, my energy levels increased and the emotional trauma of grief and hurt faded. Amazed by this personal shift, and feeling a sense of gratitude for my own personal circumstances, including health, wellbeing and opportunities, I trained in a number of breathing modalities and as a coach to help others flourish.
Can you tell us a bit more about Transformational Breath?
Transformational Breath is a self-healing technique that helps people to access the full potential of their breathing system for better physical, emotional and mental well-being.
The connected pattern of conscious breathing is a natural, safe and easy–to-learn technique.
As human beings we hold onto tension within our bodies and in doing so create physical, mental and emotional blockages. This technique helps to release the blockages and transform your life and energy.
What happens at a workshop?
During the workshops I will observe your breath to identify any ineffective or restrictive patterns. This tells us where you may hold any physical, mental and emotional blocks. I then use tools such as acupressure, sound, movement and coaching to open your breath and allow it to flow more freely.
How much do your sessions cost and where in London can I come along to join in?
I run weekly Transformational Breath Workshops every Wednesday 6pm-8pm at Hello Love Dojo, Holburn, London. Its £30 per class or you can get a 5 class pass for £100. These sessions are in support of Hello Beautiful Cancer foundation so 50% of ticket donated to the charity and anyone affected by cancer is free of charge.
I also run weekly sessions at Blok Shoreditch on Wednesdays 4pm-5pm and Blok Clapton on Thursdays 11.15am – 12,15pm, each session is £17. Make sure to check out our website for more information – https://www.breathpod.me/events and come along!
Why do you think tuning into breathing techniques has become popular?
People are finding traditional therapies are not resonating with them or working anymore and so we get a lot of enquiries into our breathwork workshops, focusing around managing anxiety and depression.
I think the spike in interest is related to the sorry state of the world right now. There’s such amazing stuff happening in the world but there’s also a lot of destruction and unrest. The focus on breath helps us think of the bigger picture.
Do you have to be fit and in tune with breathing techniques to join in – can anyone come alone?
Not at all. Anyone can come along. Our sessions are suitable for everybody regardless of age, physical fitness or mobility. Whether you’re searching for something exciting, or grieving, or lost in depression or just trying to reconnect with yourself, one thing you might not realise is that breath is a self-healing tool that anyone can use.
What would you advice would you give Londoners who think this might be a myth and a waste of time – what benefits does a breathpod class give people who attend?
I would tell anyone to try it, just once to come along and experience it. It’s not a myth and not a waste of time. I always thought all these types of things were a bit too ‘woo woo’ for me until I tried, and my life was transformed. There are a huge number of benefits including:
- Detoxify and improve your health and wellbeing
- Improve circulation and strengthen your immune system
- Improve mental clarity and focus
- Release anxiety and alleviate depression
- Resolve past trauma and release emotional repression
- Improve the relationship with yourself and others
- Connect you to your inner wisdom, creativity and awareness
Like a meditation hack this experience is the launch pad for deep transformation as you increase energy, creativity and flow while improving emotional intelligence, concentration, sleep and memory.
As Londoners seem to be increasingly busy and stressed – What are your top tips / methods on combatting stress?
Breathing is the best tool to deal with stress and other emotions. You may have noticed that your state of mind and emotions are associated with distinct patterns of breath.
The amazing thing about your breath is that you can consciously control it.
I would recommend the 4-4-8 breath technique for combatting stress:
- Inhale through the nose for a count of four.
2. Hold breath for a count of four.
3. Exhale through pursed lips for a count of eight.
4. Repeat for four rounds.
Lastly, Where are your favourite places in London to take time out and have time to yourself?
My favourite places in London to de-stress are parks. I love getting outside and being at one with nature. I kick my shoes off, take off my socks and walk around no matter the weather, winter or summer, with my feet in the grass or soil to help me feel grounded. Water also helps me to de-stress, jumping into a lido, pond or lake – it’s kind of like a forced meditation, no phone, no emails, just you and the water. I really enjoy Brockwell lido – Hampstead Heath also provides the perfect place combining both park and ponds!