How to become a pranayama teacher or breathwork instructor
Helping others to get empowered, to heal and share knowledge is one of the most wonderful things you can do in your life. It is in essence what truly gives fulfillment, to do something meaningful for others and this world. Many might feel the desire to do this, but are not sure how. Being a breathwork or pranayama teacher is one of the best ways to do this! Through breathing you can help heal the body, focus and empower the mind and live a more happy and fulfilled life.
The breath is connected with all the systems in the physical, mental, and energetic body, and through breathing, we can harmonize and balance all these systems. It is through breathing you can influence your state of mind and nervous system. For example; slow and calm breathing helps to relax the mind and nervous system, strong and fast breathing energizes and unblocks it. Strong breathing let's the body produce certain neurotransmitters and hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, endorphins etc. Slow breathing brings the endocrine system in a 'Rest & Digest' relaxing state. Now, this article will not be about the science behind this, but more and more scientific evidence showing that in many cases breathwork helps cure many types of diseases, and treat depression and burnout syndrome better than conventional medication.
Breathwork is the medicine of the future.
The path to start teaching breathwork and pranayama
"So where do you start?" one might ask. To be able to teach something and guide others, one must develop experience and knowledge first. You cannot share knowledge and insights if you don't have it right? So it is very important to have practiced breathwork and pranayama yourself for some time so that you really have experienced the powerful benefits of this practice. One can do the 'Breath is Life' course first. In this self-paced course, you will learn all the pranayama/ breathwork techniques that will help you to work with mind and body.
Then, when one feels he/she has understood the techniques, has implemented a good daily routine of doing breathwork and pranayama, and wants to learn how to share this with others, then one can continue to do the Life Awareness Breathwork Instructor Course. This course is an inner transformation journey of 4 weeks, not only by doing lots of daily breathwork and mind training sessions, but also by daily journaling and life-reflecting assignments to get a deeper understanding of why you live your life in the way you are living it now, and what is blocking you to fulfill your hearths calling.
Becoming a true breathwork/ pranayama teacher
In order to become a teacher, one must really know the subject very very thoroughly before sharing the knowledge with others. You cannot share what you don't have, so a good teacher has to LIVE it, and not just learn some knowledge. One has to develop to really BE a good teacher, and not just a "certified" teacher on paper that only knows certain facts with the mind. One becomes a great teacher when one has cultivated the connection, energy and wisdom to share. True understanding comes from experiencing the depth of the mind and hearth and the power of the breath that can lead you there.
This is the reason why one first must have done the "Breath is Life" course and must have understood and been familiar with all the breathing & pranayama practices. Then, in the Breathwork Instructor Course one will be taught extensively about the science behind breathwork, safety, how to create sessions responsibly, and how to arrange his life financially to generate an honest way of living out of one's teaching.
What is the difference between a pranayama or breathwork teacher?
Pranayama is the ancient Vedic knowledge of breathing techniques that have the goal to balance, energize, purify and calm the mind and energetic system so that the practitioner can go into a deep state of meditation and realize one's 'True Self'. So whilst these practices are in a great way unblocking the emotional system and releasing a lot of energy in mind and body, it is not about that. All of that is just a preparation for the true aim of this practice: profound meditation for self realization. This knowledge is hundreds, if not thousands of years old and is the foundation of most modern breathwork practices.
Not all breathing techniques are pranayama techniques. Some modern deep breathing techniques (hyperventilative techniques) are more about unblocking the emotional system and mind and these work on a gross level of our being. A lot of feelings and sensations are happening when breathing like that, it makes one feel spaced out or high, but it does not sharpen the mind, because there are too many sensations happening in the mind to still the mind. Pranayama practice takes all this a step further, and whilst some of the pranayama techniques are hyperventilative methods, it is mostly about slower breathing techniques that will calm down and purify the energy system so that deep meditation can happen. This stilling of the fluctuations of the mind will help one to expand their consciousness beyond the boundaries that the mind keeps it in.
Almost anyone can teach gross-level breathing techniques which can be very helpful when done in a safe way, but few can teach true pranayama. Pranayama goes on a much more profound level. A much more subtle level of our being.
In the 'Breath is Life' Pranyama, Breathwork & Meditation course, one will not only learn breathing techniques, but also learn how to work with mind and emotions, and to practice meditation. Meditation is essential for these practices, otherwise it is just another 'trick' to sedate or distract the restless mind. One has to learn to still and 'transcend' the mind. the yogic knowledge of pranayama and the importance of all 8 limbs of the yogic system pranayama is part of.
To teach this one has to have understood meditation properly and the flows of energy of life (prana) , mind and emotions. Teaching breathing techniques make one a breathwork teacher, but to be a pranayama teacher one has to have a much deeper understanding of the subtler layers of this reality. Though I (Michaël Bijker) do teach these more profound layers in my courses as well, and I guide people into 'knowing their true Self', one has to deepen their knowledge about all aspects of the 8 limbs of this yogic system, before they can be a pranayama teacher. So if one has already done yoga teacher trainings or has a lot of yogic knowledge already, then he/she can call him/herself a pranayama teacher after this course. I hope you understand a bit better my reasons behind naming this course a breathwork instructor course.