Nicola Price on how breathing classes can be used as a healing tool
PUBLISHED: 12:21 27 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:22 27 January 2014
It's something that comes to us naturally, but Nicola Price has personal experience of the power of breathing as a healing tool. Jenny Mark-Bell tried a one-to-one session
Nicola Price was working in corporate leadership training when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. She accepted radiotherapy, refused chemotherapy and recovered – only to be diagnosed with lupus as a result of her treatment a few years later.
Doctors gave Nicola a lifetime prescription to steroids. This was something of a wake up call, and Nicola went to India, researching nutrition and “really looking for ways to heal”. She discovered breathwork three years ago at a yoga class, “and it really blew my mind”. She immediately signed up to study Transformational Breath and completed her course last year. Today she brims with health and vitality.
Nicola is committed to natural breathing – baby breath – as a healing tool. Fans of the practice also believe that it helps release suppressed or repressed emotions.
The preliminary stage of a one-to-one breathing session is a breath pattern analysis. Put simply, you breathe deeply while Nicola observes. I discovered that I don’t use my diaphragm as a bellows, as we are supposed to, but take in shallow inhalations from the chest. More worryingly, and like many people, I also hold my breath between inhalations and exhalations, a condition called breath apnoea.
The one-to-one session took two hours, falling somewhere between meditation and yoga lesson. With a hot water bottle on my lower abdomen, a cushion under my knees and a mouthpiece to hold my mouth open, I attempted to follow the pattern of Nicola’s breath – two in, one out. It was dizzying at first, and as the unaccustomed amounts of oxygen entered my blood, I felt the prickings of pins and needles in my fingers.
It was a strange thing to just lie there and breathe for two hours. After a while, my mind went pretty much blank and I just concentrated on my inhalations. Later in the session, I felt weirdly remote from my own body and slightly vulnerable; perhaps that showed I’d allowed my emotions more sway. After my session I felt full of energy; light on my feet and peaceful.
With increasing pressure on young people, Nicola is keen to make Inspirational Breathing available to everyone. A breath pattern analysis is available for a donation only, and for those who can’t afford a one-to-one session, she runs workshops.
She’s even been in talks with the people at Glastonbury about leading mass workshops between music sets.
Watch this space.
Nicola runs sessions from her home studio in Rottingdean: to find out more, call 01273 308443 or visit www.inspirationalbreathing.com
-One-to-one sessions: £90
-Breath pattern analysis: donation only
-Workshops will be available from April