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Costa Rica 2020 - Breath Immersion

April 11-18, 2020 | Breathwork Immersion & Facilitator Training

BREATHWORK IMMERSION & FACILITATION TRAINING

APRIL 11-18, 2020 @ BLUE SPIRIT RESORT, COSTA RICA

 

A Transformational Journey

You are invited to a transformational week in personal retreat ­– an opportunity to shed that which no longer serves you and to embody a more authentic, integrated, and fulfilling experience of life. At its core, this week is for YOU. You will be skillfully and compassionately guided in conscious breathwork to release nonproductive patterns and reclaim the disassociated parts of yourself, in support of your highest expression, peace, and vitality. In the alchemy of the retreat container, you have the opportunity to embark on a therapeutic journey to discover the power of the breath as one of your greatest allies in integrative wellbeing, awakened awareness, and personal empowerment.

FACILITATION TRAINING & CURRICULUM:

This week is structured as a foundational training and springboard for those not only seeking a deeper dive into breathwork, but who are interested in sharing this powerful modality with their clients and communities. While not a certification program, the training will address core considerations for facilitating breathwork and provide you with the foundational skills, awareness, and knowledge to do so safely and effectively. The retreat is ideal for individuals mature in their own path of healing and development (which serves as the necessary foundation to support others), and who want to integrate breathwork into an existing coaching/healing/somatics practice or guide breath healing ceremonies.

There are a myriad of breathwork systems and “brands” that have developed around the core breathing technique, and it can be challenging to find a program in which there’s resonance with these broader frameworks and overall ethos of style and approach. My intention is to offer a distillation of the critical components of breathwork facilitation, while honoring your unique capacities as a healing guide. I will share my experiential knowledge from facilitating hundreds of journeys over the years to assist you in entering this space with as much awareness, skill, and knowledge as possible.

My orientation as a facilitator – and what will be presented in this program - is a balance of the more spiritual, energetic, and transpersonal dimensions of breathwork, while being firmly grounded in the physiology and science of this process. The later is emphasized in the curriculum, as I’m assuming those attending will already have a foundation of spiritual development and orientation.

In addition to daily breathwork journeys – both group and partnered – the week will include seminars and workshops addressing the following:

 

The Landscape of Breathwork

A survey of different schools of breathwork and how conscious breathwork differs from yogic pranayama and breath training techniques (such as Butyeko). We will explore the roots of somatic psychotherapy and Reichian theories of character and body armoring (and correlating approaches to “de-armor”).  

Respiratory Anatomy, The Nervous System, and Subtle Body Anatomy

We will review respiratory anatomy, the process of respiration (breathing and external/internal/cellular respiration), and effects of altering the breath in various manners. We will discuss the Autonomic Nervous System and how affecting the breath influences the vagus nerve, Heart Rate Variability (HRV), and resiliency to stress. Hyperventilation and respiratory alkalosis (and resulting tetany) will be explained, and why certain physical and/or psychological conditions may be contraindicated for active breathwork. One seminar will also be devoted to subtle body anatomy, and correlations between areas of restriction and aspects of psychospiritual growth and development.

Trauma Awareness

Breathwork is a somatic healing modality, and thus critical for practitioners to have a comprehensive understanding of trauma. We will discuss types of trauma and “normal” reactions to it, and how/why this process is often interrupted. We will explore how a thwarted response can cause the emotional aspects of trauma to become held in the tissues of the body and cause restrictions, and how to facilitate release and unwinding. Group dynamics and energetics (in which individuals are in a process of trauma release) will also be discussed, as well as assessment in discerning when someone’s experience is beyond your skill and training, so you can make referrals accordingly.  

Hands-on Techniques & Support

There are many approaches and orientations to hands-on (and energetic) support in breathwork. You will practice observing physical and energetic restrictions, and learn techniques to support activated breath flow and release of contraction areas. Techniques will include body positioning, different types of touch and palpation, vocal toning, trauma release exercises, use of props and aids, and protocols from craniosacral and shamanic healing that I’ve found very effective in this work. We will also discuss key instructional cues for skillfully navigating a breathwork journey, including maintaining a witnessing awareness and discerning the difference between authentic energetic movement and ‘catharsis loops’ as expressions of narrative and story.

Presenting Breathwork & Creating a Safe Container

We will explore what it means to create a safe container for deep work – everything from your own energetic presence to your ability to present breathwork and address questions that may arise. We will discuss considerations for group size, space and environment, music, ceremony structure and format, and how to handle challenging situations that might arise.

Orientations to Healing & The Role of the Facilitator

You will be invited to consider your orientation to healing and role as a healing arts practitioner, and how that influences your approach in working with clients. We will also discuss self-care for facilitators, and energetic considerations in this work.   

Business & Liability Considerations

While breathwork is not currently overseen by a governing body or recognized by most State boards, it is important to understand the implications of engaging touch in client sessions, and considerations in receiving informed consent before taking people through what can be physically and psychologically demanding – and potentially destabilizing – process. I will offer guidance on liability waivers and assessing personal liability and risk in facilitating breathwork.

 

To ensure an intimate and high-engagement Process, this retreat is limited to 16 participants.

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COSTA RICA - YOUR HOME FOR THE WEEK:

BLUE SPIRIT | Nosara, Costa Rica

Your home for the week is Blue Spirit, a beautiful resort located on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, just outside Nosara. It’s perched on a hilltop with direct access to the beach, and we’ll make a daily ritual of sunset swims to savor the beauty of it all, and post breathwork saltwater dips to support the energetic cleansing and renewal of this work! There is a pool for late night floats and mid-day refreshment, along with several lounging sanctuaries throughout the property for relaxation and reflection. The resort has four unique and fully equipped practice spaces, café serving smoothies, juices, coffee, and baked goods, boutique, 24-hr front desk support, WiFi, and phenomenal, healthy food to nourish your body. Expect to see (and hear!) Holwer monkeys in the trees, as the lush property is a mecca for wildlife during the dry season.

Blue Spirit is one of the loveliest resorts I’ve visited, and the perfect place to drop in for a deep journey of healing, reflection, insight, and renewal.  

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INVESTMENT:

Breathwork Immersion & Training Program Fee: $1,495

All-inclusive lodging & meals at Blue Spirit range from $945-$2,125, depending on your choice of accommodation. Please see room rates below for private and shared (double) options. Early registration is recommended to reserve your desired room!

Total Investment: $2,440 - $3,620


ACCOMODATIONS:

Blue Spirit offers a selection of accommodations to meet your comfort and budget. Descriptions, images, and all-inclusive rates are listed below, and you can also visit Blue Spirit's website for additional information. 

The room rates include 7 nights accommodation and all meals (first meal is dinner on April 11th; least meal is breakfast on April 18th). Rates DO NOT include: Airfare, shuttle transfer ($60 one-way), gratuities for the Blue Spirit staff ($70 suggested for the week), spa services, snacks and drinks from the cafe, and optional excursion (approx. $50/per person).

**If your desired room is SOLD OUT, please email me to inquire, as we might be able to make adjustments to our reserved room block.


These rates are for lodging & meals at Blue Spirit; please add the $1,495 program fee for total costs

OCEAN VIEW (w/ AC)

The Ocean View room features a step-out balcony and beautiful ocean views. The room is simply and elegantly furnished, with perfect space for two people. 

Shared Double: $1,525 (Two Twin Beds or One King)

Private Single: $2,125

*SOLD OUT (email to inquire if additional rooms can be added)

MOUNTAIN VIEW (w/ AC)

The Mountain View room features a step-out balcony and large windows with a serene mountain view. The room is simply and elegantly furnished, with perfect space for two people (one king bed or two twins). 

Shared Double: $1,425 (Two Twin Beds or One King)

Private Single: $2,025

*One Room Available

NATURE SUITE (w/ AC)

The Nature Suites are located on a hillside overlooking the lush vegetation, and are perfect for guests seeking to feel immersed in nature. Each has a private outdoor shower with solar hot water, and feature a separate enclosed porch with desk, and AC.

Shared Double: $1,395 (Two Twin Beds or One King)

Private Single: $1,895

*Two Rooms Available

HERMITAGE (w/ AC)

These rooms are ideal for guests seeking the privacy of single accommodation at an affordable rate. The rooms are small and elegant, some with partial views of the ocean and others of the nearby mountains. They feature a queen-sized bed, private bathroom with solar hot water, and AC.

Shared Double: $1,145 (One Queen Bed for Couple/Friends)

Private Single: $1,445

*One Room Available

 

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PACIFICO COTTAGE (w/ AC)

The Pacifico Cottages are tucked away amidst the lush tropical gardens and close to the beach. These rooms have one queen bed for a single person or couple, an outdoor shower, and private porch with hammock. These beautiful and rustic cottages are ideal for those seeking more privacy and seclusion (and who are comfortable being amidst the trees!).

Shared Double: $1,375 (One Queen Bed for Couple/Friends)

Private Single: $2,025

*One Room Available

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ECO COTTAGE

The Eco-Cottages are simple and natural wood frame structures, immersed in nature. They feature two single beds and private bathroom with an ambient temperature shower. While these rooms do not have AC, they do have screening for natural ventilation.

Shared Double: $945 (Two Twin Beds)

Private Single: $1,225

*SOLD OUT (email to inquire if additional rooms can be added)


APPLICATION & REGISTRATION:

This immersion is limited to 16 participants, and a $500 deposit is required to hold your spot. The balance of your accommodation fees is due by January 11th, 2020, and the program fee is due by February 11th, 2020. Payment plans are available. Cancellation Policy: If cancellation is made prior to January 11th, payments will be refunded less the $500 deposit. Regrettably, I cannot offer refunds after January 11th, unless I am able to fill your spot.

APPLICATION: If we have not previously met, please contact me prior to registration to schedule a time for a short phone/Zoom call to discuss alignment for this immersion. Thank you!


Additional Q&A:

What type of breathwork will I be learning?

While we will be touching on pranayama and breath training practices (and optimized breathing patterns focusing on nasal breathing), the core focus of this immersion is conscious breathwork. Most conscious breathwork systems have evolved out of Holotropic and Rebirthing Breathwork, and I facilitate a process that is also derived from these modalities. I teach an active inhalation (one and two-part) and passive exhalation that is primarily done through the mouth for approximately 75-minutes, with 15-minutes of integration. Recorded music is played to support the journey, focusing on instrumental soundscapes (from intense, dynamic tracks to more orchestral and ethereal). Hands-on work and group toning prompts are used to support release and reclamation, and while cathartic release is welcome and encouraged in the space, it’s less of a focus than you might find in Holotropic Breathwork. Awareness is brought to unwinding tension patterns for lasting, integrative healing, which sometimes requires a more steady breathing cadence and witnessing-based approach. If you have questions about the nature of this work or how it compares/differs to breathwork you’ve experienced, please contact me.

Can I still attend if I don’t plan to facilitate breathwork?

Yes! This is an incredible opportunity to expand your embodied knowledge of breathwork. While partnered breathing sessions are primarily oriented towards observing and learning to assist, it’s powerful to hold space for another’s process, regardless of whether you choose to facilitate this work after the retreat.   

Will I become certified?

The short answer is no. There is no governing body or association that oversees breathwork certification, and as such, you’ll find everything from weekend “certification” programs to trainings closer to 400hrs + practicum experience. I have opted against calling this a certification program, but this immersion IS intended as a foundation to start guiding breathwork journeys. What is NOT included in this format is extensive practicum and group facilitation experience. You will have the opportunity to facilitate partnered breathing sessions, but we are limited in time to offer more extensive presentation practice and group facilitation. All participants will receive reduced rate mentorship sessions with me post-retreat should you wish to have additional guidance and support as you begin to explore facilitation.

Will I be able to start facilitating breathwork after this immersion?

Ultimately, it’s your discretion as to when and in what context you begin facilitating breathwork. Some participants may come to this immersion with an extensive background in healing arts work, and with the tools offered in the training, will feel well equipped to begin facilitating breathwork journeys. Others may choose to continue their training, study, and mentorship – with myself or another practitioner – before supporting others in this work.

Where is Blue Spirit? What should I know when researching flights and travel?

Costa Rica has two international airports, and it's recommended to fly into Liberia International Airport (LIR), from which a Blue Spirit shuttle can be booked at a charge of $60 (2-hrs from LIR to Blue Spirit). An alternative is to fly into San Jose International Airport (SJO) and from there, take a short domestic flight (40-min) to the Nosara airport (20-min from Blue Spirit). I recommend taking red-eye flights leaving Friday evening, arriving first thing Saturday morning so you can arrive on the property by mid-day and have an opportunity to rest and ground before we officially start around 4pm.  Dinner is the first meal served on Saturday. You might also consider extending your trip and arriving a couple days early to explore Nosara or surrounding areas. 

Any other questions?

Please contact me with any questions related to this retreat, whether they be travel and logistics or related to the program content. I want to ensure this experience is well-aligned to support your intention and goals, and will offer candid feedback and reflection to ensure this is the best fit for you.