with Charlotte Watts 500RYT SYT (Yoga Alliance UK)
Learn the nature of breath in relation to our natural defences and how it contributes to the health of our immune and respiratory systems. This course takes you through the functions of the immune and respiratory systems and how they orchestrate in the body with each other (and other body systems). Understand how to design practices to support their optimal function.
Also see Charlotte’s trainings on Teaching Yoga for Stress and Burnout, and for Fatigue Conditions and Energy Support. As Charlotte is a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, her workshops and retreats also count as CPD hours.
Suitable for yoga teachers, wellness professionals and those with yoga experience who are interested in this course.
- ONLINE via Yogacampus – This course runs for six weeks from Tuesday 3rd November to Monday 14th December. Book here.
What will be covered in this course?
The relationship between our immunity and how safe or unsafe we feel is tied into our breath, which becomes faster and shallower when we enter protective modes. Healing becomes compromised when we are get stuck in heightened stress responses – we cannot be in survival and growth at the same time.
Understanding how our immune system shapes our boundaries between the outside world and our internal landscape is key to supporting it, so it can respond to perceived threat and danger. Our respiratory system has a similar response to the internal and external; constantly taking in nourishment through the inhalation and releasing that which does not serve us through the exhalation. These two systems are intrinsically linked in our function and health, and how we relate to the world around us.
Over 6 weeks we will explore the immune and respiratory systems and how they relate to movement, embodied awareness and self-compassion. We will also explore a range of practices incorporating movement, meditation and breath to develop a sound understanding of how to structure effective sequences.
Weekly Course Structure:
Over each of the six weeks you will receive:
- A detailed presentation on an area of physiology and how the yoga system can support this. This will be pre-recorded in both video and audio format (self-study) for you to refer back to.
- A pre-recorded physical practice to support respiratory and immune health in different planes and with a different relationship to gravity, presence and self – video and audio format for you to be able to revisit and explore the practices (self-study).
- Live weekly discussion and group learning (each week Mondays 19.00 to 20.00 UK time).
- A supportive practice as an audio resource to bring in other aspects of the yoga path or related, more modern, complementary techniques (self-study).
The live weekly discussions and group learning will take place every Monday 19.00 to 20.00 UK time from 9th November to 14 December
At the end of the course there is an optional final assignment to design a class, based on what you have learned which will be marked with teacher feedback.
The course will require 3.5 -4 hrs per week of study and practice
Week 1 Healthy defences:
Presentation focus: Supporting our boundaries and breath – the territory. The mouth, nose and throat as gateway for immune defence. The rhythm of the breath and its anatomy.
Physical practice: Loosening and Somatic – grounding, self-regulation and recognising boundaries
Supportive practice: Mindfulness of breathing practices
Week 2 Stress & Inflammation:
Presentation focus: The autonomic nervous system in relation to breath and immunity; how inflammation is part of chronic stress patterns. How stress responses upset polarity and balance; how yoga can help restore these for immune and respiratory health.
Physical practice: Twisting and Undulating – for diaphragmatic movement, fascial release and lymphatic movement
Supportive practice: Cooling Heightened Responses – three stress-reducing practices; embodiment & release
Week 3 Fluid Adaptation
Presentation focus: How bodily fluids and fascia are part of the whole orchestration of breath and immunity. Connections of the vagus nerve and nasal breathing on adaptive regulation and responses.
Physical practice: Lunging, Stepping and Squatting – basic, primal patterns for optimal breath and immunity that support how we rise up from ankles, knees and hips to support the upper body
Supportive practice: Heart-based Mudra meditations
Week 4 Mindful Boundaries
Presentation focus: Appropriate containment for body fluids and our sense of cohesion, safety and a home to breathe fully. Clear distinction between our internal and external worlds that is part of boundaries and self-protection.
Physical practice: Standing into Full Breathing and Protective Support – full groundedness and relation to gravity for mobilising breath, fluid flow through all systems and self-protection through awareness
Supportive practice: Body Scan & Autogenic Release
Week 5 Embodied Awareness
Presentation focus: How to support body self-regulation and homeostasis with interoception; tuning in and kind attention. Focus on the flow of prana and the vayus for movement of the breath body and immune fluids. How active relaxation and natural autonomic release support these aspects.
Physical practice: Rest and Recovery – consciously coming into full restorative modes for the space for breath and healing
Supportive practice: Traditional pranayama practices
Week 6 Good Vibrations
Presentation focus: The mouth and throat as entry – health and softening as key to breath and immunity. How sound and mantra can support respiratory and immune health through vibration and support of tissues in the throat and mouth as first defence and gateway to the vitality of the breath.
Physical practice: Bringing it all together – a full sequence incorporating all of the aspects above, with sounding including
Supportive practice: Sounding and simple mantra
In this podcast, Charlotte shares some invaluable information on how to regulate our immune health through soothing our nervous system and the science behind how that is related to being connected to others.
Live on Campus with Charlotte Watts: Breath as the Frontline of Defence – Teaching Yoga for Immune and Respiratory Health
Course feedback from previous Yogacampus training:
Thank you Charlotte. A thoroughly interesting workshop that felt very holistic. A perfect combination of mind and body. I came here this morning very much in my head, and by the end of it I feel connected to my body and my mind, and very complete. – Adi Frankovitch
Two fascinating knowledgeable teachers and a deep, well-rounded course that has provided me with new tools to my practice and teaching. – Fern Ross
Charlotte and Leah have created a brilliantly structured course to give clear learning and practical application on a complex area of great difficulty…I feel they have taught us skills safely and compassionately. – Emily Young
Charlotte and Leah create a most open and affirming environment in which to learn and grow. A wealth of experience and knowledge combined with a natural ability to engage, listen and encourage self-realisation. I felt a great sense of belonging and positivity throughout, thank you for sharing. – Lou Wellby
I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 days. I have learned so much and I’m looking forward to putting it into practice! Leah & Charlotte bring a fabulous balance of knowledge, experience, and practice. They held the space beautifully – I felt safe to explore with ease. – Josie Harrington
Leah and Charlotte embody the practice with charm, humour and intellectual rigour. They provided me with a safe space to re-connect to my teaching and my true self. – Lisa Williams
Really enjoyed the course and found both teachers knowledgeable and approachable. Have attained a lot of ideas to implement in classes. – Mavis Graham