Hello, my name’s Anna.
Diver, dancer, nature lover, community builder, adventure seeker.
Here at YAMA my focus is to share the practice of Breathwork with you. Not just for the duration of the retreat, but rather a tool to take home if you so choose.
My journey with Breathwork began like many others but continued not the same.
It started in 2019 as I returned to Australia after 6 years of experiencing life, travel, and work abroad. I was on a journey to better my health and mindset when I began to learn of the implications of cold exposure and the famous Wim Hof breathing technique. Following this particular method, I tracked myself every day for a month recording my breath retention and taking note of sensations in my body.
Being a Scientist by nature and by formal education (B. Natural Science) I set myself up an experiment knowing I had to consistently practice and measure my results at the same times every day.
I was interested in training to hold my breath and I was also looking to harness this sense of aliveness and the natural high that came with the breathing method and cold exposure.
By keeping record, I was naturally prompted to reflect. The most obvious question I had was “Why are there days I cannot hold my breath as long?” My records showed a steady incline towards longer breath retention as I progressed with the days. Until I hit moments of not being able to hold my breath. It was here that patterns began to emerge as I checked in with myself, “what’s different?”
Family stressors, sleep and eating habits, work life stress, social and relationship interactions, all came to the forefront. Each time my breath ‘work’ showed a poorer / atypical result from the days before, I was able to identify why.
The power this gave me - firstly by making me aware of my stress and secondly of the effect it had on my nervous system and therefore my breath retention- quickly armed me with a new tool to track myself.
Because what you can track you can manage, and I’m all about lifestyle design and prioritising health, I went all in.
Fast track the year, I continued my inquiry and practice with different styles of Breathwork. I was listening, reading, learning, practicing all kinds of techniques from Wim Hof to James Nestor, Richard Ayling, Simon Borg-Olivier, Johannes Egberts, and countless guided exercises and interviews on all kinds of platforms. Breathwork became a regular part of my life and a powerful tool to self-regulate.
Come 2020 we entered the initial lockdown in Australia due to the pandemic. Practising at home, my housemates began to sit and breathe with me. As lockdown eased, they asked to invite friends over to sit with us. As friends began to invite their partners and friends, I quickly realised I needed more space and decided to move out on my own for the sole purpose of continuing to hold space for Breathwork. As the borders opened up, the community grew, I began to take small groups on weekend getaways every month to breathe and connect within nature.
October 6th 2021 members from my community pooled together funds and gifted me an investment towards the creation of a Retreat.
They gifted me accountability and a new project.
The very next day I got to work. By January I had created and hosted the very first PlayFest Retreat for 100 people and sold out.
With the help and collaboration of a wonderful group which continues to expand, and the pressing demand for more, I decided to pause, breathe, upskill, and become a qualified, professional Breathwork Instructor. I trained with the most thorough and wholesome certification course I could find –that of Johannes Egberts ‘Breathless Expeditions’- and so my journey continues.
I now facilitate Breathwork not only at my own retreats but at various events and festivals, private sessions and group gatherings, in my home and within my local gyms in and around Bondi.
Learning to breathe is a seemingly simple task but the more I learn about it, the more I realise there is no end.
I am forever learning, forever evolving and I’m here to help. My intention at YAMA is for you to get a taste of breathwork and what it can do for you. A tool to check in with your emotions, thoughts, energy, and breathing quality. Aligning your body and mind, connecting you to yourself and those you cherish the most.