Stress and anxiety is something that we have all had to deal with at some point in our lives. For us, only just having completed our final year of schooling one or two years ago here in Australia, we can really relate to the stress and uncalled for pressures that are put on our youth within the education system. Not only is it unhealthy, but it can have a serious impact on your life mentally, physically and even into the future.
However what if we told you, that stress and anxiety management didn’t have to be so complicated. What if we told you there was a technique that cost you nothing, you can use ANYWHERE and it only took 3 minutes out of your day.
Well, let us introduce to you… The Breathe Project.
The Breathe Project is an idea conceived by the lovers, free thinkers and all round legends Kat and Bodhi! (below)
Basically, these two love birds have stripped their lives down to the basics and set off on a Road-trip up the East Coast of Australia with the simple goal of sharing their diaphragmatic breathing technique in hope of improving the lives of thousands. Primarily aimed at youth, The Breathe Project targets schools where they host workshops with not only the students, but also the teachers, making sure the technique is continually used long after their van hits the road again. It seems we are taught many things at school, yet when it comes to basic self care there is a gap in our curriculum. The Breathe Project exists to close that gap.
Being an issue so close to our hearts and something we wish we were taught in school, when The Breathe Project’s co-founder Kat reached out to us, we new it was something we HAD to jump on board with and share. Not only did we like the work Kat and her partner Bodhi are doing, we also shared similar life views. We share a passion for living a life of your CHOICE, not a life of what you are EXPECTED or feel pressured to do. The Breathe Project couldn’t be a better fit for us here at Uninhibited.
So if you want to hear more about The Breathe Project, head below to our interview with Kat herself where we talk the school system, startups and of course The Breathe Project.
Did you have a lightbulb moment when it came to the concept of JustBreathe or was it a gradual idea process?
When we realised just how simple it can be! Health can be so complicated, anxiety can own us, the school system can suck…but we can always come back to our breath, that thing keeping us alive. Just Breathe is a reminder of its simplicity. We didn’t know when we started but Just Breathe has become the anthem of our school workshops, the hashtag on our social and the branding of our van, tees, stickers, school posters and just about everything else we’ve created.
Simple words. Powerful effect.
When did YOU guys first discover the concept of breathing to reduce stress and anxiety? Was it your positive experiences that has fuelled this passion for teaching?
I first discovered the power of breathing in high school when I was engulfed by a toxic relationship, family issues and life. Our experience definitely fuels us to keep sharing the power of breath further and wider but also that we both wish we learnt something like this in school.
Where and how did you two lovers meet?
Our eyes first met at Dan Millman’s (Way Of The Peaceful Warrior) Mind & Body Mastery Training. Not long after I chopped through a solid piece of wood with my bare hand that had written on it ‘the fear of being vulnerable’. We actually met the following weekend at Sunshine Coast Yoga Festival. I told my girlfriends we had to go to this guy’s (Bodhi’s) class as he has the most gorgeous eyes. He was actually teaching an Art of Breath Workshop and he recognised me and also my Breathe tattoo on my right ankle. It all happened from there. After just a couple a weeks, I could have confidently said that he was who I was going to spend my life with. I had never felt this before, I didn’t even believe in that. Before I knew it, I was blurting out ‘I PASSIONATELY love you!’.
What made you choose to target schools? Would you ever expand the program into other workplaces/social events?
I have always known the importance of working with grassroots so school is where it is at. But we actually share our Breathe Experience far and wide too at retreats, festivals, university, corporate groups and community workshops. Our target market is the human being.
What are your thoughts on the pressures put on young school leavers having to decide on a future careers so quickly?
I think that is why I personally am doing what I am doing. It is wrong (fucked). But it isn’t going to stop. But with the breath, we can empower our youth to connect within, to their dreams, passions and talents and to live for themselves, rather than getting caught up in the expectations of who they’re meant to be and what they’re meant to do.
What would be your advice to those wanting to make their business idea a reality? (No matter how crazy it may seem!)
Just start. Baby ACTIONS – the universe, and people, support actions.
Tell only a few people (at least to begin with until you’re solid in it). Because every one has advice (or doubt) and that can so quickly take you away from your heart’s idea, purpose, decision, approach. Bodhi lives by ‘listen to all, follow none’.
What can the power of breathing do for an individual?
You’ll have to try it 🙂 Or Google it, the list of scientifically proven benefits is endless.
But for us, we see it every day have an immediate calming effect (dropping out of that fight or flight response) and bigger picture we see it freeing people from the pressure of expectations.
What has your method done for you?
Stopped the slippery slope into a catastrophe. Allowed me to sleep properly.
Escaped sickness – the sore throat feeling the night before, wake up 100%. Empowered me to be myself and continue striving. I have been able to work through so much to expand my growth personally.
What are your goals with the BreatheProject, what is your BIG vision?
To have correct breathing embedded into all Australian schools for 3-minutes each day. Eventually worldwide. We are actually working on Chapter 2 of Breathe Project right now, which has emphasis on expanding beyond our current scope to where we cannot physically reach.
What does a day in a life of Kat look like right now? How is life on the road!!?
Waking in the van snuggled next to the love of my life and a beautiful sunrise and ocean view out the window. My morning ritual includes movement, grounding in (so crucial when on the go), journalling and an ocean swim (AKA shower). If it’s a school day then we can have 4+ workshops working with up to 1300+ students and teachers. If it’s not a school day then we create our ideal outdoor office to focus on the other 7+ roles we play in the business. We always create space to explore the new area, surf, acro, connect with locals and we make sure every meal is a ‘special’ meal with only the best. Of an evening, sometimes we just lay under the stars while playing the ukulele and rapping or we watch an interesting doco or interview on the iPhone velcroed to the roof of the van. I’m not really a night person so by 8/830, I’ve done my little clearing and am snuggled in bed.
What has been your biggest hurdle when creating the BreatheProject?
Putting our selves on the line and being vulnerable. It’s scary to put your self out there and that’s a fear we’re continually working through. For example, calling our first school. We had 50+ registered and we let 3 months pass before calling one…because we were so shit scared – we hadn’t even ever been into a school and didn’t even know how it was going to work.
What makes the BreatheProject so important to you?
To me, this is my platform to explore and express my power and gifts while empowering the world. We didn’t start the momentum of this revolution for nothing.
A little off Topic, but We see you are amazing at acro yoga! We have to know, how did you get into that?
Oo, yes! That is what makes me come alive. I first discovered AcroYoga about 7 years ago tipsy on sangria in a park in San Francisco. You really have to try it. It allowed me to trust again, communicate non-violently and truly experience playfulness.
What made you take 2 years off to travel?
Hmm I finished high school and as the high achieving yet rebel student, I wasn’t going to do what was expected of me. So I took a gap year to live, work and travel in the USA. After one year, I still wasn’t ready to live up to the person I was ‘meant’ to be so I took another gap year and kept living the dream.
Did those 2 years have an impact on what is now your outlook on life?
Totally! In that time (and my world travels since) I really discovered who I was and what I was super passionate about. My unshakable determination was strengthened and I continued to develop values, I still live by, around simple living and what truly matters.
If you want to learn more about the Breathe Project, get your school involved or even request some free Breathe Cards to distribute to your community head to www.breatheproject.com.au
We hope you enjoyed hearing about this fresh, exciting project as much as we did. We at Uninhibited feel like it is such an important issue being addressed, and are so stoked in the way Kat & Bodhi are choosing to implement the project. We love Bodhi’s life mantra Kat mentioned, ‘listen to all, follow none.’ It is such powerful advice and we encourage you to have a think about how it applies to your life and inner dreams.
Oh and remember…. #JustBreathe 😉