James Dowler, Breathe with James
"The style of Breathwork that I have developed is really a creative expression of my dharma."
I'm having a difficult day. It's hard to pin why, but I feel on the verge of tears, anxious, and with a to-do list that feels like it might swallow me whole. Part of me wants it to. As a facilitator of mindful practices, I know I have the tools to combat these sensations. I hold space for people as a living. However, today I know what I need is to be held. So I tune into a breathwork session with James Dowler, founder of Breathe with James. 5 minutes later I feel relieved.
James is an incredible healer. His sessions have the power to transport you to another realm, all in a short frame of time. His teachings remind you that you have everything you need within to feel at ease. He is a breath of fresh air on a difficult day.
James' portfolio speaks for himself. He has had an incredible roster of clients and been featured in some noteworthy publications, including a recent appearance on BBC Radio 1. Despite his success, he manages to stay very humble, welcoming, and real.
James teaches exclusively online through his online studio Breathe with James, and we are so thrilled to have him as our Guest Teacher this month, so that we can share a snippet of his remarkable teachings with you
Describe your journey into healing through breathwork.
Between the ages of 17-21, I suffered badly from chronic fatigue and chronic pain.
So much so that I was bed bound for a year. I saw a variety of specialists to no avail. It was then that I discovered meditation. With the help of some books, I built a daily practice of meditation and mindfulness and after six months, all of my symptoms were gone. It opened me up to the power of the mind and left me fascinated and utterly drawn to learn more. During this time, I graduated from Bristol University and then went on to become Strategist at a Creative Agency in London. However, having experienced first hand the power of meditation and being increasingly fascinated by the power of the mind, I decided to leave my job and take some time to develop my meditation practice.
During this period, I spent time on a meditation retreat in Wales, a Buddhist Monastery in the South of France and doing a Foundation in Psychotherapy & Counselling. It was then that I discovered the power of Breathwork. I stumbled into a Conscious Connected Breathing workshop thinking that I was going to a meditation workshop and in my first session knew I had found the tool that I was here to share. Gripped, I began a journey of exploration into the breath using it to recondition my mind and heal my body.It was revolutionary, beautiful and ultimately revealing. Now, I spend my time teaching people to harness the power of their breath to alleviate emotional issues, improve their physical health and connect them to a deeper, more spiritual part of themselves. I love what I do and I feel unbelievably lucky to be doing it.
How might someone describe you?
Hmm. I think that depends on the person and how they perceive me. Broadly speaking though I think in my light people might describe me as ambitious, driven, curious and open. In my shadow possibly a little obsessive, compulsive and at times overly introverted.
How are Breathwork and Creativity intertwined?
For me they are completely intertwined. The style of Breathwork that I have developed is really a creative expression of my dharma. As I grow and come more into alignment with that the Breathwork that I teach is simply a creative expression of that.
What is one word you’ve been coming back to lately?
Patience. I have a tendency to want things to happen quickly and want them all to happen now. I try and remind myself to let go into the natural unfolding of things whilst maintaining a framework of discipline that allows that to happen in the first place.
Have the shifts of this last year changed you/ your practice?
Hugely. Before lockdown I had never taught online. My practice works very well online and it has been amazing to be able to reach so many people all over the world and see so many people benefiting from the power of the breath. My intention is to keep all of my work online for the time being which I never thought would have been the case when I first started teaching.
What brings you ease?
Spending time in nature - ideally with my feet on the earth and the sun against my skin.
Why do you practice?
To become the greatest possible expression of myself. I want to show up completely and to move into a place of self-excellence where I know I am living in accordance with my highest potential.