Empowering women in Guyana one breath at a time, Michelle Potts, Peace Corps “Volunteer of the Month” (February 2015), is making a difference!
I could hardly contain my joy on January 13 when I received a very special “thank you” email from my niece about the work she is doing in Guyana to build health and reduce stress through breath work practices. In her exercise classes, she has incorporated a guided body scan meditation and “happy place” visualization. Both techniques are supported by breath work designed to elicit the “relaxation response”.
Kudos to Michelle, an avid runner and exercise advocate for stress management, whose leadership by example has inspired the women in her health club classes to embrace self-care tools. They see her running and are encouraged to follow suit. She shares her favorite breath work routine and they learn to trust the “feel better” part and ask for it by name.
Michelle spent four months of weekly sessions in my energy medicine practice learning self-care techniques as preparation for her two-year assignment with the Peace Corps. She was committed and determined to not only take charge of her own health but also to make her best effort to pass it on – a sacred contract with healing that has come true. She was even named Volunteer Of The Month for this work.
In her own words:
Hey Aunt Paula! Just wanted to say hello! Hope all is well. I also wanted to tell you I think of you often here. I have 2 health clubs in different villages and one group LOVES the body scan/meditation. It has become a post workout ritual now! So I wanted to thank you a lot for teaching it to me so I can pass it forward here! Much love!
It’s women between the ages of 18 –60+. They speak English but the broken English (called creolese here). At first they thought it was strange but I kept them doing it a few times and after like the 2nd or 3rd time they now always make sure I remember to make time for it at the end of every class!
We talk about health topics (ie diabetes, cancer, hypertension balanced eating drinking water, etc) then exercise and in one of the stress talks I incorporated the breath work (at the end because its tough to motivate people to exercise after being so relaxed from the breath work) and now it is a permanent part of the class!
We have done many types of breath work but the body scan is their favorite (and mine) so that’s the one we do. This class is 2 times a week but I encourage them to do it at home as well. The D’Edward club is the one who loves the breath work.
Discover more about the healing power of breath work in my new book, Yesterday When I Was Crazy: A Sacred Contract with Healing, available NOW on Amazon.com.