Breathe For Change Is The PD You Need Now More Than Ever

Breathe For Change founder, Ilana, was a stressed out pre-kindergarten teacher when she began to integrate yoga and mindfulness practices in her teaching. The powerful changes she saw for herself and her students eventually led to creating her own teacher training and community that is making a big impact.

Breathe for Change

It All Began In The Classroom

Ilana found yoga and mindfulness when she was stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed teaching pre-kindergarten. She began to integrate yoga and mindfulness practices into her teaching and saw powerful changes for herself and her students. When Ilana decided to pursue a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, she found her true calling in the role of teacher educator. The pre-service teachers that Ilana was working with found out that she was a certified yoga teacher, and asked her if they rented out space in the student union, would she teach them yoga? She was thrilled, and for her and the teachers, it was life-changing. The seed for Breathe For Change was planted.

It Started With Eight Teachers

Meanwhile, while working on her dissertation, Ilana was observing eight teachers she had previously taught as they navigated their first year in the classroom. The question she was exploring was: How do these teachers translate their social justice ideals from teacher education into the classroom?

What she ended up finding was that all of these teachers were stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed. The negative cycle of well-being was impacting their teaching, and their ability to fulfill their intentions for social justice with their students. She began to share the same mindfulness and wellness practices with the teachers that she had used in her own classroom. These teachers began to adopt these practices for themselves and their students.

The impact was transformational.

They reported back that students who had test anxiety were performing better on tests as a result of these practices. Teachers and students were changing unhealthy habits and doing more to take care of themselves. In January 2015, Ilana decided to start the world’s only 200-hour wellness and yoga teacher training for educators. Her vision and passion have become Breathe For Change, a community and movement that is empowering teachers, and transforming students and schools.

The Curriculum

Breathe For Change designed a curriculum that starts with the teacher, or what she calls, transformation of self. Once the teacher has learned and developed wellness and mindfulness practices, the next part of the curriculum is transformation of relationships. This is where teachers explore how to show up fully in their relationships, and they learn practices like presence, effective communication, and compassion. The curriculum then progresses to transformation of community. Here, teachers explore how they can utilize wellness as a vehicle for social change in their communities. The program is designed for teachers to gain the tools and strategies they need to enhance well-being in their lives, classrooms, schools, and communities.

Preview the curriculum and check out videos and printable teaching strategies in our social-emotional learning hub

The Training

Breathe For Change facilitates training for educators all across the country. Not only will you experience a transformative wellness curriculum, but you will also complete a capstone project where you design a wellness experience you want to lead in your own school or community. You will receive a 200-hour internationally recognized yoga teacher training certificate through Yoga Alliance. You will also receive the Breathe For Change Wellness Champion Certificate. You will feel confident in your ability to teach wellness and social-emotional practices in a trauma-informed, inclusive, and culturally responsible way. Ilana shares that the teachers who participate in the training are part of a strong community and network of educators who feel passionately dedicated to bringing wellness and yoga into their lives and teaching. The end of the training is the beginning of a new chapter.

Training Schedule

Morning yoga practice led by trainers


Breathe For Change Workshops (Transformation of self, relationships, and community)


SELF-Social Emotional Learning Facilitation


Yoga Philosophy

Asana-physical process of yoga

Community Groups

Learn more about the social-emotional learning strategies in the Breathe For Change Curriculum. Check out their upcoming trainings, and events.

What professional development do you have planned this summer? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Julie Mason was a middle and high school English teacher for eight years and most recently taught at Dana Hall, an all-girls school in Wellesley, MA. She was a blended and personalized learning instructional coach for K-12 teachers at BetterLesson for two years, and she has presented at The National Principals Conference, ISTE, and ASCD where she shared her expertise on how instructional coaching builds teacher capacity in K-12 schools. She has extensive experience designing and facilitating professional development for teachers.



About the author

Julie Mason

English Teacher

About Julie

Julie Mason brings expertise in blended and personalized learning, instructional coaching, and curriculum design. She was a middle and high school English teacher for eight… Read more

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