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For Mother’s Day, we sat down with one of our inspiring facilitators and mother, Maya Castle. Maya is one of our incredible Othership breathwork facilitators, but most importantly she is a mother to her son, Dylan. We sat down with Maya to learn more about her breathwork journey, her creative process and the tools she uses to create mindfulness for her son.
It started about 22 years ago when I was going through a really hard time in university. At the time in Toronto, it was really rare to come across a yoga studio or a healthy place to eat like Fresh. I was going through this rough period of time and a friend said to me “You should give this restaurant a try and why don't you come and do this Yoga class with me”. She introduced me to this whole new world where I started to eat and feel differently. I started to engage in yoga and it was within the context of yoga, where I first initially found breathwork. I started to heal slowly over a period of time by folding these practices into my life. So breathwork sort of anchored me. It’s a tool that has been there for me for a very long time.
A few years back when my son was little and I left my corporate career l was unsure of my purpose beyond being a partner and a mom as my identity had been so connected to my life. I was looking for something that allows for flexibility because being with my son is my number one priority. I asked myself “Is there something that feels purposeful in a way that I can help other people?” Shortly after my mentor asked me the question “ How can you serve?”. I realized there's this practice that has given me so much for so long and how can I draw upon it and support others in your, your needs with it?
The creation process for Othership has really been influenced by Harry's guidance. It starts with the idea of knowing the feeling that you're trying to elicit through the experience based on that intention. The next step is rooting that emotion in the science-based breathwork techniques. Lastly selecting what musical score can help people go on this gorgeous and beautiful journey.
There's a session called pre-presentation presence and I just love this session because the intention is to support someone who is about to speak to a boardroom full of people, a crowd of 300 or going into an important meeting. It's a technique that I drew on extensively during my corporate days when I regularly facilitated boardroom situations and would speak to crowds of 500. I love it because it has been something I used in my own personal practice and to be able to then share it with others in the hopes that it can be of service to them before that kind of high-stress high octane moment is something that I'm very grateful for.
The gift of modelling first is quite powerful because if it's something that we do around our children, they might feel more inspired to want to come alongside. I like to practice and really provide a context to my son of “Mommy's brain feels like it has bees in it right now. So I'm going to sit here and stretch a bit and do this breathwork on the Othership app-you're welcome to join me if you wish.”
Dylan and I have this time before bed where he calls it “Shifting into the being section right now”. This helps our nervous systems to feel safe, settled, loved, and invite in that sense of deep rest.
He's got so much to share and often he'll now catch himself and say “You know what, mommy, I need to breathe and I need to do this three or four times, and then I'll keep chatting.” Those moments make my heart expand because I think it's that night notion of self-awareness, and connecting which is what breathwork does. He is realizing at such a young age that he can use his breath to slow down his mind and bring it back into his body.
During our conversation with Maya, you could feel her passion for breathwork as she shared her story. Maya’s journey is an example of how tools such as breathwork can make a shift in your life and how we can share these tools with our loved ones.