Breathe For Change (B4C) is a Madison-based movement to enhance the health and well-being of teachers, students, and school communities through yoga, mindfulness, and social-emotional learning.
The company runs the world’s only 200-hour Wellness and Yoga Teacher Training for Educators, and offers an app with recorded meditations and yoga classes as well as live interactive video sessions with wellness experts.
It now employs 20 full-time team members and 125 part-time trainers, and has certified over 2,000 educators positively impacting over 250,000 students across the country.
Breathe For Change’s leading-edge curriculum empowers educators as wellness champions and agents of social change. The curricular progression begins with Transformation of Self, where teachers learn self-care practices to de-stress and enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
It then moves into Transformation of Relationships, where educators develop skills for cultivating authentic communication and meaningful connection in their lives and classrooms. From there, the curriculum enters Transformation of Community, where participants learn to foster collective well-being and use wellness practices as a vehicle for social change.
Last but not least, it concludes its cycle with Integration and Renewal, giving educators the chance to reflect, rejuvenate, and begin anew.
The movement was founded by CEO Dr. Ilana Nankin, a former pre-K teacher who earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at UW-Madison’s School of Education, and President Michael Fenchel, a serial entrepreneur who previously started 100state and Prism.fm. The two are passionate about the company’s culture, and combine their dynamic and complementary talents to lead the organization in a unique way.
The B4C founders and team view their company as an “Inspired Business,” a term they coined to acknowledge that their movement exists for a greater purpose in the world, and that their job is to align with that purpose and move it forward.
In practice, operating as an Inspired Business means that meetings generally start with short meditations, team retreats include wellness and yoga classes, and strategies such as non-violent communication are used to resolve conflicts… but it also means something more to the founders and team.
When tough decisions are being made or products are being created, they take the time to connect with why Breathe For Change exists, and then move forward from that place of connection and inspiration.
It is undeniable that something about this Inspired Business is working; in just three years, Breathe For Change has grown from certifying 34 teachers in Madison in 2015, to certifying 1,700 teachers in 11 U.S. regions in 2018. The company is blessed with a passionate community of educational stakeholders that continually drives it forward - and with invaluable partners such as Teach For America, Reach Capital, the University of Wisconsin, Aetna Foundation and Sesame Workshop.
Keep an eye out for B4C trainings, and its mobile app becoming available to all educators in November 2018. Most importantly, take a moment today to reach out and thank a teacher who has made a difference in your life. By doing so, you too can join the B4C movement to Change the World, One Teacher at a Time.