Caitlyn Burkhardt ~ Transformational Breathwork

Check out the new podcast with Caitlyn Burkhardt titled Transformational Breathwork. During this podcast we discuss topics like:

  • How she became inspired to practice transformational breathwork?
  • The pros and cons of Ayahuasca and breathwork.
  • What is transformational breathing and how does it work?
  • How breathwork helps with depression and anxiety.
  • The four pillars of trauma release.
  • Nutrition training and training.

Caitlyn has worked in the wellness industry for over 15 years and embodies whole health by nourishing her mind, body, and spirit using all of the same tools that she offers her clients. She is a Transformational Breathwork Facilitator, Polarity Therapist/energy medicine provider, massage therapist, and functional mobility coach. By offering these well rounded services, she seeks to empower people through knowledge, self discovery, and movement so that they may better care for their bodies and love themselves just as they are. 

Visit Caitlyn’s website at:
Follow her on Instagram at: @Bodacity_sportandsoul

Sign up for workshop here.

Listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

Welcome to Native Yoga Toddcast. My name is Todd McLaughlin. And I have the pleasure of bringing Caitlyn Burkhardt on to the channel today. And so check Caitlyn out at her website, And also her instagram name is at @bodacity_ sportandsoul. She’s going to be teaching a Transformational Breathwork workshop here on Sunday, March 5, just two days from now. If you’re listening to this after March 5th, don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll be having her back. You can join in via zoom no matter where you are. It’s gonna be 1:30pm Eastern. We cover all this to throughout the conversation. So on that note, I’m so excited to have you here. Caitlyn, how are you doing?

Caitlyn Burkhardt

I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Todd McLaughlin

You’re welcome. You know, today is this podcast release and in just two days on Sunday, March 5 at 1:30pm Eastern, you’re going to be offering a Transformational Breathwork workshop here at our yoga studio. But it’s also going to be live streamed so that some anyone can join anywhere in the world. So I’m excited to have you on the podcast today just to introduce our listeners to you and to you our listeners and learn more about what you’re interested in. So I’m curious, can you first of all, tell me how you got inspired to practice transformational breathwork and or study transformational breathwork?

Caitlyn Burkhardt

Sure. In a nutshell, I basically was suffering from really chronic suicidal depression and nothing worked. I had been in therapy for like 25 plus years, I’ve been on and off medication. And I had always taken really good care of myself like physically. And so when I started to feel suicidal and sad again last year, I was like, “This just doesn’t make any sense.” Like I shouldn’t be feeling indifferent about living. And so I tried, I decided to do something different. And I booked a retreat down in Costa Rica, where I did ayahuasca, but they also offered us two breathwork journeys on the first day and the last day. And so that was my first experience with Breathwork. And the second like that, after that first class, I was so blown away with the results of it. I was like, I have to learn how to do this to give this to my clients.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Amazing. Can you explain? There’s a lot there. 

Let me let me first dig back a little bit on into at what point in your life was depression something that was apparent that you had? Like, are we going back to high school days? Are we going back to like, eight years old? When do you remember having that recognition that I have something that I’m trying to deal with here? That’s serious?

Caitlyn Burkhardt

Yeah. Yeah. It started well, it started with eating disorders when I was like around 11. And then my behavior started to also spiral. But the depression probably reached its peak in high school, and I was hospitalized for that and my eating disorders three times. During high school. I was put into foster care because my behavior was so uncontrollable that my parents were like, we can’t keep her home. I was engaging in very risky behaviors. I never did drugs, that wasn’t my thing. But I was like hitchhiking and hanging out with pretty bad people. And just putting myself in harm’s way, like pretty regularly. And so, um, depression and anxiety just became like, a part of my life forever. After that, I maintained therapy with two therapists. And it would kind of come and go, like, I would manage it and be like, Okay, I need to make an appointment with my therapist, and then it would just, but it was never like gone, it was always there. And as an adult, I have suffered from Adrenal Fatigue, which is basically when like, you have a nervous breakdown and your whole your nervous system gets so over fried and overworked that your body kind of starts to shut down. Yeah. And I just decided back in 2020, to like, the everything I’ve tried so far, isn’t working, like why don’t I feel better yet. So going to that retreat in Costa Rica is a place called Arrhythmia. It’s a medically licensed retreat, and they actually code a lot of data on everybody that goes there. And one of the most interesting facts they told us is that they turn away 22 people a day from doing Ayahuasca journeys, which is a pretty hardcore psychedelic plant medicine. Yeah. So they have to turn away people daily from there, for whatever reason, medical or whatever. And those people, they gave them five nights of Breathwork instead, and all of them have the same exact outcomes and comparable experience that we all had taking the Ayahuasca. Yeah, it’s powerful. And I can attest to that. Yeah.

Todd McLaughlin

So you had the opportunity to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony as well? When you were not under the influence of the Ayahuasca you also underwent these breathwork sessions? And then if you were to make a comparison of the experiences from each, what were the pros and cons?

Caitlyn Burkhardt

So the way that plant medicine and breath work, the way that they work on your brain is actually very similar. Because there’s basically you have your amygdala, which is like your fear center of your brain that holds a lot of your emotions. And then you have your logical center or prefrontal cortex. And normally, they’re not talking to each other. They’re just like this one, the fear, one is getting information first. And then this one, the logical one gets information second. And when you’re doing ayahuasca, or plant medicine, or breathwork, what happens is those two parts finally converge. And so you’re kind of able to have a conversation with parts of yourself, like as a third party, so you can go back into a moment in your childhood and go, Oh, I didn’t have the capacity to handle this as a child because I wasn’t in control. But now I’m an adult, and I can see how this story no longer serves me. I’m gonna let that go right now. Yeah. And the other thing about plant medicine and breathwork, the way that they’re similar is they’re deeply somatic. So it’s a very visceral experience with both of them. However, with Ayahuasca, you’d purge a lot differently, like there’s vomiting, there’s, there’s pooping, and you’re stuck. So when things start to get too heavy, you’re stuck on that trip for like, who knows on 6,10, or 12 hours sometimes. And with breathwork, you are much more in the driver’s seat, because you can just switch up your breathing. And you can take a break if you need to, and then go back into it when you’re ready.

Todd McLaughlin

Are you open to speak about what your Ayahuasca experience was like?

Caitlyn Burkhardt

Sure. I did four of them. While we started with breathwork on the first night, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I had three rheumatoid arthritis flare ups in my wrist, hip and shoulder. It was to the point where I was limping. I couldn’t lift my arm up and I was kind of concerned. I’m like, how am I going to be able to do anything this week? How will I do yoga? And after that first breathwork class, all three of my flares were pretty much gone. And I was able then they were gone completely the next morning. So the next morning I was fully functional able to do yoga. It was like they never happened.

Todd McLaughlin

Amazing. That’s cool.

Caitlyn Burkhardt

Yeah, yeah. Because what breathwork does is it makes you so alkaline, temporarily that all of your cells become extra oxygenated. And disease really can’t live in an alkaline environment. Yeah. So it’s like an incredible anti inflammatory. Nice. And then on my Ayahuasca journeys, what I discovered was, I mean, I just covered a lot of stuff, but like the first place we went to was back into the womb. And I learned that a lot of my depression wasn’t in fact, mine. It had been passed down to me, generationally through the womb. Yes. And so I was able to purge that and get that out. But the thing that a lot of people often mistake with things like Ayahuasca is that it’s gonna make all of your problems go away. And it doesn’t do that, because my life, in fact, completely fell apart in the next three months after returning home from that retreat.

You can listen to the full episode for free here:

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