SHEPHERDSTOWN — With all of the negative information presented on the news, overbearing deadlines in workplaces and busy schedules in the modern world, stress levels may be at an all-time high. Concerned over this issue, one member of the Shepherdstown community has begun helping others find ways to deal with their stress and trauma.

Kelly Berkley’s passion for addressing this issue was inspired by her own personal experience. She grew up with severe asthma, which caused her to feel anxious when one of her asthma episodes started. That is, until 2016, when she became interested in pranayama and breathwork — the study of which led her to establishing her own business, BreathTide.

“I began consuming as much information about breathwork as I could, and meeting with asthma experts from different breathwork methodologies such as Buteyko [and] coordinated breathing. They helped my asthma significantly. I also got certified in pranayama.” Berkley said.

Berkley fell in love with Shepherdstown when she moved here in the eighth grade, having been hopping from city to city up until that point in time. In spite of being forced to move away, she always planned to return to the town that held her heart.

Her breathwork journey was not in vain. Her current clients attest to feeling the benefits of Berkley’s healing process, regardless of whether they have attended her sessions virtually or in-person.

Kelly Berkley finishes setting up her studio, in preparation for a recent class. Courtesy photo

“It was a great clinic. The practitioners were awesome!” said Delana Oliver.

Berkley said she looks for ways to ensure her clients feel as relaxed as possible and experience timing with their breathing and bodies. In one instance, she used Ashley Ludman’s method, which is tantra energic breathwork — “rhythmic circular breathing.”

“The process includes accelerated breathing without pauses, combined with rhythmic music (often African drumming music), while lying comfortably on a mat. It can bring the client-practitioner to an inner journey and sometimes a non-ordinary state of consciousness,” Berkley said. “Breathwork is an ancient process for healing that continues to be used to this day by modern healers.”

According to Berkley, she wants this process to be a safe space for community members to release stored trauma, tension and stress. She noted that with many different types of breathwork, people think the kind they have learned is the only type of practice. Berkley wants to explore the numerous types of practices, which she believes will collectively help her clients gain freedom from their stress and trauma in a comfortable environment.

For more information, visit the BreathTide website,, or email Berkley at [email protected].

Berkley regularly teaches on Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the Double Iris Yoga and Massage Studio in Charles Town. She also holds group and one-on-one sessions, by appointment.

Source link