Personalized yoga and mindfulness programs for PhD students
Supporting you through your PhD studies
As a PhD student, you’ll experience an exciting journey that comes with a fair amount of challenges. The workload is immense, requiring continuous research and writing, resulting in long hours with limited personal time. Isolation is common and can lead to loneliness, making you feel the need to connect with like-minded people. High expectations from advisors and peers can cause anxiety, and uncertainty about future career prospects can add to the pressure of post-PhD life.
We have been there. House of Breath is a yoga & mindfulness studio offering personalized programs to PhD students and is led by Luca (a university professor) and Ella (former head of research for a large organization). Both of us are very familiar with the challenges connected to learning how to carry out research. In the past 15+ years, we have routinely coached and supervised early-career researchers. Luca still works as an Associate Professor at Aalborg University (Denmark) and regularly supervises PhD students, while Ella focuses on her career as a yoga teacher and sound therapist.
Knowing these challenges first-hand, we decided to create a specific offering for PhD students. Countless studies have shown the benefits of yoga in terms of reducing stress, bringing emotional balance and well-being and helping to focus. So, in general, practising yoga is very good for PhD students. However, we are also aware that, at times, the yoga proposed by common yoga studios is quite a generic offering and does not fully take into account the specificities and challenges of each PhD student. This is why we created our unique offering, where what you get is one-to-one, personalized sessions that include: (1) an assessment of your own specific individual needs and wants; (2) a personalized yoga program with specific asanas (i.e. exercises), sequences and breathing techniques selected and combined specifically for you; (3) coaching sessions with Luca, who can provide advice and guidance and tailor mindfulness exercises based on the specific academic challenges that you are facing.
House of Breath is an inclusive space where individual diversity is celebrated and where you will be encouraged to find your own way of practicing.
We are based in Malmö (Sweden), but our offering for PhD students is mostly delivered online.
An approach built on breath-based yoga
Yoga has been around for millennia and, today, there are so many different types of yoga. Our specific view is that yoga is a system of practices that put you in the right conditions to contemplate and appreciate (the beauty of) life. The most common of these practices are asanas (the physical exercises that you might have in mind when thinking about yoga), breathing techniques, meditation, visualisation and concentration exercises. When we teach, we refer to all these aspects; however, it is up to you, ultimately, to choose your own combination of practices.
Breath is a key aspect of our teaching. Breathing is so strictly connected to our most intimate states of being and, through breathing exercise, we can easily regulate and control our stress reactions and we can expand and enhance our positive emotional states. In our teaching, which combines traditional yoga (e.g., the one taught by the revered Indian yoga teacher Krishnamacharya) and cutting-edge scientific research in mindfulness, breathing exercises are often intertwined with physical movements. We constantly look for scientific studies that assess the benefits brought by yoga and breathing techniques. The evidence provided by this research is so strong that today, the vast majority of healthcare professionals is convinced that yoga can significantly improve our quality of life.
Our bespoke and customised offering
We offer one-to-one session, meaning that in the session there will be just you and the teacher. We can also arrange sessions in which you come together with a colleague. However, the entire idea of the yoga we teach is that it is personalized. Each of us has a different body structure: we have our own skeletal variation, a different level of flexibility. Perhaps we have different medical conditions and different reasons and goals connected to our yoga practice. We are, of course, at different stages in life, some of us are younger, some are older. All these factors should be taken into consideration when practicing yoga, meaning that the yoga that you practice should be adapted and personalized to your own specific needs and wants.
As such, our offering is very different from other yoga studios. With us, it is the yoga practice that gets adapted to you and not you who have to force your body into some predefined and fixed alignments. This also means that our practice is, really, for everyone. You don’t have to be particularly flexible to practice yoga with us.
In addition, we teach different types of yoga practices (e.g. breath-based hatha yoga, yin yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, etc.) and, together with you, we can choose the exact combination of practices that will provide you with the most benefits.
Our offering starts with a free one-hour consultation. The consultation is geared towards getting to know each other. As our approach is highly individualised, we think that it is very important that you feel entirely comfortable with the kind of yoga we teach and the way in which we teach.
After the free consultation, you can choose one of our packages:
A) Introduction to yoga & mindfulness for PhD students
This package includes five individual (one-to-one) 1-hour sessions. Four of these sessions are with Ella, who will create a personalized program for you. One of these sessions is with Luca, who will provide experience-based advice and suggest mindfulness strategies to support the challenges that you are facing.
Cost (5 sessions): 300 USD, limited offer at a special price: 200 USD
B) Consolidating your practice
This package is for those students who already went through the introductory package and want to bring their practice to the next level.
Cost (3 sessions): 180 USD, limited offer at a special price: 120 USD
C) Single one-to-one sessions
Especially after having been introduced to our approach, you can always get single one-to-one sessions. Each session is 60 minutes and includes asana practice, breathing exercises and, if you so wish guided relaxation and meditation. This can be accompanied by moments of sound and vibration therapy through Tibetan singing bowls and chimes.
Cost: 50 USD, limited offer at a special price: 40 USD
Book your free one-hour consultation now
Feel free to book us for a free session. It doesn’t matter if, after this free session, you decide not to continue with us: we are always happy to have a chat and talk about yoga-related matters!
We are also available to organize introductory workshops purchased by universities for their own PhD students. Please feel free to send us an email (email@example.com) if you are interested.
Students from low-income countries or with limited financial resources who might not be comfortable with our pricing can contact Luca directly to figure out alternative ways to access our offering.
Who we are
Ella is a certified yoga teacher (Yoga Alliance RYT-500 from Akasha Yoga Academy). She also got additional certifications to teach Yin Yoga, Meditation and advanced Hatha Yoga and Pranayama. She is also the managing partner of Logic Moon, where she leads art-based initiatives that support processes of personal growth and community engagement for vulnerable populations. Previously, she was the Head of Research and Strategy Department of the Eurasian Development Bank. Ella got her M.B.A. from Nottingham University.
Luca is a certified yoga teacher (Yoga Alliance RYT-500 from Akasha Yoga Academy). He also got additional certifications to teach Yin Yoga, Meditation and advanced Hatha Yoga and Pranayama. He is also an associate professor at Aalborg University, where his focus is on how design and arts can support personal and community resilience, transition thinking, long-term strategic orientation and positive and impactful change. In the past 15+ years, he has carried out research, teaching and consulting activities at various other universities (Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Polytechnic University of Milan and University of the Arts London). Luca got his PhD from Malmö University.
Yoga has been and is an integral part of Ella and Luca’s life – their reference point being the work of Krishnamacharya, T. K. V. Desikachar and Vanda Scaravelli. They both had the chance to study yoga in various countries, including India.
“I am very happy that the opportunity that led me to yoga at House of Breath was not accidental. I had been suffering from lower back pain for a long time due to a spinal hernia, and surprisingly, after the first session, I felt relief, the pain began to go away, life began to get colors again … I am still a beginner, but I have felt the effect of breathing and asanas on the quality of my life, there is inner calmness, energy charge, and quiet joy in the soul, and, most importantly, the pain goes away. The yoga instructor, Ella, is a wonderful person, professional, sensitive, caring, and attentive, explaining all the nuances in detail to get results. Special warmth and tenderness emanate from her. I am very grateful to Ella for her classes, for my new knowledge and my new outlook on life. Correct breathing, correct posture, and physical flexibility are important parts of our lives, and they will teach you this at House of Breath. Thank you endlessly, Ella, you brought joy back to my life!” – Siranush
“Great yoga session in front of the ocean!” – Simona
“Luca’s session was fun and creative.” – Anne
“House of Breath is an amazing place to practice and understand yoga. For me it felt like doing yoga for the first time. Ella is an excellent teacher, she is accurate, clear and kind. She has a vast knowledge and deep understanding of the practice and I always feel the benefit of it. Thank you Ella!” – Ginevra
“I wanted to say a special thanks to Ella for the sensitive and individual approach she surrounded me with during individual lessons. She is deeply involved during our class and explained in great detail how our body works, especially after a certain age. In my case, we performed asanas aimed at solving my specific problem. Ella was very helpful to explain on what I should focus on. In all my years of yoga, I have not received such satisfaction from the work of my body as from classes with Ella. I want to express my gratitude and recommend her class.” – Natalia
“Luca is very transparent and good at providing all the needed information”; “I enjoyed Luca’s course thoroughly.” – Dennis
Please reach out
Our mini studio is located in the city center of Malmö, a few hundred meters from the station Triangeln. This is a small and cozy space that is just perfect for a one-to-one session and to brew some tea:
21146 Malmö (Sweden)
If you prefer, we are also happy to offer online sessions or come to your place (home or workplace).
House of Breath is a safe space, with a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination and any type of harassment.