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Kippie Lodge and David Lloyd fitness instructor launching breathwork classes

Eve Elsby says the power of the breath can change your life.

Eve Elsby wants everyone to discover the power of the breath.
Eve Elsby wants everyone to discover the power of the breath. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

When it comes to health and wellbeing, Eve Elsby is a breath of fresh air.

Vivacious by nature and positive in spirit, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the 47-year-old mum of two who is on a mission to help people in Aberdeen unlock their potential through exercise and breathwork.

From pilates and power cycling to strength training and health retreats, Eve has already made a powerful impact on the people who attend her classes at the city’s David Lloyd Club and Kippie Lodge.

But the self-employed group fitness instructor is now taking a moment to catch her breath as she launches a new wellbeing venture.

Aberdeen fitness instructor Eve Elsby who now offers breathwork classes.
Eve Elsby says breathwork has changed her life which is why she wants to help others discover the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

“I’m looking at bringing breathwork classes to Aberdeen,” says an enthusiastic Eve.

“Breathwork is basically the conscious awareness and use of the breath so you’re really tuning into it.

“It can enhance your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

“It’s about trying to get people out of the fight and flight state and to be in the rest and digest state where the body is more relaxed.

“The breathwork that I do is really science based.”

Eve Elsby with gym equipment.
Eve Elsby lives and breathes health and wellbeing. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Managing moments of stress

Discovering the power of the breath has had a profound impact on Eve’s life and is the reason why she’s keen to share what she’s learned.

“I want more people to know about how amazing breathwork is as its changed my life a lot,” says Eve,

“Breathwork gives you the ability to manage moments of stress, anxiety and overwhelm.

“For me, its had an incredible effect as it’s helped me to keep calm in stressful moments like when I’m going to teach a new class or I’m doing a presentation.

“It’s also an amazing emotional healer too.”

The Aberdeen fitness instructor doing breathing exercises.
Eve loves teaching exercise classes but is launching breathwork sessions in Aberdeen too. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Exercise is the best medicine

Growing up in South Shields, near Newcastle, Eve was always a fan of sport especially running.

But it wasn’t until later in life when she turned her hobby into a nourishing and fulfilling career

“I did a lot of running and sport growing up, sport has always been part of my life,” says Eve.

“I also love to ski so I’ve always incorporated sport into my life.

“It was about 12 years ago when I started teaching exercise and I’ve not looked back since.”

Eve doing pilates during one of her classes.
Eve has a passion for pilates. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Experience working in mental health

Initially Eve worked in PR and events in South Shields before she moved to Dunfermline where she worked for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), a very rewarding but tough job.

“I used to work with the smartest, most amazing people like lawyers and teachers, who were sadly affected by mental health,” says Eve.

“So I used to support them by setting up employment opportunities.

“It was good, it was hard but it was amazing and really rewarding.”

Eve with clients during one of her breathwork classes in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen fitness instructor Eve incorporates breathwork into her classes. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Following her time at SAMH, Eve went on to work in the wedding industry before finding her true calling as a fitness instructor, moving to Aberdeen where she now teaches classes.

“I’m very lucky that I do what I love,” says Eve.

“Don’t get me wrong, I still have times when I struggle when life is difficult but exercise is my medicine.

“For me it’s all about helping people to find their potential.”

Strong, healthy and fit

So much more than just a job, Eve puts all her energy into her fitness classes, motivating people from all walks of life.

“I love how fitness can help you feel great about yourself,” says Eve.

“Personally, I love strength training as I love the feeling of being strong.

“Alongside my classes I also work out three times a week as I absolutely love it.

“I’m happiest at a squat rack more than anywhere else.”

Eve mid-yoga pose.
Health and wellbeing is a huge part of Eve’s life. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

It’s clear that Eve lives and breathes health and wellness as not only is she a breathwork coach and fitness instructor but she also runs a wellness retreat in the south of France with her sister Celeste Baskerville.

“It sounds really dramatic but the wellness retreat is changing people’s lives, that’s what people keep telling us” says Eve.

“We wanted to combine a retreat that allowed you to come and do fitness classes and we also wanted it to be about relaxation and amazing food with some wine.”

Wellness retreats

Eve says 80% of the guests they cater for come from Aberdeen.

“It’s been so popular that we’ve already sold out for next year,” says Eve.

With this year’s wellness retreats now closed until next year, Eve, who lives with her family in Aberdeen’s west-end, is focusing on her exercise classes and her breathwork sessions.

“My plan is to do workshops to let people know about breathwork and how it works,” says Eve.

“The classes will be 45 minutes and I’ll focus on three breathing styles, so the first one calms down the nervous system, the next one clears any stress from the body and the next one connects you back to yourself.”

Wellbeing diary with Eve Elsby

Eve at the Aberdeen studio where she teaches breathing works.
Eve shares her top tips for health and wellbeing.  Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

What are your top three tips for health and wellbeing?

It’s good to look after your mental health as well as your physical health and simple things like walking, getting sleep and taking time to talk things over with friends or family can make a huge difference.  Of course exercise, sport, good nutrition and hydration are key.

How do you de-stress?

Walking – I love to start the day walking with my Border Terrier Beau and having a coffee. I also enjoy strength training and I commit to three sessions a week. Time out is also important so I love to travel whether it’s a few days away visiting family or a trip with my husband and children or a girl’s trip. I’d take snow over sun any day and I love to go to France skiing with my friends and family. It’s so good watch our children, Lola and Ben ski and snowboard too. Reading is also a great way to de-stress and there are some amazing books out there. I also use breathwork myself during the day.

Do you incorporate health and wellbeing into your diet?

I do but my diet isn’t always perfect. I eat well to allow me to teach and train the way I do. I also drink a lot of water and I don’t restrict anything from my diet. I love eating out and cooking and have a huge love for food.

Have you read any inspiring wellbeing books or podcasts recently?

Yes I would recommend Breath by James Nestor as well as The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters and Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie .

What are the main benefits of breathwork?

Discovering breathwork and becoming a breathwork trainer has been one of the most amazing things I have ever done. Breathwork enhances physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It can help manage feelings of anxiety and overwhelm and helps to regulate your nervous system, clear unprocessed emotions and stress from the body and connects you back to yourself and others.  We breathe in and out around 22000 times a day with probably not a second thought but when we are consciously aware of the breath and work with it, amazing things happen. Some people I have worked with have simply felt relaxed and more calm and it has given them some time to just switch off and rest through the session. For others,  it has really helped them with emotional healing which in turn allows them to take control of their thoughts, feelings and emotions.

For more information about Eve and her classes check out her website