Interview with Sammie McFarland – The Breathing Space

Last year I spent a lot of time getting to know Sammie McFarland as she helped me with my road to recovery after breaking my arm in a cross-country fall on my young horse Leo.

From her amazing sports massages which are hands down the best I’ve experienced, to a program of rehabilitation whilst I recovered from the break, to improving my alignment.

As well as being a fantastic Pilates teacher and award-winning women wellness coach Sammie is a truly inspirational and savvy entrepreneur in the heart of Dorset.

And I’m super delighted to introduce Sammie to the Country Bumpkin Chic readers, and share her exciting news, which is going to bring a lot of joy to the west country.

Sammie McFarland

Sammie McFarland, founder & CEO of The Breathing Space

Sammie, welcome to Country Bumpkin Chic….

  1. In a nutshell, can you explain your role?

Women wellness coach: holistic coaching supporting women to find joy in the body they have.

  1. How did you get into what you do & what do you love most about your job?

After years working as a maternity nurse, and a sleep and breast-feeding consultant I had a miscarriage and took a break from work.

Shortly after I conceived my second child, I experienced back pain and discovered the benefits of Pilates. I started off with one class a week, which soon increased to three classes. And knowing Pilates is a lifestyle choice and one I would need to do long term I decided to share the benefits by training as an instructor.

Sammie McFarland

Sammie McFarland, founder & CEO of The Breathing Space

  1. Now tell us about your exciting business venture launching this autumn in Dorchester.

Finally, I’ve found the perfect venue and THE BREATHING SPACE is out of my head and happening!

A purpose built, accessible, beautiful space with heating and cooling to accommodate all movement sessions, a welcoming health café for nourishment and social and emotional wellness. Located 10 Copper Street, Brewery Square, Dorchester, Dorset.

There will be a creche to provide practical support for all new mamas, as we understand the challenge they face and wanted to make life a little easier.

Making the space accessible has been an important consideration throughout the design, providing a disability toilet and baby chaining facilities alongside highchairs and buggy parking.

HYGGE WELLNESS is our sister business and provides 4 individually designed therapy rooms. These will be home to our expert women’s health and wellness providers, including therapists, coaches and practitioners.

  1. What made you decide to take the leap and open a studio?

The woman that seek the services often tell me they are confused, nervous, ashamed, embarrassed about seeking support for many aspects of woman health. They’ve often been told to ignore their instincts and that their symptoms are ‘normal’, or ‘part of being a woman’ and this so often just isn’t the case.

I hope that by bringing together expert coaches, therapists, and practitioners all in one place, we can remove the physical barriers in finding quality, progressive, evidence-based woman health and wellness providers.

As well as overcoming the emotional barriers that still seem to exist by making it a beautiful and welcoming place to be. Every woman deserves to understand her body and feel supported with every aspect of her health and wellness.

It feels like the right time, this year I received two awards: one for my coaching ability and one for my achievements in business. Receiving that recognition has given me the confidence to take the next step.

Sammie McFarland, founder & CEO of The Breathing Space

  1. What are you most excited about?

I’m excited about the opportunities we’re creating not just for the women we serve but for our colleagues by creating a supportive working environment for the women who support women!

  1. What are you most nervous about?

Letting my family down! They’ve been so supportive, it’s lovely to have their confidence, but any business start-up comes risk. In the words of Jenny Burrell, creator of the Holistic Core Restore® pelvic health and fitness programs we offer, “It’s time to put my big girls pants on”.

  1. What’s your aim for The Breathing Space & Hygge Wellness?

Provide expert evidence based holistic support that gets results and moves women forward. By bringing expert woman’s health and wellness professionals together in one place to remove dated barriers/stigmas, and social prejudices that prevent women from finding joy in the body they have.

My vision has always been to create a space that brings people together, offering a holistic approach to wellness. I imagined a safe and welcoming space, clients can discover the joy of movement and the benefits of selfcare, support by specialists in their field.

  1. And how are you working with local Dorchester / Dorset based businesses?

We’re keen to build links with other wellness businesses and introduce the benefits of wellness in all industries. We love collaboration and events bringing people together is what we’re all about. HYGGE WELLNESS has a dedicated events coordinator for exactly this purpose. Everyone can benefit from so many forms of movement and selfcare, and we’re keen to explore collaborations and currently building links with other service providers.

  1. What’s the official launch date of The Breathing Space & Hygge Wellness?

Pop the date in your diary now – Saturday 14th September 2019

  1. What type of classes & experiences can we expect?

We want to create a supportive community. It’s so important to us that everyone feels welcome, so clients can always expect a friendly welcome. Our bodies love to move in in a multitude of ways, sometimes energetically and sometimes restoratively. Our mind benefits form the chance to be challenged and rested.

Our timetable will honour that with a diverse range of expert led classes and workshops:

  • Ariel Hoop
  • Ariel Yoga
  • Balance and Cognitive Function
  • Barre
  • Bell Box Fusion
  • Birthing workshops
  • Boogie Beats
  • Bump and Every Woman
  • Feeding Workshops
  • Holistic Core Restore® Pelvic Health & Fitness
  • Hypnobirthing
  • Kegels & Cake® Pelvic Health Workshop
  • Kettlebells
  • Mama Vibe
  • Menopause Workshops
  • Mindful Crafting Workshops
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutritional Workshops
  • Para fitness
  • Pilates
  • Pilates for Riders
  • Pregnancy Belly Dancing
  • Release and Stretch
  • Runners Workshops
  • Slim Dance
  • Studio Strollers
  • Weaning Workshops
  • Yoga
  • We even have a free Natter & Nurture Pregnancy & Postnatal support group
The Breathing Space Team

The Breathing Space Team

  1. Can men attend classes?

Although we specialise in women’s health we really want to support the guys too. Some classes welcome men, like Pilates, our seniors Thrive Club and some partner workshops. We also hope to have men only Pilates class in the near future. Each instructor welcomes enquiries, so if in doubt, reach out.

  1. Are you still looking for experts to apply?

Yes, we are always interested in who else is out there supporting women. Specialists can apply to become part of our extended team and referral pathway or join us here as part of our in-house team.

  1. When will the timetable be going live and we can start booking?

Our website is now live with the full timetable, so go take a look. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know when the timetable will be live, and booking will be available as soon as we go live. With some programs being advertised on social media earlier [see links below].

  1. How can we make sure we keep in the loop of all the news?



Thank you, Sammie, for your time, and we wish you lots of success with your new business ventures THE BREATHING SPACE and HYGGE WELLNESS and look forward to following your journey.

Photography by the super talented Lara Jane Thorpe.


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