The Power of Breathwork

by Olivia Cartwright,
You may have heard, ‘breathwork’ is having a moment. The practice really stepped into the spotlight during COVID but it is hardly new. The practice dates back thousands of years in Eastern society. The term itself really refers to any type of breathing exercises or techniques. There are a range of styles of breathwork to explore, from shamanic to circular, to alternate nostril breathing. It is an amazing tool which we all have at our disposal that can instantly stimulate your bodies “relaxation response,” (a term coined by physician Herbert Benson in 1975) it helps calm our parasympathetic nervous system, quieting the mind. We think you’ll agree, this is something we could all use in modern life.

With figureheads like Wim Hoff launching breathwork into the mainstream with his new BBC show,“Freeze the Fear”, it is quickly becoming the go to treatment and Hoff is credited with propelling the practice after he was featured on Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop Lab” on Netflix in 2021. Since then breathwork has become  increasingly popular with major celebrity endorsements (Justin Beiber for one). Wim Hoff’s approach sparks quite an extreme response including crying and shaking during a session. This doesn’t need to be the case but emotional release is one of the known benefits of breathwork. 

Like thousands of others, I tried breathwork in lockdown. The practice really appealed to me as it proclaims to stimulate that emotional release that hours of talking therapy was never able to. It is definitely the most transformative treatment I have ever tried and I am a total convert.  I’ve tried it all!  Everything from hypnosis to tapping to kinesiology, and nothing has ever come close. Today it is something I’m hugely passionate about. 

They say you never forget your first breathwork session. That was definitely true for me. I got every symptom possible, from tingling hands, pins and needles, numbness of the mouth, to feeling hot and then cold. When I was initially sent the appointment confirmation for a 3 hour session it almost put me off. However, I lost all sense of time. Once your body enters a state of deep relaxation, timelessness takes over and I honestly lost track after the first 20 minutes. The stillness and inner peace I felt at the end of the session was unmatched. I feel as though I shed a much needed skin and blew away years of anxiety and stress in just that first session alone. I have consistently practiced breath work ever since, first weekly with a practitioner and now daily by myself. I have never even been able to meditate before. My busy mind sabotaging any prior effort but just a few minutes of conscious connected breath helps me slip right in and it’s blissful to experience. I warn you though, it’s addictive! I still remember finishing my first session, desperate to book my second. 

Breathing is something we all do constantly to survive, it is a subconscious human instinct, like blinking. But is it something we should be focusing our attention on more?  Incorporating some conscious connected breathing daily is something we could all benefit from. And the best part? It’s totally free. If you are eager to give breath work a go, we recommend starting with a practitioner before embarking on your own practice. You’ll soon discover it’s as easy, as well, breathing!
Here are some of our favourite practitioners that you can follow online or book for 1:1 sessions: Nahid de Belgeonne (@thehumanmethoduk), Richie Bostock (@thebreathguy), Stuart Sandeman (@Breathpod) and Heather Gordon Athie (@calunawellness).  

Healthy Easter Nests

by Olivia Cartwright, , link
2 x tablespoons of cacao powder
3 x tablespoons of honey or maple syrup 
100g coconut oil
50g oats
50g dessicated coconut
25g ground almonds
Toppings for decroations, this can be whatever you like, whether it's berries or chocolate, you can be creative here! 
1 - Place cases in muffin tray
2 - Melt the coconut oil and honey in a medium sized saucepan
3 - Add in the cacao powder and stir to remove any lumps
4 - Stir in the oats, dessicated coconut and ground almonds
5 - Spoon into muffin cases
6 - Using back of spoon, shape a hole in the middle for the nest
7 - Place in fridge for at least an hour to harden
8 - Remove and add toppings


Spring Equinox

by Olivia Cartwright, , link


Spring equinox is here, signifying the start of the new season. We made it through the dark, colder days and winter is finally a distant memory. There is always something so lovely and hopeful about spring. Symbolically a time of rebirth and new life, with all the budding trees and lambs in the fields, it’s difficult not to bask in the glory of the season.

That being said it’s hard to feel hopeful at the moment. We find ourselves yet again in unprecedented times, with tragic events occurring daily. It’s like trying to walk in quicksand and being unable to help in a practical way. It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed with the world and ignore our basic human needs. Now more than ever we must try to take the time to appreciate the small pleasures we receive each day. Even little things, like feeling the warmth of the sun, or fresh sun dried laundry can lift our sprits. In moments such as these, it’s important to support yourself both physically and emotionally. We can’t pour from an empty cup. 

The change of the seasons is a period of transition and we always recommend a seasonal cleanse to support yourself through that shift. If we look to the cycles of nature, it makes perfect sense. Hibernate in the winter, rest, preserve our energy and emerge in the spring, refreshed and recharged. Ayurveda suggests we all do a seasonal cleanse every spring. It is such a lovely, natural opportunity for a fresh start. Our bodies are primed to lighten things up and a desire to cleanse away any accumulated imbalances, dust off those cobwebs and emerge rejuvenated.

Tolstoy once said “spring is the time of plans and projects." This spring put your energy into yourself. Make yourself your own personal project. The link between our nutrition and mental and physical health is undeniable. When you fuel your body, you reap the rewards. There is always a shift in energy in the springtime and there is nothing more valuable than putting that energy back into yourself and your own transformation.  A cleanse is the perfect way to mark this change of the seasons, and both literally and figuratively wash winter away. We all know the saying ‘where you water, grows’. We can’t wait to enter spring and summer with a clean slate and watch you all bloom. 

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