The Alchemy of Breath: an easy breathing technique in times of stress.

This Friday I spontaneously was invited to a breathwork session by Anthony Abbagnano at TriYoga in Camden. His organisation is called the Alchemy of Breath and shows people how to remember using the breath to move emotions and strong feelings though our bodies - instead of them becoming stuck. 

The breath is something that when we are stressed gets shallow - and sometimes can seemingly stop altogether. This holds tension in the body and over time crystallises our worries and stores them in our body tissues. Trauma at any point in our lives can get stuck in this way too, but especially in the developmental stage of childhood. When reaching adulthood this can turn into many issues: pains, blocks, or unhelpful behaviours such as depression, rage or anxiety. 

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Anthony shows you how to release these trapped energies, first by feeling the raw emotions and then by breathing deeply through the experience of them. Often when we get into a heavy negative cycle we contract. For example sobbing in despair. He explains how we tend to switch to a very shallow restricted breath. This ends up often turning to violent coughing or gasping for air as the body tried to get oxygen.

Anthony offers us to practice the Coherence Breath to locate this raw emotion in our bodies. This very simple technique can be practiced anywhere and at the very moment you encounter negative emotion. It's important not to distract yourself from feeling bad, or labelling it as bad. Really try to let the experience be fully felt, embodied, so it can pass through you and be returned with honour to the source, the universe, the Is-ness, from where it originated. 

THE COHERANCE BREATH

To be able to begin to release this negative emotion, which could be appearing in our bodies and minds, firstly allow it to be there. Connect with it. Really feel it. What does it have to say to you? What thoughts come into your mind? Perhaps they are self depreciating thoughts, allow them to be there, listen to them, don't judge them. Begin to breath deeply. Breathing in very slowly to the count of five ... and breathing out again at the same slow pace. Continue for a full five minutes. 

When doing this you can usually feel an immediate release. Sometimes the release comes from the shoulders, pain in the joints, the brain and scalp relax, the heart relaxes and opens, the throat softens. Everything relaxes as you are moving this energy though you, freeing it, not locking it in. He suggests to move the body anyway it wants to, to further release tensions. 

This is one gentle technique which can be done anywhere in times of stress: at work, in the the streets, during an argument. He says often during conflict he makes sure he breathes in this way at least three times before responding, as it brings him into his heart chakra and he can respond clearly without triggers or unconscious reactions. 

Learn to calm the storms in your daily life 
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I’m practicing this in my daily life right now. I’d love to see if this simple, free and extremely easy technique works for you. Please do feel free to comment below. Namaste

New Forest, New Products ... Photography in Autumn

This week I've been shooting some of our newest natural incense products in the New Forest in England. I just adore the Autumn colours of rust, ochre and deep granite grey. They inspire me so much for colour and texture. 

Soon we are launching some new larger handmade ceramic bowls and another room scent with a magical ingredient. Still editing all the shots but I'll be posting more soon. For now you can see our Monreale incense, with Benzoin a beautiful soft scent and Frankincense, a classic for the Winter months.

Elemental

This weekend I took a journey to the Lake District in England, escaping the city spontaneously in my friends car. It took me hours and hours to drive through the country from London but it was so worth the endurance. Actually I quite enjoyed time on my own, speeding along listening to the beautifully crafted songs of Kate Bush and Ane Brun. Wondering how divine their inspiration was to write such lyrics and melodies...

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Nowhere to go ... but in  OSHO

Sometimes being on ones own suddenly turns the light of inspiration on inside. With no plan I was directed to the most staggeringly beautiful places seemingly by chance; by being open. People along the way seemed to know what I was looking for and pointed me there without me asking. Several poets and artists have drawn inspiration from the Lakes and I can see why. The landscape and the hint of it's Norse history is haunting. The wind, rain and black cloud made the experience even more affecting. Nature can be dramatic ... and other times beautifully serene, peaceful, and seemingly non eventful...

The Lake District is so stunning, I hadn't expected such immense beauty. I felt like I had arrived in Norway as I visited waterfalls, forests and huge expanses of mirror-like water. Driving through the glacial valley of Honnister Pass in the North I experienced such stark beauty. Hurricane Ophelia graced my visit to the near by Lake Buttermere ... and at times I had to shelter low on the ground beside a tree to stop her blowing me into the water with her 90 miles per hour gusts. Now I'm back in my studio in London and full of inspiration for winter, so pleased I made this trip and challenged myself - things that once seemed big and impossible like driving so far alone and finding my way suddenly seem so small in comparison to what I found there.