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Breathe: 33 Simple Breathwork Practices

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In this essential guide, healer and wellness coach Shanila Sattar explains how breathing affects the body and mind, offers an illuminating history of breathwork, and provides simple, hassle-free exercises to make the most of it.

In today’s ever faster world, levels of stress and anxiety are rising higher than ever before, taking a heavy toll on physical and mental health. That weight on your shoulders, heaviness in your heart, and knot in your gut are your body physically expressing your negative emotions. If you want to improve your health and live better, you need to breathe correctly because how you breathe directly affects your entire body, even your brain chemistry. Breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which tells your body to relax and optimizes your natural healing abilities, offering a reprieve from a busy, overstimulated life. Proper breathing releases stagnant emotions and restores the body’s natural flow. Your lungs draw in air about 20,000 times each day, so you have plenty of opportunities to reap the rewards.

Breathwork broadly describes the different techniques you can use to reduce anxiety, relieve stress, calm your mind, promote focus, and energize your body. The practice dates back more than 2,500 years and includes yogic breathing, meditation techniques, and other methods. Keep Calm and Breathe is an essential guide to breathwork that explores its indigenous origins, how it affects both mind and body, as well as exercises to incorporate the practice in your own life. You can use each technique for any period of time, from just a 30-second break to an hour-long session. She also details how essential oils can channel the power of aromatherapy. For example, peppermint stimulates the mind-body connection and helps you stay present in your emotions, while lavender relaxes intense emotions, eases disruptive thoughts, and invites calm.

Now take a deep breath and relax.

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