Posted on Leave a comment

Positivity Aromatherapy blend by Valerie Ann Worwood

We all can do with a bit of positivity in these times. I found this lovely blend in “The complete book of essential oils and aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood and thought I would share it with you:

In 30 ml bottle put the following mix of essential oils and top with a carrier oil of your choice (Fractionated Coconut Oil, Jojoba or Almond oil etc.) You can use it as a body oil, in baths or don’t dilute in Carrier Oil and put 3-4 drops of the essential oil mix in your diffuser for inhalation.

10 drops Geranium

8 drops Grapefruit

8 drops Petitgrain

4 drops Frankincense

Do not expose skin to direct sunlight 12-24 hours after application, as citrus oils can cause sunburn / sun sensitivity / sunspots.

“Positivity is not about grey areas, its about being optimistic and proactive – the kind of attitude that creates its own luck.

Positive people construct strategies to improve their chances of success. Rather than leaving things to chance, they put the odds in their favor by planning carefully and learning to deal with different situations. Positive people don’t daydream that one day it’s all going to get better, they set themselves realistic goals and for them, step by small step. and they don’t blame themselves for every little mishap. Mishaps are to be expected, they are part of the drama, but don’t allow them to rule your life.

Life is all about good and bad, and the trick is to find a balance in which there  is more good than bad. That’s all we can do. Optimism is key, and it is the attitude that good will ultimately prevail in the universe.

Essential Oils are like little packages of positivity, a helping aid in the move toward optimism. They gently nudge you forward until you find yourself saying, “Oh, maybe things aren’t so bad!” I don’t know of an essential oil that doesn’t add positivity in some way.” -Valerie Ann Worwood”

If you are interested to purchase the doTERRA essential oils, please message me [email protected] or check out the essential oil section on my website.

Posted on Leave a comment

On Getting Real from “The Velvetin Rabbit”

When I red the book “The Velvetin Rabbit” to our children the first few times I choked with tears and emotion. Once I even had to hand the book to a friend to carry on reading when we where on a long weekend away together. Brene Brown read this passage in one of her books I listened to recently and I decided to write it in my journal. Here it is for you to enjoy and ponder:

“Real isn’t how you are made” said the skinhorse, “its a thing that happens to you when a child loves you for a long, long, long time. Not just to play with, but really loves you. Then you become real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes.” Said the skin horse. For he was always truthful. “When you are real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up?” he asked. “Or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once.” said the skin horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily or have sharp edges  or have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are real most of you hair has been loved off and your eyes drop off and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you re real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Posted on Leave a comment

Notes on whole hearted living and courage by Brene Brown

I love ALL of Brene Browns books. Recently I have listened to Daring Greatly again and took notes of 10 points for whole hearted living in my journal. I have just come across them again in my journal and thought I would share them with you. I guess we all know them, but its good to be reminded to shift our focus to what matters regularly:

  1. Cultivate Authenticity and let go of what people might think of you.
  2. Cultivate Self Compassion and let go of perfection.
  3. Cultivate a resilient spirit and let go of numbing and powerlessness.
  4. Cultivate gratitude and joy. Let go of scarcity and fear of the dark.
  5. Cultivate intuition and trust faith. Let go of the need for certainty.
  6. Cultivate creativity and let go of comparison.
  7. Cultivate play and rest and let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self worth.
  8. Cultivate calm and stillness and let go of anxiety as a lifestyle.
  9. Cultivate meaningful work and let go of self doubt and supposed to…
  10. Cultivate laughter, song and dance and let go of being cool and always in control.

Its something we could all hang on the fridge, over our desk, by the bathroom mirror, by our bedside to remind us regularly to shift our perspective.


Courage has played a big part in my life. Its a play between courage, fear, bravery, anxiety and everything around and in between. I liked this definition of Courage by  Brene Brown and it’s also in my journal to remind me:

“COURAGE is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor. – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences – good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage”.”

Over the years I have been drawn to writers and mentors who courageously and authentically share who they are and how they experience the world – honestly, fully. Its invited me to share more fully about my experiences and allowed to me to process lots of buried stuff. Writing and sharing helps to process and also to connect to other people with similar experience and feel less lonely and alien in this world. Recently someone sent me a private message, that I should not share about personal aspects of my relationships and our journey publicly. But for me that would be just a highlights reel and we already have enough of that. I think those highlights reels are responsible for a lot of anxiety, depression, unrealistic expectations of how things ‘should’ be and how things are for other people causing FOMO and jealousy and comparison and all sorts. If we all shared more authentically and courageously of what’s really going on I am convinced we would live in a better world.

Unfortunately the authentic and open sharing is two fold. It opens the doors to new connections that would otherwise not happen, but it also invites online trolls and people who “know better than us” to give us unsolicited advise or worse make comments that hurt deeply. Sharing authentically, courageously and openly required a soft hart and a strong back – also a Brene Brown saying. It has taken me many years to develop both and I still regularly get thrown off center. But I have enough tools to shake off what needs shaking off and get back to MY center.

Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.



Posted on Leave a comment

doTERRA specials May 2021

doTERRA has special offers every month. You can view more info on all of them HERE.

If you open your account this month with doTERRA with 200 PV or more (product volume points)  or you already have an account and order for 200 PV altogether you receive an 15 ml Citrus Twist blend and a Pilot Diffuser with Carry Case until 15th May. Its worth $98 NZD wholesale price. If you would like me to help you set up your account you can either follow the steps HERE or contact me on messenger or via e-mail [email protected]. doTERRA is available in most countries around the world. If you are not based in New Zealand or Australia I can send you more information for your country.

In the link above you find links to the starter packs, pricelist and brochures for more info. You can either join with a starter pack or a custom order and I can help you find the right products for you.

PLUS ALL ENROLMENT KITS HAVE 20% OFF – THIS IS THE BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO GRAB YOURSELF YOUR KIT OF CHOICE. Here is a link to all the kits and reduced prices. If your kit is 200 PV or you add other products to your cart that add up to 200 PV you get the above mobile diffuser and Citrus blend free. The below enrolment packs are only examples there are more in above link.

25% off products are Frankincense and Rose touch rollers and the Salubelle roller bottle

Usually we get only 10% off one product. This month it is 25% off 3 of my favorite rollers. I use Rose as perfume and for skin imperfections and rolled over the heart chakra. Frankincense to support my skin, for head tension, insect bites, for meditation and as a perfume layered with Rose. Both of these are are prediluted and ready to use. The Salubelle blend is my go to face oil. I have been using it for years. It comes undiluted, so I divide it into 3 bottles and top it with carrier oil. You can find more info on it HERE.


There is still a range of Mothers day presents available until the 10th May that we can’t usually purchase. The Lip Gloss gifts are already sold out, but there are still other lovely products up for grabs. More info on the specials HERE.

The product of the month, which you receive with every Loyalty Rewards Order, which is placed by the 15th May with a PV value of 125 is the Motivate touch. You receive it free of charge with your LRP order (not enrolment orders or standard one off orders). Its a lovely citrussy blend that can be worn as a perfume and inhaled deeply. Best applied in the morning or during day when you need a boost of Motivation.

This month doTERRA offers a special enrolment pack with the LLV supplements. They some of the

And we have had a few new product launches. The Balance soap bar, the Kids collection rollers are now available as individual roller bottles and the beautiful Whisper blend comes now in a roller bottle.

Just a reminder too that doTERRA disables accounts if you don’t order in 12 months. Your account can be reactivated by calling Helpdesk.


My essential oil journey is HERE.

Why doTERRA info HERE.

What’s the loyalty rewards program (LRP) info HERE.

Info on the business opportunity HERE.

Posted on Leave a comment

Essential Oils to support your creativity / aromatic anchors

Aromatherapy can support us in our physical and emotional world and I certainly make use of my precious plant essences on a daily basis. I roll on an oil several times a day, change the essential oils I add to my body and face oils, I apply them to acupressure points, inhale deeply from the bottle and if we happen to be in a marina I also use my diffuser (not enough solar power here to do this daily anymore).

The essential oil is the blood of the plant, the soul, the lifeforce. – Tiffany Carole

One of the secret tools that not many people know about are aromatic anchors. If you choose one oil and repeatedly use it for the purpose of getting your body / mind into a certain space, your brain after some time will automatically switch without you doing anything about it. For example if you use Lavender every night at bedtime in your diffuser or as a foot rub or similar you body will learn when it detects the smell its sleep time and sleep will come alot easier. This is also a great tool for children. Same for mornings. If you choose for example Peppermint or a Citrus Oil and diffuse every morning your body will automatically know its wake up time.


Same can apply for your creative space. I would highly recommend hovering over your oils box and choosing an oil that you feel drawn to for your creative space if you are looking for an aromatic anchor.

  • Tree oils are usually grounding and full of wisdom. When I think of tree oils they are for me deeply connected with the root chakra and also with the third eye and crown chakra.  Examples are Cedarwood, Myrrh, Frankincense, Silver Fir, Manuka, Douglas Fir, Black Spruce
  • Citrus oils are light, creative, uplifting for me. They invite freshness, alertness, happiness to my body. A perfect match for creative time. Examples are: Tangerine, Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit.
  • Flower Oils are sweet, harmony, balance, mystical, feminine. They invite softness, exploration, forgiveness, femininity, exploration. Examples are: Rose, Geranium, Jasmin, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Magnolia
  • Spice Oils are warm, comforting and healing to me. They feel like a blanket that I can wrap in. My favorite is Cardamom, but other examples are Ginger, Cinnamon / Cassia (very well diluted!)
  • Herb Oils are healing, cleansing, fresh, helping to digest emotions. Examples are Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme

I often apply an oil over my belly, heart, on my feet on my third eye or crown chakra. Before you sit down at your creative space create a comfortable, safe and happy environment, turn your diffuser on, place an oil and your body, close your eyes for a moment and tune in.

From the “Essential Emotions” book:

Essential Oils to support Creativity:

  • Wild Orange, Tangerine, Citrus Bliss, Clary Sage, Passion blend, Green Mandarin
  • Query: Am I open to thinking outside of my box? Where can I go to receive inspiration? Have I moved enough physically to clear my mind and heart? When have I been burned in the creative process? D I trust that this can be used as a fit for my growth?
  • Affirmation to say when applying the oil: “New ideas now flow naturally and abundantly to me.”
  • Visualise: See light pouring from the sacral chakra / reproductive area of your body, bringing gifts and ideas beyond your own.

Essential Oils for Inspiration:

  • Passion blend, Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Rosemary, Elevation blend, Blue Tansy, Arise blend, Green Mandarin, Tumeric
  • Query: What will it take for me to connect to the inspiration waiting for me? What life experiences have caused me to limit myself?
  • Affirmation: I am now open to infinite possibilities. Solutions are now waiting for me.
  • Visualise: See light pouring from the sacral chakra / reproductive area of your body. Visualize a gift being handed to you that contains ideas beyond your own. See your mind expanding to hold more.

Essential Oils when feeling Blocked:

  • Cypress, Thyme, Oregano, Litsea, Hinoki (Thyme and Oregano need to be very well diluted!)
  • Query: What am I avoiding? What will it take for me to feel confident in moving forward?
  • Affirmation: I can now trust my internal compass. I now move forward in confidence and faith.
  • Visualise: See yourself dismiss the conflicting voices on either side. Imagine your eyes and face cleaned, allowing a clear perspective to emerge.

Essential Oils for Worthiness / Worthlessness:

  • Bergamot, Slim & Sassy (or Smart & Sassy), HD Clear, Copaiba, Beautiful blend, Cassia
  • Query: Is this a feeling that will help me progress or turn to my Higher Power? Is it possible this feeling does not originate from a source of truth? Am I trusting in false thoughts about myself? What is clouding my perspective of myself? What am I to change?
  • Affirmation: I can now reject falsehood. I am now cherished, valued, and worthy of infinite love. I was born with intrinsic worth and value. I now reject belittling thoughts about myself.
  • Visualise: Imagine yourself held in loving arms. See what value you truly hold. Imagine your heart open to receive all the love that is yours.  See your heart, mind, and gut surrender any feelings of unworthiness and be filled with love. Open your arms to receive all that is yours.

Essential Oils for Authenticity:

  • Wild Orange, Cassia, Spearmint, Black Pepper, Steady blend, Kumquat, Pink Pepper, Amavi blend
  • Query: What will it take for me to stop comparing myself or my life mission with others? Am I safe to express what I think, feel, and desire?
  • Affirmation: I now choose to be true to my authentic self
  • Visualise: See you body as a cluster of circular colors. Take a deep breath and honor the beauty of the colours Dismiss anything that does not belong in your space.

If you have any questions or would like to share your oils or insights, I would love to hear from you. [email protected]

If you are interested to purchase doTERRA essential oils I am happy to support you and help to set up your account. You can find more information HERE or you can message me on [email protected].

Posted on Leave a comment

Musings from the sea on creativity

I really, really enjoy all the creative time and space I get at the moment. Its one of the things I am most grateful for and try to be entirely unapologetic about. It makes me realise how much of that side of me has been unattended, unseen, unexplored because of the lack of time and headspace. It makes me realise how much creativity will lie dormant in so many other people, because of the lack of time and headspace.

Its easy to say you just have to prioritise this time, but I can very well remember that I was most of the time just functioning with all the responsibility I had and work that needed doing in my businesses, around the house and garden, in our household. the social commitments etc. I am so grateful for this time to explore this side of me, drawing, writing, reading, listening to audiobooks, and doing crochet.

2 of my recent drawings. I usually make a quick sketch or a note in my journal if an inspiration comes in and when I get a moment I can bring them to life with my paint brush. I am secretly dreaming of these becoming cards and a book one day. 

I am just slowly reading bits of the book “Out of our minds” by Sir Ken Robinson – all about creativity, creative thinking and living. Its really reaffirming. Lots of the things I have been thinking and feeling were out of kilter for me in previous years and that brought me to where I am today. The structures for my life had to be rearranged in a big way quite a few times so that I can feel aligned and fulfilled. Each time in those big shifts I was scared, fearful and doubtful and each time (so far so good) it was the best move ever. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect and I float on a rosy cloud, but it means I can live more aligned and closer to my truth and heartspace.

I also simultaneously work my way through the book “The Artists way” by Julia Cameron chapter by chapter . One thing that made me chuckle yesterday was a quote I came across in this book:

“Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” Erica Jong

I also got my first sunburn, as I was reading right in this spot in the hammock and it felt too nice to feel sun on my skin again after months of cold and winter.

Its all good while its all good, but when things go wrong there is only me that is to blame for making bold, brave and out of the box decisions. That is a bit scary, it feels so convenient and comforting having the possibility to blame someone else. Our kids are masters at this 😉 and at making star art – Luca below working with his origami stars and Nina’s on the right side making a wordspiration box. So proud that both of them can express in so many creative ways.

Another thing I noticed is that I go through cycles with my creativity. I have burst of inspiration for drawing. If I ignore them they keep niggling until I get my brush out. Then there might be nothing for a few weeks or even months until a new inspiration or niggle comes. Same with my writing – there are times when I feel really inspired to write and times when nothing will come. There are crochet projects that just work and feel right and there are some that don’t and get undone. I found this quote in the same book that reassured me:

“Marathon runners suggest you slot ten slow miles for every fast one. The same holds true for creativity.”

Here are some of my crochet projects from the last few weeks – a blanket for me, a shirt for me and shirt for Nina. Its colour therapy, a moving meditation, a quite space of creation and fulfillment. 

And I also marked these in bright pink in my book:

“Anyone honest will tell you that possibility is far more frightening than impossibility, that freedom is far more terrifying than any prison. If we do, in fact, have to deal with a force beyond ourselves that involves itself in our lives, then we may have to move into action on those previously impossible dreams.”

“I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow.” (Gosh did we need that seatbelt in the last 1.5 years!)

“In my experience, the universe falls in with worthy plans and most especially with festive and expansive ones. I have seldom conceived a delicious plan without being given the means to accomplish it. Understand that the what must come before the how. First choose what you would do. The how usually falls into place of itself.”

” Take a small step in the direction of a dream and watch the synchronous doors flying open. Seeing, after all, is believing. And if you see the results of your experiments, you will not need to believe me. Remember the maxim ‘leap and the net will appear’.”

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.” -Goethe-

Here are some actions for reflection from the book, that you could work on this month:

  • Where does your time go? List your five major activities this week. How much time did you give to each one? Which were what you wanted to do and which were shoulds? How much of your time is spent helping others and ignoring your own desires?
  • Take a sheet of paper. Draw a circle. Inside that circle, place topics you need to protect. Place the names of those you find to be supportive. Outside the circle, place the names of those you must be self protective around just now. Use this map to support your autonomy.
  • List 20 things you enjoy doing. When was the last time  you let yourself do these things? Next to each entry, place a date. Can you do and schedule some of these in the next week/month?

I would love to hear and see your creative projects and any thoughts that might come up for you reading / seeing this.

And lastly a beautiful quote that touched me:

I shut my eyes in order to see. – Paul Gauguin-

My yoga mat is one of the places where I find peace, inspiration, where I shut my eyes, listen to my body, move stagnant energy, place some oils on my body, breathe deeply, feel the wind and sun on my skin, smell the salt in the air, close my eyes to see…




Posted on Leave a comment

Balms for all occasions, incl. after sun balm

I have just done the free Balm class with Angela Chambers HERE. She is also part of our wider doTERRA team and has 2 other courses on offer. One Gua sha one and one about the Five Elements. The balm course is free, the other 2 you can purchase.

Her basic Balm recipe for 100 g balm is:
3 tbsp Shea Butter
2 tbsp Almond Oil
1 tsp Bees wax

You melt the Shea Butter and Bees Wax in a double boiler and then add your liquid oil, wait until its cooled, but not set and add your essential oils. For adults experiment with 20 drops – 30 drops of essential oil per balm, for children half that and always try on a patch of skin first. The below oils are several suggestions, you can choose one or a few to make your own balm. Remember less is more and if you use a blend its already been formulated for a specific purpose.

I like balms, because you can pre-make your favorite mixes and have them ready in the bathroom, by your bedside table, in your gym bag, on your kids bedside table, on your desk, in your handbag. Of course roller bottles work as well, but a balm gives you more of that massage feeling and moisturizes the skin beautifully. I love foot rubs, tummy rubs, hand massages.

For breathing support you can add Breathe blend, Rosemary, Cardamom, Eucalyptus.

For hormone support you can add Clary calm, Geranium, Clary Sage, Frankincense.

For immune support add On Guard.

For digestions add Digest Zen, Cardamom, Ginger, Peppermint.

For Muscle rubs add Ice Blue, Marjoram, Copaiba, Wintergreen.

When anxious and overwhelmed add Adaptive, Copaiba, Frankincense, Lavender.

For head tension add Lavender, Frankincense, Peppermint and Copaiba (all of them).

For a perfume balm add your favorite essential oil scents.

Remember to store your balms away from heat and sunlight. Enjoy your balm making.


Here is another goodie for an AFTER SUN BALM by Samantha from Oiltribe:

With you all enjoying a summer, while we are cold here in Turkey I thought you might enjoy mixing up this natural after sun balm. Its based on a recipe by Samantha from Oil Tribe and makes approx. 2 x 200 g jars. Remember to try and put all your oils creations in glass, ideally amber glass and be careful with sun sensitive / photo sensitive essential oils (all citrus oils, apart from Green Mandarin).

1 cup natural Aloe Vera Gel
1/4 cup Fractionated Coconut Oil
10 drops Lavender
10 drops Frankincense
5 drops Helichrysum

Stir vigorously with a fork or whisk. It will change colour to almost white.


Posted on Leave a comment

Essential Oils, chest rubs and balms to support your respiratory system

I love to use essential oils to support my breath work / Pranayam. Of course this is not necessary, but adds enjoyment for me, opens my airways pleasantly and improves my wellbeing. Doing your breathing exercises regularly will help keep your respiratory system healthy. Check out my blog HERE for some breath work instructions.

I also use the oils for myself and my family when our respiratory system needs support. You can make your own chest rub and will know exactly what is in it without nasty chemicals. I also like to rub the chest rub under the feet and put warm socks over it. And of course using your diffuser or an inhaler stick with essential oils on it will also support your respiratory system. You can buy inhaler sticks online. They have a felt tip inside it and you can drop any oils on it you enjoy

Firstly the whole Easy Air or Breathe range from doTERRA is my go to. There is a roller blend, the undiluted 15 ml oil, there are Easy Air drops to suck when things are blocked and there is also a chest rub stick.

Other oils to support your respiratory system are: Eucalyptus, Douglas Fir, Cardamom, Peppermint, Rosemary, Black & Pink Pepper, Lemon Eucalyptus.

Here is a basic Balm recipe for 100 g balm:
3 tbsp Shea Butter
2 tbsp Almond Oil
1 tsp Bees wax

You melt the Shea Butter and Bees Wax in a double boiler and then add your liquid oil, wait until its cooled, but not set and add your essential oils. For adults experiment with 20 drops – 30 drops of essential oil per balm, for children half that and always try on a patch of skin first. The above oils are several suggestions, you can choose one or a few to make your own balm. Remember less is more and if you use a blend its already been formulated for a specific purpose. Use like a chest rub front and back and also rub under the feet. Remember to store your balms away from heat and sunlight. Enjoy your balm making.

I also used to find steam inhalations with essential oils helpful when I had Sinus infections. I put boiling water in a bowl, drop Easy Air and On Guard Oil in it and put a towel over my head and the bowl and take deep breaths for as long as felt good. I did this twice per day usually.

Here is another snippet of wisdom from Dr. Scott A Johnson:

Blood oxygen is a measurement of how much oxygen your red blood cells are carrying. Blood oxygenation levels are closely regulated to maintain a precise balance of oxygen-saturated blood so you stay healthy.
A clinical study evaluated the effects of a blend of essential oils on blood oxygenation levels. Women and men aged 21 to 60 years old inhaled essential oils from an essential oil inhaler (like pictured) containing peppermint, rosemary, and grapefruit (50:30:20 ratio) essential oils. The essential oil inhaler increased blood oxygenation from an average of about 95.6 to 97.2, showing that essential oils positively effect blood oxygenation. You can access the study HERE.
Posted on Leave a comment

Breathing exercises to improve your wellbeing

I have practiced different breathing techniques for many years now and observed the many benefits of bringing consciousness and practice to breathing cycles. I definitely expanded my lung capacity big time and when I breathe shallow or have periods of holding my breath when stressed or panicked I am now aware enough to bring myself back to deep, slow, conscious breaths. There is nothing like a big sigh of breath out and a deep inhale.

Pranyam – Breathing is a key practice and in this book he mentions that breathing in yoga came long before the asanas – movement where developed.  I practiced mainly yogic breathing techniques over the past 13 years, but I also loved attending workshops with Helle Thompson, who holds space for Transformational Breath sessions privately or for groups in Havelock North.  There are many different breathing techniques from so many teachers.

I have just finished reading the book Breath by James Nestor (link below to Amazon), which outlines and explains important research on breath. Many people are unaware how bad mouth breathing is for example and how many people have health problems because of mouth breathing. He even goes through an experiment with another breath expert, where they plug up their noses for several weeks and monitor all their vital functions and get their health monitored and checked before and after thoroughly. James Nestor visits lots of specialists and pulmonologists around the world and at the end of the audio book there are a few breathing exercises explained that we can implement into our daily rituals.


Here are a few breathing exercises you can practice and implement in your daily rituals. For all those techniques its best to sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair, spine straight, shoulders and face relaxed. Remember to never force anything and not overdo, especially if you are just starting out with these breathing techniques. Make sure you do the breathing exercises in a comfortable, safe environment, where you can be fully present.

Many of the breathing techniques have similar effects – lowering heart rate, blood pressure, stress, expanding lung capacity, calming the mind.

Alternate Nostril Breath:

Put the 2 peace fingers (pointy and middle finger) of the right hand on the 3rd eye chakra between the eyebrows. Use your thumb to close right nostril and the ring finger to close the left nostril. The little finger is just relaxed. Close right nostril with thumb, inhale through left nostril. Close left nostril with ring finger, open right nostril, exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril. Close right nostril with thumb, open left nostril, exhale through the left. Inhale through left, close left, open right, exhale. Carry on for as long as it feels comfortable and right. 10 – 15 cycles to start with.

Kumbhaka Breath:

This breath is called box breathing in the above book, but is also a yogic technique, called Kumbhaka breath. The inhale, exhale and hold of breath is all done to the count of 4. Inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4. You can slowly increase your count if it feels comfortable.

For more relaxation / before sleep  change the count of the breath to Inhale 4, Hold 4, Exhale 6, Hold 2.

Another variation of this was made famous by Dr. Andrew Weil, called 4/7/8 breathing. Inhale through Nose for 4, Hold for 7 and Exhale though mouth with an audible sigh for 8

Repeat Cycles for as long as feels comfortable and right

Belly breathing:

I personally find this super relaxing combined with legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani) before sleep, but can also be done sitting. Put one hand on belly, one hand on chest. Breathe into belly and feel belly expand. On exhalation feel belly lower. Do a few rounds like this then try to fill the belly with breath first and then the chest next, feeling both rise as you breathe in and as you breathe out you first try and empty the chest – feel it lower and then last the belly. Carry on for a few cycles.

Conscious breath restriction methods from the book Breath:

Inhale deeply through the nose, then pinch nose closed with fingers and hold breath for as long as feels comfortable. Use a stopwatch to measure progress over the weeks. You should not be gasping for breath on inhale. Slow and steady inhale.  Something to aim for is 45 seconds – 1 minute breath holding. Start slowly and take small steps.

Something more rhythmic is inhaling for 3, exhale for 6 and imagine anchor sinking really deeply as you exhale.