The Spirit List #1 – Just Breathe
Welcome to The Spirit List, your passport to an extraordinary journey alongside our Founder, Jennifer Jones. Embark on an ever-evolving exploration of wellness as she uncovers the latest trends and shares wisdom from her daily quest for balance. Our newsletter will strive to guide you through the labyrinth of holistic modalities, offering practical tips hot takes that inspire constant growth. Welcome to The Spirit List and over to JJ!
Many people including myself find June to be one of the hardest months of the year. Summer and Autumn (if we really do get this season anyway?) are well and truly gone and we seem to be settling into the depths of winter. Houses in Australia don’t seem to be as well heated as our European counterparts and so I find myself spending a lot of time in one room with the heater on!
This year with all the time I have given to my yoga practice and holistic health I’ve learnt that this is actually a season where we are meant to rest and repair. It’s a time to slow down and embrace a more relaxed pace of life. We are also approaching the Winter Solstice which is the shortest day of the year. Once we are on the other side of June 22nd people tend to feel more energetic and positive!
This new format of the Jones List is all about the things I have loved and learned this year on my inward journey. We will still be writing The Jones List too but this newsletter concentrates on wellness. It has been a wild and crazy ride and what I’ve loved most of all is that everything I’ve learnt has been free, easily accessible and made huge differences to my life. Funnily enough it seems a lot of my friends are also searching for different tools and hacks to make life a little bit sweeter and easier. It must be the age!
Well are you ready to dive into the deep with me? Let’s explore the first hack I’ve discovered.
I have fallen madly in love with breathwork! Your breath is an incredible tool that you have with you always and that you can use to change your energy instantly. From needing inner guidance if you having a rocky day or just calming yourself down in 20 seconds before you lose it with your kid your breath is an instant life hack. There is so much out there now on the breath but these are the resources I have found to work best for me.
The Physiological Sigh
This is an easy and quick breath technique that provides the most rapid reduction in stress levels. I am talking about when you know you are just about to scream or cry or when you find yourself suddenly so overwhelmed just before a public speaking gig. It’s a double inhale followed by an extended exhale. The coolest thing is that we naturally do this pattern in our sleep or even when we are crying. Kids do it when they are sobbing and even your dog will do it naturally! The very hunky Dr Huberman explains it here.
The 4 7 8 Breath
This is a great one for when you wake up in the middle of the night to pee and then can’t go back to sleep? Before you reach for your phone give this a whirl and you’ll find yourself drifting off again. As it’s such a great relaxation technique I find myself doing this whenever I have a spare moment – instead of mindlessly scrolling while watching my daughter at swimming I’ll be doing this. By the time the lesson finishes I’m in a state of bliss! It’s also a great one to get in at the beginning and end of the day and it only takes minutes. Dr Weil explains it all here.
Insight Timer Breathworks
I love breath holds. This is where you hold your breath at the exhale or the inhale. It’s usually done after a round of breathing and the effects are incredible. You find yourself in a deep meditative state with tingles all over your body. I can literally feel the energy whirling around! And as they say – when you press pause on the breath you press pause on life. It just gives me that little escape and recharge.
Insight Timer is my favourite app of all time. It’s the world's most extensive library of free guided meditation from psychologists, spiritual leaders, coaches and mindfulness teachers.
Here are my favourite teachers of breathwork on there.
Kirsty Lyons has one of the most calming Scottish accents and her breathwork tracks are gentle and nurturing yet powerful to create change.
Dave Florence has the best SOMA Breathwork session done to Funky Latin beats which I use to kick start my day in the best way!
Jordana Reim has a wonderful morning breathwork and meditation which even my 7 year old daughter does with me. It’s a great start if you are new to breathwork.
Some great references are these books:
Breath by James Nestor
The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick Mckeown
The Wim Hoff Method by Wim Hoff
In my next newsletter I’ll fill you in with what I’ve been doing with my gut health and nutrition hacks to tackle those mid-afternoon slumps.