Autumn 2018 New Releases

Autumn 2018 New Releases

AUTUMN 2018

Tarot & Oracle
Crystals
Alternative Therapies

The long, hot summer is over, and autumn has arrived along with a great new selection of titles from Eddison Books.

With the year that has already given us The Good Food Good Mood Cookbook, the fantastic Moon Oracle and Healing Body Meditations, we are excited to present this season’s books.

Tarot & Oracle

THE SPIRIT OF NATURE ORACLE

JOHN MATTHEWS  & WILL WORTHINGTON
27th SEPTEMBER 2018

Inspired by the beauty of nature and the Celtic Ogam tree alphabet, this oracle will help you gain new and profound levels of awareness about yourself, your relationships and where you are headed.

The Spirit of Nature Oracle
ISBN: 9781859062753 |  £24.99

Contains 25 stunning cards which depict the trees that make up the Celtic alphabet. The Spirit of Nature or Green Man is present in every image – sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden – inviting you to enter his world.

In the practical book, discover tree lore, myths and symbolism, understand the deeper meanings of the spreads and integrate their messages into every aspect of your life.

“This is modern druidry
at its best …”
Fred Hageneder, author of The Spirit of Trees and The Heritage of Trees

The Spirit of Nature Oracle
ISBN: 9781859062753 |  £24.99
Out 27th September 2018

WHITE EAGLE
MEDICINE WHEEL

ELIANA HARVEY WA-NA-NEE-CHE
18th OCTOBER 2018

A unique and powerful divination system offering an introduction to Native American wisdom and a
journey of self-discovery.

White Eagle Medicine Wheel
ISBN: 9781859062456 |  £24.99

Let yourself be guided by the Animals, Elders and Totem cards for problem-solving, healing, developing your intuition, finding harmony in your life and more.

Two respected authors teach you how to communicate with the various sacred archetypes and forge a spiritual connection with the majesty and mystery of the animal world. 

White Eagle Medicine Wheel
ISBN: 9781859062456 |  £24.99
Out 18th October 2018

ANGELS OF LIGHT

AMBIKA WAUTERS
8th NOVEMBER 2018

Allow the love and grace of the angels of light into
your life and find the strength and focus to meet
your challenges.

Angels of Light
ISBN: 9781859061701 |  £22.99

A beautiful feminine oracle including 52 angel cards offering guidance, insight and acting as protectors,
helpers and healers.

Includes a very practical book profiling the angels along with accompanying prayers, affirmations, card layouts
offering clarity and direction in your readings and actions
throughout the year. 

Angels of Light
ISBN: 9781859061701 |  £22.99
Out 8th November 2018

THE CELTIC TREE ORACLE

 LIZ & COLIN MURRAY
6th DECEMBER 2018

Whatever your question, doubt or worry, the 2,000-year-old wisdom of The Celtic Tree Oracle provides remarkable guidance and insight in today’s hectic world. 

The Celtic Tree Oracle

ISBN: 9781859063828 |  £22.99

Within this box lies the secret language of the Celts. Discover this ancient method of communication and means of divination.
This pack includes 25 beautifully illustrated tree cards, a record
sheet and pad.

Each letter embodies the spirit of a tree or plant in the Celtic Ogham (tree) alphabet, here represented on a richly decorated card. This is a bestselling classic work, now reissued as a deluxe edition due to popular demand. 

The Celtic Tree Oracle

ISBN: 9781859063828 |  £22.99
Out 6th December 2018

Alternative Therapies

THE REFLEXOLOGY MANUAL

PAULINE WILLS
18th OCTOBER 2018

Relieve stress and tension and return the body to optimum health with this practical step-by-step manual.

The Reflexology Manual
ISBN: 9781859064221 |  £14.99

Clear illustrations show how all the internal body structures and organs are mirrored in the reflex points on the feet and hands, while a step-by-step guide explains how to perform pressure and massage techniques to give a full-body treatment and alleviate a variety of debilitating disorders. There’s also a special section on incorporating chakra work and colour therapy into reflexology sessions, for those who would like to take their practice further. 

The Reflexology Manual
ISBN: 9781859064221 |  £14.99
Out 18th October 2018
More from The Manual Series:

HEALING CRYSTALS
FOR WOMEN

CATHERINE MAYET & NATHAËLH REMY
1st NOVEMBER 2018

This practical guide presents 30 essential therapeutic crystals every woman needs.

Healing Crystals for Women
ISBN: 9781859064238 |  £13.99

The book includes clear advice on each crystal’s beneficial properties, plus selection and care and how to use them for maximum effect, with targeted advice for all four stages of womanhood:
infancy, teenage years, adulthood and later life.

Aid sleep, soothe stomach pains, alleviate anxiety, deal with challenges at work and in love, boost fertility, tackle the
menopause – and more! 
Includes handy Q&A section, guidance
on using crystals with chakras, plus quick-reference crystal charts. 

Healing Crystals for Women
ISBN: 9781859064238 |  £13.99
Out 1st November 2018

World Mental Health Awareness Day – Mood & Emotion resources

World Mental Health Awareness Day – Mood & Emotion resources

Presented by the World Federation of Mental HealthWorld Mental Health Day is today, October 10, 2018. The goal is to help raise mental health awareness. Each of us can make a contribution to ensure that people dealing with problems concerning mental health can live better lives with dignity.

Every year one adult in four, along with one child in ten, will have a mental health issue. These conditions can profoundly affect literally millions of lives, affecting the capability of these individuals to make it through the day, to sustain relationships, and to maintain work.

The stigma attached to mental health causes a damaging, albeit ill-informed, attitude, making it more difficult for those affected to pursue help. According to UK estimates, only about one-fourth of those with mental health problems undergo ongoing treatment. By stark contrast, the vast majority of those affected with these problems are faced with a variety of issues, ranging from isolation to uncertainty on where to get help or information, to relying on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.*

*Text credit: https://www.awarenessdays.com

Understanding Moods and Emotions

 

For positive well-being it is important to be aware of moods, thoughts, feelings and emotions and to be able to express them appropriately. We all experience a range of emotions and moods on an ongoing basis, and it is perfectly OK to do so. We may often think others are judging us for feeling a certain way, or feel guilty or bad about our own feelings, but we are all beautiful souls transitioning through life and our emotions are an expression of the essence of who we are in any given moment. To deny any part of ourselves, therefore, is missing a wonderful opportunity to learn. In human interaction, our emotions guide us to behave in certain ways and protect us from potential harm – to be wary or on guard with certain people, or trusting and open with others. This intuitive wisdom comes from within.

 

By learning to understand our emotions we become empowered. By recognizing physical symptoms that accompany certain feelings we learn to control our minds and actions. By thinking through our emotions we apply logic which sets us in the right direction for positive growth. The more intelligent we are about our emotions, the more self-aware we become.

How The Mood Cards can help

 

 

The Mood Cards enable deep and meaningful conversations within a structured framework. The cards are based on cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology. They provide a combination approach to positive mental health and well-being – an opportunity to identify with moods and emotions, and a chance to think things through with guided questions for self-exploration, followed by an affirmation for positive thinking. Furthermore, the colours on the cards reflect the colours of the chakras, allowing a connection with the area in the body where the emotion is felt, or where additional strength is needed.

 

Being mindfully self-aware, and then using cognition and logic to gain understanding, is an effective way to bring about healing and positive change. Sitting with your feelings in a mindful way allows you to fully experience the best and the worst of how you might feel. This process is transformational. 

Affirmations, on the other hand, are powerful thoughts that can plant seeds of change. Our thoughts can become our realities – and we get to choose them.

There are huge benefits to understanding moods and emotions. In fact, people who understand their emotions are better equipped to manage relationships more skilfully, and cope more ably with life in general. Being more aware of yourself enables you to be more self-accepting, more sensitive to others and more empathic. Understanding yourself will lead to clearer thinking, more motivation and a healthy life balance.

 

Emotional intelligence helps us to reach our potential.

*Text Credit: The Mood cards

Stress and Calm

 

 

Many people talk about the possibility of being calm, peaceful, at ease, without really believing they can ever achieve such a desirable state of mind. Life itself seems to have inbuilt characteristics that make this impossible. If it isn’t one thing troubling us, making us anxious or stressed, it’s another. Unease comes to be seen as a permanent aspect of our inner landscape – part of ourselves.

The basic principle behind this book is that the perception of stress as unavoidable is untrue: unease is not part of ourselves, it is a response we make and, like all responses, it falls within our powers of control. We can choose the way of calm.

At times, our circumstances may be more than usually challenging. We may be under pressure from juggling more than one role, or there may have been some shock that has stopped us in our tracks – perhaps redundancy, or a flood in the home, or the loss of someone dear.
Then again, we might feel continually troubled because we are in an unrewarding relationship or job, cannot pay our bills or have reasons buried deep in our past that foster a low opinion of our own worth. For either of these two kinds of difficulties – the acute and the chronic – there are strategies we can bring to bear to regain our inner peace.

This book concentrates on two areas of experience where we can effectively make changes for the better – our thoughts and our actions. A third area, our emotions, is less controllable. Attempting to suppress an emotion would be self-defeating in any case, causing a build-up of confusion and anxiety. A more productive approach is always to acknowledge the emotions you feel and then make choices independently of them. This is a technique that can be learned.

 

To reaffirm a key sentence above, we can choose the way of calm.

This choice will involve some kind of change, in either our circumstances or the way we respond to them, or both. Either type of change might fall anywhere on the spectrum, from easy to challenging. Change, whether self-initiated or imposed on us externally, can be seen as inherently stressful or as a journey of adventure: again we have a choice. Much will depend upon our attitude to risk and to the unknown future; and upon whether we can draw on our own strengths and on support, both practical and emotional, from other people.

Unease is often fuelled by dissatisfaction. An invaluable exercise is to consider whether any dissatisfaction we have with any dimension of our lives might be illusory. Dissatisfaction implies a view of how things ought to be, and we would do well to ask ourselves whether that view is founded on false assumptions. Often, if we know how to look, we can find happiness near at hand, in our existing situation, rather than in some distant place on which we set our sights. Related to this is the question of gratitude – what we take for granted, what we would truly appreciate if we stopped churning over our hopes and fears and started to really focus on what we have now.

Our values, and the degree by which we try to live by them, also play a major part in our journey towards peace. Two important elements here are our authenticity and our compassion – the way we relate to ourselves and the way we relate to others.

Meditation and other mind–body–spirit practices can be enormously helpful on the way of peace, and this book recommends that you build an appropriate discipline into your life. But the main emphasis in these pages is on the progress you can make by thinking about and acting on – in the light of universal truths – the triggers of unease and how you can learn

to circumvent them.

Resources

The Mood Cards
ISBN-13:
 978-1859063927

£14.99

Understanding Deep Emotions
ISBN-13:
 978-1859064030

£17.99

Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology, THE MOOD CARDS offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore your moods and emotions. There are 42 cards in the box, and 50 cards in Understanding Deep Emotions. The cards show a variety of emotions, ranging from happy and sad to resentment, guilt and stress. Each card includes guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking.

Whether to help you manage difficult moods, approach relationships more skillfully; become more sensitive to the needs of others; or simply be able to communicate and listen effectively, using the cards will encourage you to be confident in who you are; expand your emotional intelligence and help you move forward in a positive way.

The cards are successfully being used by individuals, professionals, families and schools.
The full list includes: parents with young children and teenagers; parents with children on the autistic spectrum; counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists; life coaches and business mentors; mindfulness meditation groups; in mental health settings as an early intervention tool for stress and anxiety; eating disorder units; addiction services; self-harm settings; suicide prevention; refugee services; hospices; for people with mood disorders such as BPD and Bipolar to help with mood regulation. They are also being used in Social Care and Social Justice settings such as fostering; adoption; for young people leaving the care system.
The Mood Cards are used widely in education, ranging from primary schools; secondary schools and colleges to expand emotional intelligence; school counselling services and PSHE. Additionally, the cards can be used for elderly care with regard to Alzheimers and Dementia. 

Each card offers the opportunity to identify with a mood, emotion or behaviour and think through your feelings, featuring guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking.

The cards are based on:
Mindfulness: connecting with moods and emotions and being consciously aware of that connection in the present moment
Cognitive behavioural therapy: the three guided questions help you to think through your choice of mood, explore that particular emotion and then look at actions for the future
Positive psychology: the affirmations offer positive thoughts that you can identify with and use on a regular basis to change thinking patterns. 
In addition, the colours on the cards reflect the chakra colours, allowing a connection with the area in the body where the emotion is felt, or where more strength is needed. 

Andrea Harrn is a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, intuitive healer and expert in emotional intelligence. She sees clients at her practice in East London using an integrative approach which combines western science with eastern philosophy. For the past 17 years she has worked with many hundreds of people to help them find clarity, balance, acceptance, healing, meaning, forgiveness, recognition, freedom from addictions, inner peace and new perceptions of themselves and their place in the world.

The cards offer a framework for adults, professionals, parents, teenagers and younger children to open up deep and meaningful conversations around everyday moods and emotions as well as the more difficult issues that bring people to therapy. 

Her aim in creating The Mood Cards series is to demystify psychology and mental health labels in a fun and engaging way. Therapy in a Box!

The Way of Calm
ISBN-13: 978-1859060698
£12.99

For many, true peace of mind remains elusive. But by making simple adjustments to our habits of thinking and doing, we can learn to keep stress at bay, enjoy all that is positive in our lives and find happiness even in times of difficulty. 

This book presents invaluable insights, guidance and exercises for dealing with stress and dissatisfaction in all aspects of life. With chapters on stress-busting, dealing with risk and change, calling on inner reserves when the going gets tough and finding peace in self-acceptance, you will learn how to make your life more balanced and fulfilling and move forward to a calmer, happier you. Each chapter concludes with a 10-point Thought Plan and Action Plan featuring affirmations and to-do checklists, to help you start making a difference straight away. 

Mike Annesley is the author of DK’s Practical Mindfulness and a published poet with six volumes of poetry to his credit. His poetic imagination, and deep absorption in the mind-body-spirit ethos, have shaped (behind the scenes) dozens of successful illustrated MBS titles for the international market. 

Steve Nobel is an author, book mentor and coach, and was the director of Alternatives for 13 years – a leading UK group running weekly MBS events dedicated to raising spiritual awareness. He is also the founder of Soul Matrix Healing, designed to open the gateway to our soul’s potential.

First look at The Spirit of Nature Oracle

First look at The Spirit of Nature Oracle

Welcome to The Spirit of Nature Oracle.  When you look at the wonderful paintings that adorn these cards you may see faces looking back at you. They all belong to one of the oldest spirits of the natural world – the Green Man. Images of this extraordinary being are found as far away as Brazil, but most often in medieval Cathedrals across Europe – set there by the masons who built these vast stone forests. Wherever you go to encounter the natural world – to your garden, to a park, or to the deepest countryside, the Green Man is there, waiting to open a deeper awareness of nature and the world around us. 

John Matthews

The Green Man is Back! 

Re-released as The Spirit of Nature Oracle, this ever popular deck is inspired by the beauty and nature of the Celtic Ogam tree alphabet. This oracle will help you gain new and profound levels of awareness about yourself, your relationships and where you are headed. 

 

It is wise to listen to the voices of trees,’ wrote the second-century Roman author Tacitus, ‘for they tell us much that we might otherwise forget.’ Trees have been seen as the holders of memory, and the stewards of tradition, from the earliest times; they preserve age-old lore and wisdom within themselves and in artefacts made from them. Whether we imagine individual trees or the great dark forests of northern Europe, the lore and imagery of the woods have become both iconic and emblematic. Pieces of bark, even stones, inscribed with letters from the ancient Celtic alphabet known as Ogam have been used to arrive at divinatory readings for at least 1,600 years, while actual trees have been considered sacred by most cultures at one time or another for a much longer period.

 

 

First Look:

From the book

Oak

GREEN MAN WISDOM:

No one knows their fate

 

DIVINATORY MEANING

Fate is a door that can swing in both directions. We may endeavour to know what our own personal fate is going to be, but to do this can be a double-edged sword. Who has not wondered what the future holds in store, only to be brought up short with the thought that to know such things changes everything, effectively taking away our freedom of choice? True fate comes from recognizing each moment for what it contains, and acknowledging a fated or fateful chance that brings us closer to the path we are meant to be walking. Fate is not written in stone, however, for we have choices which open up before us every day. Neither does fate control which of the paths we take, for it merely guides us towards the realization of our potential. To understand this brings strength and an age-old wisdom that teaches us how to live in harmony with the circumstances that fate may have put in front of us. If you draw this card, think what it is that is truly motivating you.

OAK LORE

The oak has been called the first among trees – not surprisingly, since it is often the tallest and most imposing in any grove. In Britain it is frequently called the royal oak, while to the Druids (whose name means ‘Oak Wisdom’) it was the central tree of their mysteries, acknowledged in Ireland as the tree sacred to the Dagda, father god of Celtic tradition who, like the oak itself, never failed to give hospitality to all who asked for it. Appearances of the oak in myth and folklore are so numerous that it was clearly recognized as a sacred tree from the earliest times; indeed, it was held in the highest honour by the Norse people and the Greeks, for whom the oak represented Thor and Zeus respectively. The use of oak wood in shipbuilding – from Jason’s great ship Argo, which had a branch from the sacred oak of Dodona in its hull, to the floating castles built to defend Britain from the French armada – has added to its reputation for strength and endurance. ‘Hearts of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men,’
runs the old song.

Spindle

GREEN MAN WISDOM:

Destiny moves us to do great things

 

 

DIVINATORY MEANING

Our destiny is not fixed or unalterable, nor is it already woven into a picture. Like the spinning spider, whose long supporting threads create the web’s shape, we also need to discover the framework of our lives. When we have learned to find and follow the thread of our destiny, we can begin weaving around the supporting threads of our life story. To understand the nature of our destiny, we can observe our life’s work and experience, our aims, gifts and desires. Our greatest achievements have come about when the thread shaped itself without our thinking about it, when thought, mind and soul were one. The wisdom of the Green Man encourages us to follow our deepest desires, in order that our destiny can reveal itself in the outer world.

 

SPINDLE LORE

The spindle gets its name from its primary purpose – the making of spindles for use in weaving. This has given it a powerful association with the weaving of destiny, bringing into its sphere the deities connected with the sacred arts of spinning and weaving. The weavers of Norse mythology (the Norns) had close connections with the spindle, as did their Greek counterparts, the Fates, who spun, wove and cut off the thread of life. The symbolism was the same in each case: these goddesses wove the thread of each human life into a vast tapestry representing the whole of creation, and by cutting the threads of a living person they could instantly end that life. Stories tell how certain heroes found their way into the underground caverns where the destiny goddess dwelled and were able to change the direction of their fate by reweaving or unweaving part of the tapestry, yet the pattern was said to be so complex that only the goddesses could follow a single thread. Spindle also has an association with childbirth, probably recalling the destiny woven for every child before it is even born. The Fates themselves sometimes assisted at heroes’ births.

Apple

GREEN MAN WISDOM: 

Vision lights the way ahead

 

 

DIVINATORY MEANING

Vision sees beyond the surface of things. It allows the perceptions to grow wiser and the heart to see further than it otherwise might do. Every day we see a surface appearance of reality that can be both reassuring and misleading. Because it seems normal, it tells us that everything is exactly as it should be, but this can be no more than a swift observation that looks no deeper. Vision helps us to look further, to see past the surface of things and into the heart of reality, where truth is revealed. With this help, we are better able to find the answers to our questions, to see beyond the easy option to the more difficult (but more rewarding) truth that often hides itself from us. With the support of the Green Man himself, and the visionary perception revealed to us through the power of Apple, we are advised to go deeper into truth than we have ever done before, thereby revealing the true meaning of events that might otherwise have
seemed baffling or impenetrable.

APPLE LORE

Apples are associated with immortality and the paradise of the other- world. In Greek myth, the gardens of the Hesperides were said to contain a mighty golden apple tree, goddess Gia’s gift to her daughter Hera on her marriage to Zeus. The fruit of this tree could restore life to the dead and heal those in need of it. It was guarded by a serpent, and by nine goddesses who formed a protective ring about it and sang sweet songs. Hercules had to steal three apples from the tree as one of his twelve labours, though this caused such anger among the gods that they were later returned. In Celtic myth, the hero Lugh was dispatched to collect apples from a Tree of Light that grew in the otherworld. Biblical tradition turned many of the beliefs regarding the sacredness of the apple and its fruit upside down by making the apple tree in the Garden of Eden not only a source of wisdom but also a contributory factor in the Fall of Adam and Eve. Beneath this lies a fear of the visionary gifts of the fruit, which give people
too much knowledge.

The Green Man is an ancient and popular icon of the natural world – the very spirit of nature. Here, in this remarkable pack, his tree wisdom and the Celtic Ogam tree alphabet combine to bring you an oracle of immense power.

The beautifully illustrated deck of 25 cards depicts each of the trees that make up this ancient Celtic alphabet. The Green Man is present in every image – sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden – inviting you to enter his world. You will discover tree lore, myths and symbolism, and you will learn the innermost meaning of each card, and how this age-old knowledge can guide you in your life today.

Publication date: 27 September 2018
ISBN: 978-1-85906-275-3
Price: £24.99

(Ps – You can use the ISBN to order from ANY bookshop!)

 

John Matthews is a leading authority on Grail and Arthurian legends and Celtic literature, myths and traditions. The author of a number of successful divinatory systems based on early spiritual beliefs, he has also acted as advisor on several motion pictures, including Jerry Bruckheimer’s King Arthur. Visit: hallowquest.org.uk

Will Worthington has worked as an illustrator for the last thirty years. He has contributed his distinctive art to many titles, including The Wildwood Tarot, The Druid Plant Oracle and The DruidCraft Tarot.

Good Food Good Mood in the News – Free recipes!

Good Food Good Mood in the News – Free recipes!

We are so delighted to present the excellent recent press for our inspirational cookbook

Good Food Good Mood by Lina Bou

Absolutely Mama, March 2018 

Absolutely Mama, May 2018 

Absolutely Mama, May 2018 

Vegetarian Living Magazine, May 2018 

Vegetarian Living Magazine, May 2018 

Vegetarian Living Magazine, May 2018 

Vegan Living Magazine, April 2018 

Families South West Magazine, January 2018 

Happiful Magazine, June 2018 

Get the book!

Discover nutritional therapist Lina Bou’s recipe for healthy living, with this inspirational cookbook for the modern lifestyle.

Cooking isn’t just about eating the right foods – it’s
about being inventive, having fun and enjoying a healthy relationship with what you eat. Whether you’re looking for tasty brunch ideas, delicious dinners, energizing snacks or mouthwatering sweet treats, Lina shows you how to make simple, nutritious vegetarian meals (suitable for all!) easy enough for anyone to rustle up with the minimum of fuss. There are also suggestions for vegan alternatives, plus recipes free from gluten, dairy and sugar – the most common intolerances. All recipes feature a health-benefit key, indicating at a glance whether they help improve your immunity, boost your energy, balance your hormones, and more. And there’s advice on sensible detoxing, too.

£13.99
ISBN: 978-1-85906-410-8

Find Lina on Instagram

Tao Te Ching arrives – and it gets the cat’s approval!

Tao Te Ching arrives – and it gets the cat’s approval!

Gorgeous advance copies of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching have reached happy author and illustrator Chao-Hsiu Chen
at her home in Italy.

Here are some photos of Chao excitedly opening her parcel,  and discovering her newly printed books!

Tao Te Ching by Chao-Hsiu Chen:

Approved by cats!

Chao-Hsiu Chen is a renowned artist, philosopher and musician who grew up in Taiwan studying Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist teachings. She is the author of over forty books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages, and her paintings are regularly exhibited around
the world.

Visit her website: chaohsiuchen.com

Tao Te Ching 

Chao-Hsiu Chen

The eternal fascination of this classic work – first published over 2,000 years ago – lies in its profound wisdom, and the light it casts on the spiritual and moral pathway we must all walk.

Chao-Hsiu Chen’s new and accurate translation draws on the original Chinese text, each of the eighty-one chapters beautifully illustrated with Chao’s own distinctive art and calligraphy.

Read the chapters in sequence, or select one at random each day, for inspiration and guidance to illuminate your way.

Available on the 28th June 2018

ISBN: 978-0764355585

‘How to Breathe’ is a solid guide on breathing and the Alexander Technique

‘How to Breathe’ is a solid guide on breathing and the Alexander Technique

Review by Emily Faulkner for AmSAT.

Richard Brennan’s new book, How to Breathe, Improve Your Breathing for Health, Happiness and Well-Being is a solid guide on breathing and the Alexander Technique. It is well organized, clearly written, and comprehensive. The wealth of information is balanced by philosophical considerations and gentle reminders that the purpose is to find balance and ease. The book covers the following (and more):

  • Anatomical explanations of the breathing mechanism
  • Basic principles of the Alexander Technique
  • Common misconceptions related to our breathing
  • How the Alexander Technique can help us improve our breathing mechanism
  • How the Alexander Technique helps us better use our voices
  • And all this is accompanied by a panoply of exercises.

The anatomy of the respiratory and vocal systems will certainly come in handy for me. Brennan includes enough anatomical information to make it accurate, but not so much as to get lost in the details. I was happy to be reminded of some basics, like the fact that the air we breathe in enters the nasal cavity horizontally as opposed to upwards vertically. The sections on anatomy included some experiential exercises like thinking of the diaphragm as a parachute, billowing in the wind.

As someone who has suffered in the past from both hoarseness and asthma, I quite appreciated many of the exercises. In particular, I found it useful to observe the movement of my abdomen, ribs, and upper chest while lying down, sitting, and standing.

These experiences gathered from three positions yielded more observations than had I assumed just one of those positions because I had so much more to compare.

The book is filled with these sorts of wonderful, basic observational exercises, many designed to help us see how our thinking affects our breathing. For instance, what happens when we hold our breath? What happens when we think of our breathing mechanism in a more or less anatomically accurate way? When do we unconsciously hold our breath and what happens when we bring consciousness to that situation?

Brennan also includes the whispered “ah,” some vocal exercises, and some simple standing and sitting movements.

Throughout, Brennan emphasizes the non-doing of breathing. Every section is couched in reminders that healthy breathing is effortless, and this sort of effortless breathing brings calm to every aspect of our lives, emotionally and physically.

If you are well versed in the Alexander Technique, as a teacher or an advanced student, this book is a useful resource, both as a factual reference and as a source of good exercises. If you are less steeped in the Alexander Technique, it’s a well-written and practical guide to the basic principles of breathing and the Alexander Technique, but some of the exercises towards the second half of the book may be a bit dif cult to follow. However, if you’ve got an Alexander Technique teacher to consult, you’ll probably find them quite instructive.

Emily Faulkner (American Center for the Alexander Technique [ACAT], 1999) is a dancer and Alexander Technique teacher in the New York City area. She is a member of the AmSAT Journal team.

How to Breathe

Richard Brennan

Breath is essential for life, but did you know that the way you breathe can be detrimental to your well-being? Poor posture, stress, muscular tension … all can make the ‘effortless’ act of breathing hard work without us realizing. And breathing isn’t just a physical activity; it influences our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, too.

 

HOW TO BREATHE shows you how to relearn your natural rhythm of breathing to beneficially alter the way you think, feel and act. Packed with breathing techniques to use at home, and featuring groundbreaking methods developed
by the founder of the Alexander Technique, it will help you rediscover how to breathe naturally to improve every aspect of your life. By applying consciousness to the action of breathing, you can become aware of harmful habits – and alleviate common breathing problems in the process.

We breathe more than 20,000 times a day – so why not make sure you do it as efficiently and effectively as possible? This is a book you can’t afford to be without.

Price: £12.99 RRP
ISBN:
978-1-85906-397-2

Richard Brennan is the director of the Alexander Teacher Training College in Galway, Ireland. He lectures extensively throughout Europe and the USA, and has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years. His previous titles include, among others, The Alexander Technique Manual (listen to the podcast!), Change Your Posture – Change Your Life, and Stress: The Alternative Solution.