UNWIND YOUR MIND WITH AIMEE HARTLEY, AUTHOR OF BREATHE WELL
Breathe Well book is divided up into chapters of how we spend our lives, from breathwork techniques to practice in the shower, conscious breathing exercises for when we are at work, to breath-focused meditations for when our head hits the pillow.
Aimee was passionate about including a chapter about her School Breathe programme, which delivers guided online breathwork techniques straight into the classroom.
The school environment can often be a catalyst for our very first feelings of stress and anxiety. From entering a new environment full of new faces to the added pressure of tests and exams, taking a breathwork practice into the classroom can allow children and teachers to learn new ways to manage stress for how we breathe has a direct effect on how we feel.
The School Breathe programme provides over 40 guided breath work and mindfulness techniques, in bite-sized video and audio formats, to help children and teachers learn effective and healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety.
Presented by a team of breath coaches, mindfulness teachers, mental health professionals and yoga teachers, the programme includes a full variety of scientifically proven techniques including breath count exercises for improved concentration, breathing meditations to encourage a calmer state of mind and breath-led techniques to manage emotions, along with audio visualisations to help develop confidence and help alleviate and manage mental health issues.
The School Breathe programme can help both children and their teachers to feel more present and focused, thus enhancing both the learning and teaching experience. Presented by one of the School Breathe experts, schools can receive a weekly breath-focused exercise, in video format, to practice throughout the academic year, accompanied by printable tips and advice to help you and your pupils integrate breathwork into your school day.
The programme already reaches over 2,500 children and Aimee is passionate about taking the programme into more schools this year. If you think your school maybe interested, please tell them about www.schoolbreathe.com today!
We asked Aimee some questions as part of our Unwind Your Mind series.
- What helps you unwind the best?
Breathwork and yoga aside, I literally feel the day melt away when I go for a solo walk in the countryside. Lone time is rare with two children in tow and nature is the best medicine. If I am lucky, two strolls a day is my ideal down time. A short brisk walk (I love a hill!) in the morning for inspiration and a longer, slower saunter in the evening will see my mind let go of any over thinking and I always return a happier, calmer person. Any single moment I can grab in my newly purchased hammock is guaranteed to make me feel like I have not a single worry in the world.
2. What part of the book writing did you enjoy the most.
Practicing all the breath techniques as I wrote was fun and obviously calming on my frazzled (I had a 10-week deadline) nervous system. If the book had been about any other subject matter, I am not sure I would have coped so well. The most enjoyable part was being so involved in the design side of things, which I did not think I would have any say in. I really wanted the book to be a calming experience from the moment you opened the page. The simple, subtle illustrations along with the colour palette offers the reader a sense of peace and space and the publisher and editor made sure I was involved every step of the way.
3. During Covid what would you suggest is a good way of unwinding when
in close proximity to your family most of the time?
From 7am – bedtime, there’s not much space in this house for solo relaxation so I make sure we do a few activities a day that make me happy. I take the kids out for a walk and we paint and cook. These are all activities they (now!) love as much as I do and I think if you can weave in a bit of ‘me’ into the ‘we’ of the group situation you end up going to bed a little happier each evening.