Breathe in, breathe out…

A SOOTHING French accent takes a class through a heart-breath meditation, inducing a semi-hypnotic state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness…

Conscious breathing helps de-stress and attunes our head with our heart, says instructor Erycka De Marestan.

“We don’t have time to hear what our heart is saying,” she says.

Learning to use breathing to relax can be used anywhere, anytime, whether at a red light, in a supermarket queue, or at the office, Erycka says.

“It is a practice to prevent stress; a place to carry into working life.”

De Marestan has 18 years experience as a shiatsu practitioner, and is also a pilates and yoga instructor.

But it’s qigong—a holistic blend of body posture, breathing and meditation—she’ll be teaching at a spring retreat at Eat Fit Live Health, a wellness centre in South Fremantle, on October 8.

• Annette Eckert and Erycka De Marestan. Photo by Jenny D’Anger

Annette Eckert opened the centre, in a gorgeous heritage home on South Terrace, at the beginning of the year.

Since then she assembled a bevy of wellness therapists, who offer a range of modalities, and use only natural products sympathetic to the environment.

“We are all about nutrition, fitness and mindfulness,” Eckert says.

Beautifully restored rooms are used for treatments like Ayurvedic therapy and colonic irrigation, and there’s also an infrared sauna and sound therapy area, which can include the use of Lucia Light number 3.

Invented by psychologist Dr Engelbert Winkler and neurologist Dr Dirk Proeckl, the flashing lights induces a deep meditative state, ”by stimulating the pineal gland,” Eckert says.

The day retreat includes a number of the therapies available at Eat Fit Live.

For more information go to eatfitlive.com.au or call Fran on 0410 002 821.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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