And Breath Design is a collection attributed to helping you to take a moment, to hold a precious stone, a crystal, a piece of silver, a pendant and feel the intent of its meaning and take a breath... & breathe. This is the story of the first collection of this kind, launched through Spaceform.com...
Last year I went on my first yoga retreat. I had no idea what to expect and I was fairly rusty with my yoga at that time and never truly had connected with the practice outside the physical side of it. I had always been a person that was after a bit of sweating to guarantee I had achieved some accountable exercise, I was a rower. After compounded lower back pain and short hamstrings and calf muscles and a will to ignore sciatica, my life took a turn away from the river and I yearned for more balance. I took up more yoga, and came across an amazing Yoga teacher at my local gym, Juliet Dennis, and everything changed. I would arrive flustered almost late, see her instantly calming and welcoming face, roll open my mat (actually at that stage not MY mat…) and within minutes I was present. I went in, shutting my eyes and taking controlled breaths, in a way I had not felt except in those moments on holiday when the sun is on your face and you feel so relaxed and at ease, life feels like a joy.
It is this state of mind, this wonderful beautiful feeling of sunlight inside, of feeling yourself breathe, feeling yourself being alive, at peace, feeling hope being reminded that we live, inside and out that we treasure and wish to sustain. At least if we do actively aim for this, we can make small shifts and catch our own anxiety before it gets the better of us.
On this yoga trip I met some wonderful people, sensual, meaningful souls. I felt centred (ok my introduction to a kundalini workshop was a little out there for me, but I was getting bitten by ants and I found it hard to sit with crossed legs for so long!!) I felt content, and mostly peaceful.
Although everyone was really easy to connect with, Ixtaliy Negual, one of the teachers, grounded, almost witch-like in her manner and her being had something about her that drew me to her. She introduced me to meditation and the art of mindfulness and encouraged us to share our thoughts and feelings, who we are in our lives, to re-connect our love of self or at least acceptance of it. To rid ourselves of the poisonous thoughts that harm how we feel inside, to breathe in goodness and kindness and breathe out all the toxins and toxic issues, to create space for our minds and our hearts.
Ixtaliy talked about thoughts sense and emotions (see my blog https://www.spaceform.com/about-us/blog/june-2019/believe-in-yourself
) and later back in the UK, Juliet read an extract from Syd Banks when we were receptive at the end of our practice… (you can also refer to in that same blog)
“...A belief, a concept, an idea is not Truth.
Truth comes from within….”
Coming back home, I wanted to feel like I could bring a piece of this feeling and give it to all my friends... Yoga in short gave me a mechanism to find space and in finding space I found courage, more courage to be creative, to draw, to speak my own thoughts (this combined with my practice in the thinking environment), to stop unhealthy habits and to find new ways to create and to be. I made Ixtaliy a card to say thank you and in doing so she gave me a bracelet she had made with 5 knots on it. She was wearing it and put it on my wrist. She said, “Every time you need to have some space from a moment that wriles your emotions, hold a knot and take a breath, there are 5… it will help”, and I did just that.
When I came home we stayed in touch and I bought one of her necklaces from her, it was the Chrysophase one.
I looked up the meaning of Crysophase after I bought it, and it stated:
“Manifests optimism, joy and happiness. This stone activates the heart chakra, it’s healing properties are excellent for supporting that fine line between self-preservation and letting go. The stone is known for helping healing through forgiveness, opening up your heart and freeing you of paralyzing wounds from the past.”
Whenever I wore it people asked me where I got it from and I would explain the story of meeting Ixtaliy, this incredible, earthly, strong, all-seeing, all-knowing woman, like a tree... and I decided to ask her if she wanted to make more, and she did... and now I get to offer them to you too.
Ixtaliy chooses crystals and creates knots with a very delicate thread, each knot she says, is made with love, and each crystal has a meaning. The thread blends with the skin so when you wear the necklace the thread is almost invisible and the jewels appear beautifully against the skin. Ixtaliy only produced around 30 necklaces to start with, and I have coveted on of the 3 Garnet necklaces which I now wear everyday.
Ixtaliy heritage is from Peru, she grew up in Brazil and has the most amazing story of a curious, courageous woman, following her heart and her curiousity, learning how to create, craft, paint, make and sell as a means of survival to move round and see the world and to live life to the full. An enviable truth and couragous way to live, giving up her place at Uni to the disappointment of her Mother, and creating her own connected "university of life". She now lives in France, creates wonderful retreats with Ingrid through, Solar Retreats, and teaches mindfulness, guides mediation workshops and leads yoga classes - the most memorable I have experienced. Needless to say, a few decades on, her Mother is really proud.
Keeping the necklace simple, the clasps of the necklace at the back are made of knots that she creates at the back of the necklaces to allow you to thread a jewel through a loop in two different places so you can choose the length of the necklace that you most prefer. More choker like or a little longer.
I have packaged them in recycled boxes and have looked up the meaning of each stone to see if the choice you like when thinking of you or perhaps someone you love, resonates with the meaning of the stone. Gosh, I will find it hard to part with these, so please do treasure and care for them as they are intended to care for you.
And Breath Design is a collection attributed to helping you to take a moment, to hold a precious stone, a crystal, a piece of silver, a pendant and feel the intent of its meaning and take a breath... & breathe.
Other Necklaces in the collection can be seen here
Made mindfully with love and trust by Ixtaliy Negual, in France.