M+E: When did you first experience Ayurvedic Bodywork and Breath, and what was the pivotal moment informing your decision to make it a career?
Expert of eradicating modern day stress and cultivating a life of clarity, energy, creativity and happiness, Anne Durham of House of Being is a student and teacher of India’s ancient traditions with a focus on Ayurvedic Bodywork and Breath.
Perfect for beings looking to relieve high stress, anxiety, fatigue, inflammation, nervous system dysregulation or seeking emotional release (so most of us!), immediate benefits include deep nervous system support, clear, calm mind, glowing skin, greater all-round vitality, reduced joint pain, emotional ease and opening of the heart.
Here, we learn more about Anne and this prolific practice, plus a 50% membership discount and exclusive perks for MAURIE AND EVE readers!
AD: I’ve personally been practicing Yoga-Vedantic meditation and breathwork techniques for over a decade now. I never set out with the intention to make it a career but some years into my own personal journey, I found myself living in India studying these sciences that had become such a big part of my personal life and evolution. A similar thing with abhyanga (Ayurvedic bodywork), it found me.
M+E: What is abhyanga?
AD: Abhyanga is the ancient massage technique of Ayurveda. Via the application of warm oils and long nourishing strokes, the entire body is carefully tended to, with special attention paid to the head to pacify vata (overthinking and anxiety), and stabilise the nervous system.
M+E: Who is an ideal candidate for breathwork and Abhyanga and what are some of the immediate benefits we can expect from a session?
AD: Just about anyone will benefit from both modalities. But in particular, anyone experiencing high stress, anxiety, fatigue, inflammation, nervous system dysregulation or seeking emotional release. Immediate benefits include deep nervous system support, clear, calm mind, glowing skin, greater all-round vitality, reduced inflammation and water retention, reduced joint pain, emotional ease and opening of the heart.
M+E: And long-term benefits?
AD: Longer term, when abhyanga is practiced regularly (you can do this yourself at home) it nourishes the tissues down to the deepest level of the body, supports healthy long term nervous system regulation, calms the mind, opens the heart and offers you a deeper connection to yourself and your body. Abhyanga is very good for those who struggle with any inflammatory issues. It also supports healthy skin, hair, lymph and wonderful sleep.
Breathwork if fantastic long term and can be utilised for many different reasons including nervous system support, stress and trauma release, emotional release, cultivating energy, joy, abundance, love, strength or willpower - the benefits of breathwork truly are endless (if you’d like to learn more about this I work a lot more with this over in my other business House of Being - but when combined with regular abhyanga treatments, we are utilising the breath to offer you deep rest, deep nervous system restoration and whole being rejuvenation.
M+E: You practice Himalayan breathwork – how does this differ to other breathwork techniques?
AD: Himalayan breathwork is an ancient science which has been handed down through the Yoga-Vedantic masters of the Himalayas - so these are very ancient techniques which work intelligently on the subtle levels of the body. Himalayan breathwork often includes techniques called kriyas which include a combination of breath, movement, mantra (sound) and mudra (hand gestures) to prompt a certain energetic response in the body. These techniques are highly intelligent and powerful, and can only be learnt by way of a highly trained teacher.
M+E: What is a simple stress-focused breath routine we can all practice at home (or at work etc) when needed?
Take you right thumb and use it to block the right nostril.
Draw a long gentle breath in through the left nostril for 6 counts
Gentle exhale through the left nostril for 8 counts
Repeat, continuing only to breathe on the lefthand side for minimum of two minutes (keep going as long as you like!)
M+E: You suggest the two techniques combined will result in a ‘whole being reset’ – what does this feel/look like/entail for the mind and body?
AD: From the Ayurvedic perspective there are several ‘layers’ (called koshas) to the body - These are the physical, energetic, mental, wisdom and bliss bodies. When working with a more physical practice like abhyanga alone, we are targeting the physical and energetic bodies mainly. But by bringing in the additional practice of the breath, we are able to work with the mental, wisdom and bliss bodies as well - which creates a complete integrated experience. Leaving you feeling like you’ve had a whole self-upgrade. It’s really very special.
M+E: What are some other rituals you personally incorporate when working towards a ‘whole being reset.’
AD: I meditate twice daily, this has been an absolute non-negotiable for me for over a decade and is the foundation for all my other techniques and self-care
M+E: Something you have learned about yourself in 2023?
AD: I function much better when I relax, let go and allow nature to guide me.
M+E: Sunrise or sunset?
AD: Both are revered times of day from the Vedic perspective, transition periods where the veil between the worlds is thin, this is why all Eastern wisdom traditions take care of their spiritual practices mostly around these hours. But if I had to pick, sunrise, there’s nothing like greeting the sun’s warm rays to start the day, followed by a dip in the ocean.
M+E: If you could have a cup of tea with anyone in the world, who would it be?
AD: My Dad, he passed away when I was three years old.
Anne is generously offering friends and followers of MAURIE AND EVE 50% off a House of Being membership, including access to over 80 online Himalayan breathwork classes, private members only wisdom podcast plus live events and practices each month.
Visit, houseofbeing.com.au and subscribe with code MAURIEANDEVE