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One Breath at a Time: How Breathwork can Alleviate Anxiety with Ana Lilia

We are born with a self-regulating system that helps us combat stress and anxiety: Our breath.



Ana Lilia’s voice has a tempered cadence that oscillates between a relaxing kindness and a compassionate gentleness. Which can be felt palpably and I immediately feel compelled to relax my body and my mind–reminding myself we have this hour together and there is no rush.

Perhaps this is why she’s the leading expert and healer in the breathwork space. She effortlessly imbues every breath and moment as it unfolds–without rushing or passing through it mindlessly.

Ana and I share a similar upbringing, in Catholicism. Ana says something that I’ve been holding in the depths of my being secretly. She discusses priests getting shuffled through her parish, without notice, incident, or explanation. The abruptness and secretiveness of the whole ordeal leaves her with sadness and unprocessed grief.   Ana says “The Catholic Church did not create a container for the pain we felt.” She’s right. The church has asked all its congregants to never ask what happened, we were all expected to move on without healing or questioning. We were not even allowed the right of reconciliation, which is a sacrament in and of itself in the Church. When Ana says this, I’m filled with sadness too and can feel the collective sadness of the of every person who once identified as a Catholic who had been asked to ignore what cannot be ignored.

Ana’s life work is centered around breathwork, healing, and embodiment practices. She has a soft spot for those of us in the collective who suffer from anxiety in it’s many shapes and sizes. Ana speaks about how many people who struggle with anxiety often feel shame in both acknowledging their anxiety and addressing it. It’s one of those societal contracts we’ve all agreed to. To never speak of the anxiety that suffocates us under our very westernized, and busy lifestyles. As Latinas, we connect with the cultural norms of staying busy, all the time. Idle states of being are not something our Latin culture practices, just the opposite. We are industrious to a fault.

Ana says to the audience: “Our lives in general are not designed to have our nervous system in a relaxed state.” She is right. Everything about the world we’ve created around us, is meant to initiate false senses of urgency, impatience, and importance that keep us agitated with not doing enough. Not being enough.

It is a radical act of self-love, to push against the pressure of our societies’ inclination to keep us distracted, overloaded, and outside of ourselves. Ana’s work is vital in building internal restoration and cutting the cord between external stimuli that keeps our internal systems on high alert, entrenched in stress and hypervigilance. One deep breath at a time.

In the gospel of Mary Magdalene, Jesus points to God existing in our very breath, teaching us in that one line about the sacredness of our life force–that many of us take for granted. How often do you go through your day, without breathing deeply? Have you ever placed your hand on your diaphragm to feel the power of your lungs, heart, and stomach muscles spring into action as you build the fullness of an expansive breath?

This is where we find alignment. This is where we find our innate holiness.


Krista Xiomara is a writer, podcast host, healer, religious wounding and trauma expert, and co-founder of House of Enlightenedhood. She is a practicing Buddhist and incorporates wisdom from both Eastern and Western religions, philosophies, and spirituality.


No. 4: Learning to Trust the Universe

Leena Lemos explores the practice of unwavering trust and surrender.



The Spiritual Anthropologist is a raw, humorous, and inquisitive weekly column by Leena Lemos that explores the dance between the human experience and the spiritual being.

Another universal lesson smacked me in the face today. I finally recognized a pattern that I assume many of us go through, so let’s dissect together, shall we?

In the past few months, I’ve traveled through massive transformations, which of course, in the duality of the universe, means there have been light moments of clarity/euphoria and dark moments of sorrow/hopeless.

Isn’t the fluid rollercoaster of growth so…fun?

Within this period of expansion, I can recall two instances where I completely lost my faith in the universe.

I cracked. I broke down (cue the ugly cry). I spiraled into a web of anxious worst-case scenario thoughts and negative self-talk.

Just as I found myself on my knees in complete defeat, the universe reminded me (within minutes) that these moments of anguish were manifested by my own fear-based narrative.

My pattern? I suffered (at my own expense) because I stopped trusting.

With this realization now in my awareness, it’s clear the past few weeks and the foreseeable future, are the macro version of this lesson of “trust.” Yet the difference? I’m able to consciously experience this sacred lesson in real time.

Will I stay grounded or will I let fear win?

Only time will tell, but I’m rooting for human Leena remember how divinely supported she is.

If you’re on this path, you are bound to experience a similar lesson, because…newsflash! We are ALL being called to step into our fullest expression; a version of us that effortlessly floats with the present moment. And while empowering in theory, this reclamation of self causes a great deal of turbulence in our physical reality as it shifts in accordance with our vibrational state.

You want me to go with THIS flow, Universe? THIS one? You’re joking. Right? Hello? Why is this happening to meee?

The intense energy that surges as we transmute lower frequencies can cause a plethora of things to go “wrong,” making life feel like an unwelcomed shit storm that just keeps kicking you while you’re down. But in reality? Chaos often occurs during times of rapid metamorphosis. The dark is releasing to hold more light. So you can shine.

You did call upon the universe to help you grow, didn’t you? Embrace it.

I know, I know, easier said than done because…let’s be real. Cultivating the unconditional trust that everything will work out for our highest good? It is no small fucking feat.

As humans, we’re meant to feel our emotions, but when we attach to them, we risk awakening our inner mammal who operates in perpetual fight or flight mode.

While in the midst of this lesson, I’m discovering if we don’t consistently take the time to strengthen our relationship with the universe, our survival instincts will make an entrance when in emotional overdrive, disconnecting us from our higher consciousness.

I’m also learning that its the constant practice of surrender that lessens the chances of falling down the rabbit hole into self-sabotage. Why? Because we begin to gather evidence that the universe always conspires in our favor.

As we collect more nuggets to put into our “This is Happening FOR Me” basket, we gain the strength to endure the dark and uncomfortable chapters. As we add items to the “Universe Has My Back and (Sometimes) Does My Dirty Laundry” List, the longer we can withstand life’s less favorable chapters.

It’s true. Putting our trust into something we can’t tangibly see or touch, doesn’t feel natural. Our ego wants control.

But is it the faith we need, the magical secret in our back pocket, the tiny propeller in the molasses, when it feels like our human life is in shambles?


That’s why this time I’m going to choose differently.

And dive heart first into the unknown.

See you on the otherside.

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Honoring Our Light and Dark Phases

On episode 1 of Spirituali-tea, Leena Lemos explores the seasonality of life with predictive astrologer Crystal B.



Welcome to the first episode of Spirituali-tea with Leena Lemos! The intention of today’s talk show is to create a safe and light-hearted space to nerd out about all things spirituality and soul development.

About Crystal B.

Crystal B. is an expert professional astrologer working with clients all over the world. She is a second-generation astrologer and has been around astrology all her life. Her office is located in Montclair, NJ. As a public speaker, writer, teacher, coach, and Astro Therapist she has become a trusted source of astrological information. She is passionate about using astrology as a tool for spirituality, mental health, and mindfulness. Additionally, she specializes in Past Life Regression in connection with our astrological influences. Crystal develops and facilitates custom astrology events and works with prominent colleges, including Harvard, Barnard Columbia, and Rutgers.

Click here to buy your copy of Crystal’s New Book, Feed Your Moon, OR find it at your Barnes and Noble! 😉

See Crystal’s skins photoshoot here.

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The Divine Energies

Natalia Santos shares a poem about leaning into Divine Masculine and Feminine energies.



Imaged Sourced from Canva

Divine Feminine, Divine Masculine

The essence of divine energies,

Allow yourself to feel the energies, allow yourself to be.

Do not tin the energetic energies. Do not judge them, let them be.

Explore and understand the flows and stillness of femininity.

Exercise and explore the actions of masculinity. Allow them to merge, grow together, blend and infuse.

Be the creator spirit that you desire to be.

Pour yourself that glass of tea,

Watch how it pours into your glass. The flow of the feminine. The cup of the masculine.

The watery trickle of imagination, daydreams, and creativity.

To the grounding of the cup which hits the root. Ravaging roots circling into the ground.

We watch in awe. As they work together.

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