Meet Our Muse: Neelou

Meet Our Muse: Neelou

Neelou comes to us with a wide array of experience in the world of spiritual practices, and we are excited to benefit from her expertise. Not only will she be sharing her expertise live during her breath work workshop, but she also sat down with us to share her story and was able to dive deeper into the benefits and impacts of her practice.

What brought you to breathwork?

One of my best friends and I celebrated her birthday with a virtual breathwork session because we were in two separate cities. I thought it would be like a yogic pranayama, but it was completely different and much more intense. It was so transformational that we both started practicing regularly and signed up for breathwork teacher training shortly after. 


Can you tell us about the impact of breathwork (mentally, emotionally, etc)?

Breathwork is a powerful healing modality to heal old patterns, dislodge stuck energy, and balance the chakras. There is so much legitimate research on the benefits of breathwork. Our bodies hold on to emotions we have not taken the time to feel (read The Body Keeps the Score if you want to know more about this). So, big and little traumas are trapped in our physical and subtle bodies and can wreak havoc over time. A good breathwork session releases some of these old emotions - by breathing deeply, we oxygenate the areas of our bodies that need extra attention, releasing any blockages, stress, or stuckness to release the energy (or Qi) to flow freely. For me, it's like talk therapy without having to dredge up all of the things that make me feel crappy, and I am immediately so much lighter afterward. Regular breathwork practice has a myriad of health benefits - boosts circulation, reduces stress, creates feelings of mental and physical openness, connects you to feelings of love, peace, gratitude, clarity, and connection, assists in healing from grief, alleviates anxiety and depression, and so much more. I love teaching breathwork; it is my favorite healing modality (and I've tried most of them by now!). I encourage anyone curious to try it.


Tell us about your Elevation Process.

The Elevation Process started several years ago when three friends and I did a strict Kundalini practice for some time, and our lives changed drastically for the better. One friend moved to Argentina, a long-time dream of hers; another got accepted into and won a songwriting reality television show competition; another met the love of her life (after being single for many years) and is now married; and my business became so successful in such a short time that I got to leave my day job to focus on SMUDGED solely. It was a wildly abundant time in all of our lives! So, I combined the power of the mantra with the Kundalini practice, and The Elevation Process was born. It's a 44-day transformation process that happens once a year with the New Moon in January. We meet via Zoom so there are people from all over the world - it's an exceptional group (everyone becomes so connected!). Almost everyone who has finished an Elevation Process repeats it because of the magic it brings. Just some of the cool things that have transpired: love connections, exponential salary increases, big awards, huge deals closed, dramatic weight loss associated with a total shift in health and vitality, babies conceived and born after very challenging person from last year finished a book they'd been dreaming of writing for years, and now has a fantastic agent shopping her book with publishers right now! It's a challenging process, but it's absolutely worth it. 


How do you practice self-love and self-acceptance?

Right now, I crave flow, so I'm focusing on being versus doing. Self-love includes a morning practice that feels really good (instead of one my brain says checks all the right boxes), scheduled time for rest and play, and saying yes only to things that feel truly aligned. Self-acceptance is showing myself grace and kindness by not being hard on myself about anything. It's a work in progress! 


What is your favorite piece from Spiritual Gangster (and why)?

This is an easy question - all the Kendall Toole collabs (especially the animal print). Kendall and I met at a surf retreat in El Salvador before the pandemic and became fast friends. She is one of the loveliest humans I know — genuinely kind, whip-smart, authentic, and so much fun. The 'Never Knocked Out' collab brings so much inspiration to so many people, including me!