THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:
I love myself.
I am beautiful.
It was an unseasonably chilly night for June in Los Angeles. About three dozen people, mostly women in their 20s and 30s, were spending their Friday evening lying on yoga mats on the back patio of a shop a few blocks from Hollywood Forever Cemetery and the Paramount Pictures lot. Attendees had been invited to bring whatever they needed to make the space cozy: Blankets. Pillows. Crystals.
Ana Lilia was leading them in affirmations, closing out a 90-minute breathwork session celebrating the summer solstice.
Most days, Lilia works with individual clients. In the evenings, she teaches classes or puts on events, such as the solstice gathering. She first got into breathwork four years ago and started taking classes to become a teacher six months later. If you’ve never done it before, it’s a mix of breathing exercises and guided meditations meant to relax you and help connect with your inner thoughts — a cross between the last 10 minutes of a yoga class and a therapy session that takes place entirely in your head.
She’s one of a growing number of young people — largely millennials, though the trend extends to younger Gen Xers, now cresting 40, and down to Gen Z, the oldest of whom are freshly minted college grads — who have turned away from traditional organized religion and are embracing more spiritual beliefs and practices like tarot, astrology, meditation, energy healing and crystals.