Energetically, we need nourishment. All of us experience emotional trauma and emotional hurts which get buried and may be difficult to access over time. Emotional trauma can cause the brain to be in fight or flight and this stress can lead to the loss of creative potential and a focus on fear rather than love.
Our sacral chakra is known as the self-abode and when balanced energetically, it has the quality to nourish us emotionally. Last week, I posted all about the 2nd chakra’s qualities and importance in overall health. Click here to check it out.
How can we create that energetic nourishment for our self-abode?
Whether or not we allow them to, sometimes our desires dominate us. We think we need stuff – material possessions or status to feel good about ourselves. But the satisfaction is fleeting and we are still left for wanting more.
Instead, what we really need is to come home to ourselves. When you are feeling like you’re unfulfilled and life has no meaning, you may be needing to nourish yourself.
Yes, yoga does have eight limbs. One limb for each aspect in the yogic system. These eight different appendages are called: yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana & samadhi.
I am going to, briefly, identify each limb one by one so that you can get a better understanding of the full system of yoga. Western teachings/classes normally only focus on 1, 2 or 3 parts of the eight-limb system, namely the postures, breathing and some stillness techniques.
While there is no true order for understanding, the limbs do build upon one another and lead us to the goal of yoga: peace, truth and unutterable joy.
I love this topic. The reason I started using essential oils was to get grounded, calm and more at peace. It’s also my main impetus for doing yoga. And, when the two worlds collide, it’s magic.
Energetically, the grounding oils can be used for stabilizing the root chakra. Check out my previous post for a good understanding of the importance of balancing this chakra. I am also hosting a zoom class on Yoga & the Chakras this Saturday where I will be joined by acupuncturist Kayo Malik. Together we will explore the energy behind the root chakra and ways to enhance its grounding quality.
To complement and expand on our upcoming zoom class, I thought I would speak more in depth about some of my essential oil recommendations for the all important root chakra.
If you are feeling insecure, unsure or fearful, you need to ground. This condition happens to all of us at one time or another. Transitions, major changes or traveling have the potential to uproot us. While we know that nothing is permanent, we still need something to hold on to.
The COVID pandemic has left many of us reeling, feeling unsteady and uprooted – from our routines, from our families and our friends, and from ourselves. We have had to wonder about how we are getting food, work, and for many of us, a roof over our heads. All of this scarcity has challenged our survival and sense of security. It has even led to anxiety and fear.
So, when we become upended, we know that it is essential that we gather our roots and establish ourselves again. But how can we do this?
Just about everyone knows what yoga is – even though you may have never practiced it. The bending postures are mainstreaming in all forms of media and the effects of yoga are touted far and wide. Yoga is known to be good for flexibility, strength and alignment. It’s postures have the ability to make you feel grounded, energized, empowered and relaxed.
I began the practice specifically for its physical benefits some 30 years ago but along the way have discovered how beneficial it can be at a deep energetic layer.
My journey in yoga began over 30 years ago when I signed up for my first yoga class.
I began the practice of yoga out of curiosity. After graduating college and relocating, I was on the lookout for an exercise class. A friend told me about a teacher in town who was excellent in the field of yoga. Hmmm, yoga. Well, I’d been a modern dancer and appreciated all types of movement classes in the past…
Initially I remember being very skeptical about the class’s slow tempo and the teacher’s mellow voice. Mostly, I could not believe that I didn’t get off my back for one full hour. But, after my first session with Donna Barbaro in 1985, I knew that yoga was more than it appeared. For starters, I was sure that I had grown 6 inches taller when I walked out of class that day. And on my way home, I didn’t have a care in the world. I felt a true sense of peace and contentment. All that stretching and lengthening really had an effect. I was hooked!
Looking back, more than anything I probably benefitted from the grounding quality of yoga at that phase of my life. I was a young, newly married woman who had just left her family, school and friends behind to come to an unknown place.
This was the mid eighties. Aerobics was the trend. But yoga captured my heart and soul.
My journey with essential oils began in 2016 when I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia – an inflammation of the 5th cranial nerve which can cause intense facial pain.
In an attempt to get relief, I contacted friend and acupuncturist, Kayo Malik, who runs clinics in Sedona and Maui. I began a series of acupuncture treatments with Kayo and it was at the first session I was introduced to Young Living’s essential oil blend, Peace and Calming. Up until this point, I wasn’t too familiar with essential oils and what they had to offer but I wanted to give all of the natural avenues a try.
So, outside of the clinic, and periodically throughout each day, I breathed a drop of Peace and Calming from my cupped hands. In conjunction with the acupuncture, the oil blend was surprisingly effective in quieting my outbreaks.
I later discovered that one of Peace and Calming’s main components, tangerine oil, contains certain esters and aldehydes which can be tranquilizing to the nervous system.
Having had this success, I wondered what else the field of aromatherapy had to offer my condition. In researching, I ran across many oils with the ability to soothe the nervous system. However, since I didn’t know the cause of my disorder-whether it was viral, bacterial or merely stress related, I felt the need to explore all of the possible avenues that these jewels presented. So, I purchased a Young Living starter kit and the experience was truly an eye…or should I say, a nose…opener. Along with regular yoga practice and acupuncture, essential oils were able to tame my fiery nervous system and eventually eradicate my neuralgia.
Since then I have been enjoying the benefits of essential oils in dozens of ways for my health and well-being. As a yoga practitioner, it seemed only fitting that I would begin to explore how essential oils could influence my yoga practice.
Most of the essential oil/yoga classes I’ve researched have you flowing through the postures with specific oils for warming up, others for sun salutations, for balancing poses, inversions, final resting postures – the list goes on. A single yoga class could involve 7 separate oils in the span of an hour. While I understand the significance of choosing a specific oil for a specific type of pose, I was overwhelmed with the task of applying and experiencing so many oils at one session. To me, it wasn’t logistical either as oil placement is key to the process.
Instead, I have opted to use just one oil per practice session. First, I select an intention so that I can focus on one particular energetic state that I want to develop during my practice. I have explored various qualities such as grounding, stimulating, focus, compassion, strength, perception, etc. Then, I select an oil known to complement that practice element.
I feel great support when I use the oils for a particular intention in my practice. It really sets the stage and amplifies my process. I realize that, energetically, I am connecting with my yoga more intensely and purposefully each time I incorporate the oils.
I would like to revisit the energetic system of yoga in my next post. While I have touched upon this in previous writings, I have learned so much more lately and feel excited to share my experiences with you!
For many of you, this site has been the home of Yoga Posts for over 4 years. When it began, the purpose of the blog was to supplement my classes and provide more information on the topic of yoga. It originated from a desire to share knowledge with my students near and far as we became separated by space and time. It was a venue for documenting discoveries, resources, and inspiring yogic journeys. Eventually it lead to the publication of my first book entitled “Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Yoga Practice One Week at a Time.”
When I left Sedona, after 15 years of living and teaching, I thought the time had come for the yoga posts blog to end. Although I was retiring as a yoga teacher to many students, I wasn’t ready to end the connection I had cultivated.
So instead of completely wiping out the blog, I chose to rename it. And, since the name of our new street was Wellness Way (not kidding), I selected it as the blog’s new title. Keeping the old site alive still allows us to access all 212 original yoga posts right here – just use the search bar to revisit challenges, tips and the methodologies I have shared with you.
My plan was for the renamed blog, On Wellness Way, to reflect a broader journey. One that could document my own intention to create a healthier lifestyle, incorporating fitness, essential oils, gardening, plus yoga and all the other ways we can enhance our joy, vibrancy, sustainability and longevity.
So, as I settled into my new community last spring – creating a home and checking out my surroundings – I was looking forward to the journey ahead…
…of course, never expecting what was to eventually happen.
The COVID pandemic made many of my new health goals occur much faster than I ever predicted. Not wanting to shop at the big box stores for groceries or anything else, I turned to my local farmer’s market and discovered a plethora of resources: local produce, eggs, bread makers, honey harvesters, and flower growers just to name a few. Suffice it to say, the months of March through June were awesome and I learned how to create so many delicious and nutritious foods. I purchased an Almond Cow to make my own nut and oat milks, started a small backyard garden and incorporated daily hiking and essential oil recipes into my life. I was truly on the road to greater wellness!
Then a series of events occurred which turned everything upside down. My step-father was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer. As he transitioned into hospice, I felt that it was imperative to give my 81 year old mother the support she needed. I had quarantined well for 4 months so I didn’t have worries about being contagious. I felt it was safe to stay with my mother and accompany her to the hospice center (unlike hospitals and nursing homes, hospice allowed visitors so that their loved ones could say goodbye). And, I am thankful for the opportunity because after a mere 4 days, my step-father passed away.
Unfortunately just prior to his passing, I began to experience symptoms typical of COVID-19 which made it impossible for me to continue connecting with my mother. I felt her pain as, all alone, she mourned the death of her husband.
After 2 weeks of fever and weakness, I started to bounce back. Luckily, my mother (to this day) never presented with any symptoms. I then began the task of helping her reinvent herself after 30 years. So many things to contend with after such a life change. Interpreting trusts, wills, bank accounts, charge cards, utility bills and relocation options was overwhelming to all of us involved. The months of July and August were a blur. But I have not regretted having my mother closer than ever and helping her transition to a new home nearby.
It’s interesting how life provides you with exactly what you need. My journey this spring, with all of its twists and turns, has provided me with a greater strength and new perspective on the value of health. I have learned so many new life lessons and have a ton of helpful tools to add to my bag.
As part of my path to wellness, I am starting to delve into Ayurveda a bit more. I find this to be such a natural extension to my yoga teachings and practice. It will be a great new exploration for me and I hope to finish the first stage (wellness counselor) next fall.
But for the time being, and because I still love to share, I am developing a series of classes on the use of essential oils in yoga practice. I hope to launch my new zoom classroom soon and will keep you “posted.”
“When you invite the bell to sound, you are sending your love, you are sending your greeting, you are sending your wish to the people who will hear the bell. You wish that when they hear the bell they will stop suffering. (You wish that) they will begin to practice mindful breathing and that they will find the energy of peace, the energy of joy that is within themselves.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
As teacher, I have invited you to hear the bell with my whole heart. Over these many years, you have heard well. The sound of the bell echoes back to me now ringing true and clear. We are all a part of the whole.
The time has come for the yoga posts blog to end and a new adventure to begin. I will continue to carry along all of the experiences we have shared over the past few years. In teaching you, I have learned a great deal.
As we go our separate paths, let us allow the bell to continue to ring from wherever we are to wherever we may go. All we need to do is remember…
…with gratitude for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me.
There is a lot of information to be had on the subject of contentment. How you get it, ways to keep it and why it is so important.
Happiness is vital to our physical and mental health. When we are happy, each day is a joy to greet, we look forward to being with others and eagerly anticipate our future.
There is a reason for this. When we are happy, those feelings of positivity connect us with the universe. When we are in sync with nature, we are aligned with the vibration of love, joy and contentment. Attuned to the universal flow of energy, we accumulate support and guidance and are able to receive what it is that we most desire. Wow, that sounds powerful, doesn’t it?