I laugh whenever I catch myself rushing to get to a practice dedicated to mindfulness and stillness. The phone is ringing, I can’t find my yoga mat, I call in late for my massage appointment, “I’m on my way!”
In her article The Yogic Art of Healing (Elephant Journal), Nadine McNeil wisely shares her learning that “…the ability to do absolutely nothing is the key to progression.” Losing track of this truth, we are often caught in the innate conflict between the rushed world we live in and the peaceful, natural world we wish to create. Serenity is real life, and the more time we spend there, the easier the rest of life can be. What I most often hear from people under stress is that there’s no time.
So let’s look at how we can create space for stillness in our busy world…or rather, let’s smell.
We know that Aromatherapy has powerful effects on our neurotransmitter production. This means that all the chemical messengers in our body can be instantly and dramatically affected by inhaling Essential Oils. Some Essential Oil’s are calming, others are stimulating, and we will most often be attracted to what we need. We notice that many centers for spirituality have a scent attached to them in people’s minds. Muslim mosques often use Oud, Catholic churches; Frankincense. Many Buddhist temples are suffused with precious Sandalwood. You also find this base note mixed with Champa, a gorgeous flower, in Hindu temple incense.
At your local Yoga studio, it’s likely that some form of scent is in play. Remember that Essential Oils and perfume are not the same, and that many people who are scent-sensitive can fully enjoy 100% All Natural Aromatherapy.
When we use Essential Oils to enhance meditation, yoga and spirituality, we are connecting with an ancient practice. There are pre-blended Aromatherapy products for this purpose, such as Saje’s Yoga or Namaste lines, or you could create your own. I recommend having a diffuser blend as well as a face and body mist or fragrance. You can also use Essential Oils with natural anti-fungal properties to disinfect your yoga mat!
Flower Oils will open the heart center, encouraging emotional release. Rose is especially helpful with grief, fear or anger; Jasmine strengthens confidence and enhances Kundalini energy: Neroli slows a racing heart and brings feelings of euphoria when anxious. Tree Oils drawn from the heartwood fulfill the same purpose for us as a tree’s trunk does: Sandalwood, Cedarwood and Patchouli strengthen, ground, support and balance. The resin Frankincense is well-known for deepening breathing and calming the nervous system. You can experiment with camphoraceous oils like Eucalyptus or Rosemary to invigorate and clear breathing passages, or just add some Citrus Oils to your Nebulizer and experience the instant sunshine they bring to your Sun Salutations.
Above all, don’t wait till there’s time. We have to make space at home for our spirit and time in our lives for stillness. Let’s Be the change – sometimes it starts with just one deep breath.