Think about what yoga does for the body and mind…It brings calmness and clarity to start. It sharpens our body awareness and mental focus. It helps us develop introspection and opens the door for learning so much more about ourselves. I want to share with you a yoga practice incorporating use of the healing and balancing properties of essential oils! My two favorite things coming together to create the ultimate experience of physical and mental rejuvenation!
Essential oils have long been known to contain properties that are able to assist in emotional balance. There are hundreds of components that make up these all natural oils which are steam distilled or pressed from pure plants. Inhaling them will allow the molecules to reach the brain in 22 seconds, and all body cells within 20 minutes. The constituents within them carry different electromagnetic frequencies which may compliment our body composition to facilitate equilibrium.
Yoga is used similarly to bring calming feelings to the body and mind through poses and deep breathing. When we bring these two elevating elements together it is such a beautiful experience.
Opening the Heart- Chakra Basics
The practice I wish to share with you today will focus on balancing one of the Chakras or energy centers in the body. There are thought to be 7 majour energy centers along the spinal meridian of the body and we are going to work with the 4th- Anahata (meaning unstruck or unhurt) or the heart chakra. It’s colour is green and it is believed that when the heart chakra is balanced, it allows for us to experience love with others, self-love, compassion, generosity, warmth and joy. Others feel our love and warmth and we are able to know when to take time to care for ourselves as well. Unifying love connects us all and so opening the heart chakra to balance is a wonderful way to enhance well-being. It may then be possible to connect to the deepest parts of our being, our spirit and our true essence. Doesn’t this sound absolutely marvelous?
Sensational Oil Selections
The oils I have selected to accompany this yoga sequence may bring about such complimentary feelings that I feel the practice is simply divine!
This essential oil comes from Oman, which is a country on the Arabian Peninsula. The species of frankincense tree which produces this resin and essential oil is only available here through Young Living. It is slightly sweeter in its aroma than others and I find it to be very grounding. It helps me feel more focused when doing my meditations and yoga practice. It is the oil I have in my diffuser, you will see it in my pictures!! It is a fabulous diffuser too! Brand new 8 hr. diffuser called he Dessert Mist by Young Living.
I use this oil almost daily. It is cold-pressed from the bergamot orange peel and has a light, citrusy aroma with a warmth that almost seems slightly floral. It is thought to work on a frequency that may help to balance the heart chakra specifically. When I inhale this oil, I always smile. It is also very relaxing yet uplifting and I use it frequently to de-stress. It is a fitting compliment for the intention of this yoga sequence.
This oil was the first I ever used in a diffuser. I was going through some super stressful stuff and the effect of this oil was so immediate for me that it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, I was so surprised. It is steam distilled from the Chamomile flower and has been widely used for emotional balancing for many years. Because of its power to balance emotions, it is a fitting oil for today!
Lavender, how do I love thee? I first used Lavender to rub in my palms and give neck massages in my yoga classes because that is how it was introduced to me, it was so wonderful. I absolutely love it and NEED to share it with others. Good for so many things, lavender is calming, acting as a nervine as well- which calms the nervous system as well as the mind.
I really hope you enjoy this sequence and feel open and happy when you are finished. The practice will still be so good for you, even if you don’t have any oils! Loose fitting clothing and a mat are all you need for this one. If you don’t have a mat, it can work without one. Mats are a relatively new accessory as far as the history of yoga is concerned, so it’s a nice to have but not a must;)
Heart Opening Yoga Sequence & Essential Oils
Take a cotton pad or a small face cloth and put 2 drops of your essential oil into the centre of it. For each of the four oils we are using, use a separate cotton pad and prepare them in advance. I usually put the bottle of the oil that I placed on the pad next to each one, so I know which is which. These are close to my mat so when I am ready, I can easily reach for them.
Begin by bringing the pad with Bergamot close to your nose and take a few deep breaths in.
Once you have done so, put the pad down and cross your legs on your mat, placing one hand over your heart and the other over your abdomen. Take 5 deep breaths, with your eyes closed if you wish. Feel the air opening your belly and chest as you breathe.
Bring your hands to your knees and roll at the hips to bring your whole body in a circle. Taking deep breaths, do 5 to the right and then 5 to the left.
~~Take a few moments to inhale the Bergamot oil pad again~~
Bring your arms behind you, interlace your fingers, pull your chest up and your arms down and back. Gaze up and take 5 deep breaths. Let your hands come to the floor at your sides. Bring your right hand up, arm next to your ear, stretch up and over to the left. Let your left arm move away from you as you bend and keep both seat bones pressing down into the floor. Take 5 deep breaths and then repeat this stretch with the other arm.
Now take your right hand across to your left knee, and your left hand behind your back as close to your spine as is comfortable. Inhale and bring your chest up, exhale turn to look over your left shoulder. Hold here for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side- left hand comes across to the right knee, right hand comes behind your back as close to the spine as possible. Inhale, chest up, exhale to twist and look over your right shoulder.
Table Pose Work
Come to table pose- knees are hip width and stacked under the hips. Arms are shoulder width and shoulders are over your hands. Begin to inhale and drop your middle section down, looking up and pulling your chest up, now exhale and move into cat by pulling your back up towards the ceiling and pressing down into your hands and knees. Repeat this, you guessed it- 5 times.
Come back to a neutral spine and lift your right leg back behind you, keeping your weight even. See if you can extend your left arm. Hold for a few breaths and then inhale as you lengthen your lifted limbs away from you and then exhale bring elbow to knee as you curl your back. Do this 5 times. Repeat on the other side. Then come into child’s pose. Hold for a few breaths.
~~Come up and take a few moments to inhale your chamomile cotton pad~~
Sun Salutations-1/2 Surya Namaskara
Start in standing and then reach your arms up, palms to touch as you inhale. Exhale as you swan dive forward, bringing your ands towards the ground (bend knees slightly or more if that’s comfortable). Inhale coming to a flat back, hands to shins, exhale down again and then inhale all the way up to standing. Repeat 2 more of these 1/2 sun salutations.
Full Surya Namaskara
Inhale, reach arms up and bring your palms to touch.
Exhale as you swan dive forward, bringing your hands towards the ground (bending knees as needed).
Inhale and step the right foot back into a lunge, bringing hands to the ground on either side of your left foot.
Exhale step left foot back coming through downward dog and down into 8-limbed pose- bending the elbows beside your body, bring the knees, chin and chest to the floor while keeping the hips up.
Inhale sliding through into cobra pose- hips and legs strong and on the floor while chest is coming up and through, arms may be bent at the elbow.
Exhale coming into downward dog by pressing into the knees and hands.
Inhale, step the right foot between the hands and coming into a lunge.
Exhale, stepping the left foot forward to meet the right in a fold. Inhale raising the arms up and coming back to standing.
Do another surya namaskara but in place of the low lunge for each side, bring the arms up towards the ceiling.
Do a third and final one but at the lunge, bring the arms into eagle arms. This is done by bringing both arms out in front of you, bringing left arm under the right, bend the elbows and turn your palms towards you. Bring the right hand behind and around the left and see if you can bring the palms towards each other. Bring the elbows up and then unwrap and come back low lunge to do the next transition. Wrap the arms the opposite way for the other side. When you have completed the 3 rounds, stand and take some recovering breaths.
~~Take a few minutes to inhale your chamomile again~~
Bring your weight into your left foot. Turn your right foot out and bring the sole to the inside of your left foot, keeping the ball of the foot on the floor. Raise this leg up where it is comfortable to balance- either below or above the knee. Keep the hip level, press the foot into your left leg. Hands may be in prayer or you can bring hands up towards ceiling and look up, feeling your chest come up. Stay here for 5 deep long breaths and then come down and prepare the other side. Do the other side the same way.
This pose begins by crossing the right leg over the left, once or wrapping it around again if possible. Bending in your standing left leg. Eagle arms again for this side the right arms starts under the left. Once in the pose, find a staring place to help you balance, draw the elbows and chest up. Hold for 5 deep breaths. If you fall out, come back in again and try. Repeat on the other side. Left leg over right standing leg, left arm under right for the arms.
Wide Leg Fold & Garland Pose
From the top of your mat, step the left foot back around 4-5 feet, turn both feet to the long side of the mat. Inhale your arms out to the side, exhale and interlace your fingers behind your back. Inhale here and then exhale folding at the hips letting the hands come down towards the floor. Hold for 5 breaths here and then come back up.
Bring your feet closer together, slightly wider than hip width. Bend your knees and come into a deep squat. Your feet may turn your feet out slightly and the heels may not come all the way down to the floor. It’s okay. Bring hands into prayer and elbows to the inside of the thighs, pressing out gently and pulling the chest up. Hold here for 5 breaths.
Upward Table & Boat Pose
Come to sit down towards the top of your mat. Bring the feet parallel and to the width of your hips, and hands with fingers facing your feet, about 1 foot back behind you. Press into your feet and hands, raise your hips up. If it is comfortable, let your head fall back. Keep pressing the inner legs towards each other as they will naturally try to open as you raise your hips. Hold for 5 breaths. Come down slowly.
Prepare for boat pose by letting your feet stay flat on the floor, bring your hands behind your thighs and lean back, using your abdominals. Raise your feet off the floor and bring your shins parallel to the floor. If you can, let your thighs go and bring your hands straight towards your feet on either side of your body. You may hold here for 5 breaths or extend the legs out and up so you look like a V and hold here. When you have completed this sit calmly.
~~Take a few minutes to inhale your Bergamot cotton pad~~
Locust Pose, Sphinx Pose & Cobra
Come to lay on your tummy. Bring strength into your legs, pressing the tops of the feet down into the floor. Bring your hands beside your body, palms up. Raise your torso up, gazing slightly forward past your mat. Hold for 5 deep breaths and then gently come down.
Bring your hands on the floor, palms down on either side of your head. Bring strength into the legs, press into your forearms and pull your chest up. Gaze up. Hold here in sphinx pose for 5 breaths and then slowly come down.
Slide your hands back in line with your lower ribcage. Strengthen the legs, press the tops of the feet down, pull the low belly in. Press into your hands and pull your chest forward as you peel your torso off the floor. Keep the elbows tight to the body and the neck long. Hips and legs stay on the floor. Hold here for 5 breaths and then co e down slowly. Take a child’s pose.
Come onto your back, feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands down to grab your ankles. This will ensure your legs are in the correct position. Press into the feet, squeeze the legs slightly to keep them hip width as you raise your hips up. If you can interlace your fingers underneath your body, do this and lengthen the arms in the direction of your feet, keeping them on the floor. Hold for 5 breaths. Come down slowly and then reset for another round. When complete, bring your knees and hug them into your chest. You may gently roll side to side if this feels good. Hold for 5 breaths.
~~Take a moment to inhale your Lavender cotton pad~~
Sometimes I even place it on my forehead at this time. It is rest time, savasana. Let your body relax, palms up, feet wider than hip width. Lay here for 5 minutes or as long as you wish.
Come up, have some water. How do you feel? How does your body, mind and emotions feel? I hope you feel relaxed and happy💖
If you wish to learn more about Young Living essential oils or have any questions, please email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Obligatory Disclaimer- Please note that no part of this of practice is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any conditions. It is not meant to replace consultation with a medical professional. This information is for educational purposes and the practice is completed at your own risk. If you have any health conditions, please contact your medical doctor before engaging in this practice.