Aromatherapy and Yoga

Aromatherapy can enhance and deepen a yoga session, and the two practices together are powerful stress-busters.  Maybe you think you don’t have time to do yoga, but why not start small?  Even a tiny ritual can help to break up habitual thinking/worrying tendencies, slow us down and nurture us.  And that one thing feels so good, that the next day you commit to doing it again.  And again.  And then, hopefully, you’ve created a habit.

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So, here’s one simple and quick idea:
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If you have a candle diffuser, pick an oil that you love and that helps calm and ground you.  Some possibilities are Lavender, Frankincense, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang essential oil.  Add a few drops to your diffuser, or if you don’t have one, you can add your oils to a pot of barely simmering water.  Alternatively, add a few drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil, and dab on your wrists and behind your ears.  If you have a piece of music you especially love, turn it on.
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Now, lie on your back.  Close your eyes. For a few minutes, breathe in, breathe out, feeling the movement of your belly.  With your next inhale, stretch your arms over your head and lengthen your body from head to toe.  Exhale, lowering your arms back by your side.   Repeat three times, slowly and mindfully, really feeling your body’s movement as you stretch.  Then, with your next inhale, bring your right knee to your chest, clasping it with both hands, and gently raise your head to your knee.  Exhale, lying back and stretching your arms back up over your head.  Repeat with your left side.  Continue with this rhythm of breathing and moving a few times on each side, and then lay back, close your eyes again and relax.a

Roll over on your side, and take a few breaths before rising. If you want to carry the effects of this into the rest of your day, apply a few drops of massage oil (with the essential oil or blend you used during the exercise) to your wrists.  You could also use the straight essential oils on a handkerchief or portable diffuser (these are nifty little devices the size of a lipstick container that allow you to take your essential oils with you).   If you find yourself feeling harried or stressed later, simply breathe in your chosen oils and bring yourself back to that place of calm and peace.
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~ Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity. ~ 
  Plato

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