Today, I am continuing with a series I started back in October based on the use of essential oils for yoga practice. I have connected this usage to the more subtle aspect of yoga, the chakras or energy complex.
In the past, I have posted frequently on the concept of the chakric system. Many books and articles explain how each chakra can be balanced or pacified. There are seven chakra centers that follow the body from its base to its crown. If you are interested in learning more about the general chakra system, click here.
We will proceed with the manipura or solar plexus chakra. It’s the third chakra and is located below the sternum and behind the stomach. This chakra balances our willpower, harmonizes our personality and motivates and focuses us as individuals. With characteristics of the fire element, it fuels ambition and confidence.
Within yoga there are many poses that can help an individual to discover the powerful quality of this chakra: Warrior I,I & III, Trikonasana (triangle), Vasisthasana (side plank) or Natarajasana (dancer’s pose).
Along with the postures, chakras can be influenced by the use of essential oils. When combined, the benefit for this subtle energy system can be incredible. As I discuss the particular oils associated with a specific chakra, I will refer to the Young Living essential oils that are found in the Premium Starter Kit (see below).
For the purposes of balancing the energy of our third chakra, I suggest the stimulating oil of Peppermint.
Peppermint is known for its centering and concentrative qualities. It has been studied by schools and universities for its ability to provide focus and attentiveness. A study published in the 2008 “International Journal of Neuroscience” found that participants exposed to peppermint oil experienced enhanced memory and processing speeds.
In addition, this essential oil has many physical benefits. It’s best known for its digestive properties and is being researched as a tool for combating IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). But I have often used the oil to remedy headaches – diluting it 1:1 with a carrier oil and placing it on the neck or head – just be careful of getting the oil too close to your eyes.
I would begin by using this oil in a diffuser during your yoga practice. It has a strong aroma, so go gently and just add a couple of drops to the water initially. Like citrus oils, merely inhaling peppermint’s aroma is most effective and immediately uplifts. I often keep it in my office for the postprandial (after lunch) sleepy times.
Once applied, try a few centering techniques like those mentioned in my post, Stoke Your Inner Fire.
If you are new to essential oils and want to get started incorporating them into your yoga practice, you can register with Young Living here and get your Premium Starter Kit (which includes Peppermint and all the other oils we will be discussing). Once you are enrolled, I will be connecting with you directly to provide reference sources and helpful advice.