Do you do resolutions? Or are you more of a "word of the year" kinda person?
I've definitely come around to the word of the year myself. Resolutions can feel like all-or-nothing, gotta win goals, which to me is a bit overwhelming. It's like there is no room for grace, no acknowledgement of movement, however small. Instead there is a laser beam on the end goal with no room for error. Words of the year are more liking a guiding light, a sign post you plant along your journey to remind and redirect you back to the path you want to take.
You know that famous John Lennon quote, "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans"? That's how I see the difference between a word of the year and a resolution. The other plans are the resolution. It's a fixed expectation of an outcome, with no wiggle room. Maybe that's why most people give up on their resolutions by the second week of January, no lie. (source)
Life is like the word of the year. Often we end up taking different paths to get where we thought we wanted to go, or the outcome is a variation of what we thought we wanted, sometimes even better than what we imagined. Words of the year allow for life. They allow for grace. They let us move in the direction of our intentions, knowing that we don't need to have all the answers, all the exact right steps to get there right now. They allow us to consistently make an effort, to take a break or change course a bit when we need to, to recommit when we need to.
Last year my word was Growth. I could easily related it to a lot of areas of my life and also easily see if it happened or not. I was aiming for growth in the quality of my relationships, growth in my yoga business, in my doTERRA oils community, in my sense of self, and in the experiences we had as a family. I think we nailed so much of it. You can read more about that in my 2018 Reflection. (coming soon!)
This year I chose three words. Three small words to keep me moving in the direction of my intentions. I think I know the outcomes I want, but I also want to stay open to what comes, move with more ease when things pop up or aren't exactly what I expected, and be pleasantly surprised by results I may not ever have imagined. So I chose:
This to me is all about your gut, your inner guidance system. We know when something aligns with our values and vision for our lives. We feel it. We also know quite immediately when something is NOT in alignment for us. Whether we choose to ignore these feelings is a whole other conversation, but for now, I'm going to assume that we don't, that I won't
Align means I'll be paying even more attention to these feelings to help me sort, prioritize, and choose. It means my decision-making process will be that much easier, my boundaries that much clearer, my time that much more intentional. It means I'll be choosing those activities, commitments, relationships, and actions that keep me moving in the direction I want to go.
When we're clear on what is most important, we can then nourish those relationships, activities, communities, and our selves.
Nourishing me means making sure my cup is full. I'll be getting on my yoga mat more consistently for my own personal practice, staying hydrated and eating well, resting when I need it, playing more, working on my passions, reading and watching things that offer me goodness and growth. It means doing my morning rituals more of the time, tending my mind, showing up for myself more consistently.
Nourishing my relationships means feeding my marriage, making time for us. It means spending time with my girls without a phone or other screen around, playing more, talking more, discovering more. It means making time for friends, picking up the phone more often, connecting and being fully present. It means committing to showing up consistently for my doTERRA oils and yoga community, providing education, support, and opportunities for their growth and movement towards their best selves.
This word can be an adjective, noun, or a verb, perfect for going with the flow of life! To manifest my intentions (the action) means to reveal, make an appearance, or show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes. When something is manifest (the description) it is clearly revealed to the mind, senses, or judgement.
This year I'll be working toward manifesting, or bringing into reality, yoga and body image workshops, taking on private yoga clients, leading a monthly women's circle, expanding my doTERRA community and business partnerships, to name a few big career goals. I'll be strengthening my relationships, living more freely in the moment, and feel aligned more of the time.
I'm really excited for the year to come and I know that having these words, these guides, along the way will keep me moving in the direction I want to go. I'm so curious to see what comes! And I'd love to know what's in store for you. Share with us your word or words, intentions, goals, or dreams so we can share in the joy of your journey!
With the holidays coming up, it's actually a really good time to think about self care. Why? It's that time of year when there more parties, more rich foods, more alcohol, and more late nights. More family, more expectations, a little bit more of everything. It's also a really easy time to put to the side the daily healthy habits we tend to focus more on at other times of the year.
Don't get me wrong. I love the holiday season. I love gathering people together, breaking bread, spending time in the kitchen, making new memories and celebrating old traditions. I also like to try to continue to be mindful about what's happening around me, the choices I'm making, and what I'm taking in.
We digest everything that we take into our bodies, not just the food on our plates. The relationships, situations and events, medications, even the skin care or beauty products we use are all digested by our bodies, our minds, our emotions. Hopefully we're keeping the nourishing stuff in and eliminating the rest out!
We have a few organs in our bodies that help with digestion and elimination, but today we're going to love on our livers. Why? The liver in the largest organ we have, coming in at around 2-3 lbs. Yup, that's right. We often think of it as a blood cleaner, but the in reality, the liver has over 200 different functions. Check out this cute and informative video below.
In the video the happy little liver states it detoxifies, extracts nutrients and stocks vitamins. Let's dive a little deeper.
1. Detoxify: Yup, your body is working on detox 24/7. There are lots of detox diets and harsh cleanses out there these days, but know that your body is working on detox all. the.time.
What does it detox?
In terms of what gets passed on to our liver to process, we know our gut is the first line of defense against pathogens. 70%+ of our immune system is in our gut. Our liver is the second line of defense. Leaky gut is a hot topic lately, and many of us have gut or auto-immune issues, which often result in allowing more things to pass into our bloodstream, which then get processed by our liver.
Consider that the average person uses between 3-12 beauty products a day (hand soap, face soap, hair care, make-up, lotion, aftershave, cologne, etc). Also consider that there are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today, many without safety data. (source) Those are found in our skin care and beauty products, as well as our household cleaners (or those we encounter at restaurants, movie theaters, the bus, light rail or airport). We're eating more processed foods, on the go, and taking more prescriptions than ever. That's a lot for the liver to process!
2. Extract Nutrients: This was a new one for me. I always thought this was the sole responsibility of our stomach and intestines.
3. Stock Vitamins: This was new for me too! Boy our liver is busy. In a country that is seeing the highest instances of diabetes ever, this is a biggie. (source)
You might be wondering, what signs do our bodies give us that our liver might need a little more love? And how can we love on our liver a little more? Here are a few ideas to get your started. Now, these signs and symptoms don't necessarily mean that your liver is the ONLY thing in need of a little love, but it's a darn good place to start!
Signs and symptoms related to the liver
Whether you experience any of those, or simply want to be more proactive this holiday season, I've got some suggestions to share with ya.
Good Daily Practices
What oil, blend or supplement might you try to practice more self care this holiday season? Comment below and let us know! Want to bring some of these into your home this holiday? Schedule a personal appointment, send me an email, and check out my exclusive Healthy Weight Starter Kit!
May you have a lovely holiday season this year. May you feel good about what you're putting in, on, and around your body. May you love on your liver a little bit more, and may you have a healthy and happy holiday!
You know how sometimes you meet someone and you just click? I found a soul sister while volunteering for picture day at my daughter's elementary school and had to share her with you!
She is the author of the fantastic new book Trailer Trash: An 80's Memoir.
Meet Angie Cavallari. Angie has been hammering away at the craft of writing for over 20 years. She tells it like is, whether in her writing or in person, and is so genuine you just want to hang out with her as long as possible. In our interview Angie shares how her writing has been shaped by her experience and the awesome 80's, a glimpse into her writing process, and an excerpt from her fabulous new book.
Check out the full interview below, get your copy of Trailer Trash: An 80's Memoir, find out more about Angie, and after you read it, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below, a review on Amazon or on Good Reads!
For you hold-it-your-hands or e-Book lovers find Trailer Trash on Amazon.
On Good Reads? Get all the details, and leave a review, HERE.
You can also find Angie on her website and Facebook.
I'm hoping this is the first, well maybe the second really, of a new series I'd love to do. I've been meeting and connecting with a lot of inspiring women lately. They come from different fields and backgrounds, but all of them share something in common. They have inspired me in some way, taught me something new, and I want to share them with you!
Today I'd like to introduce you to Shannon Crow. She is the creator of The Connected Yoga Teacher, a website, podcast, and Facebook group for yoga teachers all around the world. As Shannon describes it, "The Connected Yoga Teacher offers a place where you, the yoga entrepreneur, can feel supported every week, between the classes, workshops and trainings that you are teaching or attending...connecting (you) to knowledge, inspiration, stories and actionable steps" that help us grow, learn, and expand as yoga practioners and yoga teachers.
Even if you're not a yoga teacher, you might just find this really interesting. So many of the ideas, suggestions, and advice Shannon provides are applicable not only to yoga entrepreneurs, but to women starting any new venture. If you are a yoga teacher, you'll want to subscribe to her podcast, trust me! If something stood out to you in this interview, or you have questions for Shannon, please comment below and let us know!
PD: So somehow I must have muted my mic! Luckily I learned how to use the voice-over function on my video editor. Chalk it up to the journey of mistakes.
Our community garden plot this year has been a totally different experience than last year. Everything took off last year, we got a veggies from everything we planted, and it felt easy. It was so fun! This year?
Not so much
May was hot and many of the seeds we planted never came up at all. Then we traveled a lot of July, so by the time we got back I had a ton of weeds. Thankfully fellow gardeners helped us with the watering, but the weeding was all me. Fortunately, we are getting these lovelies!
When I was little we used to spend a lot of time by my Aunt Carol's house. She's my mom's sister and I always loved going to their place for two reasons. One, the ENORMOUS garden they had, complete with a whole field of pickles, apple trees and corn to run through. Two, she's a really great cook and just about everything she makes, to this day, is home made, often coming from the garden. We used to go in the summer to help with canning, and I always loved her pickles. So this year, when we actually got cukes for pickling, I was pretty durn excited.
I tried out three different recipes since I've got enough cucumber to play with. My parents used to make bread and butter pickles that I LOVED, so I had to try those. Classic dill is always a favorite, and my hubby likes a little heat, so I played around with spicy garlic spears. I'm kind of thinking those are my new favorite, but we'll see ;) I'm more of a refrigerator pickle gal than a canner at the moment, so these are three easy recipes that are ready to eat within 4-6 hours. Measurements are approximate, and feel free to adjust to your taste. If make you these recipes, let me know which you liked the best!
Classic Dill Refrigerator Pickles:
Spicy Garlic Spears:
Bread & Butter Pickles:
All these recipes will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month in an airtight container. I love using the big jars myself. As always, comment below, share a picture or a link to a recipe you like, and happy pickling!
You know how inspiration can sometimes lead you down a rabbit hole? But in a good way? That's what this challenge has done for me.
image courtesy of www.memeburn.com
I began listening to a wonderful podcast this year called The Connected Yoga Teacher. It's hosted by Shannon Crow, a yoga teacher and mentor in Canada. She recently shared a podcast about how the Eight Limbs of yoga have influenced her practice and her teaching. If you're not familiar with the Eight Limbs you can read more about them here, as well as find more indepth blog posts on some of the limbs here.
I completed my yoga teacher training back in 2005/2006. I was also working on my Masters in Education at the time and, though I had taken yoga classes before, had taken a break from it for a while. As the winter approached in Minnesota and the wind chill dropped, I fell into a free week of yoga and got hooked on Hot Yoga. Perfect for a Midwest winter! I loved it so much I started cleaning the studio in order to get free yoga and eventually talked myself into taking on the yoga teacher training during my M.Ed. Cuz I had so much free time I guess!
At the time the training was great. I learned so much about yoga, about myself, about teaching in general. It tended to focus on anatomy and queuing a class correctly, which is what I needed at the time. It didn't go very in depth in the philosophy behind the physical practice of yoga. To be fair, I don't know that I could have absorbed much more at the time. I was just trying to teach a class without speaking too quietly or missing a pose!
Fast forward thirteen years, lots of yoga classes, and a podcast later.
I'm ready to dive deeper.
Shannon's podcast inspired me to delve into and apply the Eight Limbs philosophy both on and off the mat. I wanted to draw in the essential oils I use in my AromaFlow classes, explore mudras, and tie together these concepts I've been learning.
So I created a challenge.
It's partially selfish. Creating a challenge keeps me motivated and disciplined to work through each of the limbs and make my own interpretation of it. It keeps me accountable as well. Making it public allows me to broaden my knowledge through those that participate while they share their interpretations, ideas, pictures and thoughts with our community. It also allows me to bring my knowledge and passion for essential oils to a wider audience and provide education on yoga and oils where it seems to be so sparse.
During the challenge you can expect to:
This challenge is running live on Instagram beginning Aug. 6, 2018. If you've found it after that date, you can still participate! Here's the breakdown:
Those who participate live during the week are eligible for a few gifts from me, simply to say thank you for joining me and to share the love of oils.
Not joining in via Instagram or catching this challenge late? You can still participate! This challenge is all about increasing our knowledge. You can also share your thoughts, pictures and ideas right here on this blog.
Don't have the oils for the challenge? That's ok! You can contact me and I can help you get them, or you can simply try the challenge without them for the time being. To connect personally about the oils, please use the book and appointment feature at the right, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Curious about yoga and essential oils? Check out the links on Essential Oils and the Yoga and Meditation Starter Kit!
Resources I used in researching for this challenge include:
Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I love a good pun. I am my father's daughter after all.
Anyone else miss Salt n Pepa?
image courtesy of merchdirect.com
But seriously, stress is real yo.
Whether you're a mom at home with kids 24/7, a mom working outside of the home and trying to keep it all together, not a mom at all and simply overwhelmed with work, life, relationships, what have you, sometimes it's just too much. Over-worked, over-tired, over-committed = overwhelm.
Stress, in everyday terms, is that feeling we have when we are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands.
Stress is really important. It triggers all these amazing hormones that work to keep us safe. Maybe they encourage us to run away or fight, whatever their result, it's our bodies effort to keep us going. Part of this is physical. We feel our heart rate increase, we're more alert, we might sweat or feel our muscles ready to move. Part of this is emotional. We might feel scared, nervous, anxious, even excited.
Fun fact: when those stress hormones are running through our body, our normal bodily functions, such as the digestive and immune systems, are slowed down.
Stress can be really harmful to us as well. From chest or back pain, muscles spasm, high blood pressure and heart disease to low immunity, trouble sleeping, headaches and digestive problems, stress can wreak havoc on us physically!(source) Stress can have an emotional impact too. In fact, for us women, it may likely be the emotional impact of stress that we notice first. It could be just a general feeling of dis-ease within ourselves, or we might be able to name it. Some of us get angry, others anxious. Sometimes it's hard to concentrate or we forget things more than we normally would. Stress can leave us feeling drained, tired all the time, irritable, sad, depressed, insecure and burnt out. Which is hard because we're supposed to have it all together, right?
The thing is, we often assume there is something wrong with us when we feel these emotions,
that's it's all in our head,
instead of understanding our body's chemistry
and learning to manage our stress.
Emotions, especially "negative" emotions, are not just you being weird. They're not just in your head or you being a crazy lady. Our body bodies send and receive these chemical messages ALL THE TIME. They effect and often determine our emotions, reactions, and responses. When you have those moments of stress, anxiousness, or feeling out of control, it's not just in your head. You're not crazy, you're normal.
The thing is, often in these moments we start to create habits of behavior to cope. Maybe we bite our nails, eat too much or too little, withdraw socially, lash out in anger, grab a drink, or simply feel restless. Whatever it is that lessens your stress response, it's serving your needs in that moment. If it's a healthy response, keep it! If not, I've got some ideas for ya.
This image. It cracks me up and yet, it's kinda my goal. The calm in the chaos.
We can get there. We just need some tools to help us access our parasympathetic nervous system, our rest, digest, relax and heal part of our nervous system. Instead of letting fight or flight take over, lets take a little control back, take a little perspective back, and make a decision about what's coming next so we can respond rather than react. This is great for us as adults, and for our kids. If we want our kids to be able to do these things as well, they need us to model what it looks like and sounds like. As we get better at it, we're better able to verbalize what we're doing in the moment, and our kids can then translate that to their bodies and in their language.
First, lets talk about four essential oils that support grounding and calm. All can be used topically and aromatically. For topical use, consider diluting them in a roller bottle and rolling over pulse points, bottoms of feet or over the heart. Aromatically you can place a few drops in a diffuser, onto diffuser jewelry, in the palms of your hand and cup to inhale. Use them before you get triggered into stress reactions. And get to know your triggers! They are different for everyone:
Our triggers are both unique to us and not so unique. Getting to know yours will help you to proactively manage stress before it even starts.
Balance: Fantastic for re-centering, Balance is the oil of grounding. It is blended of mostly from tree and root oils. It's wonderful for calming minds that have trouble calming down, and helps us reconnect with our roots, especially when the mind has taken over. It helps to bring us back down to earth and reconnect with our bodies, which we can feel really disconnected from at times of stress.
Console: also called the Comforting blend, contains resins and florals. It is really good to use in moments of grief, as well as moments of transitions and change in your life. Console can help us to release burdens. These can burdens of feeling a lack of agency or power, feelings of guilt, for example.
Peace: is helpful for bringing our awareness from the outside, in. This Reassuring blend contains florals, mints and resins. It is great for those moments of stress that are provoked by fear, vulnerability, or lack of control. Instead of trying to control our environment or relationships, we can take a moment to respond to our fears and control our response.
Serenity: the oil of Tranquility, is a blend of flowers and herbs. It is uniquely calming and supports quieting the mind and body agitation. Serenity is uniquely blended to promote restful sleep, though it perfect for moments of anxiousness and nervousness as well. For sleep, try putting a few drops in a diffuser or applying it topically 30 minutes before going to bed.
Adding these oils to a breathing practice is a great way to manage your stress. Often in those moments, our breath moves up into our upper chest or throat and gets really shallow. Sometimes we even hold it. To activate that parasympathetic nervous system, we can use the breath in a simple pattern to make our exhale longer than our inhale. Here's how to do it:
1. Bring your hands to your ribs. Inhale through the nose for a count of 3-4. Fill the rib cage first, then let the breath fill up the belly as your diaphragm drops down
2. Exhale through the mouth for a longer count of 5-6, emptying the belly first, then feeling the ribs contract back inward.
3. Take 5-20 of these breaths anywhere you happen to be to come to a place that is more centered and calm.
Want some more info on these oils and this breathing technique? Check out my youtube video below, and while you're at it, subscribe to my channel! Don't you love the freeze frame moment? Couldn't be better for this topic ;)
So, tell me. Where is your stress coming from these days? How do you tend to handle it?
"I just need to lose 5 pounds and then I'll try online dating", Susan, Uber driver.
It's kind of amazing what people will share with you, the little clues they give you into their psyche. In a 25 minute drive I learned a lot about Susan. I got a glimpse into how she views herself, her body, and how that affects what she allows, who she allows in, what she allows herself to experience.
We have a lot of societal baggage around bodies, weight, beauty standards, and as a result food, in the US. The way we move through the world, how we let people treat us, the relationships we seek out, and the experiences we choose to allow ourselves to have are often influenced by this baggage. It's hard to NOT let it affect you.
image courtesy of theodyssyonline.com
TV, Instagram and other social media, magazine covers, the ridiculous amount of weight loss quick-fixes, just to name a few. Who we hang out with, the messages we got from our family or friends growing up, these also serve to create internalized messages of what is acceptable, expected, enough.
It's really easy to blame the body, especially for negative emotions. We look out into the world to determine where we belong. If we don't see people like us, we translate that into a feeling or sense of being other. I know I would stick out like a sore thumb in a biker bar, but maybe you would totally be in your element. This is normal. The thing is, we as women often blame our bodies for not fitting in OR we use negative comments about our body to fit in.
In blaming our bodies we say things like, "I feel fat today"or "I can't do (fill in the event) because I'm too (big, small-chested, skinny)". Once these comments start, it's difficult to stop them coming up again.
To fit in, we say things like "I hate my (insert least favorite body part here)" and then nod in agreement as our friends pick themselves apart too. When others make these comments it's really hard not to start thinking about our own bodies. It's a lot easier to join in.
You know what? Fat isn't a feeling. There certainly are a lot of emotions wound up in those negative phrases above, but fat ain't one of them. Figuring out exactly what they are and naming them, rather than blaming your body, is the important work. Learning how to sit with them and be uncomfortable so you can move past them, that's the good (and the hard) stuff.
The crazy thing is that whether you're unhappy in general has a lot do with how you feel about your body than what your body actually looks like. And let's be honest, our own perceptions are the most skewed anyway. Our mental health isn't the only thing that suffers. Research at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, suggests that "women who obsess over their body and diet have chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol (even when their life is not otherwise stressed)—and, as a result, may suffer from elevated blood pressure, lower bone density, higher amounts of unhealthy belly fat and even menstrual problems". (source) We're hurting ourselves physically here too!
You are here to experience your life, not to wait until you lose x number of pounds, look a certain way, or fit into a pair of jeans. You could do all that and it still won't change what's in here.
Whether it's feeling vulnerable or scared, unhappy with something physically in your body or in your life circumstances, it's not your BODY that's the problem.
If there are poses you can't get into in a yoga class, it's not your body that needs to be changed, it's the pose. Your body will evolve into harder poses as you practice, work through foundational poses, and build strength. If no one in your exercise class looks like you, it's not your body that the problem. It's the mainstream perception of what a healthy body looks like, who it excludes, who it attracts to the class, and who it leaves out.
Dear Susan, if you're not ready to start dating or you've got some fears about it, I promise it's not those 5 pounds. I'm not going to pretend to know exactly what it is, but I sure as heck know it's not your body. And I do know it's your perception and blaming of your body that is holding you back.
It's OK to start speaking kindly to yourself and not feel like you LOVE your body every single moment. Heck you can not like certain things, thank them for getting your through the day anyway, and move on. At least your moving in the right direction.
It's OK to choose to spend more time with positive people so you don't get sucked in to negative patterns.
It's OK to opt out of a yoga pose or to talk to the instructor after class and let them know you'd really like suggestions to make a pose more accessible. It's OK to seek out a yoga teacher or studio that welcomes and teaches to all bodies.
It's OK to embody your body.
It's OK to take up space.
I'm curious, how does this land for you? What resonates? How do you blame your body? Share a comment below and help us all take steps toward a more positive relationship with our bodies!
Who doesn't love a good flower? I don't know about you, but having something alive, colorful and gorgeous in my home always makes me feel better. Surprise me with them and it's like Christmas morning!
There is something to having flowers in the home, and to using floral essential oils. Floral scents can evoke all sorts of emotions & memories. While the scents of flowers have strong physiological effects, the color and even the shape of flowers can have psychological healing effects. Usually, less saturated and brighter colors tend to be more relaxing, while bold saturated colors will energize you. A bunch with colors that fall near each other on the color wheel will also be more calming, kind of like in home decorating. If the colors are opposite each other, they tend to have a stimulating effect.
There is a lot of power in plants, and in the florals particularly. As a group, floral essential oils are calming and harmonizing. Floral oils have a huge impact on our emotions. They are widely used in aromatherapy because of their ability to invoke positive thoughts and feelings of joy, happiness and hope. Floral essential oils can boost self esteem, confidence, and mental strength, while fighting feelings of depression and anxiousness. They can also support us during times of grief, irritability, stress, and anger, creating instead a feeling of calm, happiness, and peace. All that and more from a little flower!
Here is a quick dive into the floral essential oils and how you can use them!
Lavender is probably one of the best known, and most widely recognized, floral scents. It is best known, and most used, for it's calming and relaxing qualities, though it is truly a versatile oil. it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times! Lavender is the oil of Communication, aiding in verbal expression, encouraging emotional honesty, and unlocks fears of being seen and heard.
You can use it Topically, Aromatically or Internally to:
Clary Sage is an amazing oil for women especially as it is helpful during any stage of our cycle. The main chemical component of Clary Sage is linalyl acetate, part of the esters group, making it one of the most relaxing, soothing, and balancing essential oils. It is the oil of Clarity and Vision, assisting us in changing our perceptions, opening and clearing creative channels, and re-aligning us with our intuition.
Clary Sage can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
Geranium essential oil use dates back to ancient Egypt when Egyptians used Geranium oil to beautify skin and for other benefits. In the Victorian era, fresh geranium leaves were placed at formal dining tables as decorative pieces and to be consumed as a fresh sprig if desired; in fact, the edible leaves and flowers of the plant are often used in desserts, cakes, jellies, and teas. It is the oil of Love and Trust, facilitating trust, softening anger and healing the heart.
Geranium can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
Chamomile is a floral you might be familiar with from the tea made from it's flowers. Roman Chamomile can also be found in face creams, drinks, hair dyes, shampoos, and perfumes. Roman Chamomile has a calming effect on the skin, mind, and body, and it soothes body systems. It is also a super gentle oil, making it perfect for the youngest and most sensitive in your family.
Roman Chamomile can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
Ylang Ylang essential oil is derived from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Ylang Ylang tree and is used extensively in making perfumes and in aromatherapy. Similar to Jasmine, Ylang Ylang has been used for centuries in religious and wedding ceremonies. It is considered the oil of the Inner Child, allowing for freedom, playfulness, heart healing and joy to be more present. Ylang Ylang blends well with Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit, and Vetiver.
Ylang Ylang can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
The name “Helichrysum” is derived from the Greek “helios” meaning sun and “chrysos” meaning gold, referring to the color of the flowers. Helichrysum has been used in herbal health practices since ancient Greece and the oil is highly valued and sought after for its many health benefits. It is the oil for Pain, both physical and emotional. It can be helpful during times of loss, trauma, or addiction as it promotes courage, healing, transformation, perseverance and determination.
Use it all three ways to:
Melissa is also known as lemon balm, received the name “Melissa” because of its sweet, fresh, citrus-like fragrance, which was known to attract bees (Melissa is Greek for “honey bee”). It is one of the rarest and most expensive oils, Melissa has a wide range of health benefits and uses. Energetically, Melissa is the oil of Light. It can help to awaken the soul and remind who we truly are by re-connecting us with our inner voice. Melissa promotes feelings of liberation, optimism, spiritual connection and integrity.
Use it all three ways to:
Now that you know a bit more about some of the florals tell me, which could you most use right now? Comment below and let us know! And as always, if you would like to bring doTERRA essential oils into your home, contact me for a personal consultation or, if you already know what you need, check out my Getting Started page today!
How often to do pay attention to your breath?
You probably notice it when you feel out of breath, or you've got a good scare and suddenly you take in a big rush of air. Perhaps when you get caught in those contagious yawns! All of the sudden our breath becomes extremely apparent and we can be almost hyper aware of it. But, most of the time, we just breathe (or not) without really paying any attention to it at all. Yay for the automatic functions of our bodies!
image courtesy of yogabliss.me
A big part of yoga, arguably more important than all the poses and postures we often see, is Pranayama.
Prana = life force, energy, or the breath sustaining the body. On a deeper level, it's the energy that moves and sustains the universe, or dare we say, it IS the universe.
Ayama = to extend or draw out.
Pranayama = control / extension of the breath.
It's the third limb of the yoga tree, represented by the leaves below, which makes a ton of sense really, since plants breathe through their leaves.
image courtesy of benoityoga.com
We probably know that our breath changes based on all kinds of conditions. Sometimes it's shorter, deeper, more labored, shallow. We even hold it without realizing it! All kinds of conditions can affect our breath: our environment or change to it (shock of cold air anyone?), our mood, the people we're with, whether we're walking through a haunted house at Halloween or hanging at the beach sipping an umbrella drink. These changes and fluctuations of our breath tend to follow the changes and fluctuations of our minds, our thoughts, our reactions.
Pranayama is a practice to channel the breath or internal stores of energy. If we even out, or control, the breath, we can then even out, or control, the mind (thoughts, emotions, reactions). When we feel nervous, we can intentionally deepen the breath and send messages to our nervous system that we'll be ok. When we get overwhelmed by anger, we can tune in to our breath and slow down to respond rather than react.
Whether you're already practicing yoga or not, you can easily start to practice pranayama. It's actually probably better to start it apart from a yoga class or home yoga practice. When you're focused on the movement of the body and getting into postures, your attention is definitely NOT on the breath!
Taking 10-15 minutes to start a pranayama practice helps you to focus on the breath, the inner self, and experience fully stillness and steadiness in both mind and body. I think you'll find that once you take time to practice pranayama on it's own, you might have a spontaneous awareness of it during a yoga class, or you might be able to start intentionally adding it into a home yoga practice.
image courtesy of fitstylelife.com
Here's how to get started:
Bring in some essential oils!
So many essential oils can be really useful for a pranayama practice, not mention your overall physical, mental and emotional health. Here are a few to try:
How to use your oils for Pranayama:
Whether you're teaching a pranayama class or practicing on your own, there are some easy ways to start to use essential oils to strengthen your experience.
Want to add some essential oils to your pranayama practice? Check out the great resources I have to help you! You can learn more about doTERRA oils, how to use them, and even find some great suggestions for a custom yoga starter kit.
Tried some pranayama yourself? Let us know how it went, what you noticed, and which oil you used if you tried one!
I'm Tonia, a Midwesterner transplanted to Colorado. I'm a mom of two lovely littles, a yoga instructor, DIY-er, teacher, stay at home mom, and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I blog about a little bit of all of these and everything in between!
Are you looking for natural health options, but don't know where to start? Book a 1-on-1 appointment with me! We'll spend about 30 minutes getting to know your health goals and concerns, learn a bit about doTERRA, and go over the most commonly used oils that meet your needs. You don't have to buy anything, but if you see something you like, of course I can help you!