Essential Oils and how to use them

The beauty of essential oils is the body knows how to use them. As essential oils are 100% plant, the body (a natural living organism) recognises and can integrate and utilise their benefits easily and efficiently. There are a few good ways to use them.     1. AROMATICALLY: Through smell we can directly impact how we feel. Molecules of oil are inhaled, through the olfactory system, a message is sent straight to the parts of the brain that triggers our emotions and balances the coordination of the nervous and endocrine systems. Get these benefits by: • Diffusing the oils. • Aromatic spray – spraying oils combined with filtered water around you. • Smelling oils straight out of the bottle, or a few drops in cupped hands, with a few deep breaths.   2. TOPICALLY: By applying oils straight onto the skin Essential oils are readily absorbed into the bloodstream as the body understands how to work with them. Essential oils are best combined with a carrier oil (one drop of oil, a few of drops of carrier oil) to increase absorption and massage the oil into the skin. Carrier oils can be anything – jojoba, almond, olive, sesame. I like fractionated coconut oil which is coconut oil without smell and is no longer solid, but liquid.   3. INTERNALLY: A good therapeutic grade oil (no fillers or chemicals) can be used internally. For example, a drop of Frankincense oil under the tongue daily provides systemic support for your cells. Or you can add lavender to your hot water to help you relax.     EFFECTIVE OILS for getting...

It’s Time to Change How We Respond to Stress

Let’s face it, with the potential for stress everywhere, we need to drop the crisis response as a general coping mechanism. It’s just not meeting the needs of the time.     Historically, as a human race, the mind has been trained to assess possible danger or threat in any situation. Generally, threat assessment is our first response to most things. Years ago, this response served to keep us alive. Potential threats were stored in our long-term memory as a matter of survival. Over the ages, this developed what is called a Negative Bias; a general wariness towards potential threat embedded in our muscle memory and our neurology.   The triggering of this bias can dominate our experiences when we feel overwhelmed with all the things we need to get done. It can feel like this underlying fear anxiety is ever-present, making us snappy and impatient and wary of what could come next. It’s time to change how we respond to life.   Yogi Bhajan spoke in the 1960’s about the high levels of mental health issues and what he called ‘info-dementia’ that would occur in our time today. This is due to the hugely accelerated pace of digitally enhanced living and working. The human nervous system takes a lot longer to adapt to such change and people are really struggling.   Through yoga and or meditation practice, we embed new muscle memory experiences that are calm and relaxed. We take time to really clarify that feeling so it is familiar and easy to remember. This lays the groundwork for a more sophisticated internal response to small stressors in the...

Simple steps to Calm Down

It’s not only remembering TO relax, there’s the HOW to relax that is a factor – how does one relax when you’re stressed out and tense? Without strategies or tools to help you move out of feeling overwhelmed, you might find yourself reaching for alcohol or drugs in an attempt to calm down. This can work temporarily, but ultimately makes you feel less in control of your state of mind and wellbeing.   Even though at times it feels like you can’t relax, your body can actually remember how to, with the right prompts. This can happen when practicing some simple steps to spark the chemical shift in your body that conveys the message that all is well and it’s ok to calm down.     THE FIRST STEP is to attend to your breath. Slow it down by deepening it. Why? Because the increased flow of oxygen calms the panicked feeling. The slow deep breath mirrors the body’s natural state when calm and therefore tricks your mind into thinking you’re relaxed and you then become relaxed. It also gives you something to do – when you just don’t know what to do.   THE SECOND STEP is Presence. Draw your attention to how you are feeling without labelling it or judging it as good or bad. Simply become present to sensation. This act of drawing your attention away from the external to an internal focus creates a chemical shift, prompting the body’s relaxation response.   THIRD STEP – make stress work for you. We get stressed as a way to heighten and sharpen focus, to deal with the...

Weather patterns of your body and the return to balance

Right now I’m up in far north Queensland teaching yoga by the beach. I’ve been here for 3 weeks and each morning I watch the changing weather patterns of the ocean. No two days are the same. For a few days it will be still and sunny, then the winds will come, or stormy rains. Sometimes the tide is way up and the ocean feels close and threatening; the sand covered in debris, while other days the tide is way out and it’s still and warm and clear.   Your own body is like a small microclimate of changing weather patterns. An inner storm is a short-term prompt that something needs to shift or re-adjust to return to balance, as is natures way. Sometimes this storm is ours and needs attention, sometimes it’s someone else’s and it’s a matter of just letting it pass through.   Our bodies are a natural wonder, working 24/7 to maintain homeostasis (a state of balance), The body has a message system that is constantly juggling the necessary release of hormones via the glands; oxygenating the blood; digesting food and ridding the body of toxins. All of which requires energy.   Prolonged stress and external demands can create an abnormal amount of pressure on the body, which works harder and harder to return to homeostasis. So we can feel constantly tired. Due to this pressure, creating unfiltered stress, the ability to relax, or to even know what that truly feels like, is diminished. The body gets locked in a ‘switched on’ hyper alert state – leaving us tired and wired.   Sometimes, the amount...

Choose What Energises You

Just a little reminder for you that you have choices. It’s easy to negate our own responsibility when things aren’t working in the way we’d like them to. There’s all sorts of situations we find ourselves in that feel like hard work.., and we’d just rather not…   So rather than give all our power and choice away to an imaginary puppeteer – it’s important that we stay engaged in the world in a way that is true to Sat Nam – to personal truth (who you are and what you have to offer the world). Take a moment to reflect on why you are doing whatever it is you’re doing.   With growing numbers of life coaches, personal trainers, yoga teachers and “change your life” advocators promoting step by step “how to’s” on improving your life, it’s important to remember that it’s not WHAT you do, it’s WHY you do it.   Checking in with the inner WHY can help guide you towards decision-making that will serve you in the long run.  To find the ‘why’, ask yourself – what gives you the most energy?   If your WHY is clear, you can be sure you’re on the right track – and coming back to that ‘why’ will give you the energy to keep going. Shiv Charan Singh calls this changing the “con-sequence”. The ‘con’ is allowing yourself to get stuck in a sequence of negative energy draining thoughts instead of focusing on that which drives you – your intention – the ‘why’.   We can find this ‘why’ in the biggest project to the most mundane tasks....

The Power of saying “NO”

This post is inspired by women leaders out there who are offering their wisdom and standing behind their truth to influence world change. Yogi Bhajan was hugely committed to the spiritual growth of women in our world, saying that women are the ones to create lasting change for the better –for ourselves and our daughters, nieces and friends by honouring our own personal truth in all the little or big situations we find ourselves in daily. Positive, effective change comes from women who are comfortable with, and who know themselves enough to answer only to their truth. Just a small ask! – considering all the conflicting incoming cultural, lineal, feminist/post feminist/new feminist images of what represents power, strength and impact that we are presented with across the globe.   But then again, it’s also far from impossible –   I’d like to highlight one aspect of change-creation that is a starting point for action towards what we, as truth-seeking heartfelt yogi practitioners hold dear (whatever that is for you). This aspect is the power of saying “NO” and/or the power of NOT doing.   If you attended my Pleasure & Emotions workshop a week or so ago, we focused on this idea quite a bit – the negative space and the not doing as a source of great power – which is also a guide for what to do when you don’t know what to do. Our workshop homework is to practice saying “NO” with grace and I’d like to encourage that homework practice with you all too.   Shiv Charan Singh details this idea in his book “Let...