Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
This episode Elena Brower talks about how you can incorporate essential oils into your yoga routine. As a yoga instructor for over 20 years she has incredible knowledge about the practice of yoga. She'll let you know what the main purpose of yoga is, what essential oils will help in your yoga practice, as well as how you can start practicing yoga as a beginner.
Welcome. My name is Elena Brower and I am a Presidential Diamond with doTERRA. I am here for about the last five years, working my business for about three or four years. I am so proud of all the work that we all do. And if you are watching this, I am really happy to be here with you.
What is Yoga?
I started teaching yoga when I was about 28 years old, so 20 years ago. And yoga for me has been a journey of healing, healing my mind, healing my body, healing my heart, and I'll share a little bit about that with you here today.
What exactly is yoga? When you close your eyes and you take a nice big deep breath and you can do that with me right now. You feel some sort of shift internally. What is that? That shift is a unification of your attention with your body, your breathing, and your mind. That unification is the definition of the word yoga—literally means union. And for me, yoga is both a practice and a state of awareness. So, when all things come together when you take that deep breath and suddenly everything from the outside world is turned inside and your attention is within, inward, and everything you feel about the outside world is suddenly turned off for a moment, that unification is and can be your practice.
Yoga as we practice it today has movements and postures, it incorporates meditation, but really yoga is just that one deep breath where you unify with yourself, all the parts of yourself. It's been practiced for thousands of years and it was originally created or thought up to help people meditate, seated meditation for longer periods of time, comfortably with a healthy body. So that said, when we bring the body and the nervous system and the mind together to that unity, we release stress, we heal old trauma, and we harness our capacity to choose wisely in our daily interactions. Choosing wisely in our daily interactions literally means, can I be kind? Can I be graceful? Can I host compassion for someone who is troubling to me? These are all really important practices for humanity, at this time especially.
We move the body and conscious ways we breathe in certain patterns, for example just to balance your inhalation and your exhalation to make the length of each even is to quiet the nervous system and to bring the body back towards the healing state that is constantly trying to return to. The healing state that we have during sleep. When we begin to balance our breathing, not scared, not super happy, not gasping but when we balance our breathing, we find ourselves very calm and in a different state entirely.
Yoga as a State and Trait
So, we concentrate also the mind in very specific ways in yoga practice. These practices of moving breathing and ways to concentrate the mind, very simple ways, are how we bring the body the nervous system and the mind, thinking mind, together into this coherent cohesive cooperative state is also known as yoga. So, it's not just the practices, it's also the state. Now that state repeated over time and we consistently practice we consistently take a deep breath instead of reacting repeated over time that state becomes what is called a trait.
And in my experience personally I found that at first it wasn't natural for me I was in a state of fear all the time. I couldn't really see who I was; I couldn't see my potential; I couldn't understand how I could be successful and not just in this sort of obvious meaning of the word successful but successful as a person, kind and compassionate, hopeful even. These repeated practices, repeating the state of yoga as it becomes a trait that becomes your new neutral your new norm.
So, why do I do this and why do I teach for the last 20 years and teach because of my own tendencies to overdo or under do or not do, to run away from things. I teach because I saw how the practices became states and how the states became trait and now the trait that I host in my body, most of the time if I remember, is a state of unification, of union, of yoga. And that state for me is now my new norm. And sure, I deviate. Sure, I get angry, sure, I get happy, or I get frustrated; all those things happen, of course, I'm human. But more and more I feel that trait alive within me.
Yoga and Essential Oils
What's most interesting is that it wasn't so easy until I found the essential oils, and they actually found me about 20 years ago, when I was practicing yoga. I was actually in my own yoga studio that I owned for some time, and I realized that there was something to the oils that I didn't really understand but I knew needed to be a part of my life, and it wasn't till just about 10 years ago when someone introduced me to doTERRA that I began playing with doTERRA oils, and it was five years ago that I finally said yes, five and a half now, I finally said yes.
And when I realized how perfectly synergistic the essential oils are with the yoga practice, I began to actively use the oils when I practice, before, during, and after I practice. And what I found is the oils actually amplify the practice the state, and ultimately the trait, that yoga seems to be.
So, if the yoga is developing a type of mind that sort of reflects keen, awake, awareness and therefore is the type of mind that is steady, open, and at ease, the moments spent in that state accrue and they become a trait. What do the oils do to amplify that trait? In my own experience, what I found is that the processes that are undergone in my body during yoga are actually magnified, as I said amplified by the presence of the oils.
We know that essential oils influence the mood and the emotions. We know how direct the connection is between the nasal passages and the instinctive or limbic brain. We know that essential oils provide essential, new, energetic imprints or patterns in our thinking. We know that if we're feeling a state of lack or a state of I've failed and we smell a citrus oil, especially orange, we know that that's going to change our state even just momentarily for a glimpse. We also know that the oils helped us shift and refine the quality of our responses not just externally but also within ourselves.
So teaching yoga for the past two decades and watching how when I add an essential oil into a posture with my own body just grab one even just smelling it I don't even necessarily have to apply it. I began to make the correlation that the oils in fact are vital in the practices of yoga and I don't practice without my oils now.
Teaching Yoga with Essential Oils
When I'm teaching, for those of you who are watching might be a teacher, what I'd love you to do is just bring your oils with you to class for the first few months of you integrating the oils into your teaching setting and just have them at the front as an option. You don't need to pass them around right away unless it's specifically an oils and yoga class.
But what I did for many months was I just had my little carry bag, my beautiful little bag at the front of the classroom and I would say to people after the class, "Hey guys if you would like to anoint yourself before you go please feel free. These are my own personal oils. This is my personal collection and you're more than welcome to rifle through it get into it." People did, many of my earliest enrollments came from those beautiful moments of connection post yoga where people were just introducing themselves to my collection.
And I didn't have to force it on the class either which is a really nice consideration because a lot of times that oils are brought into classes where people don't expect the oils, and it's important for them to have the freedom to choose. But that's a little caveat from my experience.
Essential Oils, Yoga, and Mood
Now we know that the oils and the practice both help us to design our moods. We've seen that happen time and time again where as I said we don't feel well, we smell an oil, something gently shifts. We diffuse a certain blend, something gently shifts. So we want to create new energetic imprints. We want to create moments where we are in charge of how our emotional state rolls out from us into the world, and if we use both the oils and the practice, we have a really good chance of refining things for ourselves.
So, the funniest aspect of all of this I think, and worth mentioning, is that I was teaching yoga to be helpful, to help people learn how to design their moods and learn how to refine their responses and really dissolve their reactivity. The funniest thing is that it's ultimately the essential oils that helped me do that. It wasn't the yoga alone. And now I can reach many more people as you can, because you have the oils on your side and you really can leave them to their own devices. The oils speak for themselves and today we'll talk about three very special blends.
What Essential Oils are Good for Yoga?
So, I use in my own practice a combination of the following. I always use the Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit—I love it—Console, Peace, Motivate, and Cheer. I also use Jasmine on my heart, I use Rose on my wrists and inner elbows—I smell right now—and the back of my neck usually. I use Neroli and Magnolia on my forearms, not together, but I alternate those guys—those girls. The one that I use the most though—the collection that I use the most during my practice is definitely the Yoga Collection. I love them all.
The Yoga Collection
We have Anchor, Align, and Arise and the combination of the three really helps me to soften and receive and slow down, and I thought I would talk just a little bit about how I teach the Yoga Collection because I don't do what you might expect me to do.
Of course, at the start of a practice Anchor is offering a grounding sensation. We know that it contains Lavender, and Cedarwood, and Frankincense, Cinnamon Bark, Sandalwood, Black Pepper, Patchouli, in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil, already diluted.
So, I use Anchor on the actually the tops of my feet, not necessarily the bottoms. And I also use Anchor on my wrists, the base of my spine—my lower back, that's a really nice one.
I usually start my practice lying down and doing some deep breathing. That wasn't always the case. When I was younger, I started my practice standing in sun salutes and all the active things. Now it is my great pleasure and luxury and need to start lying down. Anchor is the perfect foil for a busy day.
Considerations and contemplations—I like to take a moment to consider who in that moment of my use of the oil who is serving as an anchor in my life. Who is serving as an anchor in your life? And who helps you locate and stay in your steady foundation? These are really nice questions to ask when you use Anchor if you've got your oil out now. And can you hold gratitude for anyone who serves as an anchor to you with their presence in your life? And that we call our steadying blend.
When it comes to a more active state of practice, Align is what's called for. And Align of course has Bergamot, Coriander, Marjoram, so beautiful for active body, Peppermint, Geranium, Basil, Rose Jasmine. It's such a brightening, enlightening, gorgeous, big scent, Align. So, I use it very sparingly but I love it so much.
And I like to apply it over my heart, to my wrists, and to the back of my neck, beautiful. When you're in the sunshine, please take care to avoid an application on any part of your body that will be in the sun because it does have photosensitive oils in it. For your considerations and contemplations and I like to apply this sometime in the middle of the practice when I notice myself kind of shying away from something difficult whether it's a complicated posture or just breath work that sometimes it's more fun to distract myself than it is to dive in and do the work of getting to know myself. Align is perfect for that.
Considerations and contemplations—take a moment to help you consider. Who else to stay in alignment in your life? Who helps you, stay on course? Who help you stay on purpose, centered in your heart space? And can you hold gratitude for the inspiration to hold that center steady and clear? And that gratitude can be for someone who helps you or it can be for yourself.
The third blend in the yoga collection is called Arise and this one is considered the enlightening blend, as bright and lovely as a Align. Ah, this is so wonderful. The components Lemon, Grapefruit, Siberian Fir, Osmanthus, and Melissa. We love it, this blend. Especially by I find men coming to me and saying, “Wow, Arise, it's so gorgeous. Thank you for that.”
Temples, wrists, pulse points, back of neck, again please avoid any sun exposure after application, and if you know you'll be in the sun perhaps do it in a part of your body that doesn't get the sun exposure, maybe underneath your arm. Arise, I like during meditation. A lot of people love Arise during the most active part of the practice toward the end sort of around if you have an apex pose. I love it during meditation. I love to place it right here if I know I'm not going to be in the sun, right on my third eye, and just sit. The tiniest hint of a smell of this blend is so invigorating but in such a calm way. The addition of the Siberian Fir and the Melissa really took this blend to a very cool dimension.
Considerations and contemplations finally—take a moment to consider who lights you up. Help yourself remember who has inspired you and lifted you. And who helps you uphold that highest? So many times that we are doing really well and flying right along and then somehow we get taken down and it's hard to stay up that high. And we have people around us who help us remember. So take a moment to hold gratitude in your heart for those folks, the people who help you remember your highest, who help you remember your light and your courage and your vision.
How do I Start Yoga?
Finally. How do we get started with yoga? Let's say you have never done yoga in your life. You have a few different ways to begin.
The first is to remember that yoga can really be as simple as one full breath and unify your attention with your body, your nervous system, your mind. Begin to calm whatever state is going through you just using your breath. That too is yoga.
You can go to local classes. Most towns, the world over now have some sort of yoga offering. But if for some reason yours does not or you prefer not to be in public when you learn you have two other options. You may hire a private instructor and that person might be a little bit costly the first two, three times, but you'll get the basics and then you can enter into a class feeling like you know what you're doing, roughly.
You can also get online and there are some really beautiful services online that you can try the one with which I am most familiar and the one that I used is called glo.com—G L O. Wonderful teachers, wonderful quality, and really nice classes. Smart and safe.
So, if you are going to a local class just keep one thing in mind you should leave that room feeling more connected to yourself, feeling more a unified whole than you did when you walked in. And if you don't if you walk out of that room and you don't feel unified and you don't feel connected and you feel somehow in any way diminished, don't think anything of it; just go try another teacher. I say this because, not because there are teachers who are talented and teachers who aren't, everyone is trying their best, to be fair, but you will resonate with a certain teacher where you might not with another. And it's important to give yourself a few chances to see what style what kind of voice what kind of language-ing really works for you to move you literally and figuratively.
So I thank you for joining me on this summit today. It's such a pleasure and a privilege really to present the yoga collection and yoga at large to you and I thank you so much for having me.