Yoga Asana , the sequence of yoga poses that you practice are tools to use to undo the stresses of life that are held in the body. Many mind body practices agree that the body is a reflection of the state of the mind and of emotions. When we begin a yoga sequence, it is very useful to use aromatherapy to bring the mind to a present state. The aromatherapy could be chosen to compliment the theme of the practice, to deepen the breath by relaxing the respiratory passages, to counter negative emotions or invoke positive emotions, to help the ease stress or simply to clear the air of airborne pathogens. But once the mind has a “one-pointed” focus, then both the mind and body will quiet.
Next comes the attention to the breath, which in turn allows the mind to relax, to allow the student’s own Divinity to connect to what is at the surface. Starting with light asanas or preparations that begin to warm the muscles, tissues, joints and glands is typically a methodical way to allow a centering effect. We use asana to strengthen the body as each asana is profound in its ability to unfold the constrictions that we place on the mind, and then the mind imposes restrictive habits on the breath and body. So we use asana practice to invite an opening of the body which is healing, and that becomes a habit as it replaces the habits of constriction. So then, we do asana to unfold the beauty of the mind, the heart, the joy, the self. We turn our reflection then inward, as we end with restorative asanas, to see where the breath needs to be, so that it does not come from the surface, or from stress or negative emotions. A natural, organic unfolding begins and we cannot help but want to practice more.
Want to learn more? Get your copy of Essential Yoga Practice: Your Guide to the New Yoga Experience Using Essential Oils, buy the DVD of 6 essential sequences and a lecture on the use of essential oils, and join us in our online course, Essential Yoga Sangha, where we will interact and build dialogue around this movement.