Plants permitted life on the planet to begin WITH – trees are the lungs of Mother Earth, flowers are the femininity and beauty, and seeds have the life giving potential for growth and reproduction. All of these miracles give us aroma. Molecules of pure magic pour from the plant kingdom in a stream of fragrance and freshness.
In my own line of work, and in my personal practice, I know this well, but under the guidance of a my new teacher, combining the natural environment, the great outdoors, with mindfulness and yoga has given my aromatic practice, and my mindfulness practice, a new dimension. The combination of aromatherapy and yoga is food for the soul.
Some weeks ago, we retreated to the high mountains of Provence, surrounded by aromatic plants. Early in the mornings I was able to breathe and receive as my tutor Karuna, flown in from Hawaii, instructed. As the majestic pine and cypress trees infused the early morning air with lung expanding resinous aroma, my body stretched and delighted in the powerful poses that realigned each fibre and cell. The fragrance of cypress and cedar strengthen not only our physical respiration but they calm and focus the mind, connecting us with the divine, the universe and assisting mindfulness.
Receiving this time and devotion to myself and this practice allowed me to experience a happy heart, another of Karuna’s wise saying. Surrounded by the mountain thyme, juniper and angelica, our sessions came to a close with the angelic tones of Sanskrit chants as Karuna sang to us. The beauty and tranquility of an awakening of the senses can be experienced by combining the physical, physiological and psychological aspects of yoga with the senses, sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.
Seeing the sunrise, hearing the birds sing, touching the earth and feeling it beneath your feet, tasting the early morning freshness and smelling the earth awaken to a new day. A truly mindful experience that I can’t wait to explore again.
During our week of yoga and aroma, deep healing was felt on many levels. The day time classes were focused on aromatherapy and blending for individual treatments. We combined the use of essential oils blended in evening primrose with foot massage of the reflex points. We considered our own healing requirements and how we could be kind to ourselves with nurturing helichrysum, deep releasing Spikenard and soothing high altitude lavender.
Creating our own healing creams and potions allowed us to immerse ourselves in self-healing on so many levels. Forest walks and group meditation soothed the mind and released unwanted troubles that had been carried for too long. Sharing hands-on therapies such as massage and reiki, enhanced wellbeing.
On my last night in Provence I lay in the field wrapped in a blanket gazing at a star filled sky and absorbing the moment as I listened to shamanic drums and truly accomplished the task of “breathe and receive” with a “happy heart”.
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