Essential Oils

How Yoga Helps the Heart

It goes beyond the Cardiovascular System

Heart chakra banner

When I tell my yoga students we are going to focus on the Heart Chakra (Anahata in Sanscript), there is usually a sigh of relief.  We have worked our way through the physical Chakras of root, sacrum and core. The Heart Chakra, fourth of the 7 energy wheels in our subtle body, lies in the space to the right of the heart along the spine.  This area of our spine is one of the strongest of our skeletal system for good reason.  It is protecting a very important physical organ—the heart.Chakras

We consider both the physical and emotional aspects of the Anahata chakra. Our heart can be very vulnerable depending on our life experiences. What may result is a heart chakra imbalance – respiratory issues, heart issues, depression, fatigue, to name a few of the possible symptoms. When you are unhappy, your thymus, which controls your hormones slows down, which can result in a general lack of thriving.  Emotionally an imbalance in this area can either lead to shutting down or just pretending to be happy.

“The fear of giving and receiving love blocks health, joy and goodness from coming into our lives,” according to Ambika Wauters, the author of The Book of Chakras who adds, “The heart’s unique intelligence is to remember love,  It never forget acts of kindness, friendship or love. “

In order to access love, one must be willing to be vulnerable.  At the beginning of class, I offer my students doTERRA geranium essential oil if they need to open up more or melalueca if they need to protect their heart more.  Both sides of this coin leave one feeling vulnerable.  It’s the paradox of the heart chakra, according to  http://nyapatrinos.blogspot.com/2015/08/chakra-series-yin-yoga-heart-chakra.htmlAndrea meditating “through humility, we find our power; through discipline, we find liberation; by cleansing the physical body, we become more mentally clear and attuned.”

We begin our practice in a seated pose to try and still the mind and tap into the heart; easier said, than done.  It takes practice to distinguish what your heart is telling you versus what your mind is chattering at you. One clue is if thought starts with love then it is coming from your heart. According to Yoga Journal’s Stephanie Snyder in a 2015 article, “Over time you will be able to observe both. This inner listening cultivates a discrimination. Discrimination supports skillful choices, which lead you toward your heart’s calling, your purpose. The result is bringing compassion and love into all you do.”

I invite my students to set an intention for the practice, which is often very personal.

It might include forgiving someone who has hurt you, or opening yourself up to love again after a bad relationship.  It could be working on loving yourself or trusting other people, or being less critical of people. Be sure to listen closely to your heart to ensure your intention rings true for you.

We do the following practice.  Feel free to attend one of my classes on balancing the Chakras or try the routine at home. 

In a seated position we begin by loosening our neck and shoulders.  Be sure to sit on a blanket or bolster to protect your spine.  Sitting on a bolster helps lean your pelvic bones toward the front which keeps your back from rounding.  Half way through this neck and shoulder routine, change the cross of your legs to keep them from falling asleep. (2) Preparatory arm stretches will also include cow face arms and eagle arms (shown). Roll over to hands and knees.  A modified cat/cow with a child’s pose focus on shining your heart each time you stretch up and forward helps get problems “off your chest” (3)

Andrea stretching neck 225 tallAndrea doing eagle arms 225 highCat Cow 225 high

 

Rest in Child’s pose.  Then move into Puppy pose also known as Melting the heart.  (4) Draw your shoulders back toward each other, but be careful not to dump your belly. Move into thread the needle or revolved child’s pose. (5) This is an intense stretch for your shoulder.  Metaphorically speaking, your shoulders are the branches from your heart, which if strong can lead to generosity and compassion. Repeat on both sides.

Andrea melting heart poseAndrea threading the needle

Move into downward facing dog (6)—focusing on your shoulders drawing toward your back.  You might need to bend the knees a great deal to feel this in the upper back.  High lunges, Low lunges or Warrior 1 on both sides will be modified to reflect the opening of the shoulders. (7)  Do both sides. Our balancing series will include both Eagle Pose (8) and Dancers pose (9).  Both work the upper body.  Dancer pose opens up the heart while Eagle pose protects the heart. Do both sides.

3 DowndogAndrea doing warrior 1 with open heartAndrea doing eagle 225 tallAndrea doing dancers pose 225 high

 

Add two full sun salutations, focusing each move on a gratitude practice.  For instance when reaching to the sky, express thanks to the sun, the forward fold, thanks to the earth, half way up, thanks to your parents, all the way down, thanks to your children or friends, going through plank, thanks to yourself including your body. Upward dog, thanks to your mind, and coming back up, thanks to the higher being that you believe in. You can even chant these as you go through the sequence. This practice came from Seane Corne. Make sure to open your heart during your back bends.

IMG_9813IMG_9892

Perhaps the most vulnerable heart chakra pose is Camel Ustrasana (10)

The following description of this pose comes from Yoga Journal. “Camel is an upper-spine backbend that comes from narrowing in the belly and widening your hands to your hips and drive the legs and pelvis down as you lift the low belly, ribs, and chest upward.  Finally drop your head back gently as long as it doesn’t cause neck pain. Spend about 3 breaths here and repeat this pose three times. When you finish, sit on your heels, close your eyes, and enjoy the rush of being alive in an open-hearted body.”

Modified Fish Pose is offered as part of this series.  I do not do a full fish pose.   Fish Pose (Matsyasana) 11 is known as the destroyer of all diseases.  It stimulates your thyroid and para thyroid as it strengths the muscles of the upper back and back of neck and stretches your front body muscles.

Andrea doing camel 225 wideIMG_0003

We end the practice in a restorative version  of  Reclined Bound Angel Pose.  Supta Badda Konasana (12) Lie on on your back placing either two blocks or place a bolsters length wise and incline it with a block or two.  Lay back with your spine directly over the bolster. If you are using blocks make sure one block is right across your shoulder blades (for ladies, no lower than the bra line).  Once comfortable open your heart and allow your shoulders to sink towards the floor. Then place your feet together and let you knees fall out to the side.  Roll a blanket into a rope and wrap around your ankles or place blocks under your knees to support you. Visualize the color green, which protects your heart or pink to represent your heart as you relax in this pose. The heart seed mantra is YAM.  Breathe in unconditional love for yourself and others.  Exhale and release old hurts, regrets, anger and grief.

ANdrea doing fish pose 225 highAndrea meditating with hands at heart 225

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

 

Are you a Warrior or a Servant? Exploring the Manipura Chakra

 Yellow flower wide shot manipura chakraThe Manipura Chakra is not only strength in your abdomen but also strength in  your convictions.

Are you a warrior or a servant? That is the one of the questions to ask yourself when exploring the Manipura Chakra, the third of the seven energy wheels that start at the base of your spine. (for basic explanations of the Chakra system see this earlier post ) Located in the Solar Plexus region of your body, the Manipura Chakra is considered your energetic wheel of strength.  It is commonly known as the core.  Yellow is the color associated with this Chakra, which makes sense since the sun is considered the ruling element of the Solar Plexus. Energy here provides the fire needed to help digest your food and the world.

Chakras_map.svg

Determining if you Chakra is Over-active or Under-active

If your chakra is over-active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net,  “you may be judgemental or critical – and you will easily find fault in others. An overactive solar plexus chakra can turn you into an arrogant, self-centered power grabber. You end up chasing name and fame to the exclusion of everything else. Soon enough the ‘my way or the highway’ lifestyle inevitably results in dysfunctional relationships and high levels of stress.” according to www.do-meditation.com.

“If this chakra is under active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net,  it can cause severe emotional problems. You may have a lot of doubt and mistrust towards the people in your life, and worry too much about what other people might think about you. You may also run on “auto pilot” avoiding your feelings of depression orchakra picture courageous anxiety; you may feel afraid or alone when you start to look at what you have been avoiding. You also may feel that you are not good enough and be seeking a constant approval of others. “A blocked third chakra could lead to low self-esteem, hyper-sensitivity to criticism and attention seeking behavior. The resultant indecisiveness, poor self-confidence and self-image, and fear of rejection can prevent you from accomplishing important tasks and turning dreams into reality. Both over-active and under-active Manipura Chakra can lead to physical problems such as digestive disorders and anxiety.

 

Of all the Chakras, Manipura is the one mostly closely associated with your ego. Your identity including feelings of self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence is often established in your teens.   As an adult, it affects your feelings of personal power and freedom of choice, according to Ambika Wauters, author of the The Book of Chakras.

In teaching a Yoga class on the 3rd chakra, I offer my students the following doTERRA essential oils — Bergamot if they feel like they need to fortify themselves or Wintergreen if they are feeling overly aggressive.   Bergamot is a member of the citrus family and helps one feel more secure and abundant.  Wintergreen has a cooling effect.  Learn more about doTERRA oils by checking out my information page.

Here is a Manipura Chakra Yoga Routine.  Feel free to do at home or join me for one of my public offerings of Yoga.

Childs pose 225 by 241Andrea doing cow 225 by 241Andrea doing cat 225 by 241

Andrea doing balance on the mat

IMG_98013 Downdog      High Lunge Andrea 600 dpi Andrea doing reverse triangle   Andrea doing Boat poseAndrea doing bridge pose

Throughout the practice (shown above and described below)be aware of your strength, which should give you confidence to move through life’s changes. Pictures are in order from left to right and top to bottom. Start in child’s pose Balasana and focus on your breath.  Feel the ground supporting you offering you safety and security.  If you are undergoing a major change in your life or are feeling ungrounded, affirm yourself with a statement such as “I have the strength to weather these changes and I have a right to the life I chose.” Move into cat Marjaiasana cow Bitilasana stretch. Coordinate the next series with your breath.  Then move into Balancing Table Pose dandayamna-bharmanasana. Raise the arm as you inhale and lower as you exhale.  Repeat three times.  One breath in between and then three times on the other side.  Then raise your leg as you inhale and hold it for three complete breaths.  You can add your opposite arm to make the balance and core work more challenging.   Rest in child’s pose (picture 1). Whenever you need to rest your wrists, go back to child’s pose. Move into a cat cow stretch with one leg bending and bringing your knee toward your  nose compressing your abdomen .   Then hold in plank Kumbhakasanafor three to eight counts.   You can modify on your forearms or hands and knees -Dophin Plank.  Move back into a downward dog -Adho mukha śvānāsana , making sure to engage both your inner thighs and your abdomen.  Move in and out of downward dog and plank several times—generating heat and becoming aware of your core strength. Come up to the top of your mat by bringing one left forward and end up in a Forward Fold. Safely come up to  chair pose Utkatasana (7). Be sure to engage your core and fronts of your thighs. There are many ways to both amplify and modify chair pose depending on how much or little you need to stoke the fires of your solar plexus.  If you have a strong sense of yourself, you might not need to push as hard.  If you tend to be afraid to try new thinAndrea meditatinggs, then pushing yourself may allow you through this challenging experience may develop the courage you need. High Lunge with or without a twist Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana . Repeat on both sides. Move into Triangle and/or Reverse Triangle Pose Utthita Trikonasana(shown above). Come down to seated and set up for Boat Pose Navasana  which if done properly put yours puts your spine in a sated V.  Because this pose requires so much core strength,  I am modifying it by holding my legs with my hands. (12) Moving Bridge works the core and strengthens the back from the ground. Be sure to feel the front body engaging and to not squeeze the buttocks. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Make sure to do Constructive Rest. Savasana .

A great way to finish  the Manipura chakra work, is to do a seated meditation using the following seed sound mantra– RAM, RAM, RAM.  Notice how this sound actually causes a vibration in your solar plexus region. Remember, the fire at our navel center is vital to your spiritual growth and fulfillment!

 

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

Yoga, Essential Oils and Healthy Food when you are Vacationing

Andrea in front of the vehicleHow many times have you returned from vacation only to say, “I need a vacation after this vacation!”

Mark and the dogs in Paducah KentuckyIt is a tricky balancing act to have fun and still stay healthy when you are not in your own home, doing your own routine.  This summer, I was determined to figure out how to stay healthy on a 4,000 mile, three-week road trip with my husband and two dogs.

Here are a few tips I picked up and so far they seem to be working (I still have to drive 2,000 miles home).

  1. Bring lots of healthy snacks (carrots, dates, raisins, apples, grapes, celery, nuts)
  2. Bring essential oils (but keep them in a cooler) Heat makes them lose their potency
  3. Every two hours take a stretch or yoga break
  4. Bring a neti pot and rinse out your nose with warmed-up, distilled water and neti wash salts, not table salts.
  5. Stay present so you can notice all the amazing natural and man-made events going on around you (this can also help you avoid an accident)
  6. Sing, laugh and breath (especially if you can’t control what’s going on around you)
  7. Visit the local yoga studios.  Many have drop in rates and its amazing how re-invigorating it is to learn from some one new.

Andrea doing yoga in front of Cracker barrel  Healthy road snacks  Dramatic skies

More Details about Yoga Poses on the Road

I always bring a mat, but if you don’t have one, borrow a towel. Do a simple series of hamstring stretches, twists, child’s pose and sun salutations.  These poses will keep your back, hips and hamstrings limber. At truck stops or in public places, you can do standing poses such as half moon, triangle or the warrior series, which help with fatigue and digestive issues.

Andrea doing crescent moon lunge      Andrea doing side stretch at truck stop  Andrea stretching out  hamstring

 More Details about Using Essential Oils on the Road

Each morning, I take a drop of DigestZen and three to four drops of lemon and put them in my water. Next its oil time for mood enhancing –Balance if I am nervous, Frankincense if my brain is road weary, Peppermint for a pick me up.  My portable medicine cabinet has Breathe for respiratory issues, Deep Blue for muscle aches and On-Guard to protect from illness. I also bring Melalueca and Lavender for skin irritations. I carry a portable diffuser for car odors and use my essential oil diffusing bracelet to easily get the aromatic effects of these great health enhancers.

My supply of essential oils for the road  Another bracelet with peppermint  Hand with diffusing bracelet in car

I can help you with both Essential Oils and the beautiful aromatherapy bracelet to adorn you.

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

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Balancing Your Chakras with Yoga and Essential Oils

Chakras

Chakras are fascinating and the more you learn about them, the more empowered you can become to heal yourself and thrive.

Throat chakraMy two favorite ways of working with chakras are through yoga poses and essential oils. I was first introduced to chakras (pronounced with a hard CH like cheese) during Yoga School in 2014.  I had a vague understanding that chakras (a Hindu word meaning Wheels) were associated with parts of my spine and that each chakra could be represented by a color of the rainbow.  My instructor filled in some of the blanks with an excellent book entitled The Book of Chakras by Ambika Wauters.  In it, I learned how chakras could be thought of as energy centers of your physical, mental and emotional bodies.  I took a chakra self-assessment to figure out which of these energy centers were blocked and need to be balanced.

I was shocked when my imbalance showed up in my throat chakra known a Vishuddha. I laughed.  Me — the person who majored in Communication, spent years as a broadcast journalist, then a lobbyist for environmental causes, then a school teacher.  I was known to my friends as someone who willingly would give them a candid, if not blunt, assessment of any situation.  I also was known as a good listener.  In fact, many friends and students called on me when they needed to vent.  As I re-read the description of the throat chakra , it finally dawned on me that what was blocking this wheel of energy was my belief that I had so much to offer the world and no one was listening.  I was teaching to mostly empty classes at that point in my yoga career.  Today my classes are generally full and I feel much more balanced as far as my throat chakra is concerned.

yoga-eoI continue to help my students learn more about the Chakra System and its role in physical, mental and emotional health.  Using the essential oils as I teach my students yoga seems to enhance their  practice. I only recommend doTERRA because they have no chemical fillers or other additives which can actually be harmful.  In addition, they are carefully harvested in a sustainable way. Here is a quick primer on doTERRA Essential Oils

  • They are pure therapeutic grade of oils extracted in an environmentally sound way from different parts of the plants—leaves, stems, flowers and roots.
  • Each oil has specific chemical properties that can be powerful tools in health if used correctly.
  • Oils can penetrate cells through topical use, aromatic use(smell) or through ingestion.
  • Oils, as opposed to most medicines, don’t have serious side effects and are safe .

In the next series of articles, I will be exploring the Chakras, Yoga and Essential Oils.

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

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6 Ways to Use Essential Oils for your Daily Wellness Routine—They work for me!

Doterra imageWhen I was young I used to be amazed at how long it took my mother-in-law to get ready to leave the house and for that matter, to get ready for bed.  Little did I know then, how important this daily routine was for being healthy as one ages.  Thank you, Joyce Trank.

Joyce Trank for blog on essential oils

I want to share with you part of my daily health routine involving essential oils, not to gloat, but to provide you with some tips that have worked for me that you might want to add that might work for you.

  • Lemon Oil in warm water.

I started using essential oils as part of my daily health regiment a year ago.  I started small.  I bought the Doterra Lemon oil and added it to my room temperature water every morning.  If I skip this simple small routine I know it.  Thank you sensitive stomach!!!

  • Diffusing Lavender and On Guard for room freshening and sleep

I bought a diffuser next and experimented with several different oils to help us sleep at night.  Most of the time, I mix Lavender with a blend called On Guard,  Doterra’s proprietary combination of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils.  Sleeping soundly is so important for my health and happiness. I also use the On Guard Toothpaste and their throat lozenges .

  • Peppermint to cool down and reduce headache symptoms

doterraI use Peppermint on the back of my neck and wrists to abate hot flashes and help reduce headache symptoms. A friend of mine told me she puts Peppermint in her water before playing tennis.  I also use Peppermint, on occasion, to wake my children.   I put some Peppermint on a clean wash cloth and come up to their beds and wave the wash cloth near their noses. They get up immediately and have told me they feel more alert.

  • Breathe for respiratory symptom relief                                                                     

Dealing with respiratory symptoms always includes breathing in the Breathe proprietary blend which includes Lemon, Peppermint Eucalyptus, Thyme, Melissa and Cardamom which clears my airways.  I also rub them on my palms and bottoms of my feet.

  • Diluted Clove Oil for tooth ache

During recent tooth work to repair a crown, I mixed a blend of Clove oil (1-2 drops) and Coconut Oil (10-20 drops) and dabbed into the affected area with a Q Tip. Not only did I feel a lessening of discomfort, but it seemed to help the healing of that area.

  • Deep Blue Proprietary Blend for muscle aches

After teaching 3 yoga classes and playing a physical tennis match,  I reach for my Doterra Deep Blue Blend which has a proprietary mixture of  Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum and Osmanthus .  I immediately get a feeling of relaxation in my muscles allowing me to go on with my busy life and day.

I am discovering new uses for my DoTerra products daily.  I feel good about using these products due to the fact that they are non toxic and extracted from the plants using the strictest controls of manufacturing and distribution.

DoTERRA-Oils-Chart resized

It is becoming well known that  one of the keys to protecting your health in the long run is eliminating toxics from your environment.  Use of essential oils is one small step you can take. If you are interested in learning more about Doterra Oils and its uses, I can help.  The reason I added this job to my long list of jobs is that my scientific and thorough approach is needed by clients out there.  I do not want someone working with me that does not take the time to research carefully a product’s benefits, uses and effects.  Like everything I do, when I commit to something, I pour myself into it.  So you can be sure before I recommend a product for you, I will thoroughly research it and work with you to become educated.  Email me  at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com if you want a copy of an informational PDF on Essential Oils and Working with your Chakras.

 

I wish you health and joy in your day and in 2016!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

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Andrea Trank
Heaven Lane Creations
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Is your Vata out of balance?

Vata (1)

If your Vata is out of balance, you are not alone.  Now maybe you are asking yourself…”What is Vata?  How do I know if mine is out of balance?”

Vata is a dosha– in fact, one of the three main doshas according to Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga.

Sleeping yin pose VataThe other two doshas are Pitta and Kapha.

Doshas are both simple and complicated at the same time.  A dosha can be used to describe your primary disposition (personality, body type, likes and dislikes, what illnesses you are prone to).

I am, for instance, according to many  Dosha tests I have taken, a Vata/Pitta. Vata-like  personality qualities include being creative and outgoing.   Vata body types include  having creaky bones, a sensitive digestion system,  and tendency toward anxiety.

Even if you don’t fit the Vata body type, you could still be experiencing a Vata imbalance if you are over 50 or  if you are experiencing the same season that I am… Fall.  Fall is the start of Vata season.

You see, a dosha can also  be used to describe cycles of life, cycles of the year and cycles of each day.  Fall and Winter are Vata times.  Spring is Kapha time and Summer is the hot Pitta time.

So how do you know  if your Vata is out of balance? For one thing, you feel spacey.  You can’t finish a project, you lose your keys, you are not sleeping well.  Maybe you are anxious, but can’t quite put a finger on what is bothering you.  Your digestive system is off, your body aches and you just don’t feel connected.

More importantly, how do you re-balance your Vata?  You can come to one of my Vata balancing Yoga classes.  I am helping my students re-balance their Vatas in the next few weeks. We will be doing a lot of one side stretch poses  like side plank, revolved triangle and pidgeon and grounding poses such as downward dog and child’s pose.

Nadi Shodana, a breathing practice where you alternate inhaling and exhaling with one nostril shut at a time is also helpful.

doterraA few other practices will help you transition from Summer to Fall.

  1. Switch from eating raw vegetables in salads to cooked vegetables in soups.
  2. Re-establish a regular eating and sleep routine
  3. Spend more time walking in nature.
  4. And maybe consider adding essential oils to  your daily ritual.

I have been doTERRA essential  oils which are said to be grounding and earthy.

Frankisense, cypress and helichrysum can be used both topical and and in your diffuser.  I can also help you with that.  Contact me. 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

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