Aromatherapy and the Chakras: Grounding through the Root Chakra
The science of aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of scent; it includes the use of essential oils, often referred to as the lifeblood or essence of raw plant materials. Essential oils are used for improving psychological and physical well-being. These pure liquids are extracted from leaves, flowers, roots, buds, twigs, rhizomes, heartwood, bark, resin, seeds, and fruits most often steam distilled into oils.
As with yoga, essential oils have been used for thousands of years to help facilitate balance in the body, mind, and spirit. Essential oils have a direct effect on the nervous system and have been traditionally used to promote health and uplift the spirit, as well as activate the limbic system, where our bodies store emotion and memory. Even a few drops can bring balance to both mind and body. Combining essential oils with yoga and meditation practices can enhance and improve your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional state of being, both on and off the mat.
The chakras are part of an energetic system that connects the subtle and physical bodies. One of the ways in which we can use the science of scent is through the chakras to positively impact our energy and vitality.
The first chakra is also known as the root chakra. It energetically acts like the roots of plants, keeping us grounded and connected to the Earth (earth is also its associated element). This chakra is located at the base of the spine.
According to Dr. Stone’s Dr. Stone’s Polarity Therapy principles, its field of influence includes the sacrum, the bottom of the pelvic bowl, the large intestine, the neck, knees, legs and feet. We can notice the influence of this chakra in our own lives and get a read on our Earth energy by observing our relationship with our environment.
Questions to ask yourself:
Are you feeling at ease in our body?
Are you often feeling fearful, living in survival mode?
Do you feel that we have a good relationship with our financial health?
Do you start projects yet have a hard time bringing them to completion?
How is your overall health?
If you struggle with finding balance in any of these areas, chances may be that your first chakra needs some attention.
The root chakra governs our sense of smell and is associated with the quality of sweetness. Essential oils that specifically support the Earth element are those obtained from the roots of plants such as vetiver and spikenard (also known as jatamansi); those that have a calming and grounding effect like frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood, and Idaho blue spruce; or oils with a sweet scent like patchouli.
To apply the essential oils, sit in a comfortable position, preferably on the floor. Apply a few drops of essential oil to the palm of your left hand, and gently rub your palms together. Bring your oiled palms toward your nose and inhale (avoid touching your eyes). Repeat the process a few times, allowing yourself time to bring calm and center to your inner world. Be careful not to touch your oiled palms to your eyes. Combining mindful movement with essential oils creates an extraordinary opportunity for transformation.
The Polarity Pyramid
The Polarity Pyramid helps improve balance while promoting a feeling of connectedness at the root chakra.
Stand with your feet a few inches wider than shoulder distance apart.
Bend your knees slightly, place your palms on your knees, straighten your arms and slightly hinge forward at the waist.
Inhale and raise your torso slightly, allowing your shoulders to rise up towards your ears.
As you exhale, lower your pelvis towards the floor, lengthening the sides of your torso.
Repeat for a few breaths.
Release your hands and bring your feet close together, and observe your how your body feels.
Rub your oiled palms together, inhale deeply and find stillness.
Twisting Polarity Pyramid
Come into The Polarity Pyramid as previously described. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation, turn your head and upper body to the right, aiming your left shoulder towards your right foot. Stay here for a few breaths. On another exhalation, come back to center. Pause on an inhalation and then on the next exhalation, turn your head and upper body to the left, aiming your right shoulder toward your left foot. Stay here for a few breaths and then return to center. Slowly bring your hands to your sides and bring your feet back together and observe any physical and energetic sensations.
This is an excellent pose for improving balance and concentration, instilling a sense of calm while strengthens your rooted or standing leg. Choose a favorite affirmation or prayer to help you align to the feeling of being safe, sure-footed and grounded.
Repeat the following: “I now release my fears to the Earth and ground myself, surrendering to the pull of gravity. I am aware of this moment in time, this breath flowing in and out. I thank my Creator for all my needs being met. I accept any waves of fear and insecurity that arise and now release them, replacing them with waves of love, abundance, satisfaction, blessings, and gratitude. I enjoy owning my body, which expresses my Self as a Spirit-guided Being. Thank you, Creator!”
Breathe fresh energy through the base of spine, merge with energy of the earth, and feel grounded and relaxed.
Poses modeled by Grace Flowers: graceflowersyoga.com
All clothing by Silly Yogi sillyyogi.com
Photos by David Young-Wolff
Hair and makeup by Tracey Giovanelli
Tracy Griffiths, BCPP, LMT, CAC is the co-owner of the Life Energy Institute and a Board Certified Polarity Practitioner Instructor. She is the creator and author of Aroma Yoga®, a blend of conscious movement, breathing exercises, and chakra meditations combined with therapeutic grade essential oils. Tracy leads the essential oil therapy component of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) program and believes wellness should be easy and accessible to everyone: aromayogaguide.com.