Q & A: I am very new to the land of essential oils. Where is a good place to buy and how do you suggest starting to use them in your practice?

Great question! There is lots to know about the land of essential oils! I got into essential oils about 3 years ago and am pretty blown away with their benefits and uses. 


There are ultimately 3 ways to use essential oils: topically (on your skin/in beauty products), inhaling them/diffusing, and by consuming them internally (ex. using them in recipes/teas as flavouring/benefits). 


Something to be aware of is that there are different “grades”/ levels of essential oils. Some of companies out there will have additives or fillers and others are what is called “therapeutic grade” essential oils that are the purest form. If it’s certified then it’ll say therapeutic grade essential oil. This basically means the distilling process is legit and nothing else is added. 


I chose to go through Young Living essential oils because I had a few bad reactions to Saje and others so I decided to fork out the big bucks (it felt like it at the time haha) and bought their intro essential oils kit which started me on this path of using less toxic alternatives to skin & home cleaning products! So far I’ve been really happy with their products and slowly getting into the “business” side of their company but mostly I just enjoy making my own beauty products & yoga/meditation roll-on blends! 


Now that I’ve been dabbling in them for a few years I definitely use them in my yoga/meditation practice. For my practice, I usually research the plant/essential oil and note what area of the plant is used and what it’s best known for. I use the young living site for this and an app I have called: Ref Guide for Essential Oils. Then I make blends using different oils & a carrier oil (ex. coconut oil or jojoba oil) and then roll it on my hands hands and inhale before and sometimes during my meditation practice. This helps create an atmosphere simulating what feeling I’ve associated this oil to. I also sometime make them specific for affirmations that I’m working on. For example I have one for “I am abundant” made with coconut carrier oil, a few drops of lavender & geranium. It smells so uplifting & feminine that I find it so helpful when I’m working on cultivating a sense of self care and abundance in my life. 


The one thing I’ll definitely recommend if you want to start using them on your skin is to add a carrier oil and dilute the oil, and always patch test before just in case you have a reaction (it’s usually just a few bumps if your skin is not comfortable with it). For example I need to always use a carrier oil with peppermint essential oil when I use it on my temples and behind my neck for headache prevention. 


If you want to start using them, think of a symptom in your life you’d like to improve (ex. sleeping, headaches, to feel grounded) and you can look them up online for best oils to help with them or email me and I can give you a few ideas of which ones to try and how! 


I’ll redirect you Young Living to explore if you’d like (but I’m bias because I really like their products and brand)!


https://www.youngliving.com/en_CA

Comment

Carolina Smith

Hi there, I’m Carolina, the founder of the liaproject.ca, elementary teacher, certified yoga instructor, self care advocate and lover of all things outdoors. When I’m not creating mindfulness lesson plans for my students, I'm usually hiking the rockies, stretching it out at a studio or having soul conversations with a my girlfriends... glass of wine in hand. If you're reading this it's because you and I have a lot in common. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or ideas of real self care! 

Q & A: During the day I find my thoughts harder to accept and just observe. Any advice?

I can totally relate to this! Even one thought can cause a massive “tornado” of thoughts that can take over, usually unexpectedly of course! 

Accepting these moments can be challenging so I have 2 suggestions:

#1) when that thought along with the emotion starts to tornado in, see if there is an affirmation that you can bring into your mind right away - either a single word or phrase. I remember in my first year of teaching, when I never had enough time to do things and I’d become so overwhelmed with all the “newness” of my job, I started to say the opposite of what I was felling, instead of “I never have enough time to get what I need done finished” -> I’d ay to myself (even if I didn’t actually believe it at the moment) “I have enough time for everything that I need to get done.”

This concept of “pretending” to feel the opposite of what was going through my head started to seep into my mind and change my mindset towards believe this style of affirmation and it really helped lift a load. 

#2) using something physical to ground can really help. For example, if you know in your car is when you have many of those thoughts, have an essential oil or a lip balm or something you can use as a small sense shift and associating it with a sense of “acceptance” and knowing that others are going through these moments in different places at the same time. Another idea is a bracelet to just play with the piece the beads on my bracelet if I’m feeling overwhelmed to remind myself I’m human. All the little tricks count! 

During week 3 we’re going to look at how we can sit with the sense of empowerment of our thoughts are learn that we are co-creating with them and we are “not actually” our thoughts and they evolve. 

I’d suggest doing your best with your mediation practice, making it as enjoyable as possible and know by just showing up for our sessions and being open to self-awareness you’re on the path of self care!

Other ideas? Comment below!

Comment

Carolina Smith

Hi there, I’m Carolina, the founder of the liaproject.ca, elementary teacher, certified yoga instructor, self care advocate and lover of all things outdoors. When I’m not creating mindfulness lesson plans for my students, I'm usually hiking the rockies, stretching it out at a studio or having soul conversations with a my girlfriends... glass of wine in hand. If you're reading this it's because you and I have a lot in common. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or ideas of real self care! 

Q & A: I have lots of thoughts still cycling through my head when meditating. Is it best to just accept they are there and try to refocus on your breath?

Every time you noticed your thoughts have taken over your conscious just notice and remind your self what you’re focusing one. You can use a gentle guiding comment to yourself like "This is a thought passing through, now back to the breath”. Making it a disciplined practice to refocus each time to the breath or your word. This is definitely something we’re going to be talking about more of this Wednesday! And yes, you will start to develop longer periods of time that you can focus on your breath before the thoughts start to take over. With the topic of acceptance, it’s simply accepting 2 things:

1) accepting what the actual thought is and if it is bring up emotions

2) accepting that you got caught up in the thought and not judging ourselves for letting that happen.  

Other ideas? Comment below!

Comment

Carolina Smith

Hi there, I’m Carolina, the founder of the liaproject.ca, elementary teacher, certified yoga instructor, self care advocate and lover of all things outdoors. When I’m not creating mindfulness lesson plans for my students, I'm usually hiking the rockies, stretching it out at a studio or having soul conversations with a my girlfriends... glass of wine in hand. If you're reading this it's because you and I have a lot in common. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or ideas of real self care! 

Q & A: What do you suggest for a timer?

So for a timer, I use the timer on the calm app and then set my “do not disturb” & airplane mode button so nothing will interrupt me but I TOTALLY understand if having the phone around is not ideal for you. I’d suggest in that case to set another timer in another room so it’s a distant sound going off. Once you start to get comfortable with meditating for a similar time every time you’ll know when 10 mins pass and start to come out of your meditation by habit. I know this has been the case for me when I was practicing for an hour a day (a few years back) and now I have this “inner” feeling when 10 mins has gone by because that is my routined time I practice. - Carolina

Other ideas? Comment below!

Comment

Carolina Smith

Hi there, I’m Carolina, the founder of the liaproject.ca, elementary teacher, certified yoga instructor, self care advocate and lover of all things outdoors. When I’m not creating mindfulness lesson plans for my students, I'm usually hiking the rockies, stretching it out at a studio or having soul conversations with a my girlfriends... glass of wine in hand. If you're reading this it's because you and I have a lot in common. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or ideas of real self care! 

Q & A: How should I go about readjusting my posture if needed and still maintaining that meditative state?

For the posture adjustment during meditation at this stage is simply noticing if the sensation arrises that you need to physically shift your body or itch, just take a breath to give yourself a moment to notice that you physical need that adjustment of if your mind is just using it as a distraction to “get out of meditation”. Take this as intuitively as you want. Overall, especially if you’re meditation for over 10 mins, your body can start to develop some “bad” posture habits that can strain the neck, spine, etc. so it’s best to set yourself up at the beginning of your practice and then use best judgement if you need to shift. It will also start to get easy to get back into the meditative state fast the more we practice.  - Carolina

Other ideas? Comment below!


Comment

Carolina Smith

Hi there, I’m Carolina, the founder of the liaproject.ca, elementary teacher, certified yoga instructor, self care advocate and lover of all things outdoors. When I’m not creating mindfulness lesson plans for my students, I'm usually hiking the rockies, stretching it out at a studio or having soul conversations with a my girlfriends... glass of wine in hand. If you're reading this it's because you and I have a lot in common. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or ideas of real self care!