By Ruth Hartung- Founder of 7 Centers Yoga Arts
In summertime, cooling oils can be especially helpful to calm the pitta creating a sense of tranquility and peace in the midst of the dynamism and brilliance of the sun energy.
Rose – the “Queen” of oils, it is one of the best essential oils for skin moisturizing and cleaning the skin’s pores. Massaging with it regularly reduces wrinkles and fine lines important to any beauty.
Lavender – A sedative fragrance, lavender is said to improve work productivity. Note: Use sparingly during work, as this is also good oil to use before yoga nidra – psychic sleep.
Peppermint – It has a fresh, cooling and penetrating effect that dispels fatigue and encourages mental clarity in spite of an overwhelming desire to take a siesta. Place a drop and inhale for quick results. If sensitive put in a carrier oil and do not touch eyes.
Jatamansi – Also known as spikenard, jatamansi (from the valerian family) is known as a nervine. It is better than catnip, provoking a state akin to uninhibited drunkenness in felines. Best rubbed on the crown and along the spine, the effect is enhanced by rolling on one’s back or doing bundle rolls.
Ylang Ylang – ” the flower of flowers” is a relaxing aphrodisiac, rubbed on the temples it enhances a nap in the sunlight, the sensuality of taking a dust bath in the dirt, or the excitement of being chased up a tree by your beloved.
And finally for one of the most important and challenging of spiritual practices…Meditation.
Frankincense – Not only a valuable medicinal resin, Frankincense has been used for centuries to purify the atmosphere of pathogens, as well as negative entities. Frankincense can be steam distilled in the oil form or the resin can be placed on charcoal and burned like sage. You can use this sacred scent to enhance meditation and heighten the exploration of observing sensations to develop inner tranquility and equanimity by becoming the Witness.
Ruth Hartung (Director, Course Leader) began her journey into yoga in 1991 with the study and teaching of Kundalini yoga in Los Angeles. Alongside the growing of 7 Centers and the teaching of yoga as spiritual lifestyle, Ruth has a love for ongoing study that has included folk medicine and practical herbalism. More recently in 2008, Ruth became involved in the local food, agriculture and sustainability movement as an extension of the social consciousness movement that yoga is all about. Joining the local Crescent Moon Community garden and creating a Medicine Herb Garden at the center, led to the founding of the Spring Planting Festival, now an annual event in Sedona and her two year work with Gardens for Humanity as Vice-President. Integrating the growing of food & herbs as part of the yoga teacher trainings, she feels that yoga has an important role to play not just for the individual’ s health and well being but also for our local and global communities.