Yoga helps. It’s that simple really and yet so biologically complex too.
The process of flowing through movements, the concentration and focus on breathing, being connected and present; has been proven to have a profound effect on our mindset, physical health and ripples out into your wider wellbeing. It helps with positive lifestyle habits, curb negative eating and support healthier sleep.
With Yoga Day on the 21st June, it is the perfect time to unite this mindful world of wellbeing with the complementary support of Olverum for an integrated ritual of restoration.
A blend of physical, mental, spiritual engagement, Yoga is an ancient form of meditative strengthening that has evolved techniques and pace to adapt to modern. In essence, Yoga aligns the mind and body, concentrating on breathwork to aid strength, clarity and positivity.
Science is increasingly intrigued with the ability of meditation to trigger neurotransmitters that modulate psychological disorders such as anxiety and stress. Mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, insomnia are all prime motivational reasons for people to seek out complementary therapies.
The outward benefits of this ancient practice are a fraction of the full story.
Meditation works in harmony with breathwork to influence the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). Responsible for regulating vital biological responses such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, digestion, arousal. We don’t think about it, it is automatic, involuntary; which is why, in our stressed out world, many of us exist in a heightened state, stressed becomes our default setting.
The ANS regulates our fight or flight response. When in a sympathetic state, there is an increased hormone responses of cortisol (stress) along with a cascade of symptoms that indicate a body stuck in a negative cycle of protection. One of the most effective ways out of this cycle is breathwork, proven to help trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, our rest and digest state. This we can control, we can relearn how to be efficient and achieve a tranquility in our breathing.
Correct breathing is something we unlearn as we mature which means in turn, that we can relearn techniques, engage in mindful activity, meditation and exercise that will help switch our Autonomic Nervous System into its reparative state to aid wellbeing.
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter, a messenger between nerve cells and the brain that can helps achieve a calming effect on heightened anxiety and stress reactivity when it bonds with its partner receptors. Studies show that Yoga can help increase brain GABA due to the focus on breathing that supports the parasympathetic nervous system to override a fight or flight, anxiety state.
So understanding the scientific foundation of the benefits of meditation and Yoga for our more balanced mindset…how does the iconic Olverum Bath Oil connect with Yoga practice?
Olverum and Yoga.
While you would be forgiven for thinking we are going to laud the benefits of a deeply restorative soak following your time on the mat and it is undoubted that there is a natural synergy to the restorative power of fragrance warm waters of a deep bath; it is actually more about the power of the unique essential oil blend to support your breathwork and movement through Yoga, the scientific connection is why it is so powerful.
There are different ways to breathe in Yoga and “rules” of when to inhale or exhale with movement to concentrate the mind and soothe the ANS.
With Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) or ‘breath of victory’ (from ancient Sanskrit), it requires you breathe deeply in and out of the nose with your lips sealed. But the difference to this technique is the emphasis is in your throat. You can feel the breath stroke the back of your throat as you inhale and exhale, creating an oceanic sound, indeed, it is sometimes called ‘ocean breath’.
This breathing technique heats the body and relaxes the mind to enable greater focus, flexibility and flow.
Here’s where the powerful, bright, clear and decongesting blend of our bath oil comes in.
We can all agree, that it is hard to quiet a noisy mindset…the mental chatter, the intrusion of the world all works against our attempts to restore balance, concentrate our breathing to still ourselves. Our olfactory system, the core of scent recognition and response; is located within the Limbic System, as we inhale aromas they bypass conscious thought. Instead, these aromas reach to our emotional responses, our memories and trigger the state of energy required to engage more fully and maintain the association to re-enter a meditative state.
Our Bath Oil works perfectly with Ujjayi breath techniques with different Yoga disciplines from quieting the energy for Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha and Dynamic Yoga to helping focus on breathing mindfully through the intensity of Power Yoga.
Here are some simple application techniques to try when you meet with the mat.
- Open the bottle.
- Place the bottle upright and put the lip of the bottle on the back of your wrist to seal.
- Then turn the bottle upside down.
- Do the same for the back of the elbow, near the inner biceps.
- Then apply the side of the neck via wrists. These three points are pulse points so that the healing properties are absorbed into the bloodstream. Also when the body is heated, the nose will catch the olfactory compound of Bath Oil on the neck. In this way, hands and fingers are not covered by oil, we can safely enjoy the practice.
- Then rinse off the skin after the practice.
- Rinse the oil from your skin following your ritual.
- Do not use the oil for aerial Yoga.
- Use more sparingly for Bikram Yoga.
- Always clean the mat.