If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, then you’ve probably heard the teacher reference a chakra during a certain pose, such as: reaching your crown chakra towards the sky during standing tree or opening up your heart chakra during camel.
Yoga props and accessories enhance your practice by improving flexibility and alignment. No matter your skill level, these little additions can make a world of difference and help you find your edge.
Feeling stressed? Take a bath.
Need to unwind? Take a bath.
Clear your mind? Take a bath.
Got sore muscles? Take a bath.
Light incense – or make a drink. Or do both. Take a breath, grab a journal, and just start writing. There is something raw about writing down your thoughts in a physical journal as opposed to a blog. Ideas spill on to paper and there isn’t an easy way to punch a key to delete them. What you write is real, it’s tangible, and you can even see the emotion in the manuscript depending on the mood. If you’re angry, you may notice the pages curl from furiously pressing your pen down. If you’re excited, maybe your words appear rushed because you can’t contain what you’re feeling. So why should you start this simple act? The benefits are huge. Let’s look at how:
1. Helps Achieve Goals
Writing down thoughts and ideas forces you to visualize what you want from your future self. It provides a timeline you can measure and track day by day. Reviewing your progress is as simple as flipping through the pages and seeing your goals transform into reality. It holds you accountable and reminds you that yes, there will be days you fall but there will also be days you succeed. You learn to take the good with the bad and that it’s just a part of the process.
2. Improves Relationships
Have you ever said something to a friend, family member, or significant other you deeply regret? Word vomit is real and a journal is the trash bag we so desperately need. Instead of instantly reacting when something happens, take time to write it ALL out on paper. Write out what happened and how it makes you feel. Even write out what you hate about the person or situation. It may sound harsh, but it allows you to express yourself in private, gather your thoughts, and come up with something constructive to say so feelings aren’t hurt and resolutions are achieved.
3. It’s a Stress Reliever
According to the Journal of Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, spending 15-20 min. a couple of times a week can greatly reduce stress and emotional events. It allows you to focus on what you’re thinking and helps you recount the event so it becomes more clear, more like a narrative – and less of a cloud of emotion.
4. Encourages Gratitude
Due to our 24-hour news cycle and fast-paced lifestyle, we hardly take time to reflect. There’s a lot going on in the world and we constantly have negative things being thrown at us from every direction. Taking time to write out just a few simple things we are thankful for can make us feel warm and fuzzy instead of bogged down and helpless. It really is the little things in life that keep us going.
5. Removes Judgment
We are always connected. Whether it’s through social media or an article online, our society is constantly spitting out information, waiting to be chewed up by a human behind a screen. A journal is a space where you can completely let go and be yourself. You don’t have to worry about someone judging you for an opinion or mocking you for a belief. It’s a way to build up your confidence and self-esteem from within, instead of through a list of “friends”.
You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you. – Dodinsky
Have you seen benefits from journaling and writing down your thoughts? What do you like to write about?
The art of smudging is an ancient cleansing ritual practiced by Native Americans to remove negative energy from a space. The practice is simple but requires mindful intention with each step. Ideally you should smudge your home on a regular basis, just like you would dust or clean it. But if you’re new to smudging then a good time to cleanse is when you move into a new place. This time of year is filled with students transitioning into new homes and gearing up for another year. We don’t want the negativity of the previous owners affecting your studies or relationships so cleansing is important. Also, if you have had an argument with a significant other or friend, then we reccomend smudging the area the fight took place. Purifying your space will not only rid the area of bad energy, but also energize your spirit and mind.
Before we begin, make sure you have a sage bundle, matches and abalone shell. Open up windows and doors so the negative energy can leave (and so you don’t inhale the smoke).
Take a deep breath, think positively and begin by lighting the dried sage. This can be dangerous so make sure you aren’t near anything that can catch fire. Carefully waft the flame to distinguish it. The smoke should continue and now you are ready to begin.
Windows and doors are especially important and require attention. Focus on these areas to cleanse the entrances to your home and to force negative energy out of your space.
Palo Santo incense sticks originated in Peru and began with the Incan Empire. The scent is very uplifiting and will definitely energize your mind after it is lit. Simply light a stick for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and waft or blow it out. Take it around a room to disperse the positve energy throughout your space and cleanse the area.
There’s just something about candles and their ability to change our mood we can’t get enough of. The smells can be relaxing or invigorating and the flicker of the light is mesmerizing. You can ignite just one or create an alter with various sizes and styles. We decided to try our hand at creating our own essential oil candles. The combinations are endless and we reccomend experimenting until you find a scent combination you love
What you’ll need:
-A clean candle container, use one from a burnt out candle for an upcycled option. We chose one with a hand painted design.
-1 lb of soy wax flakes
-Chopsticks, or a pencil works too
-Essential Oils: We’re using Lavender, Orange, Lemongrass, Patchouli and Grapefruit
Step 1: Place the metal part of the wick at the bottom of the container. Carefully and tightly wrap the wick around the chopstick so it rests on the side of the container but still touches the bottom of it. Now that you know the right size, remove the chopstick and wick.
Step 2: Fill the container to the top with soy wax flakes. It can be hard to judge exactly how much of the flakes you need, so keep the rest nearby.
Step 3: Put the container and the flakes in the microwave and heat them up for approximately :30 seconds. Take out the container – don’t forget to use the mitt! – and mix up the flakes with the chopstick. Check to see how much has melted. If they barely melted, stick it back in the microwave for another :30. If they started to melt, simply add in more flakes and repeat the process until the wax is melted and approximately an inch away from the top.
Step 4: Place the container on a heat safe surface to let it cool. Continue to periodically stir it so it doesn’t solidify. Once it is cooler but not solid, Add the drops to the candle and mix them in with the other chopstick
How many drops should you use?
This question is tricky and depends on the type of oil you’re using as well as how potent you’d like your candle. The recipe is generally 1/4 oz of essential oil per 1 lb of soy wax. This is approximately 150 drops per 1 lb of candle wax!!
We used a 9 oz candle jar so we used approximately 80 drops total.
Step 5: Slowly and carefully add the wick back into the candle and let the chopstick rest on the edge. Do not place the candle in the fridge. Let it rest for at least 48 hours.
We are excited to announce our new line of 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils! Unlike other oils, these can be used topically or in an aroma diffuser. They are highly concentrated liquids extracted from leaves, flowers, stems, bark or other aromatic plant elements.
Why use them?
Essential oils are known to have physiological and psychological effects on the human body. The aromatic scents can have a positive affect on our moods and feelings. Many use essential oils to assist in their meditation and prayer to create a deeper connection. Some oils have a cleansing action, which is useful in clearing toxins in the skin and balancing sebum.
Oils are packaged as individual scents or blends of scents, called “Synergistic Blends”. These blends are created to enhance everyday life and invoke a positive mood. You are welcome to experiment and create your own unique blend or try out pre-blended options, such as “Anxiety Release” or “Sleepy Time”.
The aroma or scents of a specific essential oil are often categorized in levels of “notes”: Top Notes, Middle Notes, and Base Notes. Levels are determined by how fast the oil evaporates. Top notes evaporate the fastest.
- Top Notes are fast acting and therefore release an immediate aroma but it dissipates quickly. They are made from flowers, leaves, and flower herbs, which create an uplifting, stimulating and energizing feeling. Recommended for acute conditions.
- Middle Notes are warmer and softer scents, made from spices and herbs, which creates balance within major systems of the body. It is usually the primary body of an aroma blend.
- Based Notes are solid, intense, deep-bodied aromas with the longest evaporation time. It can slow down evaporation of other oils and is the last to be smelled in a blend.
How are they made?
Plants, such as lavender, are harvested in a natural and pesticide free habitat. Experts then distill the plants through a steaming process. The plant material is added to a container where it is steamed, releasing the aromatic molecules. The vapor is then condensed from a gaseous to a liquid form. The oil is separated from the water, creating a super concentrated, aromatic, essential oil.
Obsessed yet? Get shopping.
There are a variety of uses for essential oils and they can be tailored to fit your needs. Use them in a diffuser to enjoy the aroma or on your body to create a deeper connection. Since essential oils are extremely concentrated, a buffer or carrier oil is recommended to dispense the scent and positive properties.
- Many people create their own lotion blends by using an unscented, moisturizing lotion and adding 3-6 drops of essential oils per ounce of cream.
- Carrier oils such as Jojoba oil, Sesame oil, and Sweet Almond oil are also popular options. These carrier oils are beneficial in controlling acne, and nourishing and relieving itching skin. Generally 5–10 drops per ounce of carrier oil is recommended to create balms or massage oils.
- Essential oils can be simply added to a bath or bath salts to enhance your relaxation and help you wind down. All it takes is 3 – 15 drops in the tub or 15-30 drops per 16 ounces of bath salts.
- Create your own room spray by adding 20 drops per 4 fl oz of water (shake well)
Obsessed yet? Get shopping.