By Colleen Keegan Woodyear, RYT
In general, Sunflower is a great essence to start with since yoga teaches us to overcome over-identification with the ego and look at things in their beingness, free from evaluation. All too often, we get caught in what I call the ego rollercoaster. Feeling overly proud and superior, self-important or self-righteous, is the ride up. This is usually triggered by some external circumstance that one identifies with. And then, inevitably, this is followed by self-judgements of personal deficit and insecurity, taking us right back screaming downhill. The two go together like two sides of a coin. If someone appears vain and conceited, usually that is a mask for deep insecurity. On the other hand, a person who is insecure may also be harboring untold feelings of superiority. The average teenager is a great example of this dynamic because that is an age of experimentation with self-definition and self esteem development.
Sunflower essence gives us a higher and broader appreciation of reality without qualifying others or ourselves as either good or bad. This new outlook brings us out of judgement to a spiritual understanding of our personal role in the greater web of existence. During yoga practice, Sunflower frees our energies to focus on a deeper level much sooner. The new frame of reference will translate into everyday life and relationships.
Dandelion is ideal for those who carry much muscle tension and who do yoga to relax. It will help you to really let go. Take a few drops right before your class or practice and see what happens. California Poppy enhances flexibility, and is great for any Yoga style, as well as for teachers. One is able to access muscle memory where old trauma is lodged, emotional cleansing is expedited, and then flexibility occurs. In the yoga community, we call this "the issues in the tissues". Eucalyptus would be a wonderful choice for those who wish to derive more of the benefits from the breathwork of yoga, or who have difficulty with breathing in their practice.
If you have concerns about your spinal alignment, take Comfrey and Grapefruit before any style of Hatha yoga class, and you will stimulate the self-chiropractic benefits. Immediate but also cumulative in effect, don't be surprised if you actually hear little pops. With long-standing spinal issues you may need Chestnut Bud to recognize the pattern that keeps a given misalignment in place. People who are overly nervous or anxious and prone to high stress also experience a notable calm, integrated sense of self after doing yoga and taking Comfrey. Chamomile may be indicated here as well, with added benefits to emotionally-related digestive problems.
The energy centers or chakras are specific portals of energy in and out of the body, connecting our spiritual energy to our physical body. There are seven main chakras along the spine and in the skull corresponding to the major organs and glands. Lotus helps to align all the chakras, and opens the higher energy centers. The kundalini is a potential, creative force that lives within each of us at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga activates this energy and integrates it. In practice, the kundalini energy travels along the spine and energizes each chakra. Often called the technology of awareness, Kundalini yoga is the oldest and most powerful form of yoga for self-actualization that there is. Lotus and Pimpernel are super remedies for the Kundalini yoga teacher and student. These flower remedies assist in energizing, opening, cleansing and aligning the chakras during a given practice. Pimpernel encourages the flow of energy to and through the chakras in an organized manner.
There has been much fear propaganda around the awakening of the kundalini energy. It can be scary to experience sudden, unexpected kundalini rising or expanded states of awareness. But Kundalini yoga is a safe, systematic release of this vast, transformative and creative human energy. Pimpernel will amplify the safeguards for an even smoother integration of this powerful yoga. This remedy may be especially necessary for overly sensitive individuals. The effects can be recognized as a sense of well being, humanitarian love, genuine self-confidence, cosmic consciousness, and an expanded awareness of self and environment. Fear is eased, and relationships usually improve due to the fact that you connect to your highest self: and in doing so, you are not looking for someone else to fulfill you, but have more of yourself to share with others.
As a practitioner, I would recommend an essence for grounding, such as Corn, Nasturtium, Mountain Pride, Ladyslipper, or the element elixir Neon, in addition to whatever else they are taking, so that they may fully integrate the yogic work. A grounding remedy is especially necessary with taking essences for yoga, because so much emphasis is often placed on opening the higher chakras such as the heart, throat, third eye, and crown. This is particularly the case in Kundalini yoga. We need to establish a strong root base or foundation to stay in balance, because many times people have partially closed lower energy centers -- the root, sexual, or solar plexus -- if the higher centers aren't fully open. If higher chakras open without lower chakra development, you could leave yourself open for manipulation, feel overwhelmed, be unable to function in practical matters, and feel pulled in many directions, or other difficulties could develop.
Having unbalanced energy centers is very common these days, because most of us are still in our life process and have experienced hurts in relationships, wounding that is emotional; even physical injuries and abuse leave a lasting energy pattern on the chakra system. Such wounding can result in partial or, in some cases, full closure of these energy systems.
Certain individuals may already have the higher centers open without appropriate lower chakra development. This is the classic "space case," or an individual who is scattered. Most of western society has functioning lower chakras with upper chakras needing work. Most of us are in the process of becoming, evolving. As with any form of holistic healing, we may re-experience some hurt in order to truly heal and move past it genuinely. It is a natural part of the process; we feel, we deal, and then we heal.
I strongly recommend the use of remedies to enhance the desired results of your yoga practice -- but I also recommend doing yoga to increase the benefits of taking remedies. Yoga, among many things, strengthens the nervous system, opens the meridians, and expands and balances the electromagnetic forces around the body. This is precisely the delivery system where your flower remedies apply themselves, right along the subtle channels of energy. This practically guarantees absorption and thorough application of the remedies, with the accompanying desired change.
After taking remedies regularly right before her yoga class, a yoga student said her practice went "through the roof", meaning that she was able to get so much more from the experience with essences than without. Each student may have specific needs, and so other remedies may be necessary to complete treatment. Flower essences in combination with regular yoga practice can expedite healing and expand one's ability to radiate a sense of elevated ease. These two systems profoundly complement each other so well that I may often recommend a particular yogic tool (i.e. an exercise series and/or meditation) to go with a given essence treatment for a specific result. Results are usually quicker than with either form alone. If you get stressed out and you already take essences, you have just got to try some form of yoga.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colleen Keegan Woodyear, RYT, resides on property in magical, rural Wimberley, Texas, and has been working with Flower essences and Gem elixirs for over 10 years now. This is a culmination of a lifelong study in healing, Spirituality, and multidimensional living. Specializing in personal, custom, internal tinctures and fragrant atomizer blends, addressing the various needs of her clients, Colleen selects only the remedies that makes the individual stronger, using muscle testing or dowsing. She believes in the innate ability that we all possess to heal and genuinely transform ourselves. In addition to working with the Essences, Colleen has been teaching Hatha and Kundalini yoga full time for 8 years. She has been teaching for 6 years now at YogaYoga studios in Austin, TX. You can reach her at (512) 576-0842 or by email.
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