Last month, wellness experts and thought leaders gathered to attend mbg’s fifth annual revitalize for a weekend of forward-thinking talks, movement, and conversation on the biggest issues we’re facing today and how wellness can play a part in the solutions. Below, we caught up with Miki Ash, who led a guided mindfulness meditation during the weekend with our partner Garden of Life.
For anyone who’s given meditation a try and called it quits after the first or second go, we get it. Our brains can focus, they can wander, but ask them to switch off while we sit in silence for a minute or longer, and they’ll probably put up a fight.
Simply put, the practice of meditation takes just that—practice. Studies have shown that sticking with it brings major benefits: Meditating regularly can help lower blood pressure and slow the effects of normal aging on the brain, as well as help reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. So reaching a state of mindfulness is less about a destination and more about an approach.
All that sounds great, but what if sitting still has the opposite effect, making you feel anxious, distracted, or bored? There are ways to make meditating easier, like apps with guided meditations, for instance. Sans a subscription service and the aid of technology, essentials oils are an effective way to help calm your mind and refocus your energy for a totally next-level meditation experience.
Essential oils are aromatic extracts from parts of flowers, fruits, and plants that have powerful therapeutic properties when we smell them, thanks to our olfactory system’s direct link to the emotional part of our brain. A single drop rubbed on your skin or diffused into the air is enough to promote calm, boost mood, or relieve stress, making them a great addition to any self-care ritual.
3 essential oils that make meditating easier.
At revitalize 2018, LA yogi Miki Ash used three essential oils from Garden of Life—one of the only brands that offers oils that are 100 percent pure, Certified USDA Organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified—to facilitate a relaxing, sensory meditation. "Essential oils tie in the physicality with the energetic experience," she says.
- Lavender: Ash diffused this floral scent at the beginning of the meditation to help get everyone into a relaxed state. The gentle but powerful scent has soothing properties that promote a sense of calm.
- Lemon: For the mindfulness portion of the meditation, this fresh citrusy scent helps promote clarity and focus. "It’s great for memory recall," says Ash. "Some people feel like they tune out or fall asleep while meditating, so the scent keeps you present."
- Peppermint: At the end of the meditation, everyone took a whiff of this invigorating scent to re-energize them and help them refocus for the rest of the day. Peppermint can give you a cooling, refreshed feeling that helps awaken your body and mind after meditating.
To use essential oils in your own meditation practice, Ash has a few tips—no diffuser needed: "I like to put a couple of drops in my palms, rub my hands together, and take a deep breath in," she says. "I also love putting lavender on my temples or peppermint on the back of my neck for a little wake-up."
No matter what your commitment level is like, try adding an essential oil to your practice to see how it can help enhance your experience. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself coming back for seconds.
Head to Garden of Life to see the full line of 100 percent organic and pure essential oils and learn more about their benefits.