Meditation often goes hand in hand with Yoga, depending on the type you practice. I practice Kundalini, a yoga that combines body and mind through movements and meditation, and I use meditative herbs and essentials oils to aid me.
Only 8% of U.S. adults engage in meditation, but that’s still 18 million people. What they know is that meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and even blood pressure. It can help you deal with pain and the overwhelming nature of our busy lives.
Meditation is easy, but can seem hard to do. It can be difficult to find a place free from distractions, where one can clear the mind and reach a state of calm. The kids are loud, the dog is barking, the cars outside whiz by too often. If you do find quiet, then it is often our own minds that stop us from being at peace.
All the things you need to get done suddenly come rushing in, making this time sitting still seem silly. Random thoughts replace those you’ve pushed to the side. No matter how still you try to make those thoughts, they come to bother you anyway. Take heart, for those thoughts are valuable. Accept them, and peacefully let them go.
But for those that simply cannot let themselves relax, or just need a boost in the calm department, there are herbs and essential oils that can aid in that restful peace of mind you seek.
Teas drunk for calming the mind before bed, or in times of stress, can also help you achieve a peacefulness for meditation. These herbal relaxants include:
- Chamomile soothes the entire nervous system, the stomach, and can even help with muscle spasms.
- Lemon Balm calms the brain, reduces anxiety, and promotes calmness and alertness.
- Catnip can calm anxiety, and promote a calm and relaxed state of mind.
- Valerian helps to manage stress, calms anxiety, and relaxes muscles and the nervous system.
- Passionflower is a mild sedative that increases serotonin levels, and relaxes muscle tension.
Incense has been used for many thousands of years in religious and personal practices alike, to help us attune to the grounding and spiritual energies of meditation.
- Frankincense helps a state of calm by opening the airways and lowering blood pressure, which can decrease anxiety and stress.
- Myrrh accesses the emotional part of our brains, helping us to stay calm and balanced.
- Copal relieves anxiety, stress and depression, and calms the mind.
- Sandalwood relaxes the mind while opening the heart, and promotes feelings of peace.
- Sage balances and cleanses negativity from the body and mind, enhances cognitive function and clarity, calms the nervous system, and stabilizes the mind.
- Nag champa is a combination of scents that includes Sandalwood. It combats stress, and brings the mind to a deep meditative state.
Essential oils work by bringing oxygen to the brain to increase alertness and focus. They can be used in multiple ways:
- Dab it on your forehead
- Diffuse it into the air
- Dab on a tissue and inhale deeply
These meditative oils include:
- Vetiver is calming.
- Patchouli quiets the mind for meditation.
- Cedarwood relaxes without drowsiness.
- Clary sage is a sedative that soothes nervous tension.
- Lavender calms, especially in those who struggle with irritability during meditation.
- Helichrysum reduces anxiety and stress, and strengthens the nervous system.
- Rose lifts vibrations and prepares you for meditation.
- Rosemary can raise vibrations and promote mental clarity.
- Ylang Ylang filters out negative vibrations.
- Frankincense, see above
- Myrrh, see above
- Sandalwood, see above
- Roman Chamomile
So drink and breathe deeply, and allow yourself to get swept away in blissful peace. Even if only for twenty minutes.