A scent can bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their work performance instantaneously as smell is intimately linked to the parts of the brain that process emotion and associative learning. The olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system which has access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning. Aromas can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self-confidence, and physical and cognitive performance.
An odor has no personal significance until it becomes connected to something that has meaning. In the initial encounter, we begin forming nerve connections that intertwine the smell with emotions. No other senses have this kind of deep access into our nervous system. Pick a distinctive odor, then pair that aroma with a calming meditative session. After a few sessions, the odor itself will elicit a relaxed state, even when we don’t have time to meditate.
We can use naturally occurring aromatic compounds in essential oils made from plant extracts to help relax, to provide mental clarity, to help cope with emotional conflicts, and to energize physically, emotionally or mentally. By incorporating these scents into our everyday life, we improve the way we feel about and respond to life. Two of my favorite products right now are La Luna Alchemy’s Ritual Oil, an essential oil blend created for each moon sign, and Apothecanna’s Stimulating Body Oil, a spicy citrus scented oil which also contains healing CBD (cannabidiol) to soothe muscles after morning Mysore practice. Connecting body, mind and spirit in harmony with nature in every thought, action and moment of our daily life is the Yoga. Stay bendy yogis, Namaste.