Yogis throughout the ages have practiced pranayama, the art of breathing well. Prana means “breath,” “vitality,” or “energy,”; ayama means “to stretch.” Pranayama extends and regulates the energy flow throughout the body. As regular users of essential oils, we probably all know the importance of being able to breathe unencumbered, deeply, and fully. As we inhale essential oils, the tiny molecules of the oils enter through our nasal passages, into our lungs, and then into our bloodstream, helping increase the uptake of oxygen, among the many benefits the oils provide. When we practice special breathing techniques such a pranayama combined with using essential oils, we have the ability to clear our minds, calm our nervous systems, and restore balance in our emotions in a very profound way. Try this simple pranayama technique with frankincense, which is known as the “holy anointing oil.”
Frankincense can help ground us into a physical experience on the earth plane while also helping lift our consciousness to higher states of being.
Three-Part Yoga Breathing Technique: Get your bottle of your frankincense essential oil and lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent. Place a drop of frankincense into your left palm and gently rub your hands together clockwise to spread the oil evenly onto your palms.
Step 1: Bring your oiled palms up to your nose and inhale deeply; first concentrate on lifting your navel and lower abdomen for ten breaths. After the first three or five inhalations, you may rest your hands on your lower abdomen to focus on sending the air to your lower abdomen. Exhale completely before the next inhalation.
Step 2: Apply another drop of frankincense to your palms, rub your hands together as described above, and bring your palms to your nose and begin another round of ten breaths; this time focus your breath into your middle abdomen and mid rib cage area. Rest your hands on your rib cage to help you focus your breath there. At the end of the tenth breath, fully exhale all the air out from your lungs and feel your navel draw up toward your spine.
Step 3: Reapply the frankincense to your palms and inhale for another round of ten breaths, this time focusing on filling your upper chest and upper lungs. Place your hands on your collar bones to help you focus your breath in the upper region of your lungs. Now put all the steps together for the three-part yoga breath so you breathe evenly into all three sections of the torso: lower abdominal area, middle rib cage, and collar bones. Feel free to apply more essential oil to your palms and inhale if needed. Try to keep each inhalation and exhalation equal in length. Follow the breath and the scent of the frankincense, imagining the oil and the air washing through you. Your steady breath and the frankincense oil will help calm your mind and bring harmony to your whole body.