Since opening The Swan we have always enjoyed infusing our environment with scents we love. We loosely knew about aromatherapy applications of the essential oils that we use in our mister, but were often honestly swayed by what we liked and product descriptions. Then we hosted an Essential Oils 101 class with Brooklyn Essentials and dug a whole lot deeper! This class brought oils into our homes and onto the bottoms of our feet, had us think seriously about quality, and make different choices on what we used to diffuse, ingest and clean with (in the studio and out)! Now we are so lucky to have a two part #SwanQ&A with our teachers from that event, the very passionate Anna Street and Becca Serra.
What are a few connections you see between Pilates (or healthy movement) and essential oils?
Anna: They are a match made in holistic lifestyle heaven! Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are a perfect compliment to Pilates or any healthy movement. A few connections I see right away are:
- Alignment of the mind and body. The oils directly affect our emotional being, which facilitates the physical state of calm, relaxed, balanced, present, and focused.
- Deep breathing. Breath is a foundation of the pilates experience, and using essential oils aromatically can be a powerful aid in keeping the airways open to breathe deeply as you move.
- Muscular support. Essential oils can be used topically to release tension and reduce inflammation, which relieves discomfort.
CPTG Essential oils can be used internally by helping to cleanse and detox the system, helping the body function.
What are the top three ways using Essential Oils in daily life has changed your life?
Anna: 1. We are well on the journey to being 100% toxic-free in terms of medicine, cleaning and personal products in our home. It has been a learning process and has been implemented slowly over the past year, but we are moving forward and not looking back! I feel so good about this!
2. My 5 year-old daughter has only been to her pediatrician once in the last year and a half, and hasn’t had to take a prescribed antibiotic in 2 years. It’s not that we are against modern medicine or doctors AT ALL, but since learning about and using essential oils as the first line of defense in our home, her little body is being supported naturally and effectively, without harmful side effects. It is able to heal itself as our bodies were intended. This one makes me emotional just typing! I think of how many times I was on antibiotics as a child because that was the only option talked about. My daughter is being raised with the awareness that she can be in control of her own health and know her body well enough to know exactly what is going on and how to take care of common health issues at home. Win.
3. As a working mom since my daughter was six weeks old, I know stress and anxiety well. I would say that the essential oils have changed my approach to self-care. I have go-to oils for everyday that help me tremendously in coping with emotional and hormonal issues that have in the past been very difficult to manage. Game changer. I LOVE ESSENTIAL OILS.
Becca: There are tons of connections between Pilates or any movement and oils. From promoting good breathing (Breathe, Eucalyptus, DiGest Zen) to promoting an uplifting mood and energy boost (Wild Orange, Balance, Elevation) and even post-workout for sore muscle relief (Frankincense, Peppermint, Deep Blue). Oils are an essential part of my every day and my workouts and I hope more people will jump on board to a healthy, all-natural way of boosting their workouts.
Becca: 1. I used to get sinus infections multiple times a year and they would never fully go away until summer. I started using Digest Zen topically on my sinuses and I haven't gotten a sinus infection since!
2. I have been someone who has suffered from Seasonal Affected Disorder and in the city it is primarily taxing. Using Balance and Wild Orange to create an uplifting mood has been a lifesaver and I actually got through this winter without a mental break down.
3. I have a herniated disc in my L4/L5 vertebrae. While pilates has been the main source of help for this issue, using Frankincense, Peppermint and Deep Blue on my back when the nerve pain flares up has been completely life changing.
What's the most unexpected use for oils you have found so far and which use has most impacted your life?
Anna: I think the most unexpected use that I have come across was hair care! It surprised me that they wouldn’t make my scalp oily as I used them. Despite the word “oil,” essential oils are not really oily-feeling at all! I love rosemary and lemon in my shampoo and home-made dry shampoo (that I can’t live without.)
Becca: Maybe the weirdest one is Lemon oil. I have always been someone who hates having those stickers on things I buy at the store. I hate picking them off, it ruins my nails and there is still sticky stuff all over. A few drops of lemon oil and those stickers come immediately off! No residue. I know it's silly but it makes me so happy!