by Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
September is National Yoga Awareness Month. I am dedicating my writings to the power of yoga! Yoga has been a huge influence in my life and has given back to me in so many ways! So this week, I am introducing the power of yoga and how it may have an influence over you.
Any gemstone can help you connect with your practice! Crystals can "speak" to us in different ways and it is usually due to the fact that we instinctually need something from it. It may be that we are attracted to its shape, color or sheen. It could be its size, wieght or properties, but whatever it is that draws us in, there is a reason behind it. When this happens at first glance, I often like to look up it's metaphysical properties and color meanings. This often explains immediately why I was drawn to it. Below is a list of my favorite stones I use in my yoga practice. I hope you find a stone or two that calls to you!
Properties: This ancient petrified resin (possibly pine tree) has electromagnetic properties. Rubbing a piece of amber with a cloth, will build up an electric charge that makes it attract small items such as wood shavings, paper and straw. It is excellent at detoxification and protection from radiation, especially x-rays, sun, computers, airport, planes and other people's energies. Due to its strong connection to nature and the earth, amber is a great stone for grounding our higher energies. Amber can add stability to your life and your yoga practice. Helpful in clearing up depression and suicidal thoughts therefore, bringing about a positive mental state. Also useful as a memory aid, which makes it a good stone for any yoga student. Amber is used for past life work, divination and scrying. It aligns mental and emotional bodies via its deep orange and yellow color.
Properties: The stone of transformation, and spirituality. It is used for contentment and meditation. Provides common sense and flexibility in decisions. Strengthens and enhances psychic abilities, imagery and mind quieting. This soothing stone is in tune with your Brow and Crown"Chakra. Amethyst contains the grounding color of red with the energy of blue, which is expanding, spacious and flows with peace. Amethyst is the color that you see in the sky as twilight transitions into night. Amethyst takes you on this transition from the magic time of dusk to a conscious shift into a different place. Crossing this threshold is the lesson of humility, which Amethyst can teach us.
Coral is a rich blend of calcium and calcite. It resonates with our body and is used to bring about diplomacy and concurrence, quiets our emotions, and brings peace to our inner self. Facilitates intuition, imagination, visualization, and expedites and accelerates the transfer of knowledge. Strengthens both circulatory and bone structure in the body therefore it good for us on the mat. It helps with disorders of the spinal, alimentary canals, nervous system and thalamus. Different colors of Coral can be used alone, in combination, or all together. Sympathetic to both the skeletal structure and the circulatory system. Coral has a true link with the past and can pass knowledge along.
Properties: Emerald is a symbol of love and good fortune. This stone is used for abundance, growth, peace, harmony, patience, love, fidelity and honesty. It used against negative energy and has been used in many forms of divination. Most effective on the Heart Chakra perhaps because it access desires held deep within. Emerald provides inspiration and helps those in need of balance, healing, and infinite patience. Lifts depression, helps with insomnia, knowingness of the heart and peaceful dreams. Helps the wearer gain physical, emotional, and mental equilibrium. The pale, clear, green Emeralds are valuable in meditative work, as well as healing.
Properties: This crystal is the most recommended stone for grounding and is associated with the Root Chakra, by encourages ones survival instincts and is centering. Hematite condenses scattered feelings, turns fuzziness into mental clarity, enhances concentration, memory, practicality, helps those who study, do bookkeeping, detailed work and helps with sound sleep. Considered the symbol of life energy, hematite allows for more confidence, will power and boldness. Helps us adjust to being physical. A protective stone and helps bolster low self-esteem. Hematite is known to deflect negativity. It restores equilibrium, stability and is also used for astral protection. It brings our awareness back to the body and helps one maintain their sense of self. If worn, Hematite should be placed near the base of the spine.
Properties: These clear crystals closely resemble Diamonds but are really Quartz. Considered a "Dream stone", they are used in meditation or under your pillow to enhance visualization, astral travel into the light and dream recall. Most effective on the Brow and Crown Chakra therefore, this stone shifts the brain powerfully into alpha/deep stillness. Amplifies and stores thoughts, energy; and can be used as a bridge to stimulate energy flow (kundalini) up through the Chakra centers, opening the Brow and Crown Chakra for a strong, clear channel for psychic awareness, intuitive insight and yoga meditation. USe this stone to help you choose a direction to follow that will offer the path of least resistance. They contain a store of ecological memory that can be utilized by a person who can tune into the energy. Can also guide you in remembering your own past-life experiences (on or off your yoga mat.)
Himalayan Sea Salt:
Properties: Pure Himalayan Pink Salt is hand- mined in the Himalayan Mountains. This salt is known for its unique healing properties. According to the Global Healing Center, "this salt's unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy. Its minerals exist in a colloidal form, meaning that they are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb them." Himalayan pink salt naturally generate beautiful ions, which improve air quality and health. Place a few chunks in a bowl and place the bowl in any room in the house. Most of us live in home environments surrounded by computers, microwaves, air conditioners and other electronc appliances. These lifestyle conveniences emit excessive amounts of positive ions into the air we breathe, often resulting in mental and physical exhaustion. Counteract the excess by using Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Place a chunk of sea salt in a hot bath. Heat magnifies the natural healing properties of the salt. The chunk will dissipate slowly, lasting for a couple of baths. Click here and learn all about the healing remedies with Sea Salt.
Properties: This stone is a methodical and meticulous worker of practical, down to earth solutions. It has the ability to foster and nurture and its energy is used for grounding and protection. Considered more effective if it is used for long periods of time because it works slowly. Each color of Jasper has additional, specific qualities when used alone. Jasper is very effective when use on the Root Chakra. Jasper is a general tissue regeneration; mineral assimilation; and general healing. Darker colors are more grounding. Suggested to be used for elixirs because it will not over-stimulate any part of the body.
Properties: In tune with emotions, water, and women, especially pregnant women, pearls are a symbol of pure heart and mind; innocence and faith. Because it is from the sea, it has watery and lunar elements, therefore it is used for balancing emotions, especially for water signs. Absorbing by nature, this mineral absorbs thoughts and emotions and because of this, must be used with caution. If you feel excessively negative while wearing a pearl, it will hold that energy until it is cleansed. Remember, Pearl is the result of layer upon layer of substance produced to combat irritation. Pearl can cool and soothe. It is very nurturing. If using pearls in conjunction with other gemstones, consider Diamonds to amplify and purify, or Emeralds to bring negative energy out and disperse it.
Properties: also spelled phenakite, is a powerful, loving, healing, spiritual stone. It is believed to be one of the highest vibrational crystals yet discovered. The clearer the stone, the more intensely it opens the Third Eye, Crown Chakra and Transpersonal Chakra as a white light channel. Hence, its aura clearing abilities are phenomenal! This stone ignites clairvoyance/spiritual communication, meditation, astral travel, as well as life journeys. Helps one to map out a pathway within the dimensions. Energizes meridians and the healing of other stones. It is a powerful crystal for clearing and activating the chakras. It helps one to go further in a trance state and gives a deeper awareness of one's inner structures. Phenacite can be used to amplify the energies of other stones used for healing, and to balance energy within one.
Quartz: "Rock Crystal"
Properties:Quartz is the Master Healer and the "stone of power"! Probably the most versatile multipurpose healing stone. Easy to cleanse, store information/energy in, program or amplify energy and is used as a healing instrument. The natural tendency for quartz is for harmony. Quartz can both draw and send energy therefore it is effective for sending/receiving guidance. Quartz is used for transformation in healing and in all levels of change (mentally/emotionally, physically and spiritually). Quartz stimulates the natural crystal in body tissues and fluids to resonate at the highest healing frequency. Quartz works with All Chakra and master gland for balancing, cleansing and healing. It is the perfect stone for complete Aura balancing.
Clear Quartz: is thought to amplify both body energy and thoughts. It can assist in the creation of power, clarity of thinking, meditation, cleansing, clearing the aura, spiritual development and healing. Clear Quartz is considered the "stone of power". A dedicated healer. Pure white light passes through it easily, leaving all the colors of the spectrum unaltered and giving substance to the argument that Clear Quartz crystals can help balance all the elements needed to make us whole and fulfilled. Amplify whatever influences are present in an individual or location. Acts as a purifier and tunes into the frequency of each individual. Will unblock specific areas or organs blocked from transmitting or receiving the flow of energy throughout the body. Helpful in guiding our search for the meaning and importance of existence. Aids in meditation. Can be used in conjunction with any other stone or gem for specific physical problems. It will amplify the effects of individual stones and attune the treatment to the energy of an individual person.
Properties: Rose Quartz represents love, beauty, peacefulness, forgiving, lovingness, self-love and emotional balance! Rose Quartz works with the Heart Chakra. It is a soft, gentle, soothing stone that warms the heart center. Its value as a nurturing friend cannot be overstated. Neither can it's soothing influence. Helps diffuse negative stimuli and uncomfortable memories. Helps us discover the ability to love ourselves and makes us more open to other people. It is of particular value in helping us to forgive ourselves, hastening self-acceptance. Helps us realize that all change is important, even difficult change. Stimulates love and tender appreciation of all things. One of the best stones to bring self love and compassion into your practice!
Properties: Lingam is the sacred Sanskrit word for phallus. In Tantra, the shape embodies the masculine energy; dynamic expression and knowledge. The markings or Yoni depicts female energy; wisdom and intuition. The Tantric Shiva Lingam unifies the dualistic female/male world into harmonious balance. This Sacred Stone relates to the Heart Chakra, and represents the harmony and balance of the soul that is maintained within the hearts of all of us. Shiva Lingham stones are used for spiritual detox, allowing us to see the higher knowledge within ourselves. The stone gives us the capacity for hanging on to the beliefs which work the best for us and letting go of those beliefs which no longer serve us. When used during meditation, lingam shows us how to connect with our physical and spiritual energies and therefore, our higher selves.
Properties: Smoky Quartz is a grounding stone. It is used most often to overcome depression, nightmares and stress. Quartz stimulates the natural crystal in body tissues and fluids to resonate at the highest healing frequency. The clearest smoky quartz are the most intense, powerfully opening the Crown Chakra emanating light down to the Root Chakra, therefore, inducing Alpha/deep meditation. Because of this situation, it's benefits also include channeling higher guidance, deep relaxation and helping with unconditional love. Heightens your understanding of nature and concerns for the environment. Smoky Quartz helps store information well for easier recall. Because it is associated with the Root Chakra, it helps to alleviate fear, anxiety and associated emotional depression. When placed opposite other smokies in a crystal grid these stone vibrate at a high energy level.
I love using crystal clusters in my practice. I have often used a quartz, amethyst or selenite tower in the middle of the yoga studio and have my students circled around facing the stone throughout the practice. Another idea is placing the stone(s) on my yoga mat as I practice, to remind me why I am here on the mat this day. Clusters of crystals bring a "group" energy to it's surrounding area. They are used to foster protection, cooperation, purification, harmony, friendship, intimacy and to break up negative energy in the environment. Clusters help to keep all life forms energized and clear of heavy or unproductive energy.