Since the pandemic began I’ve been doing a lot of yoga at home, alone on my mat. It’s one of the few habits I’ve found that soothes my anxiety every time, so keeping it up has been even more important during the intensity of this year. Occasionally, I’ll teach a class on Instagram, or FaceTime with a friend as we both work our way through the same video class streaming on our laptops — together, but alone. In the past, yoga was an experience I cherished for the chance to get outside of my own space, and for the immaculate, warm studios that were permeated with the clean smell of Palo Santo, or other essential oils teachers might bring to help create peace or stir up energy. Often, my tiny Los Feliz studio smells of whatever I just cooked, or dirty laundry, neither scent instills much serenity.
In searching for a solution to this problem, I discovered a South African-based skincare company called Skinesiology who carry a set of energetic room sprays that helped me feel more grounded during at-home classes. Introduced to the company’s “vibrational skincare” through a friend who knows my interest in both skincare and female-led companies, Skinesiology’s products range from fragrances to cleansers, hand and body creams, face creams, and masks.
What struck me most was their set of four fragrances, designed to create a specific mood and feeling when used. These auric mists ($34) use specific smells and ingredients to echo the prescribed state of being — Bliss, Peace Of Mind, Blossom, and Female Warrior. Not necessarily for use on the body, though you can spray them on yourself if desired, these room sprays help shift energy and bring mindfulness to spiritual activities, whether that’s meditating, setting intentions, yoga, or some other form of connecting to yourself.
Gifted a set of four to incorporate into my yoga practice, and to get familiar for this feature, I’ve been drawn most strongly to the Peace Of Mind scent. Recommended for calming, the intention-setting phrase Skinesiology suggests using as a mantra with this scent is: I am in tune with my heartbeat; I am content. Contentment has always been a struggle for me, precisely because struggle is what’s familiar. I feel comfortable when things are hard. If I have a problem to fix or something to worry incessantly about, I’m right at home, mentally. Accepting abundance, or finding peace in the midst of or despite uncertainty, those mindsets continue to be one of my my biggest challenges. Simply repeating the phrase I am content seems way too easy, but internal skepticism aside, it helped. And so did the scent, which changed the feeling of the room.
Recently, I’ve been drawn to teach restorative yoga, a series of long, slow stretches that lack the intensity and heat of vinyasa, but nevertheless shift the state of the body considerably, and calm the nervous system. Peace Of Mind has been the ideal companion for these classes, anchored in the scent of cedarwood and layered with pine, fuschia, clary sage, jasmine, and wild rose, to name just a few. The scent reminds me of a forest that grows close to the sea, or flowers surrounded by deep moss. Peace Of Mind is only one of the four scents that Skinesiology founders Dorita and Banie created — Bliss, Blossom, and Female Warrior are all totally different. I’d suggest going with whatever title is speaking to you, or look up the ingredient/scent lists on the website.
For Dorit and Banie, their method is just as important as the finished product, with each ingredient for every product is rhythmically extracted in a way that honors the seasonal and astrological phases of the earth. They also use the spagyric method for extraction, “a three-fold process that honors the life force of the plant.” For the most impact, use the products daily, repeat the affirmation, and be mindful of potential energy shifts during and right after use. After a week or so of using the mist, I felt much calmer during my practice, and a sense of the stillness I felt at the studio had returned. Even several weeks of near daily use, I still have plenty of mist left — a little goes a long way.
For the clean beauty obsessives, note that all of Skinesiology’s products are made without the following: mineral oil and petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfates (SLES), parabens, synthetic fragrance, GMOs and gluten. Their focus is completely on natural ingredients, which they hypothesize is part of what raises the vibrational force of their products. Even if it sounds way out of your comfort zone, why not take a chance on exploring how scent and natural botanicals can impact your mood?