Why Lavender Om?

Lavender has a symbolic meaning in my family.

It was my Dad’s favorite color.  At his request,  it was a code word his wife and daughters used when he worried too much. The word lavender was a gentle reminder to Breathe, Calm the mind, and Be.  During the final years of my Dad’s life, he lived in the Memory Center of a Sunrise Assisted Living facility. As the disease robbed my Dad of his ability to communicate verbally,  touch, guided gentle movements of his limbs and lavender scent was how I communicated with him.

After my Dad died, during an Integrated Yoga Therapy Teacher Training program, I realized, my family had been incorporating yogic principles as we coached my Dad to stress less.  In hindsight, the gentle movements which connected us in his final years seemed like gentle yoga movements.

Despite an intuitive  understanding of the downside of stress, I fretted about whether I could be a teacher given my age and physical conditions.  My body remembered yoga poses that my teenage body mastered, but my older, heavier body had difficulty with “easy” poses. After repeated, frequent practice, I noticed my body and mind easing into certain, more difficult, poses. Lavender Om Wellness popped into my mind and I knew that this was going to be the name of my yoga teaching going forward.

In 2014, in memory of my Dad and for fun, I started to visit US lavender farms. After visiting farms in Maui and Virginia and talking to the farm owners,  I took an on-line course in Aromatherapy with Floracopeia Founder, David Crow.

As I learned about the energetic properties of lavender, I incorporated natural oils from local farms into selected yoga classes and workshops. The healing properties of lavender fit in well with aim of gentle and restorative practices. Recently, I read that some teaching hospitals are experimenting with lavender to calm Alzheimer’s and other patients.

Denyse helped me to connect with my grief in her Restorative Yoga class. I mean this in a good way. I’m someone who doesn’t express my emotions and this felt like a very healing step in the right direction. I’m learning awareness and to relax more.

– Inova Life with Cancer Yoga Participant