October Women's Circle at Koa (Featuring Essential Oils)


October Women’s Circle at Koa by Jessica

October 29th was the introduction to Koa Yoga’s brand new Monthly Women’s Circle! Each month will be hosted by a different instructor and feature guest speakers, activities and topics specifically pertaining to women’s health. For the first workshop, Terry Holden focused on the introduction of the use of essential oils during yoga practice. With special guest, Maria Malec, Terry guided the class through asana designed to work the lymphatic and adrenal systems, improve breast health and balance female hormones.

Maria Malec, wellness instructor and long-time user of essential oils discussed numerous ways essential oils can improve women’s mental and physical health without relying on over the counter or prescription medications.

I’m going to let Maria clarify her recommendations for what essential oils to use during this practice. There were a number we sampled and I know I came out of there very relaxed and smelling great. Some of the oils I specifically remember are lavender, lime, lemon (and other citrus), spearmint, thieves oil, peppermint, cedar, clary sage and rose geranium. She also used a handful of blends designed for specific purposes. Maria has been a representative for Young Living for over 20 years. Young Living is the premier manufacturer of high grade essential oils. It’s important to make sure you use high grade EDIBLE essential oils. There are lots of manufacturer’s that sell products as essential oils that are really chemically produced fragrances and those are not going to do you any good.

The three ways Maria said we can use essential oils are topically (on your skin), ingestion (by eating them in food, water or as a supplement) or by inhalation (as a room spray or in a diffuser). I found that similar to yoga poses, the one you don’t like is the one you need the most! As some of you may know, I make organic, food grade aromatherapy products for use in the home and on the body under the name Down Home Girl. Many of products I make are available for purchase at Koa. I currently have body scrubs, lotions, body butters, balms, face masks, hand sanitizers and body sprays. All of my products are 100% natural and organic. They contain no weird added chemicals or coloring or preservatives.


This month’s workshop was similar to Yin Yoga, where poses are held for longer periods of time and are coupled with deep slow breathing. Some of the poses Terry covered included:

·                     Sukasana – Easy Pose (variations: fire logs, half lotus, full lotus)

·                     Balasana – Child’s Pose

·                     Prasarita Padottanasana- Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold

·                     Janu Sirsasana – Seated Head to Knee Forward Bend

·                     Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana – Seated Head to Knee Forward Bend with Spinal Twist

·                     Baddha Konasana – Seated Bound Angle

·                     Bharmanasana – Table

·                     Bitilasana – Cow Pose

·                     Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

·                     Dandayamna Bharmanasana – Extended Table Balance

·                     Uttana Shishosana- Extended Puppy Pose

·                     Balasana – Child’s Pose

·                     Virabhadrasana II –Warrior 2

·                     Utthita Trikonasana - Triangle

·                     Trikonasana – Five Pointed Star

·                     Utkata Konasana – Goddess Squat

·                     Virasana – Hero’s Pose

·                     Ustrasana-Camel

·                     Malasana – Yogi’s Squat

·                     Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclining Bound Angle

·                     Savasana - Corpse Pose or Resting Angel (Terry's new favorite name for it)

I think I got most of them. Terry reminded us to focus on holding mula bandha and uddiyana bandha. Just to remind you, mula bandha is the root lock that is seated in the pelvic floor. Activating mula bandha is especially important for women because it helps maintain reproductive health and can help prevent those nasty hormonal side effects. The abdominal block, uddiyana bandha helps channel energy throughout the body, stimulates blood flow and digestion and help protects the lower back.

For more information about using essential oils for wellness contact Maria Malec at mariamalec@marketingscents.com or (813) 957-0865. You can also check out her available services on her website, www.aromalivingbydesign.com

For more information about Down Home Girl products, you can check out the boutique at Koa Yoga during any class or you can contact me directly at jakleinbaum@gmail.com or (813) 833-2723. I can custom make any products for you using the essential oils Maria recommends.

Join us throughout the month of November for some fantastic workshops:

November 6th 2:00-4:00pm Yoga for Runners with Carolyn Norris

November 12th -13th 9:00-10:00am Adidas Yoga at Brandon Mall with Imani Woomera (Free with giveaways!!)

November 13th 6:00-7:00pm Sound Healing with Alexis Holland

November 19th 10:30-12:30pm Yoga for a Healthy Back with Carolyn Norris and Imani Woomera