We caught up with poet and yogi, Marzena Skowronska, to chat about yoga, the chakras, and the inspiration behind her captivating poetry in Salvatore Battaglia's latest book Aromatherapy and Chakras.
Perfect Potion (PP): How did you come to know of Sal and his work?
Marzena Skowronska (MS): I’d been a fan of aromatherapy and a customer of Perfect Potion for a few years, but it wasn’t until a workshop with Sarah Anderson, Intuition for the 21st Century, hosted at Perfect Potion Head Office in Banyo in February 2019 that I got to know more about Sal. Sarah kept mentioning Sal especially when it came to explaining lifepath '8' and since I realised it was my path too, I became really intrigued. Interestingly enough I didn’t have to wait long to be able to meet him. A fortnight later, I participated in an event organised by Perfect Potion to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) and to my absolute surprise Sal was there! I was amazed how Sal’s opening speech resonated with the energy of a poem I wrote a day before about IWD and felt compelled to share it with him. I felt very vulnerable as I was fairly new to writing poetry and felt my poems were exposing the essence of my soul, but at the same time I had a deep trust it was the right thing to do. So I plucked up the courage and to my great relief, Sal not only didn’t mind my lack-of-boundaries when I approached him introducing myself and saying I was also an '8' (Sarah would be proud;), but also showed wholehearted interest in my poem. It was an amazing experience to be truly seen and acknowledged by a person of Sal’s authority, experience and achievements. To dive deeper into aromatherapy and get to know more of Sal’s work, I later participated in an Aromatree and Aromatherapy and Chakras workshops run by Sal.
PP: Have you read any of Sal's other books? If so, what insights did you gain from them?
MS: I do have The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy and Aromatree in my collection. I absolutely love the concept of the Aromatree which, in such a clever way, enables better understanding of the otherwise complex world of aromatherapy. When it comes to The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, I use it to learn more about the oils and get inspiration for how to use them in a creative, but safe way. I love the fact that I can find such an in-depth and versatile profile of the oils all in one place.
PP: When did you first discover the chakras, and since then, how has this discovery inspired you in your life and work?
MS: As my yoga journey began, so did the discovery of chakras. I cannot recall the exact time, but I think I first read about chakras in a yoga magazine in my early days of yoga. However, I do remember the class on chakras during my yoga teacher training brought about a deep level of excitement and reverence for the chakras. I believe there’s a profound wisdom and power hidden in those centres.
Working with the energy of chakras provided me with access to healing and wellbeing on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. I resonate with the idea that before something, for example illness, manifests in the physical body, it first can be noticed on the other levels. Being able to notice and address any dysfunction on the more subtle level might prevent it from its expression in the physical form. And conversely, by understanding how physical ailments correlate with chakras’ imbalance and working with addressing the imbalance has a potential for unexpected healing.
It is intriguing the knowledge of chakras can assist us in understanding others more, even by just looking at them. It is so interesting to learn how life experience can affect the chakras, which in effect influences the quality of our lives (and even our posture!) What I find so fascinating is by understanding the link between the quality and various aspects of our life and chakras, and a willingness to work with those energy centers, offers us an opportunity to move away from 'victim mentality' and reclaim a sense of power over our healing and wellbeing. We can begin to tap into a creative energy where we take responsibility for our life story. I’m very passionate about the capacity we have to be conscious co-creators of our life and reality.
PP: What inspires your poetry?
MS: Life experience. Topics I feel passionate about that also seem to be currently touching my heart in a deep and meaningful way. When I’m deeply immersed in the energy of an idea, I seem to channel words to express it. I noticed though I need to be in a relaxed and receptive state of mind to be able to do that.
PP: What was the creative process behind the poems in Aromatherapy and Chakras?
MS: I gave myself roughly a week for each chakra. During that week, I tried to connect with the energy of the particular chakra. I read about the chakra, used the energy of crystals and essential oils* as well as engaged in activities to stimulate the respective chakra.
Luckily I had a headstart, as interestingly enough, working with chakras had just been on my radar. I started the year by teaching about chakras. During my weekly vinyasa class, I shared some wisdom and a sequence influenced by one chakra, with the 8th class focused on balancing them all. I feel like I engage in a very similar process to create a class that I do to write poetry: I step into the energy of what I’d like to express. I’m under the impression having just created a series of classes on chakras provided me with more effortless access to an embodied experience of them.
*I used Perfect Potion's Chakra Essential Oil Blends Kit. I had it in my essential oils collection and used it not only during the process of writing the poems, but also during my classes to help to anchor the chakra experience.
PP: You are also a yoga teacher: we would love to know what your favourite yoga poses are to balance each chakra?
MS: As I evolve with my practice, my practice and teaching evolves. These days, rather than focusing on any particular pose, I like to focus more on the experience provided by yoga practice and its ability to balance the chakras. I like to connect with the elements associated with each chakra to bring more balance to the particular centre. This can be achieved even through a short and simple practice, like for example the humble, but so deeply profound, Sun Salutation.
Starting with standing on my mat in Samasthiti, I bring my attention to my breath and my body. I become fully present and aware, not just mindful, but body-full. Fully embodied. Present, centered and anchored in my body. It's a very grounding and healing state of being. It helps to quiet the chatter of the mind and the nervous system. As the breath deepens and lengthens, I begin to feel safe and relaxed. This part of the practice evokes the earth element connected with the Base Chakra.
As soon as I start mindfully moving with my breath through the poses, I tap into the element of water connected with Sacral Chakra. The rhythmic breath and fluid movements help me to embody the wisdom of water that effortlessly changes its shape to adapt to ever-evolving reality. It’s nurturing, yet witty and playful.
As I go through the poses, I start to build up heat invoking the element of fire of the Solar Plexus Chakra. The heat enables me to transform, to burn away what’s no longer serving me to create space for the new. I build up strength, wisdom and courage to shine my truth and bring the creations birthed in the Sacral Chakra into the world. Maintaining a state of balance in the practice, the Sthira and Sukha, balance between the effort and ease in each pose and the practice itself brings me to the air element of the Heart Chakra.
Heart, air, lungs... how fascinating. What’s also interesting is the Heart Chakra is a balance point between the lower and higher chakras. The point of harmony, peace and love. The higher 3 chakras are more subtle, but through the way I move, breathe and focus my gaze (Drishti), I can both connect and balance them. As I drop the weight of the world from my shoulders and bring more movement into my neck freeing any stiffness, I start to feel more capable of expressing the wisdom of my heart. As my practice becomes a moving meditation and the voices in my head become less invasive, I am able to start to hear the whispers of my inner wisdom and tap into an expansive energy that transcends my physical body. Through a seemingly simple practice, if done mindfully, I can create a state of safety, support, inspiration, strength, compassion and connection to inner and greater power.
PP: How do you like to balance your chakras?
MS: I engage in many daily rituals that help to balance my chakras: my yoga and meditation practice, Reiki and use of crystals and essential oils. Perfect Potion's Chakra Balancing Mist is my go-to for a quick fix, and Perfect Potion's Chakra Essential Oil Blends Kit for individual chakras are my favourite when it comes to working with the specific centres. I also like to connect with the specific sounds, colours and elements when working with the chakras.
PP: Finally, what role do pure essential oils play in your daily ritual as a Yogi, Reiki practitioner and Poet? Which are your favourites?
MS: The use of pure essential oils is part of my daily rituals. I have diffusers in mine and my childrens’ bedrooms, and in the kitchen. One of the first things I do in the morning is turn on the diffuser. And it's one of the last things I do before retiring to bed at night. This is one of the ways I can consciously, in a beautiful and natural way, influence my energy on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. The quality of our energy is vital in living a meaningful and fulfilling life. I love how essential oils enable us to live more consciously.
As a sensitive person and energy worker, I appreciate the essential oils’ capacity to tap into the subtle energies. I like to use essential oils to help me access certain states or moods, clear and balance my energy (including balancing chakras) or connect with desired energy in general or before writing. I may use an oil or a blend to cheer me on a manifesting journey or help me channel a desired experience. I like to diffuse oils during my yoga practice and classes, and infuse my hands with essential oils before offering Reiki.
Singling out my favourite oils is a tough call, as I value them all for the gifts they offer, but if I had to choose, I think it would be myrrh and frankincense.
Find out more about Marzena over at her website!