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The new Zen in Shenzhen: Yoga and essential oils


To many people, yoga is an ideal ‘lifestyle’ that allows interconnection between the mind, body and soul. It enables exploration to find and pursue ultimate purpose.  Yoga encompasses different breathing and stretching techniques that teach the body how to trust and release tension, allowing us to feel completely comfortable with vulnerability and the unknown.

Many yoga instructors will use candles or essential oils during their classes to heighten the senses through aroma therapy, and surrender the body into deep relaxation. There are various types of essential oils used for multiple purposes. The main purpose, while used during Yoga, is to release physical and emotional tension in our bodies while deepening the connection to our mind and inner strength.

There are tons of yoga studios in Shenzhen, some more expensive than others; however, with the increasing amount of expats living in Shenzhen, you can be sure to find a yoga studio that offers classes in either English or Chinese.

2.picAnna Kachkar began her yoga journey 8 years ago and now hosts Essential Oils and Yoga classes at First Chiropractic Spinal Wellness Center in Shekou. She fuses her 90 minute classes with essential oil demonstrations and trying sessions.  Anna also works closely with Dr. Stephen Chiarello, chiropractor and owner of First Chiropractic Spinal Wellness Center. He believes that both yoga and chiropractic work are two compatible dynamics that should be practiced together.

“Yoga is about breathing. Core muscles. Flexibility. Mental training. Balance. Chiropractic is about creating the best functioning body by creating maximum nerve flow. The key is doing things properly. Step by step,” said Dr. Chiarello.  “Both are processes that take time. Both are good for healing injuries and form maintaining optimum function. “

Before becoming a yoga instructor, Anna was a flight attendant travelling and working hectic hours.  She had difficulties sleeping, high anxiety, and low energy levels.  She decided to embark on a yoga journey to bring more structure and stability to her body. Shortly after, she began to see the positive effects yoga had on her emotional and mental state.

“It [yoga] helped me to understand that I have a choice to treat my body better in terms of food, emotions, and habits. All this in combination with regular practice brought an overall improvement in my wellbeing,” said Anna.

1.picAnna began teaching yoga to provide individuals with the same experience and opportunity that she received. She has recently begun using essential oils during her practice after experiencing its therapeutic effects on her overall mood and immunity.  She uses essential oil air diffusers in her class to help students relax and ease into a successful yoga practice, and connect to their breath.

“I think it’s my responsibility as a teacher to provide the best conditions – more pure air with less bacteria in it.” Relaxation is the next important aspect. ‘Asanas’ (yoga postures ) are only possible when you are Here and Now, connected with your breath and able to let go of pressure to achieve,” said Anna.

During Anna’s most recent class, participants practiced yoga while using ‘on guard’ essential oil that was vaporized into the air using an oil diffuser. The ‘on guard’ oil is used to kill bacteria that cause colds, and flu. Participants were also able to choose between personally using Lavender or Deep Blue essential oil during vinyasana. Lavender mellows the body’s emotional state; Deep blue is used to relax the muscles in the body.

Not only has Anna found comfort in using essential oils during yoga practice, but she also supports practicing yoga after spinal adjustments and other chiropractic work.

“Chiropractic adjustments are the best, in my experience. But adjustments have to be followed with a physical therapy that will help the body to support them. Yoga is one of the best ways to help your body to grow into a needed change and to support the alignment.”

Anna’s classes are located at First Chiropractic Spinal Wellness Center (by exit C of Sea World metro station) Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-11:00 am.

For more information or to schedule chiropractic appointments please contact:

Anna Kachkar

Dr. Stephen Chiarello


Sade Mckenzie
About Sade Mckenzie (2 Articles)
Sade McKenzie graduated from Buffalo State College and currently works and writes in Shenzhen, China.
Contact: Website

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