Once I visited Sedona, Arizona, home to massive red rocks that are believed to be Vortex sites where spiritual energy spirals into multiple dimensions. Translation: They're considered quintessential meditation spots. Vortex or not, standing amidst the epic crimson cliffs with the craggy skyline staring you in the face, it’s hard not to have a spiritual moment.
That’s how I pretty much feel about the idea of chakra balancing. Even if there's no real science behind the idea, there's no doubt that when you approach the process of "balancing" them with intentionality, you feel something happening. Yoga and meditation are thought to align chakras. But could a specially formulated essential oil–infused, chakra-balancing spray can do the trick and impact your mood? We decided to give it a try.
The first ingredient listed on the label of these "crystal" mists from I AM is, unsurprisingly, "Blessed Sedona Spring Water." As the aforementioned Vortex legend of this mystical city suggests, there’s some metaphysical stuff going on there—so perhaps there’s something in the water, too. Even more obscure on the ingredient list: "Lightning-Struck Lemurian Record Keeper Quartz Gem Essence" and "Mono-atomic Gold Ormus." I can see the skeptics warily cringing, but that doesn’t mean they’re not intrigued, as we all were here at Thrive HQ.
We chose two of the most open-minded subjects we could think of to do a blind test of the sprays: Matt, an outgoing, motorcycle-riding, car-racing adrenaline junkie who loves discovering secret Mexican joints and retreating into the mountains. And Stefani, a breath of fresh air and self-proclaimed introverted extrovert who lives a conscious lifestyle focused on total wellness and cherishing the simple things: friends, family, food, music, and her dog.
Monday: I AM Power
The scent: Sandalwood
The claim: This spray corresponds with the solar plexus chakra that exists below the ribcage, and claims to awaken inner strength and confidence, allowing the user to release fear and open to their full potential. My hope was that this sandalwood-scented mist would give these two the inner power to start out the week strong.
Tester notes: That morning, Matt reported feeling tired, but content and excited to face the week ahead. Stefani felt tired, too (Mondays!), and while she admitted to feeling anxious about the week, she still felt cheerful overall. By the evening, after a few spritzes throughout the day, Matt said Monday was smoother than he had anticipated. He felt “good vibes all around” in spite of mundane reporting tasks and slower work. Stefani reported that her anxiousness had transformed into a calm, relaxed state.
Tuesday: I AM Love
The scent: Jasmine
The claim: At the heart’s center is the heart chakra. I AM Love aims to uplift senses and allow the user to feel radiant love, joy, and promote healing and balance.
Tester notes: Matt started out the day feeling calm, centered, and content. Stefani was relaxed, energized, balanced, and open. After a generous mist mid-morning, Matt tackled a work day that ended up being productive, finishing it up with yoga and connecting with friends over a relaxed evening. Stefani felt "really chill all day and in high spirits.” Work felt like an afterthought to her stronger desire to connect with friends as well.
Wednesday: I AM Enlightened
The scent: Blue Lotus
The claim: Associated with the crown chakra at the top of the head, this spray is meant to inspire insight, creativity, intuition, and clarity.
Tester notes: This day Matt was stressed after sitting in traffic for an hour and a half, with a stacked to-do list waiting for him at work. Stefani felt happy, energetic, and focused. By the end of the day Matt had ditched his stress, feeling optimistic after getting down to business and having a super-productive day. Stefani’s excited energy carried into the evening, but she also felt balanced and anchored.
Thursday: I AM Bliss
The scent: Rose
The claim: Linked to the sacral chakra below the belly button, this spray is meant to uplift, incite passion, joy, playfulness, and pure happiness, leaving the user feeling fully alive.
Tester notes: Pre–chakra balancing, Matt felt excited for the weekend and “thrilled to be alive.” Throughout the day he found himself celebrating the little victories, and in the end recapped the day as fun and carefree. Stefani started out the morning alert, grounded, and at ease, but by the end, felt the itch of wanting something “more” to happen.
"I've always been skeptical of such contrived products that feed on the momentum of eastern religion and science," says Matt. "Combine that with my incorrect understanding of chakras, and I wasn't expecting much." Yet the experiment exceeded his expectations. Every day presented its own set of challenges and victories, like any work week. Despite that, he says, "my state of mind at the end of every day was positive, optimistic, and relaxed."
Stefani confessed it wasn't a great week to begin with, but the chakra mists seemed to help keep her down to earth. "While some days I felt more energetic or light and others I felt more calm or relaxed, the common denominator seemed to be a stable and grounded feeling," she said. "I observed myself feeling very rooted and anchored in all of my decision-making and greeted the chaos with acceptance and stability."
I’m no chakra-balancing guru, but I do support the notion that whatever is going on in the internal and spiritual bodies can be transformed if we focus hard enough, whether through yoga and meditation or aromatherapy. I think intention is at the heart of the concept of chakra balancing. Maybe gem essences and blessed water from Sedona do possess some magical powers—I believe essential oils do. But the only way we can fully experience these powers is if we’re open and aware.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho