Yoga and meditation are time tested therapies that were introduced during ancient times and are still used for alleviating different physical and mental ailments today. Essential oils sourced from different organic substances also have many proven health benefits. Both yoga and meditation alone provide a range of health benefits. However, combining regular yoga and meditation with the use of essential oils can optimize your experience, helping you get more out of each session.
The 3 best essential oils to supplement relaxation during your yoga and meditation sessions are highlighted below and how to use them when you practice or teach yoga.
Lavender is one of the must have essential oils. This oil is known for its relaxing properties and its ability to reduce tension and anxiety. This oil is beneficial to many different yoga practices but can be especially helpful to slowerpaced practices like Yin and Restorative yoga. If you are practicing yoga at a studio or at home, rub this oil on the bottom of your feet and wrists to promote a calming experience during class. For a home yoga practice, put lavender in a diffuser and enjoy the calming effect throughout the room. Lavender can help yogis to decompress from their stressful day and feel a sense of calm and peace as they practice.
Frankincense has many beneficial therapeutic properties. People have used it for thousands of years, and it can benefit several systems in the body. For yoga, frankincense has relaxing properties and can help balance your mood. Before class, rub on wrists, palms, or neck. Every time you inhale during your practice, you will get a sense of calmness and balance. This oil can also be diffused for home practices.
Tea tree oil, has anti fungal properties. This makes it the perfect oil to clean your mat with after practice. Mix tea tree oil, water, and any other pleasant smelling oil such as lavender, lemongrass, wild orange or lemon in a spray bottle. Spray down the yoga mat and wipe clean after every practice. This will keep your yoga mat clean and smelling fresh.
How to Use Essential Oils for Yoga
There are many different ways to incorporate essential oils into your personal yoga practice. You may need to try a few different techniques to find the best one for you or you may discover you like different applications for different oils.
1. Use a Diffuser
Aromatherapy diffusers have quickly become one of the most popular ways to use essentials oils for yoga and meditation. Easy to use and available in a variety of styles for different budgets, a diffuser disperses the scent of an essential oil into the air so you can receive the benefits while you practice. Ultrasonic and humidifying diffusers (like the one pictured right) have become extremely popular because they use water that not only delivers the aromatherapy benefits of the oil but also helps to humidify the room. You can also use an essential oil nebulizer which does not dilute the oils while dispersing them in the air.
2. Apply to Your Body
Diluted essential oils can be applied directly to your body. This can be done by making an essential oil blend yourself using a carrier oil (like coconut oil) or buying a diluted oil blend in a roll on bottle. Popular locations to apply essential oils for yoga is on the wrist, the neck, behind the ears, the temples, or the crown of the head.
Note: If you have sensitive skin, make sure to patch test any oils before use. Also, you want to avoid getting essential oils on your mat since they can degrade the material and reduce the stickiness. Make sure not to apply to any parts of your body that will touch the mat.
3. Create an Essential Oil Spray
If you’re looking for a shortterm boost of aromatherapy scents, you can create an essential oil spray to mist the air before or during your yoga practice. While there’s plenty of pre-made mists you can buy, making your own customizable scent is easy once you own the oils.
Select your favorite scents from the list above. Take a clean spray bottle and fill it with distilled or filtered water. Then add 10 to 20 drops total of your favorite essential oils. Allow the mixture to rest for about 24 hours so the different scents can marinate together.
4. Use an Aromatherapy Candle
If you don’t like dealing with the hassle of essential oils, diffusers, or sprays, an essential oil candle is a great alternative to add aromatherapy to your yoga practice.
Don’t just pick up any nice smelling candle you see at the store. For aromatherapy, you always want to seek out non-toxic options. Most candles are made from paraffin, which is toxic, so instead search for candles made from soy or beeswax. They should also be scented by all-natural essential oils and no artificial fragrances.
5. Cool Down Towel
When you’ve finished your yoga practice, especially after a strenuous or Hot Yoga class, a refreshing way to cool down is to use a damp towel with a little essential oil. Lavender, mint, and eucalyptus are commonly used and a great way to help you feel refreshed after your practice. You can also drape it over your face during your practice to reach a deeper level of relaxation.
How do you use essential oils for yoga?
Tell us in the comments!