The Ultimate Guide to Enhancing Your Yoga Practice with Essential Oils
Posted on 01/21/2016 by Kulae
Essential oils and yoga are a natural combination, and using them during your practice can enhance your performance, calm your mind, and relax your muscles. All it takes is a little information and a willing nose to find the right combination for you.
So what exactly are essential oils?
Essential oils are botanical extracts collected from flowers, herbs, trees and other plants and are commonly used for healing or aromatherapy. Herbalists and others interested in natural medicine have been using essential oils to treat common ailments for many years, and they can be wonderful when used correctly. Essential oils are very concentrated, and should not be used undiluted directly on the skin. Always consult a doctor, certified herbalist, or an aromatherapist before attempting to use them.
How do I find the right scent for me?
Different oils serve different purposes. Citruses are energizing. Warming oils like cinnamon or cloves are relaxing and can ease sore muscles. Cooling oils like mint can lessen inflammation (and are great for tendonitis). Scents like lavender and rose are calming.
When deciding which oils you would like to try, think about what you would like to get out of your practice that day, and choose a scent accordingly. Another great way to find the right oil is to let your nose decide- sniff a few different scents and see which ones you’re attracted to. Your body will let you know what it needs.
There are three methods of using essential oils during your yoga practice. These are:
Common oils and their benefits
For stability and balance, try ginger or patchouli, which are grounding, or sandalwood and cedarwood, which are stabilizing and centering.
For help with breathing, try rosemary or eucalyptus, which encourage the flow of energy.
To calm and relax your mind and body, try chamomile or lavender.
To promote a feeling of fulfillment, try bergamot, lemon or orange.
For transcendence, try jasmine or rose.
To reduce stress, try basil, vanilla or clary sage
Energizing yoga mat spray:
10 drops orange essential oil
8 drops peppermint essential oil
¾ cups of water
2 Tbsp rubbing alcohol
Pour ingredients into a spray bottle. Shake to combine.
5 Tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp jojoba oil
6 drops lavender oil
Pour ingredients into a 10ml roll-on perfume bottle. Shake to combine.
Freshening diffuser mix:
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil
Deep relaxation bath:
This recipe makes enough for two or three baths
2 parts chamomile
2 parts sage
3 to 4 drops lavender essential oil
The great thing about essential oils is it can be personalized to fit your mood or goals, and can help enhance your yoga practice so you get the most out of your time on the mat. And by carrying your favorite scents with you after you leave the studio, the energy you created through your practice will stay with you for the rest of your day.
References and recipes adapted from: Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Harrod Buhner
About the Author:
With a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University, Anne has been writing and editing content for online publications since 2008.