If you are looking to further your yoga practice, essential oils might be the next step. Adding essential oils to your yoga routine can help you elevate your practice by increasing your focus and helping you focus on your breathing. Each individual oil has unique benefits and the right oil can leave you feeling energized, relaxed, or more spiritually connected.
How to use essential oils:
Aromatic: A diffuser is best when you want to infuse a room with the scent of a particular oil. Diffusers work by breaking down essential oils and dispersing the molecules into the air. Start with just a few drops; you can always add another drop or two of essential oil to your diffuser. Another great option is to make a room spray by filling a 2 ounce glass spray bottle (always use glass or stainless steel when using essential oils) with equal parts water and witch hazel. Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oi(s).
Topical application: To extend the scent of your essential oil and help it spread, mix your essential oil with a carrier oil and apply the mixture to the sides or back of your neck. Additionally, it is increasingly common for yoga teachers to anoint their students using essential oils. Anointing allows for multiple oils to be used in one class or session. For example, peppermint might be used at the beginning of class to energize, and cedarwood during Savasana to restore peace and promote relaxation.
Cedarwood is steam distilled from the bark of the tree and has a warm, woodsy scent. Its soothing, grounding and calming properties make it ideal for shutting your brain down and allowing yourself to focus on your breathing and find your center. Cedarwood pairs well with other woodsy or earthy scents, yet it is subtle and delightful enough to be used on its own. To incorporate Cedarwood into your yoga practice, breathe deeply and root yourself into each pose as you exhale or during Savasana.
Perhaps the most well known essential oil, lavender is widely recognized for its ability to promote relaxation. Use Lavender to find your peace. While Lavender could be incorporated into any yoga practice, it is perfect for restorative yoga or savasana. Breathe deeply and allow your muscles to relax.
Breathe in the invigorating aroma when you feel a lack of energy or focus. Peppermint is perfect for lifting your spirits at the end of a long day. Add it to your practice by diffusing or applying topically before poses that require intense focus or balance. Combine Peppermint and Lavender for an uplifting and inspiring aroma. After yoga, mix peppermint with your favorite carrier oil and massage it into your muscles to soothe and cool.
Bergamot has a clean and bright citrus aroma that is reminiscent of a cross between a lemon and a lime. It is an incredibly useful oil as has the power to be both uplifting and relaxing. Bergamont inspires positivity and the flow of energy, allowing you to move past negative emotions. Pair Bergamot with Peppermint to enhance its uplifting and inspiring properties or with Cedarwood for a relaxing and calming experience.
Frankincense has long been known as a spiritual oil used in incense and religious rituals. Its unique it’s earthy aroma ground you into an experience, but also assist you in reaching a higher state of consciousness or spiritual connection. Diffuse Frankincense or apply topically before breathing exercises or meditation.