Essential oils have recently become one of the most popular holistic wellness trends. Aromatherapy is the practice of using plant materials (in other words, essential oils) to improve overall wellbeing. The oils are extracted from plants and fruits and have many different therapeutic uses. The benefits of essential oils are endless and can help in every facet of life. Essential oils can especially enhance your yoga practice. Here are four essential oils for yoga to try during your next practice.
Numerous studies have proven the effects of essential oils and aromatherapy on reducing anxious feelings, alleviating stress, and improving mood.
You can use oils aromatically before, during or after your practice as follows:
- Put a few drops in a diffuser. Diffusers use water and are effective at dispersing the oil into the air in a fine mist.
- Place a drop on porous jewelry (lava beads, air drying clay, or terra-cotta clay.)
- Before or after your practice, add a drop or two to your palms, rub together, and cup your hands over your nose. Inhale deeply.
You can also apply oils topically; by applying directly to pulse points, or the bottoms of your feet. Take care that any oils that might cause sensitivity are diluted with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil.
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 slower-paced 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.
This is a favorite of our resident yoga teacher, Rachel. Sunshine in a bottle, as she calls it – wild orange oil is known for its ability to energize. This oil is perfect for high-energy yoga practices such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga as it is uplifting and energizing.
Before class, rub wild orange on your wrists or palms. Inhale for a boost of energy. If you are practicing at home, diffuse wild orange to feel energized throughout your practice. For an even more invigorating energy boost, mix wild orange and peppermint. Diffuse before class, or rub on palms and take a deep inhale. Wild orange is perfect for the yogi who is feeling tired and sluggish before an intense yoga session.
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. Sandalwood, is also a beautiful grounding scent. If you are feeling stressed, or anxious, or have a lot on your mind both options will help you find grounding and focus, so you can enjoy your yoga time and focus on self care.
Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
Melaleuca, also known as 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.
Here is a quick and easy recipe for you to do it yourself, below.
Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray Recipe
¾ cup distilled water
¼ cup white vinegar
5 drops Lavender oil
3 drops Melaleuca oil
Glass spray bottle
Combine all ingredients in glass spray bottle.
Shake until combined.
To use, spray on mat and wipe dry with towel.
Note: Not all yoga mats are treated the same. Using essential oils may ruin some yoga mats. Spray a test patch on a small part of your mat first (preferably on the bottom side) to make sure the cleanser doesn’t adversely affect it or leave a watermark) .
Essential oils provide many benefits to our bodies both mentally and physically. Oils have the capability of transforming your yoga practice. Whether you need an oil to calm anxious thoughts or one to energize you before a difficult yoga class, there is an essential oil for every yogi in every situation.
At our Azulfit Surya retreat we offer a weekly essential oil education class for those that want to learn more about how to live a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle and learn how to use oils for wellness, green home cleaning products and to boost vitality.
We believe in the benefits, ethos and purity of the doTERRA essential oils, and can recommend them wholeheartedly. We use their products at the retreat for sustainable green cleaning, and to enhance your retreat experience.
Their commitment to quality, purity, sustainability and charity via their Healing Hands foundation align with our retreat ethos. If you are interested in finding out more, do it yourself recipes, or education about oils and their use, please do contact Azulfit today for more information.
doTERRA also offer an incredible kit formulated by Yogi and yoga teacher trainer Elena Brower. You don’t have to invest in pricey individual oils to get the aromatic benefits formulated for your practice.
You can order doTERRA essential oils and health and wellness products online or join our Vibrant Living online community for more essential oil tips, tricks and education. Learn Daily Lifestyle Habits for energy and vitality on the Empowered Life series website.