It’s no secret that many people today enjoy essential oils in their everyday lives. An essential oil is basically the “essence” of a plant, harnessing all of its medicinal properties and other benefits into one small vial. For avid oil users, these benefits are obvious and powerful – they can relax and calm, improve immunity, and promote healing for your body, mind, and soul.
Since yoga is lauded for providing similar benefits, it feels only natural to bring the two together. Here are a few uses and benefits as you merge them.
Aromatherapy is one of the most effective ways to take advantage of everything essential oils have to offer. Essential oils come in many different types of scents, and each has its own attributes. There are floral oils, which tend to be soothing; earthy oils, which help with a feeling of balance; and citrus oils, which energize. Each category fosters a different mood or type of energy. So when deciding which oil to use during yoga, the most important thing is to listen to your body. Yoga teaches that the body and mind are ever-changing, so figure out how you’re feeling today, how your body is feeling, what you want the focus of this particular yoga session to be, and – this is also important – how you want to be feeling right now.
Choosing which oils to use will become easier after answering those questions. Apply the oil to your upper chest or neck, so it’s close enough to smell, or use an oil warmer or diffuser to fill your yoga space.
Prevent/Treat Strains, Sprains, and Stiffness
Aches and pains, unfortunately, are sometimes a common part of life and those of you wanting relief might want to consider specific oils that help with this as you do your yoga routine.
- Wintergreen, peppermint, and lavender are essential oils that are soothing for achy muscles and other body tissues.
- For any swelling, consider lavender or clove oil which has been proven to help with inflammation.
- Avocado and jojoba are carrier oils (meaning they are and can be mixed with essential oils to “carry” or dilute them for skin application) that are packed with nutrients and are beneficial for muscles and joints.
Massage affected areas with one to two drops of these essential oils pre-yoga or post-yoga to calm and relieve muscles.
Improve Emotional Health
What is emotional health? Where should you be in terms of mental health? Emotional health is every bit as important as physical wellbeing. It’s about feeling happy, being self-aware, having confidence, and being able to successfully deal with and recover from life’s setbacks. Yoga and essential oils work well together because both can help your mind to relax and recharge.
Consider what you are struggling with whether it be stress, anxiety, etc and select the appropriate oil.
Some common ones are lavender, lemon, and peppermint for stress and anxiety.
To use with your yoga routine, begin with a drop or two massaged into your hands and then cup your hands to your face to inhale or, place a drop on your finger and apply to right outside the nostrils. For post yoga use, consider adding a few drops to a bath.
Choose What’s Right for You
The best technique and use will differ for everyone and how you incorporate oils into your yoga routine may take some experimenting. Just remember that yoga and any healthy lifestyle change is a journey. If you feel you don’t know where to start and what your needs are, consider taking a good health assessment that will highlight your health needs and help you determine which oils you might want start with.