Yoga… it all began in India thousands of years ago, and has now become a popular form of exercise and meditation for millions of people around the world. Yoga combines meditation, breathing exercises, stretching through various postures, and deep relaxation techniques that combine to provide a holistic approach to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.
The ancient Indian healing system, Ayurveda, uses essential oils and asana together to balance and unblock the body’s chakras, which promotes the flow of life energy. It is believed that physical problems may manifest in the body as a result of blocked energy that should flow through the chakras.
** Please note ** In this post, I will be sharing our series of information on how essential oils can enhance your yoga and meditation practice to improve overall health and wellness. These statements have not been evaluated by any governmental health agency, including the Food and Drug Administration nor Health Canada. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health ailment or disease.
If you have yet to try yoga, here are some practical benefits you may experience:
- Improve our muscle strength and tone. Having fit muscles prevents future injury, and enables you to better navigate daily life by arming you with physical and mental strength.
- Increase our flexibility. Stretching actions through yoga help loosen the tense muscles and ligaments in our bodies. Having more flexible joints means we require less energy to move through a greater range of motion. Stretching decreases resistance in muscles which also helps increase blood flow (and subsequently better disperses nutrients) throughout our bodies.
- Reduce effects of stress, and help us focus. When we have too much going on in our lives, it can be hard to stay balanced. Regularly practice yoga to help recenter our minds focus on being present, and reduce our stress levels along with its impact on our bodies.
- Helps us learn how to meditate. Calming your mind enough to meditate can be tricky. Focusing on stretches and breathing during yoga may help train your mind to slow down, which further helps you to decrease stress, relax more efficiently, and sleep better.
There are MANY more benefits aside from these too! There are also many ways to enhance your experience and take your yoga practice to the next level… even as a beginner. One of our favorite ways is to include diffusing essential oils. Yoga and aromatherapy go together . Whatever your purpose in doing yoga, there is no intention you can set that would not be boosted by oils.
But first… What is Meditation?
Meditation is an experience that engages your mind and can offer both relaxation and energizing benefits. It develops a mind-body connection that encompasses fitness, health, and wellness.
Essential Oils are a great way to further deepen that connection and ignite your inner senses. Meditation exercises when practiced regularly can be powerful, calming the nerves and bringing the mind to a restful state.
Research shows that meditation may physically change the brain and the body, and can potentially improve health and promote healthy behavior!
If you are new to yoga and meditation, I highly recommend reading through Yogic Relaxation: The Ultimate Guide To Yoga Relaxation Techniques for more information on specific relaxation techniques and how yoga can help you relax.
Incorporating essential oils into our yoga routine may produce emotional and physical benefits. Aromatherapy during yoga may help improve our physical practice and also enhances our internal and spiritual connection in ways you may not have been able to before.
Using Essential Oils in Your Yoga and Meditation Experiences
Essential oils may be excellent tools to help deepen your connection while practicing yoga or engaging in meditation. Just be sure what oils you’re investing your time and energy in are the real thing that actually works.
Too often companies use clever marketing, and the lack of government regulation and definition to what an essential oil is, to their financial advantage. High quality oils are created using considerable time, energy, and knowledge… which end up costing more money. Knowing exactly how long to distill different plant matters to unlock the most constituents is crucially important, especially when using the oils for therapeutic and spiritual purposes. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies who just make oils as cheaply as possible (even if that means using mostly synthetics or diluting with solvents to where the actual oil amounts may be less than 5%).
Long story short… just like the food you eat, a lot of shady stuff happens before the bottle hits the store or your doorstep… so this is a quick buyer beware… know your farmer… know your oil quality.
How Essential Oils Work with Helping Enhance Your Yoga and Meditation Routines
Of the five senses, our sense of smell is the most primitive and most closely associated with our emotions and how our body respond to them.
Essential oils can activate the limbic region of the brain to release emotions that are stored there, including emotions that have been stored in our DNA from previous generations. Together with a balanced diet, nutrition, adequate exercise and water, Aromatherapy can help you achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
It can become a part of your daily routine and when paired with other mind body exercises can also help to gently access the deeper, unconscious levels of physical process, including the release of habitual tensions and emotional blocks.
How to Essential Oils can enhance meditation and yoga practice
Essential oils are a great tool for deepening your meditation or yoga practice. One of the ways to help you enter a meditative state is to use essential oils that bring focus, clarity, relaxation and spiritual connection.
You can choose a single oil that your intuition tells you is perfect for you in this moment, or you can choose or create your own blends that help you relax.
Because of their thousands of benefits, essential oils are able to stimulate deep breathing, therefore improving this aspect of your yoga practice.
The practice of yoga includes holding postures (asanas) and observing prana (life force energy) in the body to strengthen the connection we have to the energy flow in our bodies. Essential oils are known to aid in this process, and further support the practice of yoga through aromatherapy.
The quickest ways to bring your body back into balance is through natural therapies such as Aromatherapy, Meditation and Reiki.
Both meditation and essential oils help to stimulate the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. When paired together they do wonders for managing emotional wellness and releasing negative thoughts and feelings.
The more these tools are used, and in conjunction with each other, the quicker we can stimulate the relaxation response when we find our self in a stressful situation.
Simple Ways To Use Essential Oils in your Yoga and Meditation Routines
Essential oils are powerful tools to use within our yoga practice.
Oils such as frankincense, sandalwood, and palo santo are fantastic to use for anointing prior to your practice, and truly helps the meditation and breathing practices deepen to new levels.
Oils like lavender, peppermint, and orange can purify the air your practicing in, and can also be used in a spray to cleanse your yoga mat too!
Simple ways to use essential oils during yoga and meditation practices are to apply essential oils topically at specific points such as the wrists, behind the ears or the third-eye or heart chakra, or use a diffuser.
Essential Oils for Grounding
Use essential oils to help you ground your soul during your meditation and yoga practices. Being grounded in yoga is important because it helps us further plant ourselves on the ground, providing a good foundation for all the stretching and lifting. It is a mental shift that we endure that creates more stability in all areas of our being.
- Clary Sage
- Palo Santo
Essential Oils for Uplifting
Uplift your mind and emotional state using these essential oils during your yoga and meditation routine:
Essential Oils for Restoration & Relaxation
Yoga and meditation should feel relaxing to your mind, body, and soul, and leave you feeling rejuvenated and restored when you finish. There are a few essential oils that can help further facilitate this end result.
- Joy Essential Oil Blend
- Peace & Calming Essential Oil Blend
- Valor Essential Oil Blend
Young Living Blends to compliment meditation and yoga
Sometimes looking at lists of essential oils that can help feels a bit overwhelming. How do you choose between a list of 20 or so oils of varying prices? Do you need just one or all of them? Do you mix them together? The answer: whatever you want. Different oils will resonate more with you at different times, based on what your body needs and your current life circumstances.
You can absolutely blend them together too… but if you’re not the DIY type or want something pre-made to change up your experience, then definitely try some of these out! These are some of my favorite pre-made essential oil blends by Young Living, my favorite essential oil brand.
- Faith Essential Oil Blend
- Clarity Essential Oil Blend
- Believe Essential Oil Blend
- Inspiration Essential Oil Blend
- Envision Essential Oil Blend
- Harmony Essential Oil Blend
- Gratitude Essential Oil Blend
Why Young Living? Because I absolutely love their sustainable farming practices, void of harmful chemicals. I love their strict industry-setting quality standards, and their dedication to reducing waste. And I love how much more efficient they worked compared to other brands when I spent over a year comparing different oil brands to see what worked best for my body. I found that 3-4 drops of Young Living’s oils had the same potency as 8-10 drops of other brands, thus actually saving me money by investing in the higher quality.
DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner Featuring Essential Oils
Just like any other piece of fitness equipment, it is wise to make sure your yoga mat is properly cleaned. While you could buy a simple 4oz yoga mat spray, many of them have some questionable ingredients. You can make your own using this recipe:
- 6-8 drops of your favorite essential oil (like tea tree, lavender, frankincense, lemon)
- 4 oz glass spray bottle (preferably colored) filled the rest of the way with distilled water
- Distilled water
- 2 TBS Witchazel or vodka
My favorite oils to add in this recipe is 6 drops each of grapefruit and frankincense essential oils. You can use this spray before and/or after your yoga practice.
Don’t like to DIY?
If you’re not the DIY type, you can still find quality yoga mat sprays that feature essential oils, but don’t contain any of the nonsense. Be sure to turn away from any sprays that contain “fragrance” (even if listed as “natural fragrance”) or “herb-like aroma”… or similar. Unfortunately sprays like these don’t have to fully disclose ingredients, and many brands have become increasingly cryptic. Many of these fragrances or similar descriptions
Here are a few of my favorites:
Essential Oils To Use In Your Yoga Practice:
Frankincense – diffuse or dilute and anoint to help you deepen your faith and connection with spirit as you meditate
Lavender – dilute and rub on our temples to help reduce the effects of stress (perfect for an evening practice because it may encourage the need to sleep)
Lemongrass – cleanse and energize our cluttered and distracted brains. It also promotes self-esteem and confidence. With the energizing effects, it is an ideal oil to use during our morning or early afternoon practices.
Sandalwood – helps us recenter, focus, increase our strength, and enhance our mental clarity. Sandalwood is incredibly grounding and helpful in healing emotional/spiritual wounds. It encourages the heart to open, and helps facilitate trust.
DIY Essential Oil Blends to Enhance Your Yoga Practice:
- Namaste EO Diffuser Blend: 2 drops each frankincense and lavender
- Yoga Focus EO Diffuser Blend: 2 drops each lavender, tea tree, orange
Sometimes when taking a yoga class or taking your yoga practice outside, it may be difficult to use a diffuser… and personal diffusing jewelries just aren’t practical to wear for most stretches. Instead, you can use this DIY Zen Roller Bottle Blend.
Related Posts About Yoga, Mindfulness, and Relaxing:
- How to quiet your mind and be fully present (a guide to meditation)
- 22 Ways To Help Your Mind Slow Down
- Essential Oils Transformation Event
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