Essential Oils for Yoga
Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise because it is one of the few that provides both mental and physical benefits. Yoga improves focus and mindfulness, enhances mental acuity, and increases blood flow, flexibility, and muscle tone. While practicing yoga alone is excellent, essential oils enhance the workout experience. Let’s talk about four ways to combine yoga and essential oils.
Why Combine Yoga and Essential Oils
We are plagued with chronic stress. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 75% of physician visits in the US are due to stress. People come in –complaining of everything from headaches to anxiety to dizziness– and the root cause is all stress.
The practice of yoga combines postures with slow, rhythmic breathing. This decreases cortisol and reduces the manifestations of stress. With time, yoga can change the very structure and output of the brain. There is decreased firing in the areas of the brain responsible for the synthesis of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter produced during times of stress) and areas responsible for releasing cortisol downstream.
Use essential oils with slow, methodical breathing. In one study, women who inhaled lavender essential oil expressed less anger and frustration. They also had a more positive mood. Animal studies have shown that inhalation of essential oils makes animals more likely to go through stressful situations with ease.
Use Essential Oils to Energize
Kick off your metabolism and check exercise off of your daily goal list with a bit of energizing yoga in the morning. During your morning vinyasa flow, consider bright, vibrant essential oils that can wake you up quickly and give you the courage and confidence to push to your limits with ease.
Roman chamomile essential oil can help to focus the mind during tough poses, while peppermint or lemon essential oil can ignite the inner fire that we need to build natural heat in the winter.
Relax, Restore, Recover
Bergamot, lavender, and vetiver all help reduce nervous energy and stress. These essential oils may help you to sink more deeply into restorative postures.
Some yoga practices specifically help restore physical balance during menstruation and pre-menstrual syndrome. Bitter orange and rose essential oils reduce the physical symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome and may be an excellent combination with gentle poses like child’s pose, bound angle pose, or downward facing dog.
If you are doing a deep yin practice that stands the chance to tap into some deep emotional hurt, be sure to have comforting essential oils, like ylang ylang, jasmine, or clary sage nearby.
Protect Yourself from Energy Vipers
While yoga has a clear set of ethics and behavioral standards, there are still people that bring their own personal drama to the mat. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Protect yourself with essential oils to create cocoon-like energetic shields, like Angelica. Essential oils that open the root chakra can also help to ensure that you are drawing energy from the earth. This is way better than tapping into your own energy to meet the needs of others. Some of my favorite essential oils for the root chakra are cedarwood, balsam fir, or cinnamon.
Ground down through poses like mountain pose, warrior 2 or extended side angle pose. Inhale the aroma of the essential oil.
If you come into contact with an energy viper and feel yourself sucked into the vortex, grab some hyssop stat. Never has it been better stated than in the Bible, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.” Energy demons? Boy, bye.
Clean Your Mat, Gear, and Studio
Sweaty mats are breeding grounds for bacteria. Common household cleaners are loaded with allergens, irritants, artificial fragrances and colors.
Instead of inhaling all of that, consider this DIY Yoga Mat Spray and nine other uses of tea tree essential oil. And, be honest, when is the last time that you really cleaned those yoga blocks and yoga blankets? Adapt this lavender-infused yoga mat spray to knock the stink off those blankets that really need to head to the washing machine.
Want more ways to combine essential oils and yoga?
Done with the workout? It’s time to apply this After Workout Balm and get the body ready to repair.
To learn more about what essential oils to use for an active lifestyle, go check out The YL Education Club!