Enhance Your Yoga Experience With Essential Oils
Yoga has been proven to increase physical activity, strength, flexibility and balance. It’s a gentle form of exercise that has been linked to decreased depression and stress levels, fewer aches and pains, lower risk of heart disease and decreased blood pressure.
Dating back to ancient times, yoga has long been used to promote physical and mental wellbeing. It is believed the practice began in India around 5,000 years ago and it focuses on postures and breathing. Today, we are discovering more and more about the amazing health benefits of yoga.
According to the NHS, yoga is a suitable exercise for people of all ages and can help with arthritis and reducing falls. It’s also commonly used as a form of relaxation and while many chose to partake in the activity through a class, you can also do it alone to promote calm and physical wellbeing.
To enhance their yoga experience, many people introduce essential oils into the session. This is an effective way to promote a particular mood or feeling, such as increasing positivity, energy, relaxation or focus. By using essential oils it’s possible to give your yoga sessions renewed purpose, such as improving your focus with postures, helping you sleep better, or to promote happiness at a particularly difficult time.
How to introduce essential oils effectively
There are two ways you can utilize essential oils in your yoga routine, and both have their advantages. It’s a matter of personal preference which one you choose to employ. Do like I do, and use both!
The first approach is to use them in a massage before your yoga session. Massage is a popular way to enjoy essential oils as it enables you to enjoy both the aromatherapy experience plus the benefits of the massage. Choose between one to five different essential oils suitable for your own particular needs, and then add five drops (combined) to 10ml of carrier oil or lotion. If you include warming oils such as black pepper, clove bud, ginger etc, you may need to lower this ratio to three drops per 10ml of carrier oil or lotion if you have sensitive skin.
Massage the mixture on easily accessible parts of the body such arms, wrists, chest, legs, ankles and feet, or if there is any stiffness apply to that area as well/instead. If you’re applying to the feet before yoga, massage all of the oil into the skin or dry off any excess to be sure that they aren’t slippery, as you could put yourself at risk of injury.
Another way to introduce essential oils to your yoga routine is through using a diffuser or burner. Simply add a few drops of essential oil to your device of choice and let the air fill with the wonderfully relaxing aroma. This is a great way to enjoy essential oils during yoga, as it helps to create a really soothing atmosphere.
Which oils should you use?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the question of which essential oils to use whilst practicing yoga – it all comes down to a matter of personal taste. However, you will obviously have to choose the essential oils that promote the particular mood or atmosphere you want to experience.
To boost your mood and energise your body, look for fresh, zesty aromas, such as grapefruit, lemon, orange and lime, since these are also known to be highly invigorating. Rosemary essential oil is also great for revitalizing and energising. It is known to help with exhaustion and has a wonderfully refreshing herbal aroma. If you need reviving after a long day, this is definitely an oil for you.
If you would like your yoga session to leave you feeling relaxed, try using a blend of roman chamomile, lavender, and geranium essential oils. Very soothing! Clary sage, bergamot and lavender also work well to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere for yoga.
To improve focus and to ensure you leave your yoga session feeling grounded and positive, try vaporizing cedarwood atlas or vetiver essential oils. Adding rosemary and juniper berry essential oils to cedar atlas can also help to give the brain a boost.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2014. Written by Sue Charles