With their countless benefits, essential oils are becoming more widely used in our everyday lives. We diffuse them, spritz them, roll them on and even cook with them; but did you know you can easily incorporate essential oils when practicing yoga at home? Here are my top five tips for improving your sacred yoga space with essential oils.
Start the day with Citrus
Before starting your morning yoga routine, spritz your mat once or twice with a citrus based essential oil, like Bergamot, Orange or Citrus Bliss blend. Citrus oils help energize and motivate, bringing about joyful emotions that are perfect for intention setting. If you want to carry this blissful feeling throughout your day, try rolling the oil on the back of your neck or on your inner wrists.
Keep in mind, citrus essential oils are photosensitive, meaning they make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation and sunburn. Avoid sun exposure for 12 hours after using any citrus essential oils on your skin. If avoiding sunlight isn’t possible, then try diffusing the oil instead for the same benefits.
Lemongrass for a pick me up
If you’ve hit a slump and are determined to not let it affect your practice, then dab some lemongrass on your mat. The power of this incredible essential oil will fuel your flow, making you feel empowered rather than exhausted when you leave the studio.
Lemongrass is a strong essential oil, so be sure to dilute it if using it on your skin. To dilute, simply add one drop of lemongrass to 10 drops of carrier oil, like fractionated coconut oil. Diluting the oil won’t take away from its benefits and will actually makes it absorb into the skin easier.
Soothe sore muscles with Peppermint
We all know that yoga can surprise us with sore shoulders, quads and calves. Although it never lasts long, the discomfort can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially if you’re a #yogaeverydamnday gal like me. To speed up your recovery, apply a couple dabs of peppermint essential oil to your sore muscles and you’ll be back on your mat flowing as usual in no time!
Lavender for the win
Honestly what can’t this queen do? My at home yoga routine, especially my night time flow, isn’t complete without Lavender essential oil. Its benefits include promoting relaxation and anxiety relief, while combating depression, insomnia and restlessness. Roll it on your neck, spine, wrists, temples or bottoms of the feet during meditation or before your yoga practice to receive its heart warming benefits.
Clary Calm for PMS or hot flashes
Doing yoga during your menstrual cycle can be a challenge. Even though movement may not be at the top of your list while you’re experiencing cramps, yoga can actually help relieve pain and PMS. If you want to continue your asana practice during your menstruation cycle, I highly recommend the Clary Calm blend from DoTerra. I love rubbing this essential oil blend on my lower abdomen to ease menstrual cramps before I practice. It also has a great cooling effect when rubbed on the neck or temples, which is extremely helpful when experiencing hot flashes.
When using essential oils, keep in mind that they are very potent. A few drops, or even one drop, goes a long way. Always avoid contact to the inside, or near the inside of the nose, ears, eyes, or any sensitive areas. Keep in mind that not all essential oils can be directly applied to the skin or taken internally. If unsure about how to use your essential oils, do some research before applying.
While there are some safety rules regarding essential oils, there’s nothing to be afraid of! The benefits of essential oils for yoga are immense and can create an entirely different element to your practice. Whether you’re setting up a meditation space in your house, want to add an extra touch to your yoga practice, or are looking to experiment more with the benefits of aromatherapy, a little care, research and guidance can open you up to the vast and holistic world of essential oils.
About the Author:
Margie Sanders is a Vinyasa yoga instructor currently residing in San Antonio, Texas. Starting her yoga journey 10 years ago, she was empowered by the peace and physical strength her yoga practice brought to her life and wanted to share that with her community. She completed her first teacher training in 2017 and will graduate from a 500 hour YTT in 2020. Her classes bring modern flow and classic alignment into creative harmony, encouraging playfulness and optional challenges to make yoga fun for all levels.