Long overdue, I want to talk about how the purity of our artisan, medicinal-grade essential oils can offer a wonderful natural complement to a daily yoga practice.
Just as when we use pure essential oils in professional natural health treatments to support healing, they can also enhance the body’s natural physiological processes for optimum health and balance in yoga.
In other words, Yoga and Aromatic Medicine are in perfect alignment!
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How Organic Essential Oils can enhance your yoga practice
Areas of benefit in yoga can be matched to areas of benefit from Therapeutic Plant Oils (pure essential oils and carrier oils).
Whether you practice an advanced pranayama or you are simply learning to breathe more deeply through your evolving asana practice, there are a range of essential oils that can be used to promote a fuller and more relaxed breathing process.
If you are congested at any time, you can also use essential oils to help free your airways and fight infection.
Lavender is a really great choice on many levels. It is cleansing and fortifying and wonderfully relaxing too. Lavender True or Lavender Sweet are both good choices. Lavender Spike has a little more punch for congestion.
All the meditative oils (see Inner Peace and Awareness below) are naturally cleansing and beneficial to the respiratory system as well.
- Rub a few drops into your hands and cup them around your nose to inhale
- Drop on a fingertip and rub inside the nostrils
- Diffuse 10-20 drops into your practice space or studio
STRENGTH, STAMINA AND FLEXIBILITY
Enhanced breathing (see above) will improve natural circulation that ensures that your organs, muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons, all receive sufficient nutrients and oxygen for cell health and regeneration. This powers detoxification and promotes body strength, range of movement and fitness.
To complement this process, we can also supplement the body’s nutrient input with a topical application of the right carrier oils. Through blending, we can enhance oxygenation and detoxification with specific essential oils.
You can also treat sprain, strain or stiffness naturally, and help warm the body to minimise the occurrence of such things. A drop or two of Lemon essential oil in drinking water can aid natural detoxification and fortify the body even further.
Lavender, Peppermint and Wintergreen are all good for aches and pains in muscles and body tissues. Wintergreen is especially beneficial to circulation.
Carrier Oils such as Arnica-infused Oil, Castor Oil and Avocado and Jojoba are all high in nutrients and especially beneficial to muscle and joint health.
Muscle Tonic is a clinical blend of pure essential oils that creates a synergy of active properties for focused body care. It can be used for bath or compress (10 drops), or diluted in carrier oil for massage (see below).
Body Repair Cream is a body-ready prescription blend that can be used to promote repair for any joint, muscle and tendon issues.
- Massage a drop or two of Wintergreen, Lavender and Peppermint directly to the area (dilute for sensitive skin)
- Add 10 drops of Wintergreen to a bath, or combine with a further 10 drops of Lavender
- Dilute 20 drops of essential oil(s) to a teaspoon of carrier oil and rub into sore areas after practice
INNER PEACE AND AWARENESS
More concentrated than the original incense aromas used for traditional meditation, certain organic essential oils work directly on the nervous system. These help calm the body and mind for restorative processes and have a cleansing action to promote greater clarity and receptivity.
I know some yoga teachers who will use specific oils to set the intention for a class, allowing their students to inhale an oil deeply. Some instructors even give a mini-massage during adjustments to enhance relaxation and sensation before meditation or Savasana.
Pure Indian Sandalwood is increasingly hard to come by but Australian Sandalwood is a worthy alternative. Both are wonderfully calming and cleansing to mind and emotions.
Frankincense is another classic meditative aroma that is powerful in its pure essential oil form.
Cedarwood Atlas is a lovely grounding fragrance to help cleanse the mind and relax the body.
Tranquility & Meditation is a special essential oil pure blend that will help release attachment to daily concerns and aid peaceful contemplation and restoration.
- Diffuse 10-20 drops into the yoga space or studio before and during each practice.
POSTURE AND ALIGNMENT
As we activate physical intelligence through improved breathing (see Respiration above) and learn to move from the depth of breath, we become more present to the moment-to-moment messages of the body (see Awareness above).
It then becomes possible to improve posture and alignment with minimum effort.
Therapeutic aroma in the yoga studio can also help to access gently the deeper, unconscious levels of physical process, including the release of habitual tensions and emotional blocks. (See also Energy below).
ENERGY AND BALANCE
Even if a person’s yoga practice is for fitness rather than for spirituality, the benefits of promoting greater flow through the body’s vitality centers can still be appreciated as a general improvement in energetic terms.
Each chakra center coincides with a major nerve plexus and has a concentration of endocrine glands. Pure essential oils are known to support nervous and endocrine function at a molecular level.
It is also widely believed that the distinct energy associated with each chakra, can be complemented by essential oils, to support the natural re-aligning and balancing of chakra energy – such as using nurturing, harmonic oils in a restorative class focused on gentle chest-opening postures; or grounding, fortifying oils for a focus on standing postures.
It can also be powerful to use uplifting, vitalising oils for a high-power Vinyassa class, or for a morning sun salutation. And, of course, relaxation is an important process for energy restoration. (see below).
The Chakra Blends – Base, Navel, Solar, Heart, Throat, Brow, Crown - are body-ready synergies designed to complement balance and health at each chakra center. See ingredients at each blend for related essential oils.
Mandarin and Sweet Orange are both energising and comforting and offer gentle lift and harmony to a room.
Lemon and Lime are classic energy boosters and strengtheners.
Revitalize is a pure essential oil blend with a powerful energy synergy.
- Diffuse up to 10-20 drops of essential oil(s) to your yoga space
- Add 3 drops of essential oil to a loofa in your morning shower and rub over body
- Apply Chakra Blend direct to associated body area and inhale from hands
RESTORATION AND RELAXATION
Ultimately, all the benefits of yoga lead to restoration and relaxation. At the end of a session or for a particularly restorative class, the more relaxing oils can help condition the body and heighten well-being through massage.
A diffusion timed to coincide with savasana or meditation can help to carry a body to deeper levels of release and acceptance.
Lavender, Sandalwood are wonderfully relaxing and restorative. Deep Relax Massage Oil is a clinical formula to help maximise the release of mind, body and emotions.
- Diffuse 10-20 drops of essential oil(s) to your yoga space
- Add 10 drops to bath
- Add 5-20 drops to carrier oil or use Deep Relax in massage
Additional benefits of pure essential oils for enhanced yoga practice
Use pure essential oils to create an eco-clean environment and to complement heightened senses and awareness. Lemon and Lavender are great for adding to water or soapy water to get the job done.
Yoga mats can be quick-cleaned between sessions with a well-shaken water and essential oil spray. Vitality Cleanseis an eco-spray designed to deliver an uplifting, inspiring aroma and deep-cleaning properties.
- Add 25 drops essential oil/s to 1 litre of water
- Add 50 drops of Absolute Emulse, shake
- Spray yoga mats and equipment between sessions to keep smelling fresh and disinfected clean
Medicinal-grade essential oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential