Yoga comes in more than one form with vastly different poses and purposes. From restorative to power, essential oils can supplement any practice. They can help calm your mind and body for a relaxing practice or stimulate your senses for an energizing class.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the natural aromatic compounds found in plants. They have the ability to affect us both physically and mentally. By choosing the correct oils, you can tailor desired results from calming and soothing to energizing, and detoxifying. Oils can be used three ways: aromatically, topically, or internally*. With all three different applications, oils are absorbed into the body and react with your cells to give you the results you're looking for.
Aromatically: Add the oils to a diffuser or place a drop in your hands, cup them, and inhale a few times. The molecules of the essential oils are taken in through your olfactory system, reacting with olfactory organs, ultimately reaching your brain and respiratory system.
Topically: Apply the oils to the back of the neck, bottoms of feet, spine, or stomach. Always read the bottle for possible skin irritation and dilute with fractionated coconut oil for sensitive skin. Our skin in permeable, so the active chemicals found in essential oils can be absorbed through the skin. Tip: Lightly massaging the area of the skin where you plan on applying oil increases circulation and rate of absorption.
Internally: Add a couple drops to 8-16 ounces of filtered water. Always use a glass container as the oils can eat through plastic. Ingested oils are absorbed through the mouth (if liquid), the stomach, and the smooth muscle tissues of the digestive tract.
What does what?
Calming: If soothing, or relaxing is your goal, think restorative yoga or meditation, try these essential oils aromatically or topically.
Energy: If power yoga is your thing, try these oils both aromatically and topically to energize your practice. Use the asterisked (*) oils internally* to get your body going.
Sinus Congestion: In the thick of winter, many of us will be sick and congested. It’s difficult to get everything out of a yoga practice when you can’t fully breathe! To clear up any congestion and open your sinuses, try diffusing or applying the following to the nose and chest.
- Respiratory Blend
BONUS! Cleaning: What do you do about that dirty yoga mat after you’ve been lugging it around from class to class? Clean your mat with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, and a few drops of Melaluca or Cleansing Blend. Add to a spray bottle for easy use.
*Not all essential oils can be taken internally. Only take high quality, certified-pure therapeutic grade oils internally. Other oils may contain synthetic chemicals or pesticides even if they are labeled “therapeutic grade.”
For more information on the essential oil blends, visit The Wellness Angel.
Angel is a gluten-free, soy-free (almost) vegan. She's passionate about all things health and wellness, including essential oils, alternative therapies, and spirituality. She is consumed with learning everything she can get her hands on about nutrition and living a healthier life. She shares insights at her blog: The Wellness Angel, also find her on Facebook and Twitter.