How To Use Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide
Scent is the most powerful of the senses, so it’s no surprise that aromatherapy and essential oils are so popular across the world. The right scent can bring back memories, help us relax, or invigorate us, and has the power to change our day for the better. But have you ever thought about incorporating essential oils into your yoga practice?
Aromatherapy can be a powerful addition to your home yoga session, helping you immerse into the practice. It’s used in many yoga studios as well, creating a gorgeous atmosphere that’s conducive to yoga.
Essential oils are made from plants, with extracts of the plant (or several plants combined) used to make oils made from both the scent and flavor of the plant – essentially, its essence. It’s sold in liquid oil forms, and you can find a huge range of oils to select from, each with different properties.
So how do you use aromatherapy in yoga and how can it improve your practice? Here’s our guide to essential oils and yoga – it’s sure to add a whole new level to your daily mat time!
How do you use essential oils?
If you’re wondering how to use essential oils, you’re not alone – many people, including yogis, are unfamiliar with how they’re used. There are actually a number of ways they can be incorporated into your lifestyle, depending on your preferences.
You can apply essential oils topically, meaning you physically put a few drops of the oil on your body. Often, users find that oils placed on the temple, neck, or head can be effective to help you relax or ease discomfort from headaches or stress. Oils can also be used as part of a massage, a great way to unwind.
Otherwise, you can simply enjoy the wonderful scent by placing essential oils in a diffuser, helping it waft through the room. Even without a diffuser, you can place a few drops of oil in your palms and slowly breathe in its wonderful aroma.
What are the benefits of essential oils?
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as part of alternative medicine. Naturopaths have long known that each essential oil has its own unique health benefit, ranging from relaxation to pain relief.
Once you understand what each type of oil can do, you can incorporate it into your daily life.
Can essential oils improve my yoga practice?
Here’s what you should know about essential oils and yoga: they can improve your practice!
Yoga is all about being one with the body, mind, and environment, so one of the best ways to heighten your awareness is with scent. Oils can aid in emotional and physical wellbeing as well, so you might find that adding certain aromas to your yoga practice helps you feel stronger, more energized, or more focused.
Yoga and aromatherapy pair really well together, so try it out and see if you notice a difference!
What essential oils are good for a beginner?
If you’re new to essential oils, you might be overwhelmed by your choices. With hundreds of oils out there, it may take some time until you discover which scents work best for you.
To help you get started, here are some of the essential oils that go well with yoga.
There’s nothing quite like the invigorating scent of peppermint, and it’s one of the most popular essential oils. This scent is known for reducing stress and improving concentration, so you might find it particularly useful when working on learning a new yoga position or trying to hold one for longer.
When applied to the skin, peppermint oil can also help relieve sore muscles and joint pain, so you could also use it post-workout when you’re feeling stiff or sore.
Another popular essential oil is lavender. It’s one of the best oils for relaxation, with many users incorporating lavender into their evening routine to help them fall asleep.
Because the soothing smell of lavender is amazing for relaxing and easing stress, why not try adding it to your evening yin yoga practice? It can help you unwind after a stressful day, and might even help you sleep better.
Chamomile oil is also known for its calming and relaxing properties – it can give you that same cozy, comfortable feeling that you’d get from a warm cup of chamomile tea. Like lavender, it can also help induce sleep, so you might find it helpful to use as part of your before-bed yoga practice.
Eucalyptus oil is well regarded for its health benefits, including opening your sinuses. It also has antibacterial properties, so it can help disinfect cuts.
From a yoga perspective, it can be great to add eucalyptus oil to your diffuser when you’re feeling run down, worn out, or sluggish. Because our immune system is weakened when we’re tired, eucalyptus can give you a boost – and of course, yoga can help your immune system too!
The fresh, clean scent of cypress makes you feel like you’re out in the woods, immersed in nature. Cypress also has both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, making it useful for cuts or wounds.
We love adding some cypress oil to a diffuser when our bodies are craving an outdoor yoga session but there just isn’t enough time. Mentally, the strong smell of cypress helps transport you outdoors to the forest, energizing your spirit. You might enjoy it during a high-intensity yoga practice.
While we love the oils mentioned above, they’re just the tip of the iceberg! You’ll find so many other amazing oils to help with just about any condition or ailment. Give one a try as part of your next yoga session and see how you feel – more focused, connected to your body, more emotionally present; the potential benefits are endless.
It’s seriously amazing what aromatherapy and essential oils can do for your mind, body, and yoga practice, so try it out for yourself!