Essential Oils And Yoga: A Match Made In Heaven
What does Yoga have to do with Essential Oils?
For centuries it has been proven that yoga provides emotional benefits as well as the physical benefits we often associate with it.
Yoga reduces feelings of anxiety, stress & depression; and increases feelings of self-acceptance, calmness & balance.
Essential oils are renowned for their ability to promote spiritual focus, enhance mental clarity, and emotional well-being.
Why incorporate essential oils into my yoga practice?
Essential oils are all around us.
Most of us have experienced the energizing aroma of a freshly squeezed lemon.
Or the calming influence of a lavender bouquet.
Scents can even take us back to past memories or people, places, and things.
Combining scents through the use of essential oils into your yoga practice can bring about a profound healing mind-body experience.
How can I incorporate oils into my yoga & meditation practice?
The possibilities are endless!
If using superior grade essential oils, they can deliver benefits through inhalation, absorption through the skin, and the digestive process.
Essential oils can bring balance to virtually every system of the body.
Here are some common examples of health concerns paired with essential oils, as well as asana, pranayama, and meditation practices.
Lavender Essential Oil applied to the wrists and forehead relaxes all of the senses to calm the body and mind. It has even been proven to physically reduce the heart rate.
Begin seated in an easy cross-legged position and practice Nadi Shodana (Alternate Nostril Breath) to balance the flow of prana (energy) between the right and left sides of the body.
Any back-bending asana is heart opening and energizing, increasing confidence and decreasing negativity.
Ideas include: Anjaneyasana (Crescent Pose), Urdva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog), Ustrasana (Camel Pose), and Urdva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose).
Ylang Ylang essential oil helps release feelings of tension, anxiety and irritation. It naturally calms the heartbeat and breathing patterns. Massage into areas of tension (shoulders, low back, etc.)
Focus on the Ajna or Third Eye Chakra allows us to access our inner guidance that comes from the depths of our being.
Relaxing in Balasana (Childs Pose) as the head melts toward the earth and the heart surrenders to truth, with the arms outstretched in acceptance.
Any pose that takes the head below the heart is calming to the nervous system.
Other ideas include: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), and Viparita Kirani (Legs-Up-The-Wall).
Peppermint essential oil revives depleted energy and enhances positive energy. Apply to the collarbones: when used in meditation it helps break down resistance concerning new situations and increases intuitive awareness.
Sit in meditation with the palms together at heart center in Anjali Mudra.
This mudra, often used to express gratitude, creates harmony, balance and peace as it calms thoughts and allows clarity to arise.
Asanas that elongate the front of the torso and open the collarbones improve circulation & respiratory systems to make the work of the physical heart easier; awakening the mind and improving the mood.
Ideas include: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), Sphinx or Cobra Pose, Ustrasana (Camel Pose), and Camatkarasana (Wild Thing).
Tea Tree essential oil restores feelings of optimism & self-confidence, renews energy levels, and enhances feelings of endurance & inner strength.
It can refresh and cleanse the mind & body of emotional wounds; fostering a positive attitude toward healing.
Emotions tend to build up in the back and in the hips.
Back-bending poses are good for letting go of feelings that have been overwhelming, and hip-opening poses are good for releasing pent up emotions.
Ideas include: Balasana (Childs Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), and Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose).
Wintergreen essential oil reduces pain in muscles and joints while increasing circulation and inducing relaxation. It helps to drive out stress and tension.
Dilute 1-2 drops with 5-10 drops of a carrier oil and apply to affected areas or simply diffuse in the air around you.
Focus on the Sahasrara or Crown Chakra as the center for a deeper connection with ourselves, and a deeper connection with a force of life that is greater than ourselves.
You must open yourself to the guidance of your inner wisdom and your body.
Depending on your personal pain, always consult with your doctor before performing any type of exercise or asana.
Most Restorative Yoga poses are accessible and can bring the body & mind relief.
Listen to your body and allow that to inspire your asana practice.
Practice breath awareness with every movement making each movement a healing meditation.
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