At the time I started getting really into yoga, my favourite teachers used essential oil in their classes
I had no idea essential oils could support my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, I just knew I loved the smell and the way they made me feel.
A dab of peppermint on my wrists at the start of class lifted my spirit and the scent of lavender oil as the teacher’s hands massaged my head and neck during savasana deepened my sense of relaxation. I incorporated these simple rituals into my home yoga practice and, when I started teaching, it seemed natural to share them with my students.
I use essential oils as part of group classes and private sessions to:
- create ambience and set the tone of the class
- open the airways and enhance the senses before pranayama
- encourage and enhance relaxation during savasana.
Here are some oils you may like to incorporate into your yoga practice.
I choose an oil which echoes the theme or feeling I’m trying to create during a yoga class and either diffuse the oil or place a drop on the inside of my wrist.
Wild Orange is one of my favourite oils to use in the morning. Its sweet aroma energises and revitalises my mind and body. However, if I am anxious or find myself caught in critical, overly analytical thought patterns, I’ll reach for something earthy and grounding such as Cedarwood, Vetiver or Frankincense.
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial oils in Easy Air and Peppermint promote healthy respiratory function and clear breathing, which means they are ideal to use before practising yogic breathing exercises.
Easy Air, dōTERRA’s respiratory blend combines Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Tea Tree Leaf, Lemon Peel, Ravensara Leaf and Cardamom Seed essential oils.
Place a drop of oil in your palm and rub your hands together. Cup hands over your nose and mouth, inhaling deeply. Massage any residue onto your neck and shoulders.
I apply Lavender or Balance to the temples, back of the neck or soles of the feet to promote deep relaxation in savasana.
Known for its calming and relaxing qualities, Lavender has been used for centuries to ease feelings of tension and anxiety.
The warm, woody aroma of dōTERRA’s grounding blend, Balance evokes feelings of tranquillity and calm, bringing harmony to the mind and body, and balance to the emotions. This blend includes Spruce Needle/Leaf, Ho Wood, Frankincense Resin, Blue Tansy Flower and Blue Chamomile Flower essential oils in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil.
4. Mat cleaner
Finally, before rolling up my mat, I spray ‘n wipe with a combo of Lavender, Tea Tree and white vinegar. Known for their purifying qualities, both oils are powerful cleaning agents which protect against environmental and seasonal threats.
Introduce essential oils to your practice slowly and in small quantities; when it comes to high-quality essential oils, a little goes a long way! Be mindful that people react differently to oils and, if you are pregnant or have sensitive skin, you can diffuse or inhale the aroma from the bottle.