Yoga and Essential Oils

It’s hard to overstate how beneficial essential oils can be to your yoga practice. They can increase focus and energy, reduce stress or evoke a sense of calm, reduce muscular tension, support your immune system, and so much more.

When we’re talking about essential oils and their benefits, we are often talking about aromatherapy, which is the use of plant materials or aromatic plant oils to increase both psychological and physical well-being – goals it shares with yoga! It makes sense, then, that the two work hand in glove. The right essential oils can give you a deeper state of awareness or heightened state of consciousness, which help the yogi connect with their inner journey and more deeply realize their intentions for their practice.

So why is it that essential oils and yoga compliment each other so well? It’s all about the connection between mind, body, and spirit. Your brain picks up signals from your nose and processes this sensory journey into emotion. As the oils travel through your respiratory and nervous system to become feeling, your spirit is energized or soothed. This can translate into your yoga practice through the use of a diffuser during your practice, or by topical application of oils before, during, and after.

Our favorite oils for practice are:

  • Lavender: reduces anxiety, emotional stress, and physical pain; improves brain function
  • Peppermint: increases energy, relieves muscle soreness, improves physical performance
  • Frankincense: relieves stress, anti-inflammatory, provides spiritual strength and protection
  • Wild Orange: increases energy, naturally stimulates, boosts mood

If you compliment your yoga practice with Ayurveda, a traditional Hindu system of medicine, you are probably familiar with doshas, or mind-body types. If you’re new to Ayurveda, this quiz to discover your dosha is a good place to start. Here is a quick rundown of the three doshas, as well as the best essential oils for each:  

Vata: grounding

  • Wind, air, ether
  • Wind behind our nervous system
  • Best oils: bergamot, sandalwood, patchouli

Pitta: calming

  • Fire
  • Fire that stokes our digestive system
  • Oily and acidic secretions, sour, pungent
  • Best oils: lavender, chamomile, jasmine

Kapha: energizing

  • Water
  • Present in our tissues as the flowing water element
  • Phlegm and mucus in the body
  • Best oils: ginger, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary

Lastly, essential oils are beneficial to our chakras. Om On carries essential oil blends for each chakra both online and in our boutique, each of which allow us to look inward and learn more about what our bodies are telling us. Below, you’ll find a little information about what each chakra is all about.

Root chakra – To own

Grounding, supportive, secure. The Root chakra protects us by providing everything we need to survive.

Sanskrit: Muladhara

Color: Red

Location: Base of spine

Body System: Skeletal

Food: Meat and protein

Element: Earth

Life Stage: Infant

Sense: Smell

Yoga: Hatha, Restorative

Poses: Standing, malasana

Affirmation: I am safe and secure.

Essential Oil: Sandalwood

Sacral chakra – To feel

Connectivity, acceptance, abundance. The Sacral chakra affects our sense of well-being and how we handle new experiences.

Sanskrit: Svadhistha

Color: Orange

Location: Sacrum

Body System: Reproductive

Food: Watery veggies, liquids

Element: Water

Life Stage: Toddler

Sense: Taste

Yoga: Tantra

Poses: Baddha

Affirmation: ­I accept joy and pleasure.

Essential Oil: Bergamot

Solar Plexus chakra – To act

Confidence, self-worth, mental focus. The Solar Plexus chakra helps with our ability to be in control of how we handle the ebb and flow of life.

Sanskrit: Manipura

Color: Yellow

Location: Solar plexus

Body System: Digestive system

Food: Starchy foods, carbs

Element: Fire

Life Stage: 2 to 4 years

Sense: Sight

Yoga: Karma

Poses: Dhanurasana, navasana

Affirmation: I have purpose.

Essential Oil: Ginger

Heart chakra – To love

Joy, empathy, inner peace. The Heart chakra helps with our ability to freely give and accept love.

Sanskrit: Anahata

Color: Green

Location: Heart

Body System: Circulatory system

Food: Vegetables

Element: Air

Life Stage: 4 to 7 years

Sense: Touch

Yoga: Bhakti, Pranayama

Poses: Ustrasana, garudasana

Affirmation: I am loved.

Essential Oil: Rose

Throat chakra – To communicate

Creativity, expression, truth. The Throat chakra magnifies our voices by ensuring we clearly speak our truth.  

Sanskrit: Vissudha

Color: Bright Blue

Location: Throat

Body System: Ears, mouth

Food: Fruits

Element: Ether

Life Stage: Adolescence

Sense: Hearing

Yoga: Mantra

Poses: Halasana, shoulder stand

Affirmation: I express my truth.

Essential Oil: Eucalyptus

Third Eye chakra – To perceive

Intuition, imagination, wisdom. The Third Eye chakra helps with our perception of the world, promoting clarity within our minds so we can properly make decisions.

Sanskrit: Ajna

Color: Indigo

Location: Space between the brows

Body System: Nervous system

Food: Raw foods, juices

Element: Light

Life Stage: Adulthood

Sense: Sight, intuitive mind

Yoga: Yantra, Jnana

Poses: Meditation

Affirmation: I follow my intuition.

Essential Oil: Ylang ylang

Crown chakra – To be

Consciousness, awareness, trust within yourself. The Crown chakra helps with our sense of oneness, opening us up to the realization that all things are connected.

Sanskrit: Sahasara
Color: Ultraviolet
Location: Crown of the head
Body System: The body as a whole
Food: None
Element: None
Life Stage: Golden years
Sense: Consciousness
Yoga: Meditation
Poses: Meditation

Affirmation: I feel oneness.
Essential Oil: Frankincense

We hope this was a helpful intro to how important essential oils are to your yoga practice. Watch this space for an easy way to incorporate essential oils into your practice: our crowd-favorite yoga mat spray!

 

August 9, 2018 BY omon_admin // 0 COMMENT

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