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
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:
Wind, air, ether
Wind behind our nervous system
Best oils: bergamot, sandalwood, patchouli
Fire that stokes our digestive system
Oily and acidic secretions, sour, pungent
Best oils: lavender, chamomile, jasmine
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.
Location: Base of spine
Body System: Skeletal
Food: Meat and protein
Life Stage: Infant
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.
Body System: Reproductive
Food: Watery veggies, liquids
Life Stage: Toddler
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.
Location: Solar plexus
Body System: Digestive system
Food: Starchy foods, carbs
Life Stage: 2 to 4 years
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.
Body System: Circulatory system
Life Stage: 4 to 7 years
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.
Color: Bright Blue
Body System: Ears, mouth
Life Stage: Adolescence
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.
Location: Space between the brows
Body System: Nervous system
Food: Raw foods, juices
Life Stage: Adulthood
Sense: Sight, intuitive mind
Yoga: Yantra, Jnana
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!