Essential Oils for Yoga: Photo Credit, istockphoto
Essential Oils for Yoga: Photo Credit, istockphoto

Certain essential oils can be used both in yoga and for meditation practice in an attempt to calm both the mind and the body, in addition to focusing your thoughts. This practice is not a “new” invention; many scents have been used for centuries, in the form of incense and oils, by various civilizations and religions for prayer and meditation time. Here’s a closer look at how you can use essential oils in your modern day practice of yoga and meditation.

A Note on Using Essential Oils for Yoga and Meditation

It is my intent, in this particular post, to discuss the use of essential oils for yoga and meditation interchangeably. I am focusing on the same aspects to address within yoga and meditation practice; that is, an attempt to slow down your racing thoughts, focus on your breathing, ground yourself, and improve your concentration level by doing so. This post is by no way intended to substitute medical advice and should be used simply as a starting point for your yoga and meditation practice. I have written it from my personal point of view and use – which may, or may not, work for you as well.

How to Use Essential Oils for Yoga and Meditation

There are a couple of ways in which you can use essential oils for yoga and meditation. The primary, and probably most effective way, is to diffuse essential oils. Depending upon your practice, and the space you have, you might want to consider one of the following ways to do this:

  • Use an aromatherapy diffuser and gently diffuse an appropriate essential oil into the atmosphere. Always ask first if you are sharing the space with others.

  • Use an aromatherapy roll-on applicator, or balm stick (as discussed in my book Authentic Aromatherapy), and apply a small amount of the blend to your pulse points before starting – such as wrists, temple, and/or forehead. The essential oils should always be diluted in an oil or balm base before applying to the skin.

  • Light a true aromatherapy candle with the essential oil blend you require and gently burn in the practice area. Again, ask first if you are sharing the space with others.

Suitable Essential Oils for Yoga and Meditation

The following essential oils have been chosen by me for yoga and meditation practice based on their perceived therapeutic properties and aroma:

  • Vetiver (Vetiveria zizaniodes) – A deep smoky, earthy aroma with calming and sedative properties.

  • Sandalwood (Santalum album) – A deep balsamic, woody aroma with sedative and anti-depressant properties. Note that Santalum album is now an endangered species and you may prefer to choose another species because of this. The aroma of each species may vary.

  • Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) – A deep, spicy, balsamic aroma with the ability to slow and deepen breathing. It has traditionally been used in meditation and prayer because of this (Lawless, 1995). Note that Boswellia carteri is now an endangered species and you may prefer to choose another species because of this. The aroma of each species may vary.

  • Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – A warm, woody aroma with sedative properties.

  • Hemlock spruce (Tsuga canadensis) – A fresh, balsamic, fruity aroma “opening and elevating though grounding – excellent for yoga and meditation” (Lawless, 1995).

  • Citrus essential oils – if you want to improve your focus in your yoga and meditation practice, try combining the above essential oils with a citrus essential oil such as lemon (Citrus limon), lime (Citrus aurantifolia), or sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). These particular essential oils may help to provide clarity to your session.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you are interested in learning more about how to use essential oils in your life, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study courses. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Falsetto, Sharon, 2014, Authentic Aromatherapy, US: Skyhorse Publishing

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, an approved NAHA aromatherapy educator, a published aromatherapy author, an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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