Uses of Aromatherapy in Yoga Practices - By Zeine Charabati
on Dec 20, 2022
Uses Of Aromatherapy In Yoga Practices
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The use of essential oils in massage, inhalation, and skin absorption are some common ways that aromatherapy is practiced to benefit the body and mind. Recently, more people have explored incorporating aromatherapy into yoga practices as a way to enhance the overall experience. By understanding how aromatherapy works with yoga, we can enjoy both practices at the same time to deepen our connection with ourselves and nature.
Using essential oils during yoga practice can support relaxation, provide emotional healing benefits, and energize and invigorate us - all while adding an extra layer of self-care. In this article, we'll discuss how we can use aromatherapy during yoga and the benefits of doing that.
Let’s start by understanding what aromatherapy is, why it works and how we can use it to enhance our yoga practice.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is based on the practice of using natural essential oils extracted from plants such as flowers, herbs, roots, leaves, and fruits to promote physical and emotional well-being. Essential oils have been used in healing practices for generations due to their powerful therapeutic properties. Depending on their chemical composition, each essential oil has its own unique aroma and healing effects. Inhaling essential oils can help reduce stress, improve mood and provide a sense of calmness. When applied topically or massaged into the skin, essential oils are absorbed through the skin, providing further healing and relaxation.
Why Does It Work?
When used in combination with yoga poses, aromatherapy can help to relax the mind and body, making it easier to focus on our practice. This is because when inhaled, essential oils travel through the olfactory system straight to the brain and affect the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain. Different essential oils have different effects - some are calming while others are invigorating and energizing. By incorporating these powerful natural scents into our practice we can benefit from the therapeutic effects of the oils throughout the entire session.
How To Use It
A great way to get started with using aromatherapy during your yoga practice is by blending a few drops of essential oil in a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil before applying it to yourself. You could use a personal roller or make a stock bottle and apply some oil on your student’s wrists before the class. Undiluted oils are not safe to use on the skin although this is a common practice. If you absolutely want to use it undiluted (which I do not recommend), make sure you only add one drop of a safe essential oil, such as lavender. Citrus oils should not be applied on the skin. You can also use diffusers, mists, or sprays for larger spaces and classes. If you use a diffuser, we recommend using one with a timer option, and use only a few drops of essential oils (4-5 drops) if the room is not ventilated. Diffusers with timers would turn on and off for a period of 30 mins for example. Remember in aromatherapy, a little goes a long way, and too much is not recommended.
What Are The Benefits?
The benefits of using aromatherapy during your yoga practice are numerous. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to create a relaxing atmosphere that can help reduce stress and increase relaxation. Essential oils such as lavender and sandalwood are known for their calming effects while lemon and orange can be invigorating when feeling sluggish. Try diffusing calm for a relaxing experience, and energy for an energizing one.
Aromatherapy can also help to soothe sore muscles after a challenging session on the mat, helping you relax more deeply into each pose.
In Closing incorporating aromatherapy into your yoga practice is an easy way to add an extra layer of self-care to your routine. Whether you’re looking to relax, energize or just deepen your connection with yourself and nature, adding aromatherapy can help you get the most out of each practice. With the right essential oils, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy during your yoga practice.