The Aroma Yoga guide was created for yoga students, yoga teachers and anyone wishing to enhance their wellness by incorporating aromatherapy. The book will guide you through suggested essential oils for yoga asanas and provides meditations and affirmations associated with each of the seven major chakras. Here’s a breakdown of what essential oils are, how they are used and a few essential oils you MUST have on hand as you begin to incorporate them in to your yoga practice + your life.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are aromatic liquids found in shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds. We think of them most frequently for their strong aromatic properties, but they are complex substances made from many different chemicals (as many as 300 ingredients in one essential oil!) with many beneficial properties. It is important to purchase pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils that are concentrated naturally through steam distillation as the use of synthetic materials to extract oils will alter their properties and affect their therapeutic value. Many less expensive oils on the market are cut with alcohol, preservatives or diluted. Be sure to ask before you buy.
How are they used?
The aromatic properties of essential oils stimulate our sense of smell and positively affect our bodies, moods and minds simply through inhalation. More on the neuroscience behind aromatherapy in next week’s blog. Oils may be inhaled directly from the bottle, your hands, bath or diffused in your home or work space.
Essential oils may also be applied directly to the skin. Be sure to check the label on any oil you are using as there are slightly different recommendations for topical application for individual oils. Some oils may be applied undiluted, in which case place 2 – 3 drops directly in the palm of your hand or directly on the desired part of your body. Others may need to be combined with a carrier oil such as a vegetable or nut oil. Carrier oils are most frequently used when essential oils are used for massage or to cover a large part of your body.
While there are some essential oils that should not be ingested, many can be safely used in an empty capsule or combined in a favorite recipe or with liquids (Therapeutic-grade only, as lesser quality oils are often cut with preservatives and not safe for ingesting). Safety is key, so always check the label or with a health care professional first to ensure an oil is meant to be used internally.
*Please Note: Never use therapeutic–grade oils in plastic bottles – only use in glass or stainless steel. Therapeutic–grade oils are so potent, that they begin to break down the petro-chemicals and leech plastic particles into the water.
3 Key Essential Oils to Have in Your Home
One of the most versatile oils, lavender is well known for its aromatic properties and ability to calm and relax the body and mind. It can also be used to relieve skin irritation (perfect for cold winter months) at this is one of the most soothing essential oils. I always carry lavender with me as it’s very helpful to tame the frustrations of heavy Los Angeles traffic!
Lavender may also be added to favorite recipes and beverages to enhance flavor! Lavender water, tea and chocolate are my favorites (only in glass or stainless steel).
Naturally refreshing, peppermint is a great way to achieve mentally clarity, reduce fatigue and increase energy before a workout. It aids digestion and can be added to tea, water or food. I always carry peppermint when I travel to relieve an upset stomach or to energize after a long flight and open my sinuses for deeper and more focused breathing.
Also a very versatile oil, lemon can be used to clean and disinfect surfaces and packs a double punch as an incredibly uplifting and energizing scent for body and mind. The powerful antioxidant d-limonene supports healthy immune system function. Add to a variety of foods and beverages to create flavor. Lemon oil acts to alkalize the digestive tract and is a great substitute for lemon water when you don’t have real lemons to squeeze.
Please leave a comment below with your Essential Oil questions and tell us what your favorite uses for Essential Oils are!
Here’s to a feast for the senses!