Practice made perfect: How to use essential oils for yoga
Like scones and jam and fish and chips, there are some things that seem made to go together. The same can be said for yoga and essential oils.
Whether you’re an experienced yogi or don’t yet know your chakra from your chaturanga, you can greatly benefit from using essential oils for yoga.
From using essential oil for yoga to ground yourself and make meditational breathing easier to cleaning your mat, there’s an abundance of reasons to use these oils in your practice. Not only can they enhance your mental health and bring a sense of calm, but they can also do all this while you strengthen your body and work on your flexibility.
If you want to take your practice to the next level and get the most out of every asana, this guide is for you.
- How to use essential oil for yoga
- Place a drop in the palm of your hands
- Spritz the room with a mist
- Use a diffuser
- Add essential oils to eye pillows
- Use an essential oil spray to clean your mat
- Why aromatherapy yoga may deepen your practice
- Top yoga essential oils
- What the research tells us
- Essential oil’s effect on blood pressure and stress
- Bergamot’s ability to improve mood
- Lavender essential oil as an anxiolytic
- Lemon essential oil’s anti-anxiety effects
- Effective blends of yoga essential oils
- Clean Air
- Date Night
- Pick Me Up
- FAQs about using essential oils for yoga
- What are the recommended essential oils for yoga?
- How do you use essential oils for yoga?
- What is aromatherapy yoga?
- Why should I be using essential oils for yoga?
- Can I create my own essential oil yoga mat spray?
- Make every minute on your mat count
How to use essential oil for yoga
Using essential oils in your yoga sessions will unleash the many benefits that they offer. It will also turn the time you spend on your mat into more of an experience than just a simple workout.
Place a drop in the palm of your hands
Put a drop of essential oil, properly diluted with a good carrier oil, on the inner surface of your hand either before you begin your class or as you’re settling into Savasana.
Rubbing your palms together will warm and activate the oil, and then you should cup your hands over your face and inhale deeply through the nose. Release your hands to exhale and repeat this process three more times.
Spritz the room with a mist
Aromatherapy yoga isn’t complicated. Blending essential oils together and adding them to a carrier liquid like water before adding them to a spray bottle is a brilliant way to reap their benefits while you’re doing your downward dog.
You can also spice up your routine by adding an essential oil yoga mat spray to the mix. Blend oils for specific outcomes, like increased energy or deeper calm, and mist your mat with it before you start your surya namaskar.
Use a diffuser
One of the easiest ways to incorporate oils into your at-home practice is to invest in a diffuser. It will get the job done quietly while you absorb the advantages of each asana and bolter your bandhas.
Add essential oils to eye pillows
Although certain eye pillows contain dried lavender and fillers like buckwheat or flax, they tend to lose their scent after prolonged use. Revive them with a drop of lavender essential oil, pop them over your eyes and lose yourself in Savasana.
Use an essential oil spray to clean your mat
For a quick-working essential oil yoga mat cleaner, blend antibacterial essential oils with a quarter cup of witch hazel or white vinegar and spray and wipe your mat after each class.
Make sure that it is safe to use essential oils on the brand of mat you use and take advantage of the clean, sanitized space the next time you practice.
Top antibacterial choices include eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, peppermint and tea tree essential oil.
Why aromatherapy yoga may deepen your practice
Using aromatherapy during your yoga sessions may elevate your experience in multiple ways. This makes sense when you consider that yoga is about becoming more relaxed and enhancing your connection with yourself and the world around you. It’s about finding your center, reducing anxiety and relieving stress. This is what aromatherapy is all about too.
For example, sandalwood quiets the mind the way standing forward fold does. Patchouli calms your brain and body down just like uttana shishosana can. Frankincense essential oil purifies your system and fights anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress, the same issues you can tackle with child’s pose, fish, hero, tree and triangle pose.
These aromatic compounds, made from the bark, flowers, roots, seeds and stems of different plants, enhance our emotional and mental wellness just like yoga does. They can also relieve sore muscles and support our spiritual and physical well-being in the same way that regular practice does.
Top yoga essential oils
Studies have proven that certain essential oils can take your meditation and yoga experience to the next level. Your practices will become more reflective and vivid and each oil will add its own unique benefits whether used singly or as part of a blend.
The following oils are excellent choices for an aromatherapy yoga practice:
Citrus essential oils are renowned for their ability to invigorate and stimulate. However, while bergamot essential oil is part of this family, it calms you down and is particularly recommended when levels of stress and tension are high.
Cedarwood essential oil grounds and calms our nervous system and can bring people together, spiritually speaking. It is an excellent choice if you need a confidence boost because it roots you to the earth while opening your heart.
With its energizing scent, eucalyptus essential oil refreshes and enlivens the body while it calms and soothes the mind. Choose this oil if you need a little help relaxing and dealing with stress.
Frankincense calms the nervous system, encourages deeper breathing patterns, lessens anxiety, uplifts mood and may even evoke feelings of euphoria.
The emotional and spiritual support that grapefruit essential oil offers is why so many yoga practitioners adore it. It’ll help you to foster feelings of self-love and approval, especially when honoring and loving your body.
Use lemon essential oil the next time you do yoga and enjoy a better mood, lower levels of anxiety and a general lifting of your spirits. It may also help you mitigate symptoms of stress.
Reap the strong emotional benefits of peppermint essential oil by popping some in your diffuser before you next do dragon pose. It calms emotions, reduces anxious and sad feelings, relieves restlessness and soothes tension.
Use sandalwood to support your shoulder stand and benefit from its ability to enhance your mood, ground you, promote peace and clarity, quiet your mind, and boost your sensuality.
What the research tells us
The scientific community is starting to take the impact of essential oils far more seriously. This is because evidence-based research is proving that many different ailments can be treated to one degree or another with high-quality essential oils:
Essential oil’s effect on blood pressure and stress
Three groups of subjects took part in this 2012 study, one of which inhaled a blend of lavender, marjoram, neroli, and ylang ylang essential oil. The placebo group inhaled artificial fragrances and the third group received no treatment.
After 24 hours, the diastolic and systolic blood pressure and the cortisol levels of the group that was exposed to the essential oil blend notably decreased in comparison to the other two groups. This shows that it’s not just the pleasant smell that has positive physiological benefits but the composition of true essential oils which provide therapeutic effects.
Bergamot’s ability to improve mood
In this 2018 study, bergamot oil provided multiple beneficial effects to the research participants. These include a reduction in anxiety, blood pressure, depression, heart rate and stress responses.
Lavender essential oil as an anxiolytic
Lavender has many desirable properties as an anti-anxiety agent, as proven by this research study. The list of these includes its ability to calm without sedation and the fact that no issues were found in dependence, tolerance or withdrawal.
Its side-effect profile is also benign and its onset is rapid.
Lemon essential oil’s anti-anxiety effects
A 2022 research study into the efficacy of lemon essential oil as a way to handle anxiety showed that inhaling lemon oil reduced test anxiety in nursing students. proved several theories. It has also been shown that lemon oil lowers cholesterol, is analgesic and antibacterial, decreases nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and has anti-stress and anxiolytic effects.
Effective blends of yoga essential oils
There are several reasons that blending essential oils is so popular. For one, it can increase their efficacy because more than one oil allows the created mix to work on several levels. So, if you combine basil for its spasmolytic effects with bitter orange for its soothing capabilities, the comfort you will experience will be markedly increased.
These natural plant extracts also support each other in their actions. This means that they are frequently more effective when used together.
Additionally, blends reduce the risk of side effects. While these are admittedly rare and generally low impact, if you do find yourself reacting to the intensity of some oils, blending them with others may diminish any adverse effects you’re experiencing.
And then there is the fact that blends just smell wonderful. The potency of the aroma of essential oils is one of the best things about them, and you can create entirely new scent profiles with a good blend.
Volant’s blends are carefully curated, and you will be able to find a mix for whatever mood you want to create.
Clean Air is a sweet blend of myrrh, tangerine and lemon oils and evokes the feeling of a freshly cleaned home. With the focus on breathing in your yoga sessions, you may find attaining those asanas far less challenging with this fragrance in the air. And of course, breathing purified air is much better for you when you’re practicing deep breathing, and Clean Air will do just that.
Open your heart while you deeply inhale a blend of amber, bergamot, frankincense and lavender in our Date Night blend. It is sure to give your evening the romantic touch it needs, whether you are having a yoga date with somebody special or treating yourself to a soul night.
Turn your morning into something special with twisted chair pose and Volant’s Energy blend in the diffuser. Amyris, bergamot, grapefruit and lime will get you ready for the day ahead or the task at hand.
Pick Me Up
Enhance a good mood or turn the volume down on a bad one when you put a few drops of Pick Me Up blend in your diffuser. Sweet orange essential oil mixes beautifully with lemongrass and ylang ylang, and you will get all the energy you need to hop on the mat and work it all out.
The Relax blend invites you to leave your worries at the door. You can settle into reclined bound angle pose with the fragrance of eucalyptus, grapefruit, palma rosa and ylang ylang wafting all around you.
If you like to do your yoga just before you crawl into bed, Volant’s Sleep blend is the perfect choice for your practice. Start your siddhasana with notes of lavender, frankincense, palma rosa, and Roman chamomile essential oil encouraging you to relax and get the rest you need.
FAQs about using essential oils for yoga
What are the recommended essential oils for yoga?
Bergamot, eucalyptus, grapefruit, peppermint, frankincense and cedarwood essential oil can all be considered excellent choices as yoga essential oils.
How do you use essential oils for yoga?
You could create an essential oil yoga mat spray and use an essential oil yoga mat cleaner. Diffusing oils during your practice is also a good way to use them.
What is aromatherapy yoga?
Think of it as a yoga practice deepened and strengthened by the use of aromatherapy throughout each session to create a more intentional, therapeutic and meditative experience.
Why should I be using essential oils for yoga?
The benefits of aromatherapy are combined with those that yoga offers when these two practices come together.
Can I create my own essential oil yoga mat spray?
You sure can. You can even add your own unique essential oil yoga mat cleaner to the mix if you want to.
Make every minute on your mat count
Using essential oils for yoga can be hugely helpful in so many ways. They’re great for setting an intention for your practice and will help you to deepen your mind-body connection. Pairing yoga essential oils with regular practice and intention-setting will also anchor your physical sense in positive surroundings and inspire softer thoughts about the world around you.
Different oils offer various therapeutic benefits, so it’s important that you determine your goals before you begin. Your aromatherapy yoga toolkit will look different when you want to de-stress, ease tension and relax as opposed to when you need to get your energy levels up and wake up your brain or when you want to check in with yourself and create some spiritual calm.
One thing is certain, however. Whatever outcome you’re looking for, pairing yoga with essential oils is an excellent way to find it.
Incorporating Volant's high quality, 100% pure organic essential oils into your yoga practice is an excellent way to help you to make the most of the time you spend on your mat. Regardless of whether you’re doing an intense Bikram session, flowing through a Vinyasa sequence or stretching it out in Yin, essential oils can help you to make every breath count a little bit more. Namaste!