I can still remember the way I felt, the first time I experienced essential oils as part of a yoga class. It was a sweet surprise, when the teacher held her palms over my nose, as I inhaled the most aromatic scent into my nose. Almost immediately, I felt a sense of calmness and peace wash over me. I was able to let go, be still, and connect into the deeper part of myself on the mat.
Even the energy in the room felt different. Kind of like that same feeling you get when you walk into a sacred place of worship or ritual. You know something meaningful is happening. It touches your spirit. I was hooked.
When I became a Yoga teacher, I could not wait to use essential oils in my classes. After studying aromatherapy, I was even more excited to learn the numerous benefits to be gained, by using these precious oils. I like to think of a Yoga class, as a work of art, each mat a canvas, each pose a brush stroke, and the essential oils are the color, creating a masterpiece, with its own unique beauty every time.
Although I have a long list of favorites, here are my top three must have essential oils, to bring into your Yoga and meditation practice. May they serve you well, mind, body and spirit.
Peppermint- Oil of Awakening – A beautiful oil to begin your yoga practice with. It almost instantly allows us to connect with our breath, open the lungs, and feel an expansion in our heart space. Due to the menthol content, it is very cooling, and can help relieve tension headaches after a long day. Emotionally, peppermint is very stimulating, giving us a sense of alertness and motivation to move through a full yoga class or your day. (Avoid using at bedtime!)
Lavender- Oil of Harmony- If there were essential oil Olympics, Lavender would take the gold medal every time. The love of lavender’s beautiful aroma goes back centuries, as the Egyptians and Romans used it for bathing, cooking, relaxing, and perfume. Lavender has a long list of benefits, which include relieving anxiety, stress, depression, and insomnia due to its sedative properties. It is the perfect oil to have as part of your skin regimen, as it helps with minor skin irritations because it is antibacterial, and can be used for oily skin, and stretch marks. It is my favorite essential oil to use near the end of yoga practice, as it brings a sense of calmness and peace, preparing for savasana.
Frankincense- Oil of Devotion- If essential oils were the royal family, Frankincense would be the king. Highly revered, going back to ancient biblical times, this powerful oil was considered more valuable than gold, and offered as a sacred gift to Jesus at the time of his birth. Also used in religious, sacred ceremonies, as the beautiful and potent fragrance of frankincense, helps you to connect with your spirit, your highest self, while uniting with divine grace. It can also help reduce inflammation, aches and pain, stress, and is very healthy for the respiratory system. After a yoga practice, once you come out of savasana, is the ideal time for meditation. Frankincense is my must have oil, for meditation, as it enhances the overall mind-body-spirit connection.
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