There are so many benefits to using essential oils. Aromatherapy is associated with the use of essential oils to improve the mood and general wellbeing of a person. Essential oils in their essence are completely pure and have very little or no foreign particles meaning that when you breathe them in, you are breathing pure fresh air. There are so many different essential oils to play with, all with different therapeutic benefits for you to explore.
For example, peppermint can be used to boost your energy, rosemary improves mental clarity and memory, while lavender has the ability to relax you, relieve stress and lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Antibacterial and antiviral properties are commonly found in essential oils such as grapefruit and eucalyptus (my personal favourites!) The disinfectant effect can boost your immune system and improve your overall health. In addition to this, these oils release a naturally pleasant scent inside your home.
Here are some ways to use essential oils or your own favourite blend of oils to enhance your experience during your yoga practice.
1. In your practice area, create a beautiful scent by placing a few drops of your favourite essential oil into an oil burner. Place a tea light underneath and wait a few moments for the scent to fill the air.
Another option is to use a steam diffuser – there are many different ones on the market varying in price, colour, size, lighting… you name it. Take a look around to choose the best one for your home and space. My personal favourite is the iBetter Aromatherapy Diffuser.
2. Begin your practice lying down or sitting. Have your chosen essential oil to hand. Place a drop of oil into your hands – rub together and deeply breathe in the scent. I use eucalyptus or grapefruit for their strong scents that clear my airways ready for deep yogic breaths!
3. When lying down or sitting during your practice, use an oil to massage into your tummy, temples or feet depending on where you want to focus. Wonderful oils to aid digestion and massage into the tummy include peppermint, ginger and lemon. Start at the belly button, gently massage into the skin using an upward circular motion (apply gentle pressure with the pads of your fingertips, circling to the right). This can also be done on the back, over the liver and stomach.
Let me know how you get on. Enjoy working with your essential oils.