Yoga, Mindfulness & Essential Oils..
These are a few of my favourite things!!! Oh, goodness where to begin???
There is so much that just makes sense about Essential Oils, Mindfulness & Yoga, so let’s simply start with the practical.
Keeping your Mat, Blocks & other gear FRESH!
Have you ever settled in to an beautiful, releasing Pigeon Pose.. you know, that feeling right after you rise up on your finger tips opening your chest to fold deeply resting your forehead onto your hands or your mat… that posture that really calls upon the discipline of breath to stay with it and not allow your mind to start wishing you could just kick that leg back already or go whip up a delightful avocado smash on sourdough (oh wait, is that just me?!?). And then… you take that beautiful full breath in only to stop in tracks and realise your mat smells like a combination of recycled dirty shoes and someone else’s body odour (because surely your sweat doesn’t smell that bad)! UGH, THE WORST! Now not only are you fantasising about avocado smash, but you’re also trying to nostril breathe without actually smelling. If this has been or could be you, then perhaps these tips to keep your mat, blocks & other gear will be of service.
Thieves Gear Cleaner:
- Fill a 12 oz (ideally amber or cobalt glass, if not available, any spray bottle will do) nearly full with distilledwater.
- Add 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner (ask me how if you don’t already have any of the oil/oil-infused products I’m in love with)
- Shake well. Spritz over mat and wipe down with clean towel at least 1x per week. Hang over door way or drying rack to dry. Avoid direct sun or excessive heat as it can dry out your mat.
- If your gear is super stinky, you might like to add 15-20 drops purification + 1 tsp witch hazel and top with distilled water in a 100 ml spray bottle to use as a maintenance spray on your mat in the same way as above until the deeply-seeded stink gets better.
- You can also just make a mat freshener, using the same recipe above, but with your favourite essential oil blend for an aromatic experience during your practice. Be mindful not to overdo it out of respect for your yoga peers as not everyone enjoys the same oils.
Now on to the more meaningful uses of Essential Oils in your Yoga or Mindfulness Practice
Emotional or Physical Support:
I encourage you to take a moment before your practice to consider what you might need. Consider what you might set as your intention for this particular practice. Is it grounding, contentment or balance that you need today? Is it energy or joy? Is it strength & exertion? Is it confidence & self-worth? Is it gratitude or empathy? Is it circulation or cleansing? Whatever your intention for your Yoga Practice might be, I can pretty much guarantee you there is an oil to support that intention. I will list some of my favourites below. Most of these oils can either be applied topically or aromatically. I will often diffuse or wear on diffusing jewellery during my own yoga practice. Alternatively or additionally, I will apply over my heart, wrists or the corresponding vita flex point depending on my set oily intention. I will apply topically over the area of my body that needs extra loving if my intention is a physical need or an emotional release (hips & lower back for my baggage)!
You might now be curious how breathing in a pretty scent has anything to do with balancing emotions or a mindfulness practice?
By inhaling a certain scent the odor molecules are registered by the nerves of the olfactory membranes stimulating these nerve cells and triggering electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb in the brain. The bulb then transmits the impulses to the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system is also known as the emotional control centre, influencing heart rate, blood pressure, breath, memory, stress and hormone balance. Sense of smell is the only one of our five senses that can access the limbic system. Therefore an essential oil of the intended therapeutic properties can have great impact on both psychological and physiological wellness. For more on this, check out our Facebook Page ‘Intertwined Wellness’ as linked on bottom of site where I recently posted a slide class presentation on Balancing Emotions with Essential Oils.
Below are just a few oils you might like to use to support various intentions:
Please ensure you are using your essential oils responsibly and following appropriate instructions for diluting & safe application.
- Grounding/Balance: Frankincense, Vetiver, Awaken, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Palo Santo, Acceptance, Harmony, Lavender, AromaEase, Australian Blue
- Grief/Sorrow: Bergamot, Forgiveness, Hope, Joy, Juniper, Release, White Angelica, Tangerine
- Joy/Contentment: Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Joy, Abundance, Motivation, Rose, Sacred Mountain, Sandalwood
- Confidence/Self Worth: Valor, Jasmine, Live with Passion, Shutran, Build Your Dream, Sandalwood, Envision, Joy, Inner Child, SARA
- Postpartum Bonding/Mood/Self-Worth: Geranium, Gentle Baby, Joy, Lavender, Peace & Calming, Frankincense
- Clarity/Energy/Focus: En-R-Gee, Peppermint + Lemon, Brain Power, Rosemary, Orange, Grapefruit, Clarity, Eucalyptus
- Empathy/Gratitude/Forgiveness: Inspiration, Joy, Gratitude, Sacred Mountain, 3 Wise Men, Forgiveness, White Angelica
- For physical support of all types I encourage you to check out your favourite reference guide or download an app as the options are endless!
For Post Yoga Recovery:
I LOVE a good Epsom salts or Dead Sea Salts Bath + oils for muscle recovery, emotional release and supporting some of the other benefits a yoga practice can offer, such as detoxification.
Add 1/2 cup salts + 1/4 cup aluminium free bi-carb soda (baking soda) + 5 drops essential oils of your choice.
- PanAway or Cool Azul for muscle recovery support
- Any of the above for emotional support
- Endoflex, Clary Sage or Ylang Ylang for Hormone support (clary sage is not recommended during pregnancy)
Another beautiful way to benefit from oils post-yoga work out is by adding them to your moisturising routine. I have poor circulation in my legs, so love elevating after I have dry-brushed, then showered and finally applying cel-lite massage blend to my legs to support healthy circulation and skin appearance. Any of the massage blends or body lotions are beautiful for your post-yoga skin & muscle self-love routine! If you have a particular physical or emotional need, you can always use your guide to add that oil to your lotion or massage blend and apply generously.
For another teachers input on how to energise your yoga practice with Young Living oils with some specific steps, check out the link below.
For more than 12 years as a mental health clinician, yoga instructor and more recently, as a mother, I have been combining the benefits of therapeutic essential oils and mindfulness daily in both my personal and professional roles. My passion for clean living and holistic wellness is two-fold; Firstly, I can no longer stand idly and witness people I care about continue to suffer the catastrophic consequences of toxin overload; Secondly, the evidence regarding the benefits of essential oils supporting emotional an physiological wellness is profound, there is no reason everyone should be be using them for optimal health.
light & Kindness, Namaste <3