Essential Oils for Yoga & Meditation
Do you love yoga? Rather, do you consider yourself a yogi? Master or novice, teacher or student, one thing gets to every yogi or wannabe yogis; the inability to stay present during yoga. Although, Isn’t yoga or meditation supposed to help you concentrate? Aren’t these ancient practices means to calm the mind instantly? Well, your mind is too powerful!
The sessions are not too tough, and your body could be getting the hang of things but, how annoying is the mind getting rattled, and drifting to far and near places at once. The trouble is worse when meditation.
It seems like the mind conspires to make yoga and meditation an impossible task. You cannot do yoga or meditate when your mind is overworking and setting out ludicrous plans including planning a fishing trip for next year, a vacation to a pristine beach, or a visit to grandma’s or worse, thinking about the mess you will find in the kitchen and the bedroom with your eldest babysitting. If you left dirty dishes and laundry, trust yoga to remind you of all that.
But, that is not how it should be. So, how do you stop your mind from racing? How do you stay at present for over an hour or less, worrying about nothing, other than your breathing?
Is it even possible?
Let’s see – the yoga mat will not calm the noise in your mind, so, your teacher, (who is also struggling like you) will recommend a few things. First, you have to breathe with your eyes closed and then listen and relax. You could also visualize in the course of Shavasana.
Having tried these, or maybe you are impatient, you could be asking – isn’t there another way? How do you override the power of the mind and relax thinking about nothing other than what you are doing now? Enter essential oils.
But, before we share the secrets held by essential oils, why should you do yoga and or meditate?
Yoga, a body and mind practice that has been around for more than 5,000 years has its historical origins in the ancient Indian philosophy. The word ‘yoga’ comes from a Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning to join or to yoke together. Yoga is also defined as ‘that which brings you to reality.’ It could also mean union meaning that which brings you to the ultimate reality.
The practice has six philosophies and 8 limbs. Chakras which you might have heard about refer to the convergence of energy, your thoughts, feelings, plus your physical body. Your chakras determine how we all experience reality and differentiate it from our emotional reactions, our aversions, and desires, confidence or fears. If energy gets blocked by chakra, it triggers an emotional, physical or a mental imbalance that manifests as lethargy anxiety or poor digestion.
According to yoga, there are seven main chakras. Also, there are different types of yoga which focus on different elements and fitness levels.
On the other hand, meditation is thinking deeply into something, a mental exercise that regulates attention.
So, what are the benefits of Yoga and meditation?
- It helps to cope with anxiety and depression
- It helps alleviate arthritic pain
- It relieves asthma symptoms
- It builds balance and prevents falls
- It helps individuals with bipolar disorder
- It prevents cardiovascular disease and chronic heart failure
- It treats chronic neck pain and lower back pain
- It improves your flexibility
- It will help you concentrate
- It enhances mental health
On the other hand, meditation is helpful as it grows your spirituality, it boosts your wellness and emotional well-being, self-control, creativity, memory, focus, and it also improves your general performance.
Now that we understand what yoga and meditation do, and why we should try staying at present, how do essential oils help?
Essential oils for Yoga and Meditation
With yoga and meditation poised for their ability to spark positivity where gloom lived, it doesn’t come as a surprise that essential oils complement the practices. Essential oils create a positive and uplifting vibe too promoting a mindful and even more enlightened experience.
Essential oil, originally referred to as quintessential oil, stemming from the Aristotelian idea that all matter comprises of the 4 staple elements of fire, air, earth, and water. Besides these four elements, a 5th element, quintessence was defined. It was considered a life force or a spirit. This thinking came from the belief that distilling and evaporating a plant into oil removes the spirit. However, we now know the essential oils as complex mixtures of chemicals, all pure, and made of complex chemical mixtures.
Incorporation of essential oils into yoga isn’t a new practice, and it is regarded as a holistic practice offering immense physical, spiritual, and mental benefits.
The oils also help balance our chakras (energy centers) for a boost in emotional and physical strengths.
It is said that the essential oils used in yoga and meditation help us release the stale energy undoing imbalances.
But whether these make sense or not here are some of your best essential oils for yoga and meditation.
- Palo Santo Essential Oil
Also known as the Holy Wood essential oil, it helps keep you grounded, and it strengthens your connection with mother earth. The oil is also famed for its ability to help you find solitude and peace.
While working as a bug spray the oil is a powerful meditation tool that enhances creativity while keeping you calm and grounded. It is spiritually uplifting, and it reduces panic attacks, anxiety, and it could end your struggle with insomnia. It also reduces allergy symptoms, boosts your immune system, supports a healthy nervous system, and it relieves pain and inflammations.
How to use Palo Santo Essential Oil
Add it to your diffuser or apply it to your temples directly. You can also apply it o the soles of your feet, the nape of the neck, or on the heart when meditating. For topical application, mix equal parts of carrier oil and the essential oil.
- Sandalwood Essential Oil
Having been used in ancient Egypt for embalming purposes and spiritual use, it isn’t surprising that this oil is ideal for yoga and meditation. The sweet, soothing oil will uplift your spirits, and it will also boost your mood. It also provides a soothing balance.
In yoga, sandalwood essential oil helps in maintaining the Sacral Chakra, also called the Third Eye. It dispels confusion, tapping into your true happiness.
For topical use, mix equal parts of essential oil with the carrier oil, put some drops in your hands, rub your hands together and massage the oil on your forehead and your belly just below your navel, and then inhale the scent on your hands. Do this just before meditation. You could also add some drops in the diffuser.
- Bergamot essential oil
Next time you feel stressed out before your yoga class or daily meditation, diffuse 1 or 2 drops of bergamot essential oil or mix 1:2 parts of essential oil and carrier oil before applying the oils to the bottoms of the feet or the base of the spine.
Bergamot essential oil is balancing. It also reduces stress, and it helps fight the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Bergamot essential oil brings calmness, and it reduces body pain. It also improves blood circulation.
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
This essential oil is suitable for meditation. If you suffer from depression, anxiety o if you are unhappy, then you could add 2 drops of this oil into your diffuser. With a suitable carrier oil, you can apply it topically. It is suitable for your sacral chakra – put a few drops of the oil on your hands, rub them together until warm and then inhale the vapors in your hands. Note to dilute it with a carrier oil or blend with cedar wood for the best effects.
- Vetiver Essential Oil
Besides helping you sleep, vetiver essential oil will help you maintain the quiet, meditative state you have been yearning. You could also use it to awaken your libido.
Its grounding effects calm the solar plexus chakra which is overactive.
To get these benefits, add 2 drops to the diffuser or apply 1 percent to 2 percent carrier oil then apply the oil to the solar plexus. Alternatively, blend it with helichrysum essential oil then apply to the entire belly when meditating.
- Helichrysum Essential Oil
If you are working through an old trauma and looking for emotional and physical healing, meditation will help with the healing process. But, you can improve or enhance the healing process by diffusing helichrysum essential oil or topically applying diluted oil (1:2 vetiver/ carrier oil) on your overactive solar plexus chakra.
- Palmarosa Essential Oil
Wouldn’t you want to slide into that deep meditative state effortlessly? Well, palmarosa essential oil is your answer. This essential oil helps to create a relaxed, quiet and a deep-focus state. The oil also works wonderfully when you feel disconnected or out-of-sorts. If you find yourself becoming controlling and clingy, you could get this oil.
It works well because it will open up your heart chakra. To use it, you could diffuse it or apply it topically by diluting it in equal parts with a carrier oil of your choice. After mixing the oil with a carrier, put some drops of oil on your hands, rub them together, then apply the oil to the chest, just above the breastbone. To inhale the vapors, cup your hands to get it all in.
- Chamomile Essential Oil
If you have been looking for something to help you feel your inner harmony and to lower the levels of irritability you have been feeling lately, diffuse chamomile essential oil. This essential oil is suitable for anyone feeling overwhelmed, one who worries a lot or one who overthinks everything. It is fair to think that this essential oil is suitable for just about everyone.
Besides diffusing the oil before your meditation or yoga session, you could massage chamomile oil mixed in a 1:2 ratio, on your throat. Chamomile essential oil works well for the throat chakra, and it could help improve your communication skills.
Since your throat Chakra is crucial for self-expression, you can also use eucalyptus essential oil as it will clear the throat and soothe your sore throat to help you express yourself better.
- Lavender Essential Oil
Too many people cannot be wrong about one thing, right? Lavender essential oil has been applied in aromatherapy for centuries. The oil is best used when you feel overly stressed and when you need to meditate for a few minutes to calm down. In just under 15 minutes, meditation while inhaling lavender oil will wash all your stress away.
Add 5 drops of chamomile oil to the diffuser and feel its wonderful effects. You could also apply the oil topically after diluting it with a carrier, in equal parts. Lavender oil is the best essential oil for your heart chakra and applying it to the heart will bring comfort and a gentle calm.
Also, did you know that lavender is Lavare in Latin, a word that means ‘to wash’? So, let lavender essential oil wash away all your stresses with its pleasant aroma and relaxing breeze.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
Do you feel sleepy every time you try to meditate? How about you introduce peppermint essential oil into your meditation routine? Not only is peppermint essential oil soothing and stimulating, but it also increases your awareness at present. The oil also goes a step further to bring out a sense of vitality by clearing out that feeling of stagnation. You might also like peppermint essential oil as it clears the respiratory system to help your breath better. Yoga would be a lot harder if you have to struggle to breathe.
You can diffuse a few drops of peppermint essential oil for the best effects though you could also apply it topically after diluting it.
- Rosemary Essential Oil
Are you meditating on specific issues or looking for guidance on something in your life? Perhaps, you could apply a rosemary/carrier oil blend on your forehead to activate the Third Eye, or you could add some drops of the oil in the diffuser. The oil is energizing. If blended with lavender essential oil, it will keep you alert, while counteracting lavender’s tendency to be too relaxing. The two oils will also energize the third eye chakra.
- Frankincense Essential Oil
Having been used in spiritual meditation for thousands of years and in religious ceremonies, there is no doubt that this is one of the best oils you could add to the diffuser when meditating or when doing yoga.
Frankincense essential oil has strong purification abilities, and it effectively clears out stagnant and negative energies from the air. 1:2 parts of the oil with your carrier oil of choice will also open up the Third Eye Chakra if you apply the oil on your forehead. It maintains a healthy crown chakra while boosting the aura.
Note that daily use of the oil will require a high dilution ratio of 1 percent to 3 percent. If you are using a lower ratio, the oil is too strong, and you can only use it once in 2 weeks.
The other essential oils for yoga and meditation include coriander essential oil, rose essential oil, carrot seed oil, and clary sage essential oil.
The best blends
- Bergamot, chamomile, coriander, jasmine, geranium, lemon, tangerine, palmarosa, rose, and ylang-ylang essential oils uplift your mind, body, and the spirit, and also create a sense of love and happiness.
- A blend of cinnamon essential oil, cloves, eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary essential oils will bring about powerful psychic powers plus spiritual protection. These oils also boost the immune function.
The best essential oils for yoga and meditation focus on your relaxation, healing, spiritual awakening, and, the oils also keep you grounded. The oils above offer all these benefits. You need to know how to use it for the best effects.