5 Best Essential Oils For Yoga That Will Take Your Practice To The Next Level
If you've ever been to a yoga class before, you've probably encountered essential oils. Aromatherapy is frequently used to enhance the incredible mind-body experience of yoga. Essential oils can help you focus, wake you up, and honestly, these lovely scents just make you want to smile. But what are the best essential oils for yoga that'll truly take your practice to the next level?
The benefits of essential oils honestly can't be understated. From stress relief, to immune system protection, to energy boosts when you need them most, there's basically nothing that these little bottles of liquid magic can't do. And when it comes to using essential oils in your yoga practice, these bad boys will complement each inhale and exhale that you take, and accentuate every asana that you flow through.
Each scent provides a different kind of experience. So, depending on what mood you're in or what kind of energy you'd like to cultivate, that will determine which oil you should use in your practice.
Keep in mind that less is definitely more when it comes to aromatherapy, so be sure to start off with only a couple of tiny drops and work your way up if and when you want to.
Here are five essential oils that will take your yoga practice to a new level and make you feel totally blissed out from head to toe.
1. Cedarwood For A Grounding Practice
Cedarwood essential oil is extracted from a vast and majestic tree and transported into a tiny bottle to enhance your mind-body experience. Since this scent originated from something that is deeply rooted in the ground, it makes for a very grounding and nourishing yoga practice.
Be sure to include plenty of asanas that make you feel connected to the earth, including movements like tree pose, mountain pose, and warriors I and II.
Breathe deeply, taking the time to savor your inhale of this subtle, but beautiful aroma. Exhale and root yourself deeply into each pose.
2. Sandalwood To Bring You Back To Center
The scent of sandalwood is woodsy and sweet, and like cedarwood, it's also derived from a huge, beautiful tree.
A few drops of sandalwood essential oil will provide mental clarity, focus, and strength for your yoga practice. If it's just "one of those days," and you're feeling a bit off and scatter-brained, this essential oil will bring you back to your center immediately.
Try simply sitting in meditation for a few minutes, breathing steadily as you allow the calming aroma to truly envelop you. Slowly shift into your physical practice, and notice how strong you feel in each asana.
3. Lavender To Banish Any Signs Of Stress
Personally, lavender is my all-time favorite essential oil. As a yoga instructor, when I'm teaching an evening class, I almost always go around the room and rub lavender oil on my students' temples so they'll be able to let any and all stress from their day just melt away.
You probably won't want to use lavender for a morning yoga flow because it's incredibly relaxing, and might make you want to hop right back into bed after you're done. However, if you're practicing before bed, whip out your lavender essential oil, and let the floral scent sink into each of your body's movements, leaving any lingering feelings of stress with no choice but to surrender.
4. Lemongrass For A Cleansing Boost Of Energy
Lemongrass grows in stalks within tropical regions, and its citrus scent is sure to cleanse and energize even the most cluttered and distracted brain.
This is a great essential oil to use in the morning when you wake up, or even if you're squeezing a flow into the afternoon hours. The potent scent calls for powerful movement, so an intense and sweaty vinyasa flow goes perfectly with lemongrass.
The scent is also said to boost confidence and self-esteem, so by the end of your practice, you might just feel like you can take on literally anything that comes your way.
5. Peppermint To Soothe Your Muscles
Whoever said yoga doesn't count as exercise clearly hasn't experienced the aggressively sore muscles that can come with a vigorous vinyasa flow. But the next time you're tempted to pop an ibuprofen after your practice, try using a little peppermint oil instead.
Its minty fresh scent is invigorating AF, and it contains analgesic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it's basically the natural equivalent of an Icy Hot patch — not to mention it smells way, way better.
Plus, peppermint essential oil is said to provide laser-like focus, so if you feel frazzled and imbalanced before finding your way to your yoga mat, dab a little of the stuff on your wrists for a rejuvenating boost. Try incorporating some balancing postures into your flow, such as dancer's pose or half-moon pose.
Trust me, once you start using essential oils during your yoga practice, you'll never want to go back to boring, scentless flows ever again.