Aromatherapy is an excellent way of using your sense of smell to relax your body and clear your mind. Different scents can produce different reactions for individuals. In addition to helping an area seem more inviting, properly using aromatherapy techniques can promote a sense of peace, wellness, or energy based on the scent used. Many people commonly use aromatherapy for health benefits including reducing anxious feelings and stress, limiting feelings of sadness, and raising cognitive performance.
Because of these benefits, aromatherapy is often paired with yoga to encourage full body wellness. Yoga and aromatherapy are holistically therapeutic ancient practices promoting physical, mental, and spiritual health. Pairing them together will ensure a more fulfilling experience of both. There are many ways to incorporate aromatherapy into yoga practice to enhance mental and emotional wellness. The three most common techniques of integrating aromatherapy into yoga include diffusing or burning oils during practice, applying them onto skin, and cleansing yoga equipment.
Diffusing or Oil Burning
Incorporating a diffuser or oil burner during practice will allow you to disperse the scent of your chosen essential oil throughout a room. Inhaling the aroma gives off a calming effect as the oil disperses through the room. Essential oils offer various natural advantages and add unique benefits to the practice of yoga. For example, try grapefruit for a purifying and cleansing effect. Or perhaps peppermint to promote awareness and mindful breathing. Using a diffuser or burner is particularly useful when you are doing yoga with a group or when you have a studio that you practice in. This allows you to reach a greater area than you would otherwise.
Applying Directly to the Skin
Another option is to smooth essential onto your skin for a closer, personal effect. Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin from the bottle as that may cause an adverse reaction. Instead, mix the oil of choice with a carrier oil or water to ensure safe use. Distributors can supply you with carrier oils, as well as instructions for diluting your favorite oil. Applying this mix to the pulse points creates a subtle but lasting effect. Lavender is an excellent option for sore days to relieve tension in muscles. This is effective when you are practicing yoga by yourself or attending a class. It allows you to get the benefits of aromatherapy without needing everyone to participate. If you do this while attending a class, make sure your instructor will not be using their own oils and that the other class members are not allergic.
Wiping down yoga mats, blocks and chairs with an essential oil is a practical choice to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy that will last throughout several sessions. Simply mix the oil with water and apply to yoga equipment before use. A little goes a long way with potent essential oils, so a couple of drops will do the trick. Not only does this cleanse the equipment, but also creates a relaxing and clean environment, ready for practice. Make sure that you only wipe down your own equipment and that you are mindful of any sensitivities that others may have to essential oils.
Incorporating our sense of smell into yoga can open more possibilities to benefit from the practice. As with any other product, test them out for yourself before you fully incorporate them, as everyone reacts to fragrances differently.