Essential Oils for Yoga and Meditation

Cast your mind to a room that smells like a mix of patchouli essential oil, incense and sweat and you’ll have some idea of what my first experience of yoga and meditation was like. I was in high school and it was summer. Who would pick a sport that would involve being out in the hot Australian sun for one afternoon a week? Not me. I’d never done yoga before but as it was indoors, I decided to give it a go. The yoga studio was upstairs in a house and the carpet, curtains and even the wooden panelling all exuded the aforementioned smells. 

Unsurprisingly, many of my fellow students fell asleep in the middle of the relaxation. There was always someone who let out a fart when trying to get themselves in to one pose or another. This then meant the room would burst in to a fit of giggles. But I loved it. I realised I was super flexible and could even do headstands with ease. This began my life long love of yoga and meditation.

Yoga is an ancient discipline that originated in India. It focuses on joining the physical and spiritual bodies through poses, called asanas and meditation. Today, yoga is experiencing increased popularity worldwide as a form of relaxation. It is a way of deepening the mind-body connection, and as a method of total-body exercise.

The Science of Yoga and Essential Oils

Essential oils are great for yoga and meditation as they can increase both physical and mental strength. The constituents in essential oils, stimulate receptors in the nose. Those receptors then send messages to the limbic system, which controls and processes memories, instincts, and vital functions. 

Depending on the specific constituents in the essential oil, incorporating certain oils throughout a yoga routine may lead to increased energy, relaxation or focus, decreased stress, or deeper meditation. By incorporating the use of essential oils into your practice, you can experience:

  • Refined focus and mental clarity.
  • Deepened mental and emotional grounding.
  • Strengthened body-mind connection.
  • Increased stamina.

Essential oils to use for yoga and meditation:

Lavender

  • Calming and balancing both physically and emotionally. 
  • Place lavender essential oil on a pillow before going to bed or doing any relaxation or meditation.

Roman Chamomile

  • It is a relaxant, useful for overcoming feelings of anxiousness, anger and for stabilising the emotions.
  • Many people drink chamomile tea before bed to relax.
  • I have used a drop or two on my temples prior to bed, as well as using it on my children. 

Cedarwood

  • Calming and stimulates the limbic region of the brain (the pineal gland)

Valerian

  • Calming and reduces feelings of anxiousness.
  • Most commonly researched due to sleep enhancement properties.

Jasmine

  • Is an Absolute (which means it is extracted using a solvent)
  • Stimulant and Uplifting
  • Relaxation, releasing occasional head tension and useful for sleep.

Orange

  • Stimulant and known as the ‘Happy’ oil.

Sandalwood

  • Young Living sells two different species of Sandalwood. Indian Sandalwood is grown in Western Australia. This is labelled as Sacred Sandalwood to distinguish is from the over harvested, near-extinct Indian Sandalwood which comes from India.
  • The second is Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood which is a very unique oil harvested from the Kona Sandalwood Reforestation Project located in Hawaii. They harvest the oil only from dead or dying sandalwood when the tree produces the highest percentage and the best quality of oil.
  • The sweet, woodsy and bright aroma makes it a peaceful companion for meditation.
  • Profound influence on the brain and the limbic system
  • Some therapists use it to aid in releasing negative emotional programming. 
  • Balancing and stabilising the mind during meditation.

Frankincense

  • Stimulant
  • High in sesquiterpenes which stimulate the limbic system of the brain.
  • Reduces feelings of anxiousness.

Ylang Ylang

  • Ylang Ylang means flowers of the flower. 
  • Long been used as a spiritual oil – to reach internal spiritual unity, filters out negative energy and focus on peace and confidence which makes it great for low self esteem. 
  • Reduces feelings of anger and stress.

Sacred Frankincense

  • A great tool for those seeking to take their spiritual journey and meditation experiences to a higher level.
  • This oil is steam distilled from the resin of the Boswellia Sacra frankincense tree. Its aroma is warm and grounding.

Copaiba

  • Copaiba is one of the small handful of essential oils produced by resin tapping.
  • Its warm and woodsy aroma makes it another great option for enhancing relaxation.
  • Diffuse it or apply it topically to enjoy the calming benefits!

Essential Oils Blends

Grounding

  • D. Gary Young, the Founder of Young Living, formulated Grounding to accompany individuals on challenging emotional journeys.
  • It is a combination of White Fir, Black Spruce, Ylang Ylang, Pine, and several other essential oils.
  • It can create an atmosphere that encourages self-awareness and allows one to confront negative emotions.
  • This balancing blend of scents is a must have to channel feelings of clarity, stability, and spirituality.

Valor

  • Valor is one of the original blends formulated by D. Gary Young and is extremely popular.
  • It is a synergistic blend of Black Spruce, Camphor, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, and Geranium.
  • It provides a transformative aroma that inspires confidence and courage.
  • Valor is perfect for creating a grounding and balancing environment.
  • Need Valor on the go? Take our valor roll-on with you to carry confidence no matter where you are!

How do you use essential oils in meditation and yoga?

Essential oils are extremely versatile and have many practical applications in yoga. This includes techniques for complementing pranayama, meditation, relaxation, post-practice, and for cleansing and purifying. Essential oils can also be inhaled or applied topically to certain areas of the body to increase energy, relaxation or focus, decrease stress, or deepen meditation. Below is a basic guide of how to use oils before, during and after your yoga practice.

Before Practice

  • Diffusing oils like lemon essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, Citrus Fresh™ essential oil, Thieves® essential oil or Purification™ essential oil before or in between yoga class will purify the air while bringing a refreshing, uplifting energy to the space.
  • Apply Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood to your wrists for a deeper level of peace during meditation.
  • Set your intentions before beginning yoga or meditation practice. Apply two drops of Grounding in the palms of your hands and bring your hands within a few inches of your nose. Inhale slowly and state your intention. For example, “Today I am centered, focused, and empowered.” 

During Practice

  • Meditation (dhyana): Diffuse or directly inhale oils such as lavender essential oil, Peace & Calming™ essential oil, or frankincense essential oil for a deepened, more relaxed experience.
  • Breathing (pranayama): The pure aroma of essential oils such as frankincense essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and Raven™ essential oil assist in opening pathways to a more emotional state of mind via the pineal gland. 
  • Balance your chakras by applying your favourite balancing essential oils to the areas you would like to target.
  • Apply Grounding to the bottom of your feet before ending your yoga session with savasana pose.
  • Exercise (asana): Topical application of Deep Relief™ essential oil roll-on, Pan Away™ essential oil, or peppermint essential oil may help alleviate tight muscles after exercise. Peppermint can also aid to increase focus and mental clarity.

After Practice

  • Keep your yoga mat clean and fresh, with an aroma that is inviting for your practice. My friend Kellie uses the Thieves Hand Purifier for this.
  • For cleaning the studio floor, use Thieves Household Cleaner. This non-toxic product is safe for hardwood floors and you can also use it for cleaning yoga mats and bathroom surfaces.

How to keep up the benefits of meditation and yoga after your practice

  • Reset your mind throughout the day by directly inhaling Valor or massaging it onto your neck, chest, or hands and wrists. 
  • Use the woodsy and earthy scent of Valor to motivating positive self-talk.
  • Dilute Grounding and apply it directly behind the ears and on the wrists, nape, and temples to help you feel grounded and ready to face everyday decisions.
  • Meditate on the go by using Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood in your car vent diffuser.
  • Help your family start the day off with positive vibes! Diffuse Stress Away essential oil blend and state uplifting affirmations before everyone heads out the door.

What’s the best way to order essential oils?

Check out our Getting Started page to discover all your options.

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