How Aromatherapy Will Boost Your Yoga Routine
By Indy Summers
Aromatherapy and yoga are both extremely powerful holistic disciplines, offering practitioners numerous benefits for the body and mind. They have also both been used together for hundreds of years, greatly enhancing the overall yoga experience and even offering neurologically therapeutic benefits.
It is a proven fact that practicing yoga while enjoying the heavenly scent of aromatherapy can greatly increase the sensory awareness of both. Aromatherapy is known to be able to increase a yoga practitioner's focus and state of mental relaxation by stimulating your sense of smell and activating parts of the brain responsible for dopamine releases, an essential neurochemical that triggers relaxation itself.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy involves the use of fragrant oils known as essential oils. The essential oils are naturally scented, rather than being comprised of highly processed or chemically induced mixtures. Typically, these oils are created with plant compounds, flowers, botanical extracts, herbs, tree bark, and other organic ingredients. Shamans have used essential oils for thousands of years, as these oils are known to offer strong therapeutic effects to anyone that comes into contact with them.
Coming into contact with quality essential oils, such as Young Living Essential Oils, will almost immediately induce an emotional and psychological shift in anyone practicing yoga. For this reason, essential oils are considered to be emotional cleaners, helping the body and mind to process trapped or otherwise unprocessed emotions or mental stress and baggage. Once a release takes place, the person exposed to the essential oils, especially a yoga practitioner, will feel a strong healing process take over the mind and spirit.
How Does Aromatherapy Improve a Yoga Experience?
To maximize the benefits that aromatherapy can offer a yoga practitioner a person should seek out the guidance and expertise of a trained yoga teacher or aromatherapist. If you don't have access or cannot afford these highly skilled professionals then you can take online tutorials that can explain to you how essential oils should be used during a yoga session. In addition to explaining how the oils should be used, many of these tutorials will also let you know which essential oils are best to use with specific types of yoga exercises. One such example is that the lavender essential oil or lemongrass essential oil is necessary to use during yoga exercises that require an energetic and revitalized mood.
When diffusing essential oils while practicing yoga it should always be considered that only a small amount of oil is needed to induce a calming and relaxing effect. The goal is to allow the yoga practitioner to inhale the aroma, but you certainly do not want the person to be absolutely overpowered by the fragrance. If you use the correct amount of essential oil it will have a very calming effect on anyone that happens to be practicing yoga near them.
There is another highly effective way to use aromatherapy while practicing yoga, and this method does not involve diffusing the aroma into the air. Instead, essential oils can be rubbed directly on to a yoga practitioner's skin. When doing this make sure that you follow the proper dilution instructions for the oils and only use essential oils that are absolutely safe for such applications. You also only want to use essential oils on the skin for yoga poses that do not require you to use your hands for balance, as you could slip and become injured.
When applying essentials directly to the skin in order to enhance your yoga, be sure to apply them to pulse points throughout the body. These pulse points can be found on your neck, wrists, underarms, and on your inner thighs. Some yoga practitioners claim to feel a deeper state of bliss from skin applied essential oils rather than simply diffusing the oils into the air through more traditional methods. It should be noted, however, that both methods are commonly accepted and practiced and both have been used by yogis for hundreds of years or more.