10 Essential Oils Every Yogi Needs
Can essential oils be a part of your yoga sadhana? We think so! While the ancient yogis didn’t have access to modern essential oil processes, the use of clean and pure scents were praised. Some yoga sects also used particular herbs to aid their practice, whether it was a special kind of grass for a seat or partaking of a sacrament like bhang.
You can use scent to enhance your sadhana. Here is a list of the most important essential oils to make a part of your yoga practice. Each of these oils is known to greatly assist in opening the mind and increasing the ability of yoga practitioners to focus.
However, note that only lavender essential oil can be safely used directly on the skin. Because of their powerful properties, all other essential oils should be used in a carrier oil such as jojoba (thick) or sunflower (thin) oil to avoid adverse or allergic reactions on the skin. Simply put in a few drops into the oil until it takes on the scent, then rub it on your pulse points. We don’t recommend putting it on your palms and feet before asana practice. You don’t want to slip!
If you don’t want to put oil on yourself before practice, consider getting an oil diffuser to spread the scent around through the room. A few drops are all that’s needed to fill a room with scent. Many shops that sell yoga equipment will also sell oil diffusers.
Lavender Oil – (Lavandula angustifolia) – Lavender is one of the most popular of all essential oils for its properties in healing both the emotions and the body. Lavender is anti-inflammatory, analgesic and calming. Within the practice of yoga, lavender is unequalled in helping the mind to relax giving comfort, acceptance and emotional balance.
Frankincense Oil – (Boswellia carterii) – Since ancient times, frankincense has been highly valued for its ability to relax the mind and purify all that it comes into contact with. Temples and churches have long understood that when inhaled, this resinous oil has properties which causes the synapses of the brain to slow and relax, causing an intensification of focus. It can induce feelings of emotional stability, enlightenment and inspiration.
Sandalwood Oil – (Santalum album) – Within Hinduism and yoga, sandalwood essential oil is considered one of the most sacred of essential oils. Sandalwood encourages a meditative state and alleviates depression and gives a sense of serenity and inner peace.
Coriander Oil – (Coriandrum sativum) – Coriander has the unique property of changing itself to suit the needs of those who are using it. This sweet scent is derived from the coriander seed. Its energy is gentle and compassionate. Coriander essential oil in yogic practice encourages creativity, stimulates memory and confidence, expressiveness, and enthusiasm.
Neroli Oil – (Citrus aurantium, C. brigaradia, C. Vulgaris) – According to essential oil expert Valerie Worwood, the essential oil of neroli is associated with the realms of the devas. This precious essential oil is sweet and has a higher vibration that inspires peace, calmness, and completion of the spirit. Neroli is perfect for yogic practice in that it helps the practitioner gain a sense of self-recognition.
Vetiver Oil – (Vetiveria zizanioides) – Vetiver is an essential oil known for its cooling and grounding properties. In yogic practice, vetiver essential oil can be a steadying force and rebalance the mind. Vetiver encourages growth, strength, self-esteem, protection, and wisdom.
Lemon Oil – (Citrus limon) – Lemon brings light and clarity and can help uplift and invigorate the mind. Lemon enters the psyche and helps to deepen meditations by clearing out the cobwebs. It encourages clarity, direction and enthusiastic energy. Note that lemon essential oil should not be used directly on the skin and can cause irritation. It is also photosensitive and can cause problems on skin exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light.
Helichrysum Oil – (Helichrysum angustifolium) – Helichrysum unique scent can open the heart. In yoga, it can make us aware of the unseen energies and can instill a sense of personal safety. Helichrysum encourages self-acceptance patience, perseverance, and inner strength that is particularly helpful in opening up the heart chakra.
Patchouli Oil – (Pogostemon cablin) – Within yogic practice, patchouli essential oil can assist in achieving rapport with others and encourages farsightedness and understanding. The scent is a particularly earthy and reminds one of the forest floor and connects us to the earth that we stand on. In that way, patchouli can ground and center both mind and body within yogic practice. Like a fine wine, patchouli essential oil gets better with age. A bottle of aged patchouli oil tends to be more expensive than one that was bottled more recently, but oh, so worth it!
Cannabis Oil – (Cannabis sativa) – With the legalization of cannabis in several states, many are finding a use for cannabis essential oil. This essential oil is derived from the flower of the cannabis plant. It is an herb extraordinaire for not only causing the mind to relax and instill a sense of well-being; it also can assist in addressing issues of chronic pain.
Some studios in legal cannabis states have started merging the use of cannabis and yoga in a new form of yoga. Devotees argue that Hinduism also views cannabis as a sacred plant. Its properties can actually help make the body more limber and assist in intensifying focus and increase the effectiveness of their yoga practice.
Try one of these ten oils today in your next practice and see if you can go just a little bit deeper into union.
Michael Jacob is the marketing specialist at gotvape.com who highlights healthy lifestyle tips and tricks for his audience.