It’s International Yoga Day today and what better way to talk about yoga and the best essential oils for yoga and meditation!
We are sure some of us dabble into one or two yoga sessions before or even an avid practitioners. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines, which originated in ancient India. Some people view yoga as a way of exercising physical health while some view yoga as a way of finding inner peace. Either way, this practice is a method that some people use to relieve stress after a long day at work or school.
There are various types of yoga practices in the world, ranging from classical yoga to religious yoga. Although usually, most people practices only classical yoga incorporates epistemology, metaphysics, ethical practices, systematic exercises, and self-development techniques for body, mind, and spirit. Apart from just a combination of asanas (positions), yoga also requires meditation in order to achieve the best result that can be obtained through this activity.
Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. Just like sports, meditation is a group of various activities. Types of meditation include loving-kindness meditation, zen meditation, mantra meditation, and many more. However, the most commonly practiced meditations are mindfulness meditation and concentration meditation.
Although relaxation is not always the main goal in meditation, it is often the result achieved after meditation. Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher at Harvard University Medical School, used the term “relaxation response” after conducting research on people who practiced transcendental meditation. The relaxation response is an involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. This, consequently, brings benefits to the nervous system which includes:
- Lower blood pressure
- Less stress
- Improve blood circulation
- Lower blood cortisol level
- Reduces anxiety
One may think that meditating can be easily done at home where it is apparently a place with no disturbance. You can just sit with your legs crossed, back and shoulders straight, eyes closed, with deep, slow inhaling and exhaling at a steady rhythm, making sure to clear your mind and focus only on the breathing rhythm alone.
It is actually much harder to meditate as it is not only about the position but it is also about the surroundings. It may be easy to find a quiet and spacious space to meditate along with the right temperature and timing. Creating the right ambiance with scent or aroma to help the mind to relax might be a challenge to some.
A lot of yogis around the world have widely used essential oils in their practice to help them achieve balance through their senses as well.
Let’s explore the 9 best essential oils that can be used for yoga and meditation sessions.
Widely known as the King of Oils, Frankincense essential oil is not only credited to its contents in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This oil has been used in meditation for centuries due to its ability to stimulate and elevate the mind. Frankincense essential oil can help to promote a better sense of being with the body center, which helps with a spiritual connection. Frankincense can also help stabilize your root chakra so that your energy can flow through your chakras. With its grounding scent, Frankincense essential oil can help you to focus during meditation.
Every essential oil user knows how versatile lavender essential oil can be. Not only it is known to help improve sleep quality, heal scars and wounds, Lavender essential oil is also known for its soothing and relaxing scent. With its familiar scent, Lavender essential oil is useful and helpful for those who are just starting yoga and meditation.
3. Sandalwood essential oil
Like Frankincense, Sandalwood essential oil is considered holy and has been used in many religious activities in ancient India and other Eastern countries. One of the main benefits of Sandalwood essential oil is that it promotes mental clarity when used in aromatherapy or meditation. Sandalwood essential oil is also relaxing and stress-relieving, subsequently helps to improve focus and concentration, all are which important on the journey of meditation.
4. Ylang Ylang essential oil
Because of its ability to act directly on the olfactory system of the brain, inhaling Ylang Ylang essential oil can have immediate, positive effects on your mood, and research conducted shows that it can help release negative emotions, including anger, low self-esteem, and jealousy. Apart from that, Ylang Ylang essential oil is also known to be a natural energy booster and useful to fight physical fatigue. After all, you don’t want to find it hard to sit and have your back straight during meditation.
Keeping your body fit and healthy is very important when doing yoga. You might find Peppermint essential oil useful to relieve muscle and joint pain after stretching your limbs to achieve a yoga position. Peppermint essential oil is also an energy booster and simply taking a few whiffs or diffusing the scent will be able to help you to focus and slowly push through your daily limits during yoga practices.
Besides that, Peppermint essential oil is known for its ability to improve blood circulation and stimulate your mind, helping you to focus and concentrate when doing your work, and is clearly useful when you need aid in concentrating when you are focusing on your yoga poses. Remember to never exert over what you can do in yoga poses as it is not about competition but to better yourself slowly through constant practice.
6. Clary Sage essential oil
It is believed for centuries and in many cultures that Clary Sage can remove negative energies in a space. Using Clary Sage during meditation can clear the room of any negativeness that can influence and distract your mind from focusing. Clary Sage is also an antidepressant so it can help lift your mood so that you have a positive meditative experience.
Orange essential oil is also known as happy oil! This is because of its well-known ability to uplift mood and be tranquilizing. A mind clear from stress and negative emotions can certainly improve your concentration and focus.
The woody-balsamic scent of Cedarwood essential oil helps focus the mind and relieve anxiety, tension, and stress with its sedative and calming properties. It is uplifting, strengthening, comforting, and grounding, and it can help to create balance. A research also confirms that Cedarwood can help to improve focus and improve brain activity.
Lemon essential oil is another effective natural energizer to help you stay active during yoga or meditation. Lemon essential oil also works to improve mood and can help to relieve stress and relaxing. This can lead to an increase in focus and concentration when meditating.
With the right aroma, meditation, yoga and the clarity of the mind can be done as easily as one-two-three! If you are new to essential oil and would like to try them out for your next yoga or meditation session, do give our take on the best essential oils for yoga and meditation a try!
You can diffuse these essential oils with the traditional ceramic candle burner or use an electric essential oil diffuser. Trust us that it will turn the whole ambiance into a different positive aura when you try our recommended essential oils during your yoga and meditation session.
We wish all the yogis and people who are on the journey of your souls a Happy International Yoga Day!