The penetrating aroma of essential oils has a powerful effect on our physiology and emotions, impacting every cell of our being.
There are many ways to use aromatherapy for self-healing. By using specific essential oils in combination with our yoga, pranayama, and meditation practices, we have the ability to create our own olfactory sanctuary.
Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. They are derived via distillation, expression, solvent extraction, or florasol extraction from plants and their various parts, including: leaves, flowers, roots, buds, twigs, rhizomes, heartwood, bark, resin, seeds, and fruits. Essential oils are often referred to as the lifeblood of the plant, as they share some biochemical structural similarities to human blood.
Our sense of smell (olfaction) is our most primal sense and dates to life’s origins. At birth, smell is our most fully developed sense.
As we inhale an essential oil, their aromatic molecules enter the body via the nasal passages and olfactory bulb and travel to the limbic region at the center of the brain, the group of structures that regulate processes like memory, creativity, and motivation, as well as the autonomic nervous and endocrine systems. This olfactory highway means that the scent bypasses the cerebral cortex—the conscious processing part of the brain. This is why even the faintest whiff of something evocative will instantly evoke a flash of memory, a recollection of a person from our past, or even inspire an emotional response.
Combining essential oil use with yoga practice can powerfully enhance feelings of well-being and presence. Inhalation or topical application of genuine therapeutic grade essential oils can be a powerful tool for radiant health for every major system of the body. Many yoga practitioners find that use of essential oils helps refine focus and mental clarity, deepen mental and emotional grounding, strengthen the body-mind connection, increase stamina, and reduce muscle and joint pain and tension. Yoga instructors have found that when they use essential oils in their classes, students often appear to be more alert, receptive, unified, connected, grounded, centered, uplifted and present.
You can adjust your essential oils depending on the type of yoga class you’re teaching. Using essential oils from trees in a yoga practice can be incredibly grounding while mints and citrus can be very uplifting and energizing.
A few of my favorite blends for my practice are:
Anchor – brings a firm trust in yourself so you can approach your life with calming strength. The ingredients in Anchor were chosen carefully to create a grounding blend. Lavender, Cedarwood, and Frankincense are the primary oils in this blend, but Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Fractionated Coconut Oil are also included in small amounts.
Arise – inspires moments of rising up and reaching for your highest. The aromas of this blend support your stability as well as your freedom, endurance for your body, and courage and happiness in your heart. The oils in Arise were chosen carefully in order to create a blend with a beautiful aroma and powerful biological effects. Lemon, Grapefruit, Siberian Fir, Osmanthus, Melissa, and Fractionated Coconut Oil are in the individual oils included in the Arise blend.
Align – helps you to trust in yourself and stay open to all possibilities. Featuring Bergamot, Coriander, Marjoram, Peppermint, Jasmine absolute, and Rose essential oils in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil, doTERRA Align Centering Blend helps you to trust in yourself and stay open to all possibilities.
Learn more about the basics of essential oils and find out how to order these blends in the handy guide.