Holistic Aromatherapy and Yoga
– a union of the mind, body and soul.
Aromatherapy and Yoga incorporates main concepts of Holism:
- Each person exists on many levels: physical, mental/emotional and spiritual
- Each person is unique
- Each person needs to be part of the decision-making process/each person is self-responsible
- Each person has self- healing potential to evoke a sense of balance and wholeness
AROMATHERAPY is an art of using naturally extracted aromatic essence from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to balance, harmonise and promote the health of the BODY, MIND and SPIRIT. It enhances psychological and physical well-being by utilising the pharmacological, psychotherapeutic and metaphysical properties of essentials oils.
YOGA is an ancient art that comes from India; the name translates as creating union. It is philosophical perspective that our lives are an energetic combination of BODY, MIND and SPIRIT. Yoga, as aromatherapy, works on many levels, and holds an appreciation for the human as complex and complete
expression of a larger wholeness. It empowers one to create balance, strength and flexibility in all aspects of his/her being. One works on tuning-in to their body in that present moment and then begin to open and strengthen through breathe and movement. We become focused on creating positive changes that unite us with our highest aspirations and deeper awareness of who we are, how to be in the world with our inner self and others.
Synergy of Aromatherapy and Yoga
When yoga is combined with regular aromatherapy massage, the person will benefit much more than if either of these methods is used on its own. By using therapeutic essential oils in your yoga practice, you can become more alert, receptive, connected, grounded, centered, uplifted and present.
Subtle Aromatherapy and Yoga
– Chakras –
There are seven key points in the subtle body known as chakras. When energy becomes blocked in a chakra, it triggers physical, mental, or emotional imbalances that manifest in symptoms such as anxiety, depression, lethargy, poor digestion, anger among others.
Both Yoga and Aromatherapy include a foundational understanding of all matter as energy. When working with chakra energy, essentials oils and yoga form a particularly harmonious and beneficial partnership.
Proponents for the energetic use of Aromatherapy, Joni Loughtran and Ruah Bull state that ‘essential oils in harmony with the energy centers and therefore can be used to assist in returning the centers to balance’ (2001, page14). According to Patricia Davis „essentials oils can influence chakra energy in a variety of ways: energising, calming, reinforcing the activity of one specific chakra, or balancing all of them”(1991).
Yoga has a unique way through poses and breathwork to move blocked prana (life force) in the subtle body. Yoga practice can free up energy and stimulate an imbalanced chakra, paving the way for internal shift. Any changes you feel in your energy, such as feelings of being “calmed down” or ability to „communicate more clearly” after yoga session means that it came to some significant changes in one or more chakras.
Personal practice – Decide which chakra is in imbalance and choose the right posture and essentials oil to address it. For example, if you feel like you are losing ground under your feet, work with the Root Chakra. If you have problems with communicating your thoughts and feelings, the right poses and essentials oils can open and stimulate the Throat chakra. Rekindle your inner fire focusing on your Navel Chakra using appropriate essentials oils.
Blending Aromatherapy and Yoga
Diffuser/ oil burner
Burning of the oils during the class and allowing the practitioner to inhale the aroma can be a wonderful experience. This has a very calming or stimulating effects depending on oils properties and allows a small amount of oil to be dispersed throughout the room.
It can greatly improve your yoga practice. Massage with essentials oils can help to loosen the muscles so that you can reach yoga postures you previously couldn’t. It will improve your flexibility, mobility and co-ordination. Aromatherapy promotes deeper and easier breathing, enhance mood and feeling of well-being.
A refreshing bath. Taken before your class, it will make you more supple. Go for energizing oils, but also those that are great for your muscles such as Pine, Juniper or Rosemary. If you don’t have time for a bath, quick shower is just another excellent solution. Simply put few drops of essentials oils on the floor of your shower, then run warm water and inhale the aroma.
A bath to relieve overworked muscles. So you had an amazing yoga class, but the next day you can feel every muscle of your body? There is nothing better than soaking your body in a warm bath after the class. Marjoram, Lavender and Sweet orange will work miracles – relax your body and mind.
Add 4-6 drops of essentials oils to few spoons of full-fat milk to ensure full and safe dispersal. Mix it with very warm water in your bath. Now soak and enjoy!
Applying oils with the hands and then attempting a downward dog is not very safe practice and can be very challenging! (I know because I tried). Using especially created roller ball blend to the pulse points (wrists, behind the ears and even the third eye) is practical and safe. As you take the first inhale and begin to move, the beautiful, soothing aromas fill your lunges and start to work their magic on your mind…
Awareness of the breath is one of the most basic forms of yoga. Try rubbing Breathe Blend onto your chest and over lungs before a workout to open airways and prepare your body for effective oxygenation and to help you focus your practic on breathing.
Eucaliptus (2drops), Pine (2drops), Frankincense (2drops)
Carrier oil: almond/ apricot kernel oil (15ml)
Yoga Mist Mat & Room Spray
Create an atmosphere of mindfulness as you sink into your yoga session. Made with a delightful blend of organic essential oils, this yoga mist will awaken your mind, body and spirit and inspire movement enhancing every aspect of your practice.
Calming: Made with the essential oils of lavender (5 drops), sweet orange (5 drops) and sandalwood (3drops), helps to calm the mind and relax the body for a serene session. It evokes feelings that inspire mindful movements.
Awakening: Containing a blend of some of the most naturally fragrant essential oils including grapefruit (5 drops), bay laurel (5 drops) and rosewood (3 drops), awakens your sense of smell to heighten awareness. Motivate your mind, and centre your attention with this beautiful blend.
DIY You’ll need
small, clean spray bottle (50ml)
distilled or spring water,
essentials oils – Tea tree, Grapefruit, Bay Laurel, and Rosewood.
Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties to effectively fight germs, while the scent of Rosewood oil helps you relax and relieve tension — especially important after a workout. Grapefruit oil will lift your Spirit and overcome mental and physical fatique. Wipe it down with a clean cloth and air-dry.
Safety note: Be sure to use only 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils and follow all label warnings and instructions. Consult your physician before using essential oils if you are pregnant or under a doctor’s care.
Battaglia, S. (2003) The complete guide to aromatherapy 2nd edn The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Brisbane, Australia
Davis, P. (1991) Subtle Aromatherapy Saffron Walden, The C. W. Daniel Company Limited
Davis, P. (2005) Aromatherapy An A-Z Vermilion, London
Mojay, G. (1997) Aromatherapy for healing the spirit Healing Art Press, Vermont
Loughran, J K, Bull, R. (2001) Aromatherapy Anointing Oils: Spiritual Blessings, Ceremonies & Affirmations
Lis-Balchin-M, 1997 Essential oils and Aromatherapy: their modern role in healing J.R. Soc. Health, 117, 324-9