As we all know, scent is one of our most powerful human senses and, can evoke a myriad of emotions and feelings both positive and negative. When it comes to the practice of yoga and meditation, it’s common for both studios and, individuals alike at home, to incorporate fragrance in some form into their daily class or ritual. Be it in lighting an essential oil candle, burning an incense stick, droplets in an essential oil burner or simply a wood wick diffuser.
Over 5,000 years ago, the practice of Yoga was started by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India. It was first mentioned in Rig Veda, a collection of texts that consisted of rituals, mantras, and songs which was mainly used by Brahmans, the Vedic priests. These yogic rituals also incorporated the use of fragrance. It was thought that scent was a powerful way to access spirituality.
Best essential oils for yoga and meditation
Fragrance can be so subjective and as such, selecting essential oils for yoga practice and essential oils for meditation can be challenging for a modern-day yoga studio given classes tend not to be of a one-on-one format and, indeed are composed of a group of people.
Traditionally, scents used in yoga and meditation included sandalwood and frankincense. However, there are some wonderful essential oils used in recent times for yoga and meditation that will help energize, enliven, ground, and calm one’s practice and mind.
Essential oils for yoga
Yoga can be both a strenuous practice and a restorative one. Depending on what you want to achieve in your yoga class, the essential oil fragrance you select can help impact this.
- Lemon – uplifting and energizing, zesty lemon is thought to help with the practice of dynamic yoga poses and bring positivity of thought to one’s class. It’s not only the fragrance of positivity and happiness, but it’s the colour as well.
- Rosemary – can really assist with focus. The perfect essential oil when trying to conquer a new yoga pose that requires concentration or, for a beginner learning the practice.
- Peppermint – both revitalising and restorative, peppermint essential oil has had studies that suggest it can improve one’s exercise performance.
Essential oils for meditation
Meditation is a practice of trying to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state of mind by using the powers of one’s mind to focus and concentrate.
- Sage – known to stimulate and clarify the mind cerebrally, emotionally, and spiritually. Sage assists with the perfect combination of balancing, uplifting, and soothing one’s thoughts. Sage is also thought to ease negative moods such as fatigue.
- Lavender – widely known as the calming oil, using lavender oil will assist in soothing your mind if dealing with stress and ease you into a relaxed state of mind – the perfect foundation for mindfulness meditation practice.
- Chamomile – used to improve mood and reduce anxiety so a wonderful choice if you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
Regardless of what fragrance and essential oil your yoga studio uses, if you’re staying active and enjoying your practice – that’s what counts!