Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of aromatic essential oils derived from plants. Aromas are inhaled, used topically, or sometimes ingested to bring about mental and physical well-being. Popularity of aromatherapy has steadily increased in recent years, prompting its integration into such practices as massage and yoga.
You may have already experienced aromatherapy in yoga class. Teachers will sometimes diffuse essential oils into the room before or during class to invoke certain energetic qualities. During more challenging practices, invigorating oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, citrus, or lemongrass may be used while calming oils such as lavender or chamomile may be used during more relaxing practices. Some essential oil formulas are pre-blended to bring about enhanced breathing, feelings of serenity, or even a sense of groundedness.
As an alternate to diffused oils, some teachers massage oils into the skin during a lengthy Savasana or spray the oil into the air above students resting in this final relaxation pose. You can also make a blend of essential oil–infused water to clean off your mat after a particularly sweaty practice. Certain oils are antimicrobial in nature and can help to inhibit bacterial growth on your mat.
Aromatherapy can also be helpful during meditation. Frankincense, sandalwood, and lavender are often diffused during sitting meditation practice to bring about feelings of calmness and well-being. Certain essential oils can also be helpful when working with the energetic centers of the body, or chakras.
In essence (pun intended), these oils are yet one more tool to enhance your practice and help you to go inward. Seek out a class that incorporates essential oils to experience this added dimension yourself. You may find that you want more of it in your life.
Be sure to stop by the studio and check out the wide range of oils available right here at the TYS Boutique.