Today we have a guest post from Yoga Teacher & Aromatherapy Goddess Kris Glover from Beacon, NY. Kris and I completed Yoga Teacher Training together in December 2018 and she now teaches Restorative VinYin Yoga. Kris is an avid health & wellness advocate and runs the Facebook group #Selfcare and her business KAGed Oils & Vintage. She’s passionate about the use of Essential Oils to enhance your health and daily life, and to enhance your home environment. Kris is a Wellness Advocate for dōTERRA Esstential Oils and all of the oils listed are available for sale.
Yoga and meditation are extremely beneficial self-care practices on their own, and can be even further enhanced through the use of essential oils. As a yogi and yoga teacher, I have witnessed first hand how the use of essential oils can deepen one’s practice. I have highlighted specific oils and how they can be incorporated into the Baptiste Power Vinyasa Journey Into Power sequence, as well as what inherent properties make them beneficial for those poses.
Meditation and Integration/Warm-Up and Becoming Present (child’s pose, rag doll, downward facing dog, extended mountain pose)
Peppermint or Lemon - cup hands & inhale, close eyes; apply to back of neck
Peppermint will allow you to more easily come into your breath by decreasing inflammation in your respiratory system. This will allow you to inhale more freely and with less stress. Peppermint can also promote digestive health and help to alleviate stomach upset or nervous butterflies.
Nerves can also be alleviated through the use of lemon oil, which is noted for its ability to boost energy and self-esteem. Once your attention is taken off of any negative feelings or apprehension you may be experiencing, you will be able to have a deeper level of concentration and truly experience the power of yoga and meditation. Lemon is often used to clean and purify surfaces and the air, and can do the same for your heart and mind. Like peppermint, it supports healthy digestive and respiratory functions, and both can assist in providing relief from seasonal allergies which hinder breathing.
Awakening and Vitality/Sun Salutations and Warrior Series (Sun Salutations A & B, twisting crescent lunge, extended side angle, side plank, twisting thunderbolt, peace sign forward fold, gorilla, crow)
Wild Orange or Lemon - cup hands over face & inhale; apply over heart
Much like Lemon, Wild Orange is recognized for its ability to have an uplifting effect on one’s mood, stimulate the body, and increase concentration and focus. When taken internally, Wild Orange aids in the detoxing process and supports a healthy immune system. The fresh, sweet scent of wild orange alone is enough to bring a smile to my face.
This series of poses is intended to generate heat and bring yogis into their bodies. Twisting poses also stimulate detoxification of the body. By using citrus oils, you can push through doubt and turn your attention onto your breathe and amplify the release of toxins.
Equanimity and Grounding/ Balancing and Triangle (eagle, airplane, half moon, dancer, tree, triangle, pyramid, twisting triangle)
Balance, Cypress or Siberian Fir - apply to soles of feet
As a practitioner, I often felt frustrated by the standing poses. While my balance in everyday life is pretty decent (my brother used to hold my foot up in the air and I could stay centered for upwards of 20 to 30 minutes without falling), I was harboring a severe mental block. Step one to breaking this block was taking a goat yoga class, and coming to the stark realization that I was taking it way too seriously. But the real breakthrough occurred once I started applying doTERRA’s Balance to the soles of my feet at the beginning of this sequence.
Balance is a grounding blend of spruce (which has been used for centuries by Native Americans in certain spiritual practices as well as to promote overall health), ho wood, frankincense, blue tansy, blue chamomile, and osmanthus, which combine to “promote tranquility while bringing harmony to the mind and body, and balance to the emotions.” The cozy woody scent is perfect for creating relaxation throughout the body and bringing a sense of calm and ease. The anxiety that I was allowing to take over my practice at this stage was quickly alleviated once I began using this oil.
Cypress can also be used during this part of the sequence, due to its stimulating effects on the emotions, which make it a go-to during times of transition. The clean aroma is energizing and refreshing, aiding in washing away any negative feelings you may be experiencing.
Another oil known for its ability to balance emotions and soothe anxious feelings is Siberian Fir, due in large part to the refreshing, woody scent. Siberian Fir can reduce stress and help to steady breathing, allowing you to really ground down into your feet and eliminate any panic or unease associated with falling out of these poses.
Igniting and Stability/Backbends and Core Work (locust, floor bow, camel, bridge, wheel, abdominal exercises, boat)
Peppermint - apply over chest
Utilized during these series of poses, peppermint will encourage the flow of energy and self-expression. Heart-opening poses may conjure up fear and anxiety in some yogis, and the positive effects of peppermint oil on the respiratory system will assist in creating and maintaining steady and even breathing. Being able to harness and focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply, will help to eliminate any tension and anxiety you may experience.
Opening and Release/ Hip Openers and Forward Bends(half pigeon, double pigeon, frog, seated leg extensions, reverse tabletop/plank, fish)
Frankincense - massage into neck/shoulders and or sacrum
Frankincense, is referred to as the “King of Oils” and is one of the most spiritually charged oils. It is recognized for promoting overall health and wellness by supporting healthy cellular, immune, nervous and digestive functions. Aromatically, frankincense creates a sense of calm and ease, while promoting feelings of relaxation, peace and calm.
Hip openers, especially half pigeon, can cause a lot of emotion to come to the surface, as we hold a lot of stress and tension in our hips. The aroma of frankincense is stimulating for the mind, which can allow you to focus, find your sense of center and quiet the negative self talk that may tell you that you “can’t”.
Rejuvenation and Deep Rest / Inversions and Surrendering (waterfall, shoulder stand, plow, deaf man’s, headstand, handstand, supine spinal twist, butterfly, shavasana)
Lavender - Cup hand over face & inhale, apply to temples & chest.
Considered a “starter oil” due to its various applications and widespread use in various settings, lavender is a safe and comfortable place to begin implementing essential oils into your yoga practice and your healthy lifestyle. Most people are familiar with the calming properties of this popular oil. Relaxation is paramount to getting all the benefits from practicing yoga.
Deep Blue - listen for what needs support, ease and apply there.
Deep Blue is a doTERRA blend that works like nature’s IcyHot. Wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, ylang ylang, blue tansy, blue chamomile, and osmanthus come together to soothe and cool your muscles after an intense workout.
**Marilyn Note: LOVE THIS FOR ACHES & PAINS!!
Sanitize hands & mat
Melaleuca (tea tree) and or On Guard (both best in a ready-made spray bottle, just water and oil) - Clean mat/feet/hands
Touted for it purifying and cleansing properties, tea tree is perfect for wiping off your mat post practice. Melaleuca can protect you from environmental threats, boost the immune system and kill bacteria.
doTERRA’s OnGuard, a combination of wild orange, clove, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary, is a natural non-toxic cleaner and protects your immune system.
Always keep in mind possible skin sensitivities when using essential oils. If you are prone to irritation or breakouts, dilute the oil with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba before applying topically, or stick to just using aromatically through a diffuser or inhaling. One drop per oil is plenty and keep away from the eyes and face.