I love aromatherapy. In fact, I’m enjoying the stimulating effects of a little diffuser filled with water and peppermint essential oil as I write this piece.
Essential oils are such wonderful gifts from Mother Nature. Not only do they improve our health and well being in amazing ways, they also enhance our daily sadhana.
Ever used relaxing lavender essential oil during your morning meditation practice? How about uplifting sweet orange during yoga?
In this article, we’re going to take a look at 13 of the most commonly used essential oils, and how to use them to enhance your yoga practice, as well as your spiritual lifestyle.
10 Most Commonly Used Essential Oils:
- Clary Sage
- Tea Tree
Oh, how I love lavender! No, really. I love it. I use it to fall asleep each night. How? I drop a few drops of lavender essential oil onto a flat cotton pad, and inhale the sedative scent as I drift off to sleep.
If I wake in the middle of the night, use the bathroom, and need a little help falling back to sleep, I may even out another couple drops on the cotton and let myself fall back into slumber. It works (almost) every time.
Lavender is renowned for its calming scent, thus making it the perfect aromatherapy addition if you're in need of some stress relief or relaxation.
Peppermint is an ideal essential oil to use if you want to increase energy and flow during a yoga practice. It’s an energizing scent that stimulates while it simultaneously soothes.
Its menthol and menthone opens up sinuses, helping us breathe better—a definite boon for anyone practicing yoga.
I’ve found peppermint to ease anxiety, just like lavender. In times of stress, I place a few drops on a cotton ball and inhale deeply. Last but not least, peppermint is known to help reduce headache pain, and can be inhaled or rubbed onto the temples with a carrier oil to soothe headaches and nausea.
Distilled from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, this clarifying essential oil is a lot like peppermint, in that it also helps us breathe deeper and eases headaches. It’s nice for a facial steam when your sinuses need unclogging.
It’s also a nice addition to your home when placed in a diffuser with water. (Learn more in 8 Essential Oil Diffusers to Help You Chill Out This Summer.)
To create your own eucalyptus steam, simply fill a large bowl with hot water. Then drop just a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil into the hot water, place a towel over your head as you drape your head over the steam bath. Breathe in the medicinal aromas.
Rosemary promotes focus and concentration, making it an ideal essential oil for yoga, meditation, and projects that require mental acuity. It's also been shown to help expand and deepen the breath. Perfect for a yoga practice!
Diffuse rosemary into the air during yoga and meditation practice. For work purposes, keep a diffuser filled with rosemary on your desk. Various travel diffusers even plug into your laptop!
This Australian essential oil is a potent cleanser, with its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Use the herbal scent to purify the air in your yoga space and home. It also helps to support and balance your immune system!
Alternatively, add it to DIY house cleaning products to kill germs naturally. It’s also revered as an anti-inflammatory treatment. Combine it with lavender and a carrier oil to make a massage oil for overall well-being.
Like tea tree, lemon is one of the best essential oils to use for cleaning house. Its fruity scent is refreshing and uplifting, as most citrus oils are.
Lemon is often mixed with tea tree oil in DIY home cleaning products. Combine 20 drops of lemon essential oil with distilled water in a spray bottle to use as an uplifting yoga mat spray. Add in some tea tree for extra cleansing benefits.
The sweet and herbal scent of clary sage is often used in natural skin care products. It’s great as an antidepressant and can even help with circulatory conditions.
Native to the Mediterranean, this essential oil is best used for female hormonal issues along with lavender and marjoram in a sensual and calming massage oil.
Native to southern India and Sri Lanks, this aromatic grass has powerful antibacterial, antiseptic, and even anti-cancer properties.
Like sweet orange, it’s also incredibly uplifting, making it another ideal scent to inhale when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Diffuse it through your home as an air freshener, or use it as an all-natural insect repellent.
Geranium essential oil is one of the best for all-natural skin care products, and has been used to promote radiant skin since the time of the Egyptians. It’s also shown to be an effective antidepressant, as well as a stress-reliever.
To relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, simply place a few drops of geranium essential oil on a cotton ball, and inhale throughout the day. To reduce wrinkles and promote beautiful skin, combine a few drops of geranium essential oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply just a touch to wrinkles and blemishes.
Ginger is best known for reducing gut inflammation and easing nausea. It’s also been proven to strengthen the heart.
To promote overall cardiovascular health, keep a ginger massage oil by your bedside table. All this needs to consist of is two tablespoons of coconut oil and seven drops of therapeutic-grade ginger essential oil. When mixed together, you get a ginger massage oil to rub into the chest area every night before bed.
For nausea, you can simply inhale ginger essential from a cotton ball or diffuse it into the air with an aromatherapy diffuser.
Cypress essential oil is the perfect remedy for yogis with cramps and sore muscles. It’s also been used as an all-natural treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome—perfect for those of us who spend too much time on our laptops and desktops.
Cypress essential oil even helps alleviate stress and anxiety. Who knew this needle-bearing tree had so many botanical gifts?!
This essential oil comes from a plant native to the Mediterranean. It’s most commonly used for its antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, making it the perfect essential oil to use in a yoga mat spray.
Simply combine 20 drops of helichrysum with eight ounces of distilled water in a spray bottle for a potent yoga mat cleaner. (If you're in need of a new yoga mat, check out The Best Yoga Mats You Can Find on Amazon.)
Fennel essential oil is best known for treating digestive issues and even promoting weight loss. Fennel essential oil can relieve stomach cramps, bloating, gas, constipation, and even alleviate diarrhea.
For weight loss purposes, it helps you feel full and reduces your appetite, while also giving the metabolism a boost. To relieve digestive issues and boost metabolism, simply rub a fennel massage oil onto your tummy once a day.
Have fun incorporating essential oils into your meditation practice, yoga routine, and daily life! The possibilities for its myriad of uses are truly endless!