Photo courtesy of http://101exercises.com/category/yoga
Relaxation and exercise are key components to health, and a regular yoga practice brings these two components together beautifully. Deep breathing exercises to calm the mind and cleanse the body combine with challenging poses for the ultimate mind/body connection. One ends a yoga class or private practice with a deep sense of peace and renewal. Most yogis and yoginis will tell you that there is no better feeling in the world than this. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to take this practice to an even deeper level? Many yoga instructors have begun including essential oils in their classes. Some diffuse oils in the space to enhance the spiritual or relaxation experience of their students or to purify the air. Some teachers even apply oils to their students. One of the most amazing classes I ever took ended with my instructor applying lavender oil to my forehead and temples while I lay in Savasana. I drifted more deeply into that pose than I ever had before that day.
Young Living Essential Oils compliment the yogic lifestyle better than any other oil company because of their deep commitment to sustainable, organic farming. Young Living has “long championed cutting-edge natural, organic and low-impact farming and manufacturing methods (i.e. returning distilled compost and bioactivity to our fields).” (from Marc Schreuder – Young Living Corporate) This philosophy is in tune with the entire Yogic philosophy of Ahimsa, or “to do no harm”. Young Living is a perfect choice for true yogis and yoginis.
Photo courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/yoga-in-dallas/pranayama-lion-s-breath
Equally important to the poses in the yoga practice is pranayama – the art of breathing, or extension of life force. The breathing enhances yogic practice by creating energy and deeply cleansing the whole body. Essential oils that enhance and improve breathing are:
Raven – a blend of Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), lemon (Citrus limon), wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Eucalyptus radiata. This combination of deeply soothing therapeuticgrade essential oils that will provide comfort when applied topically to the chest and throat or diffused.
Ravensara – (Cinnamomum camphora) has a spicy, camphorous, warm scent, similar to eucalyptus but softer. The people of Madagascar hold it in high regard. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-septic and expectorant properties.
R.C.- contains powerful therapeutic-grade essential oils that are invigorating when applied, especially to the chest and throat area. R.C. is a wonderful blend to diffuse during winter. It blends Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, myrtus communis oil, pinus sylvestris (pine) leaf oil, origanum majorana (marjoram) leaf oil, eucalyptus radiata leaf oil, eucalyptus citriodora leaf oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, cupressus sempervirens oil, tsuga canadensis leaf oil, and mentha piperita (peppermint) oil.
Pranayama also links to the sense of smell and how scents can affect brain chemistry. Breathing in certain essential oils can also bring you into a deeper state of relaxation or meditation. Some amazing meditation-enhancing oils are:
Frankincense (particularly Sacred Frankincense) - Sacred frankincense essential oil is distilled from Boswellia sacra trees at the Young Living distillery in Oman. This new variety of frankincense is a complement to Boswellia carteri— Young Living’s traditional frankincense—and is ideal for special use when a deeper spiritual connection is desired. Omani frankincense is regarded as the world’s rarest, most sought-after aromatic in existence. Both Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) and Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) have a sweet, warm, balsamic aroma that is stimulating and elevating to the mind. Useful for visualizing, improving one’s spiritual connection, and centering, it has comforting properties that help focus the mind and overcome stress and despair. Frankincense is considered the holy anointing oil in the Middle East, where it has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. More recently, it has been used in European and American hospitals and is the subject of substantial research. Frankincense is also a valuable ingredient in skin care products for aging and dry skin. Sacred Frankincense is being carefully studied for its ability to kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells, and shows amazing promise as a treatment for all types of cancer.
Sacred Mountain – promotes feelings of strength, empowerment, grounding, and protection that are a result of being close to nature. This blend of conifer essential oils, including spruce, fir, and cedarwood, evokes the feelings of sanctity found in the mountains.
Peace and Calming – a gentle, fragrant blend. When diffused, it helps calm tensions and uplift the spirit, promoting relaxation and a deep sense of peace. When massaged on the bottoms of the feet, it can be a wonderful prelude to a peaceful night’s rest. Peace & Calming may be especially calming and comforting to young children after an overactive and stressful day. Contains Tangerine (Citrus nobilis), orange (Citrus aurantium), ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) and blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum).
Inspiration – includes oils traditionally used by the native peoples of Arabia, India, and North America for enhancing spirituality, prayer, meditation, and inner awareness. It creates an aromatic sanctuary for those seeking quiet meditation and spirituality. Contains cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), spruce (Picea mariana), rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora), myrtle (Myrtus communis), sandalwood (Santalum album), frankincense (Boswellia carteri) and mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris).
Some more vigorous practices can leave you feeling run down or sore the next day. Deep Relief Roll-on (Peppermint, Balsam Fir, Clove, Vetiver, Wintergreen, Lemon, Helichrysum , Copaiba, Coconut oil.), Wintergreen Oil (known for anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties) or Aromasiez (Basil, marjoram, lavender, peppermint, and cypress) may bring some relief to sore muscles and joints. Ningxia Red has proven to speed recovery time for runners and bikers, and may also help yoga practitioners’ muscles recover more quickly. An ounce or two of Ningxia following a vigorous practice can really put the spring back in your step.
Yoga really is a lifestyle. Healthy eating, care for our Earth, and deep spirituality all work together to bring abundant wellness to the practitioner. Young Living’s company philosophy of Wellness, Purpose and Abundance, along with an amazing array of essential oils and essential oil based products compliments the yogic lifestyle to perfection! Namaste.