Yoga class is a feast for the senses. Bright light filters in through the windows, and the air is comfortably warm. Soothing music plays while carefully selected essential oils for yoga diffuse through the air.
Aromatherapy is a key part of the yoga experience. The scents that your instructor selects will clear the mind and balance the body. It’s a part of the yoga experience that you can easily achieve at home.
To get the most benefits from home aromatherapy, you need to understand what each oil can do for you. Here are some of the best essential oils for yoga at every stage, from before a session to several days afterward.
The Best Essential Oils for Yoga
Do you do yoga in the morning when you’re struggling to wake up completely? What about in the evening when you’re exhausted after work? Peppermint essential oil can get you pumped before your session.
The extract of this bright, cooling herb may:
- raise your heart rate and energy levels
- chase away mental fatigue
- increase your clarity and focus, helping you hone in on yoga’s mental aspect
- relieve minor aches and pains, leaving you primed for activity
- loosen up your muscles so you can achieve maximum stretch
Finally, the menthol in peppermint oil has a cooling effect. This can intensify the circulation boost you get from hot yoga.
Lime essential oil is a pleasantly invigorating scent in the citrus family. The oil itself is tart and rich in green notes, making it a great choice for use in a diffuser. This oil is effective both before and during a session on the yoga mat.
Lime oil offers a number of aromatherapy benefits including:
- stimulating alertness
- increasing your energy levels, especially after a cold or the flu
- improving the function of your internal organs
- brightening your mood
- boosting circulation, which can help you tolerate inverted poses
Like all citrus oils, lime is a delicate scent that breaks down quickly in the bottle. Instead of investing in a large amount, purchase smaller bottles of the oil. Replace them as soon as the smell fades or turns sour.
This sweet, wood-infused scent has traditionally been used during Eastern meditations. It has become popular to use during yoga sessions thanks to its effect on your emotions and mental state. Real sandalwood oil is pricey but can be well worth it.
Sandalwood essential oil may:
- calm a restless mind and slow racing thoughts
- reduce stress hormone levels
- regulate the pulse
- ground your attention in the moment
Many yoga poses require steady focus and a strong mind and body connection to pull off. Sandalwood can help you clear away mental obstacles so you can get the most from your practice.
This popular and widely available essential oil is a great choice for the night after a challenging yoga session. Its herbal and floral aroma isn’t just relaxing. Lavender essential oil can also supercharge your energy tomorrow by improving your sleep tonight.
How does lavender achieve this? This herb:
- soothes the nervous system
- lowers stress levels
- lowers mental arousal during rest so you’re more likely to sleep deeply
Finally, if you meditate to clear your mind before bedtime, lavender can intensify this effect.
5. Black Pepper Oil
Did you wake up with post-workout muscle soreness? That’s very common when your body experiences new challenges to its strength and flexibility.
Once you heal from the strain put on your muscles, you’ll end up stronger and more flexible than ever. However, if you’re new to yoga, this is often a very uncomfortable transition. Black pepper oil may help you there.
Black pepper can:
- reduce inflammation, nerve irritation, and muscle pain
- improve circulation, speeding your body’s healing processes
- regulate the circulatory system
- lower blood pressure
Black pepper isn’t just for after your workout. You can add a touch of this oil to your yoga workout blend. The pain relief and improved circulation helps you push a little harder during challenging new poses.
The Final Word on the Best Essential Oils for Yoga
Much of aromatherapy is about timing. Before and during yoga, you may want to select oils that lift your energy levels and improve your focus. This lets you approach the yoga session at your best.
Other oils are best used afterwards. These extracts help you wind down to a good night’s sleep. This is invaluable if you work out right before bedtime.
Finally, essential oils can help you in between sessions. They may reduce post-workout soreness and speed recovery time. This puts you on the fast track to enjoying the mind and body benefits of a regular yoga practice.