Aromatherapy has been around for centuries and has been used in many cultures from the French, Grecian and Roman’s even dating back to the Egyptians where they used the sweet scent of the oils as perfumes and for body rituals. As there were no pharmalogical drugs back then, discoveries have been developed overtime to incorporate the use of essential oils medicinally. The medicinal and healing properties of the plants from which the oils are extracted have been noted for their unique individual health benefits.
In this day and age, using more sustainable extraction processes ensure the oils retain their potent healing properties so that they can be used therapeutically.
Using aromatherapy in daily life can help deepen your self-care ritual and be an addition to your first aid kit.
Smell has a direct link to the brain and central nervous system. Developers and researchers of aroma and fragrance are discovering that smell influences our mood which can affect how we deal with stress, emotion and anxiety. There are many hormonal effects and blood pressure changes when the mood is elevated. Aromatherapy in Yoga is a fantastic way to use the oils to increase your awareness of breath and mood by smelling the oils as you practice. Use a few drops in an oil burner/vaporizer while you practice or rub them onto your mat for a full immersion into your practice.
Add a couple of essential oil drops to the wrist with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil. Stand at the top of your mat in Tadasana. Take a few deep breaths with the oils on the wrists bring the hands towards the face in front of the nose and take a few calming deep breaths.
As you smell the oils notice the scent and feel any subtle sensations in the body. Notice any emotions that arise from the smells. Any feelings that surface or memories. Become aware of the smells as they move through the nostrils into the body.
Practice your yoga sequence or warm ups such as sun salutations, cat cow or any other movements you like to begin with. Rub some oils around the ankles and the neck so that as you move through each pose you are enveloped by the aroma. Stop between the sequences to come back to the sensation of smell and let it guide you deeper into the journey. Notice a change in your moods or feelings as you practice.
Return the body to a comfortable seated position and bring the hands back in front of the face over the nose. You can cycle though some pranayama or simple breathing practices as you again notice the breath moving in and out through the nose, chest and belly. Follow the breath for a couple of minutes. Spend some time in Stillness and silence, then come to lie down on the back and rest in savasana for a couple of minutes.
I recommend using only quality grade essential oils such as Perfect Potion, Doterra or Young Living. There are many companies out there but not all of them are therapeutic grade, so just make sure what you are buying is 100% oils from the plant only. Nothing nasty added. Some of my favourite oils to practice with are Wintergreen, Frankincense, Lavender, Rose, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Petitgrain and Sweet Orange. I also love the Water blend from Perfect Potion. There are so many oils to choose from so just find a good one that resonates with you and go from there!