Take a moment to close your eyes and think about one of your favorite scents. Imagine you’re actually smelling that right now. It might be that of a rose, a lemon, or cut grass. But notice what happens to your body when you’re imagining that glorious scent. Does a smile begin to appear? Do your shoulders relax? Do you feel peaceful? I’m willing to bet that some type of positive reaction happened in response to you simply *imagining* you were smelling that fragrance.
That’s because scents directly impact our bodies. Whether you’re wanting to uplift your mood, give yourself more energy, calm you down a bit, or even help you ground, there’s an essential oil that will help you get into the desired state.
When might be the times you could benefit from using various essential oils? Besides the obvious “when I’m cranky” or “when I’m anxious,” what if you use them to boost your meditation and/or yoga practice? This is a great way to take your practice/s to the next level.
Each essential oil has its own unique property. Without going too deep into the EO world, here are a few oils that can be used to take your practice to new heights.
If you’re wanting to help your snowglobe settle (meaning you need help grounding or chilling out), some great options are sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh, lavender, chamomile, vetiver, palo santo, cedarwood, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, clary sage, patchouli, and lemon balm.
Want a bit more energy in your day? Some energizing oils include orange, lemon, tangerine, rosemary, bergamot, ginger, cinnamon, lime, lemongrass, pine, and thyme.
If you feel like you want to put the oil or oil blend directly on your skin, be warned that some essential oils can cause irritations, allergic reactions, and might even cause sunburn when you go outside. Some oils, especially the citrus varieties, are photosensitive and can cause sunburn when you’re outdoors, even hours later. Do a bit of research to make sure you’re using something that won’t create an issue down the road (and check out my Expert Interview with Kelly Sprengelmeyer, because we talk a lot about the specifics.)
A good rule of thumb is to use a carrier oil when applying appropriate oils to your skin. A carrier oil could be any other kind of oil (such as coconut, avocado, apricot kernel, etc.) as the main base. Then add in a drop or two of your EO to give you the results you want without any of the negative side effects the neat EO might bring.
One other big note: If you’re going to be practicing yoga and might have your hands on the ground (as you would, say, in Downward Facing Dog), *don’t* put essential oils on your hands, even if you’re planning on rubbing the oil somewhere else on your body. You’ll likely slip on your mat or unintentionally wipe your face or eyes, and you’ll be bummed. Also, be sure to check with your doctor before using EOs, especially if you’re pregnant, are nursing, are on medications, or have kids or pets around.
Now that you’ve started thinking about ways to incorporate essential oils into your life, be on the lookout for next week’s blog, where I’ll show you how to make your own homemade EO blends that you can customize not only for your specific scent pallet but also for your mood. And wrapping up this month’s theme, in two weeks I’ll share with you creative diffuser options to help you get the most benefit from essential oils.