Yoga’s practices are designed to help us become more aware of our body, mind, and spirit. One of our most primal senses is the sense of smell. Our bodies are tuned to pick out a wealth of critical information by scent. We know if a food is safe to eat. We recognize the scent of home. We pick up on subtle hormonal clues about those around us without even consciously realizing it.
In our modern world, we often don’t give a lot of thought to the sense of smell. We often focus on the way things look. The decorations on the walls and shelves. We tweak the audio aspects of music, choosing just the right song.
But it’s the sense of smell which underlies everything. Which creates the foundation on which all else is built. That is the science of aromatherapy.
Can I Combine Yoga and Aromatherapy?
Yes, you can! The beauty of aromatherapy is that it can perfectly complement the exact intention you present for your current yoga practice. Here are just a few traditional combinations.
Healing with Aromatherapy
It could be that on one day you desperately need to heal and renew yourself. You would choose a scent which you find warming and enriching.
- It could be that for you the scent of rose reminds you of a beloved grandmother.
- It could be that for someone else it is musk that brings that warm healing sensation.
That is a main key of aromatherapy – it is incredibly unique from person to person. You know best, for yourself, which scents hold which qualities. You would pair your healing scents with gentle stretches such as downward facing dog.
Serenity with Aromatherapy
On some days, what you seek will be a sense of peace and comfort. The knowledge that everything will be all right. Traditional calming scents include lavender and chamomile – but, again, this will be unique for you.
Some people hate the scent of lavender. That’s all right! Build your own personal toolkit which meets your specific needs. Add in a tree pose or child’s pose for contemplation.
Energizing with Aromatherapy
There are times when you crave a yoga session which lifts you and gets you ready for the tasks ahead. You can explore citrus essential oils, like lemon, orange, and grapefruit for this.
What lifts your spirit? What opens your eyes and gets you moving? Some flow yoga could be just what you need to get your heart rate going!
Final Thoughts on Practicing Yoga and Aromatherapy Together
There are many ways in which to add these aromatherapy scents into your environment. The calming scents of essential oils can help to ease tension and anxiety, while the physical movements of yoga can help to release toxins from the body. Together, yoga and aromatherapy can help you achieve a state of mind-body balance.
Some people prefer diffusers. Others enjoy mala or lava beads which can absorb the aromas. Whether you go with topical or aromatic essential oils, a dab on the wrist or a roomful of scent, make sure you connect with that most important sense. You’ll be surprised how much more fully engaged your yoga practice becomes.