The Internal Oneness Yoga with Essential Oils May 28, 2018
Inputs from Puneet Nanda, Founder of Guru Nanda
A few drops of an essential oil paired with restorative yoga leads to deeper awareness of rest in the asana (i.e. posture). We explore some oils most suitable for various asanas to better the result of obtaining inner peace.
The literal meaning of the sanskrit word Yoga is “Yoke.” It is a form of deep meditation and practice involving prescribed postures and controlled breathing, thus providing emotional as well as physical benefits. Yoga reduces the feeling of anxiety, stress and depression; and induces the feeling of calmness and balance.
Essential oil is natural oil that possesses the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is extracted and promotes spiritual focus. the term essential oil is basically a contraction of the word ‘quintessential.’ It is in liquid form and derived from the roots, stem, flowers, bark or other elements of a plant through a distillation process. They are rich in ingredients like phenols, monoterpenes, and ketones and are often referred to as “essences.” the plants’ natural ability to resist bacteria and other attacks make them act as anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti- fungal agents that can be inhaled or applied topically.
When used topically, the body directly absorbs the benefits of the oil. In aromatic use the oils can be diffused in the air and the benefits of the vapour can be inhaled.
WHY INCORPORATE ESSENTIAL OIL INTO YOGA PRACTICE?
Essential oils are all around us and are renowned for their ability to promote emotional well-being and mental peace. A profound healing experience can be achieved by combining scents of essential oils in yoga sessions.
LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL
PURE LIKE LOTUS – PADMASANA
Padmasana is a cross-legged yoga posture that aids in overall blossoming like a lotus. It helps deepen meditation by alleviating various physical ailments and calming the body. Bending the right knee and placing it on the left thigh, and the same on the other side, sitting crossed-legged, creates the correct position. Place your hands on the knees in mudra, keeping the head straight, and spine erect. This lotus position helps to improve digestion, relaxes the mind, and reduces menstrual discomfort. It is also known to bring blood pressure under control.
Lemon oil is an astringent and acts as a detoxifying agent in nature. Also used for spiritual nourishment; it purifies, cleanses and rejuvenates dull skin. When inhaled, it helps in increasing concentration and alertness. It is calming in nature and creates a positive mindset by eliminating negative emotions.
EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL
PLAYFUL DOG – ADHO MUKHA ASANA
Upward facing dog stretches the chest and spine, while strengthening the arms and shoulders. This improves posture by strengthening and opening the upper body and chest, keeping the buttocks and thighs firm. Upward facing dog is a backbend posture that rejuvenates and energises the body, providing relief from fatigue and depression.
Eucalyptus oil has most of the properties of a versatile essential oil. Its numerous benefits have attracted the attention of the entire world, and have stimulated a great deal of exploration in its usage in aromatherapy. Eucalyptus oil is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and decongestant in nature, which makes it a good ingredient in many medicines that treat respiratory problems. Another important reason that many people use eucalyptus oil is that it creates a cooling and refreshing effect. It is very effective in the treatment of stress and mental disorders. It rejuvenates the spirits of people by removing exhaustion and mental sluggishness.
ORANGE ESSENTIAL OIL
HAPPY LIKE FISH – MATSYAASANA
Matsyaasana is a back-bending yoga posture that neutralises pressure on the neck and spine. Thus by stretching the front of the body it strengthens the upper back muscles, which improves spinal flexibility and posture. Regularly practicing the fish pose energises the body and reduces fatigue.
Orange oil is very versatile and one can use it from head to toe. Its astringent properties can work wonders for oily skin and can be added to a daily skin care routine. Orange oil works very well all by itself as you can instantly feel waves of calmness after its application. It acts as a mood booster as it has antidepressant and sedating properties that help combat anxiety, frustration, and insomnia. Orange oil is extensively utilised in aromatherapy as it helps soothe tensed muscles and aids as an instant mood rejuvenator. It can also be blended with carrier oil and used as a fragrant lotion or cream. In aromatherapy, it aids in relieving anxiety, anger, and depression and is beneficial in promoting a healthy well-being as it boosts immunity. Orange promotes a feeling of happiness and warmth when used in aromatherapy. In addition to catalysing toxin elimination in the body, it also helps address digestive problems. It helps in stimulating lymphatic action to promote balance in water processes and results in detoxification of the body.
GINGER ESSENTIAL OIL
STRETCHED LIKE A DOCKED BOAT – NAVASANA
In Navasana, the body comes into a V – shape. The legs and back are lifted high; and the arms are extended forward and parallel to the ground. The legs are lifted such that they are at a 45-degree angle with the floor, extending the tailbone and turning the pelvis in towards the navel. The boat pose is important as it stretches the abdominal muscles, and the vital organs of the abdomen. This pose helps to reduce belly fat, strengthen the kidney, and also places the navel in the appropriate position. By burning additional fats in the arteries and veins, it helps to improve blood circulation. It also strengthens the back muscles and removes lethargy by removing toxins from the body, thus making the body active and energetic. The element associated with ginger is fire, which also aligns nicely with an inner fire theme. Ginger has the power to align transformations into reality in the mind. It has warming and soothing properties that make it useful in everyday life. The warm, earthy nature of ginger oil has soothing properties and makes it useful for massage.
JASMINE ESSENTIAL OIL
REGAL LIKE A COBRA – BHUJANG ASANA
To perform Bhujang asana, lie on your stomach on the ground facing down. Use your palms to elevate your upper body and stretch the torso. The spine is evenly arched and the shoulders are pressed down and legs extended. Holding your breath, remain in this position as long as you are comfortable. This asana strengthens the upper body with liberating effects for the spine, providing expansive movements for the lungs thus uplifting energy through the heart.
Jasmine aroma is used to lift the spirits at a time of depression or sadness. This oil works as an aphrodisiac. There is definitely something liberating about applying jasmine oil topically to enhance the libido and initiate intimacy.
LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
CALM AND COMPOSED – SHAVASANA
Shavasana is usually practised at the end of the yoga session. The name comes from the sanskrit shava meaning “corpse” and asana meaning pose. It is one of the commonly recommended and easiest yoga poses, as it requires an individual to focus on their breathing. To practice the pose, the person lies on their back on the ground. The legs are comfortably stretched and the arms are relaxed alongside the body. This energises the chakras and provides inner stability necessary for personal growth. Shavasana helps to calm the mind and relax the body, which helps repair cells and tissue, thus providing relief from emotional strain or anxiety problems. This asana rejuvenates the body and reduces stress by soothing the mind and relaxing the muscles.
Lavender oil promotes an overall feeling of serenity and is an effective relaxant. Its calming and sedating properties make this oil a wonderful oil to ease mental stress and anxiety. When applied topically, the essential oil spreads a powerful scent with a versatile aroma, which can perfectly complement shavasana. Also the aroma of lavender increases the body’s ability to absorb the benefits of reclining in this pose. When inhaled the aroma notes enter the limbic system, where the lavender is absorbed and the body instinctively releases the energy.