Relaxation and centering are no longer an area of self-indulgence. Time and again studies are showing that our ability to decompress and unwind from the day-to-day are vital to improving productivity and upward mobility in the workplace, as well as (more importantly) balancing our home lives.
Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine are just twigs in a branch of philosophy dealing with our quest for tranquility and oneness. Let’s explore how Ayurvedic aromatherapy can help to maximize your yoga and meditation practices and what scents are likely to be best for you.
We often hear that random memories are triggered first by scent stimuli. This is due to a direct link between our olfactory (sense of smell) limbic (the part of the brain responsible for instinctual access to emotions and memories) systems.
Simply put- smells directly trigger innate reactions in our brains and bodies that access deep internal emotions and memories. Given that, we can see how the use of aromatherapy during meditation and yoga can greatly increase the physiological and psychological reaction of our bodies.
There are two ways to use essential oils in meditation- using a diffuser to dissipate the oils in water vapor to inhale creating ambient sensory stimulation, or direct application to the skin.
Direct application can be to areas of soreness or distraction or placed on to areas directly related to particular chakras.
Let’s explore some key scents used for Ayurvedic aromatherapy and how you can combine them for different uses.
Sandalwood is possibly the best essential oil for meditation. It is extremely cleansing and can break up the negative thoughts and stress that cloud your mind. If you are experiencing inner noise and a busy mind that is taking away from your ability to focus, relax, and meditate, sandalwood can help clear the chatter. It is also a hypotensive which can help lower your blood pressure so you can also physically relax during your meditation. Check is Sensual Sacra by Aura Acacia if you want to know more.
Clary sage has been used by cultures all over the world for thousands of years to remove negative energies from a space- we’ve all heard of sageing a house or room. Using clary sage during meditation is thought to clear the room of negative energies that can influence and distract the mind from focusing. Clary sage is also an antidepressant so it can help lift your mood, so that you have a positive meditative experience. Check this Clary Sage Essential Oil by Aura Acacia.
Frankincense is the most powerful essential oil for the spirit. It promotes grounding, balancing, and openness. Frankincense can help you connect with your spiritual self. Frankincense can also help stabilize your root chakra, so that your energy can flow through your chakras. Frankincense is also has numerous holistic benefits. It can help reduce pain and inflammation, relieve stress, and clear your nasal passages. Here you can find an organic Frankincense option by Aura Acacia.
Lavender is an antianxiety, antidepressant, and relaxant. Lavender is one of the best essential oils for meditation because its calming properties can put your mind in the right frame to achieve clarity and enlightenment from meditation. It also helps stabilize and calm you, so if you are having a restless meditation session, you can balance yourself and really focus. Here you can check our Lavander Essential Oil.
Meditation requires focusing and controlling your breathing. However, if your airways are blocked or inflamed, you will have difficulty achieving a meditative state. Eucalyptus is an expectorant and can help clear the airways and release chest tightness, enabling you to breathe deeply and steadily. Here you can find our Eucalyptus Essential Oil.
Neroli is an extremely spiritually transformative essential oil. Used during meditation, it can help promote self-love and acceptance, reduce your fears, and inspire creativity. In the body, Neroli reduces pain and inflammation, decreases blood pressure and cortisol levels, and is an anticonvulsant. Here you can find Neroli Oil to inspire you.
You can combine them and other oils as directed by Pratima Raichur in her Ayurvedic Beauty Care:
Calming and warming (relieves anxiety; balances vata)
Calming and cooling (relieves anger; balances pitta)
Stimulating (relieves depression; balances kapha)
Sedating (relieves insomnia; balances vata & pitta)
Grounding and strengthening (relieves fear; balances vata)
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