Between mountain poses and downward dogs, I realized that getting myself to a better place physically, emotionally, and mentally meant listening to my body. Practicing yoga and mindfulness seemed like a good place to start. After practicing for a while, I realized there was always one thing I knew I could count on whenever I felt overwhelmed: Yoga. It transformed my life, it taught me discipline, patience, and how to take care of my body. I was restless at first. I got so used to being constantly on the go, and sitting still was challenging. I was easily distracted by slight sounds and nagging thoughts. Once I made it part of my routine and learned to quiet my mind, it became easier to focus on my breathing, transcending to a place of peace and serenity. I also discovered something that enhanced my yoga experience, taking it to new heights: Essential oils. I knew they were used in aromatherapy and about the holistic health benefits they offered but never thought to incorporate them into my yoga routine. It makes perfect sense that essential oils – the lifeblood of plants – offered the same uplifting benefits to the mind, body and soul that yoga did. Here are just a few for your to experience and enhance your practice. 1. Breathe easier. During prÄnÄyÄma, pour a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint-based essential oil onto your palms, then cup them over your nose. Breathe in deeply to help open your nasal passages, allowing you to cultivate healthy breath. 2. Soothe soreness with peppermint essential oil. The beauty of yoga is that it can really work every part of your body. Do you feel like you’ve over-stretched in some places? Massage a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil to relieve those sore muscles. Peppermint’s cooling sensation helps alleviate those post-workout aches and pains. 3. Awaken kundalini. When you’re craving clarity, essential oils can help you attain enlightenment. Aloe vera, ylang-ylang, basil, chamomile, and rosemary are just a few examples of oils that can help you tune out noise and channel serenity. 4. Wind down during savasana. My favorite part of yoga is the savasana, the wind down after a full session. The release I feel in this pose is the most valuable part of my ritual. You can amplify this peaceful state with essential oils. Lemongrass, lavender, peppermint and orange are just a few examples of essential oils that can transport you to a comforting place of reflection. 5. DIY yoga mat cleaner. Part of staying healthy means making sure you’re keeping your surroundings free of impurities and limiting exposure to potential causes of illness. Sanitizing your mat to get rid of germs is easy, try with DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner and Disinfecting Spray. Many essential oils contain antimicrobial and antiviral properties that drive germs away. Mix an Immunity Blend or lavender essential oil with some water and witch hazel. Voila! You’ve got yourself a heavy duty disinfectant that cleans your mat AND smells good, too! Every day, I wake up at the crack of dawn, sit on my mat and concentrate on my breathing before my regular routine. I’ve never felt stronger or more in tune with myself. Thanks to yoga and essential oils, I’m ready to tackle whatever life has to offer. My mantra: No matter what happens, I always have my mat – and a bottle of essential oil – to get me to my happy place. Namaste.
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