Inhale, Exhale: Essential Oils and Yoga

Have you ever considered what you inhale and exhale while practicing yoga? The air we breathe here in the temperate rainforest that is Vancouver, in such close proximity to the healing energy of the ocean is much cleaner than other places; however, we do still breathe in toxins, bacteria, exhaust and pollution. One very effective way to improve the quality of the air in our practice space is to diffuse essential oils into the atmosphere. Because essential oils are completely natural, they are both safe and harmonized with the human body and all of its systems.

When diffused in proper concentrations, essential oils have the power to dissipate and shrink airborne toxins and bacteria. Saje Natural Wellness, a local company that “connects people to the healing power of plants” provides many blends of oils that can enhance your yoga practice in a multitude of ways. Our sense of smell, which is directly connected with our memories and our emotions, allows essential oils to have a profound effect on our psyches. Similar to yoga, many people start using essential oils purely for physical benefit. Soon it is discovered that like yoga, Aromatherapy provides nourishment for body, mind and spirit.

Aromatherapy is so much deeper than the simple enjoyment of a lovely fragrance. For example, connect with how it feels to be in a deep pose, perhaps a Warrior 2. You are just on your edge, wherever that edge may be for you, where it feels really juicy and deep, but not quite painful. Now, imagine that you have taken a full, deep breath, which allows you to relax further into the pose. Picture yourself in this same pose, with the same deep sensations in a rainforest. Lush, green, majestic evergreens, moss, ferns and wildflowers now surround you. Without effort, your lungs simply open up to drink in the fresh, crisp oxygen created by the living trees and plants. You can recreate this beautiful experience by incorporating essential oils into your practice: this is what Aromatherapy can do for your space, no matter how urbanized your setting is.

You may have noticed a special type of diffuser in the Semperviva Yoga studios. This is called a nebulizer. Originally invented for individual patients with respiratory issues, the nebulizers used in Aromatherapy have been designed to allow everyone to open up their respiratory systems, to breathe more deeply, to breathe in cleaner air and to enjoy the multitude of benefits from these pure plant medicines. It is a common belief that Aromatherapy is the simple use of fresh smells to create a pleasant-smelling atmosphere; this belief in and of itself makes essential oils and yoga a perfect collaboration.

By Rachel Frey

When she is not on her mat at Semperviva, Rachel leads a joyful existence as a freelance writer and as a wellness coach at Saje Natural Wellness in Kitsilano.