Maybe you’ve been to yoga class and your nose perks up wistfully when your teacher walks by. Or perhaps you’ve gotten a massage, and noticed how certain scents make you feel invigorated, while others calm you down. The age-old practice of aromatherapy that we’re referring to is powerful, and somewhat mystical, even for the non-believer.
Our sense of smell is not only functional, but also intuitive: it’s saturated with wisdom about the world around as well as our internal universe. Yogis are sensual in that they draw upon all of their senses to live and breathe the practice. There’s a method to a yogi’s engagement with each of her senses, some more prescribed than others. Of course there are Ayurvedic and scientific explanations for why we respond to one scent over another, but sometimes, it’s fun to just feel out what works for us and what doesn’t.
Here, we poll our friends and teachers to find out what oils speak to them. To try these oils at home, you can apply a few drops directly to skin. Be sure you like the smell before you apply, as the scent will stay with you for many hours. You can add drops of your favorite oil to a bubble bath, or take a stab at diffusing oils through various methods. You can buy a nebulizer or diffuser, combine your favorite oil with grapeseed oil and rub over the top of a natural candle and then burn, or even rub an oil on a terracotta pendant or other piece of jewelry to carry it with you every day.
Elena Brower, yoga teacher based in New York City
For summertime I use a combination of dōTERRA Oils to keep my space and body invigorated and balanced.
- Geranium is both refreshing and relaxing and helps balance the skin and the mood. Emotionally, Geranium can help instill love and trust.
- Lavender promotes creativity, higher consciousness, and peace, and has been used to help skin, sleep, and to promote serenity.
- Peppermint is used for digestive, respiratory, and muscular relief. It’s stimulating, purifying, and cooling to body and mind. Emotionally, Peppermint promotes an open and buoyant heart.
- Eucalyptus can enhance both skin and respiratory function; emotionally, eucalyptus grants us courage and clears negative patterns in the system.
Together this blend is potent when diffused at home or at work, and great as an effective, cooling summer deodorant.
Related: Do Essential Oils Really Work?
Brandi Ryans, massage therapist and yoga teacher based in New York City
Rose Oil. Because it smells like someone loving you and it’s rare and smells so sweet.
Cyndi Lee, yoga teacher based in Lynchburg, Virginia
Young Living Valor: I love the smell and warmth of this oil and well as how effective it in relieving muscle soreness. Before yoga class or before bed—it is never a wrong thing to apply Valor.
Young Living Thieves is what I use at my studio, Yoga Goodness. Distill it in water and use it to spray clean your studio mats. It’s also good for doorknobs, or any place that gets touched a lot. It smells so good that everyone in the studio loves it.
Iana Velez, editor-in-chief of NY Yoga+Life Magazine based in New York City
- Peppermint is good for a quick boost when I am tired and have had too much coffee.
- Orange, lemon, or anything citrusy is effective for uplifting my mood.
- Vetiver (an anti-inflammatory, and de-stresser) for evening.
Ashley Newsome, yoga teacher based in New York City
Young Living’s Valor blend. This blend is good for grounding and boosting confidence. I dab it on my wrists, at my heart and a few drops go into my hair for a long lasting effect that will stay with me throughout the day. ‘Valor’ always reminds me of how powerful I really am. I love using it before an interview, a first date, or before teaching to a new group of students.
Related: Yoga Helped Me Find Happiness
Christine Chen, yoga teacher based in New York City
I like jasmine for the summer, sandalwood for the fall, and sweet orange in the winter and spring.