Essential oils are a natural way to help soothe the body physically, emotionally as well as spiritually. Even a few breaths of an essential oil can help shift energy, affect mood, and sharpen focus.
Essential oils can be used aromatically, introduced to the body using a diffuser, or diluted in a base oil and applied topically. Some oils can be taken internally, yet only if they come from a reputable company without any synthetic fillers. The very essence of certain scents are unique to each person and can activate positive memory and emotions connected to them. Knowing your unique constitution, your dosha, can help you understand your physical, emotional and spiritual needs which define your wellness practices. Knowing which aromas soothe your dosha can outline your use of essential oils for your self-care.
You are made up of a unique combination of all three doshas. This is called your prakruti and was determined at the time of your conception. The five elements are present in everyone’s body at birth. Fire, water, earth, wind and ether comprise the body and spirit and each dosha is resprsented and affected by certain elements.
Pitta Dosha is represented by the elements fire and water.
Vata Dosha is represented by air and ether.
Kapha Dosha is represented by the elements earth and water.
Do you know your dosha? Take the Dosha Quiz on pp 19-20 of our book, Essential Yoga Practice to understand more about your unique constitution. As you traverse the stages of life, cultural, social and personal experiences temper your doshas and/or cause imbalances to both the physical and emotional body. Note that seasonal change can also affect imbalance. As we are headed into spring, “Vata season,”as we all have some aspect of vata as part of our prakruti, we must all pay attention to how to keep our vata dosha in check. Generally an imbalance of a certain dosha means that the elements unique to that dosha are in excess. Here are some tips:
Vata imbalance implies that there is too much movement, change and instability. Vata individuals are prone to starting and stopping projects, being easily distracted, not ready to commit, indecisive, and not feeling grounded. They tend to fidget, have sharp racing minds, and are ready to take on more, even when they have too much to manage efficiently.
Essential oils that may help balance and soothe vata individuals: Peppermint, Rosemary, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and wild orange. Consider using these any one or a combination of these oils with a carrier oil such as sesame oil. The oils will evoke a sense of love and calm, bring clarity, help memory, and relieve tension. These oils raise the vibration of the body, thus having a positive effect.
Individuals with vata imbalances would also benefit from regular Ayurvedic treatments to include shirodhara (warm oil poured slowly over the forehead) and massages. Adding the scents of the suggested essential oils in these treatments help to balance vata dosha. For thousands of years, uch Ayurvedic practices used aromatherapy from plants and herbs. Traditionally this required a great volume of plant material. In this day, the same potent effect is more easily accessed using essential oils, as they are more concentrated and save time. The oils hold the same properties as the plant and are nourishing to the five senses when only pure essential oils are used.
In Ayurveda, three energy points on the body where energy converges, are encouraged for use of self application of essential oils (diluted in the carrier oil).
Pitta—heart, chest, center of body
Kapha—between the naval and pubic bone
Vata—third eye between the eyebrows
Over time, with practice, you will learn about your unique preferences and also that there are many tri-doshic aromas and carriers, which serve to balance and soothe all doshas. Enjoy your essential oils, enjoy your practice!
Ready for more? Our Book, Essential Yoga Practice: Your Guide to the New Yoga Experience with Essential Oils, and DVD, offer great education and a chance to practice 6 sequences. Opt in to our blog to receive the “Centering Sequence!” Ready to delve a bit deeper? Our 2 week online course, Essential Yoga Sangha, begins April 9. This fun and interactive and comes with essential oils delivered to you! Yoga teachers can pay for an additional study segment to receive 10 CECs with Yoga Alliance! Sign up by March 28 to receive your oils for free!