The foundation of your yoga practice goes with you everywhere! We are on the brink of summertime where we have many opportunities to be spontaneous.  The challenges of self-care can be quelled through taking your practice with you wherever you go.  Whether you practice at home or on the road, refining your own practice is the foundation of self-study.  Yoga begins with awareness of self, from listening to the subtle messages of your body, to noticing your habits and reactions to your environment, both people and situations. 

When yogis focus on their practice there are many facets, 8 limbs actually, and the sister science, Ayurveda, all of which  determine the available yogic menu items for practice on a given day. These 8 limbs are:

  • Yamas (self regulation and self observation)
  • Niyamas (self-discipline and self-commitment)
  • Asana (postures)
  • Pranayama (breathwork)
  • Pratyhara (sense withdrawal)
  • Dharana (concentration)
  • Dhyana (meditation)  
  • Samahdi (spiritual enlightenment)

 Ayurveda, the preventative wellness practice of yoga is where we have direction on use of plants and herbs. The deeper your practice, the closer you are to the last stage, a place where your mind, body and spirit are fulfilled along the path of  your spiritual journey.  The joys of the journey are immeasurable and affect body mind and spirit.  Using your 5 senses enhances the experiences of your practice. Aromatherapy is a wonderful way to take that to an exponential level, as long as you use pure, essential oils.  Here are a few ways to take your practice with you anywhere you go and suggestions on how to use Essential Oils to deepen your practice:

1.  Lavender is a very versatile essential oil and has been called the "Swiss army knife" of essential oils, due to its multi-faceted applications, from easing sunburns and bug bites, distressing tired skin, aiding diaper rash and earaches, and calming the nervous system. Use lavender before your "sleep easy" night time yoga sequence (see Essential Yoga Practice book) to ensure a good night's rest, or during any meditation practice.

2.  Peppermint essential oil: will help soothe tension, improve focus and concentration, repel bugs, freshen breath, and cool the skin when used in body spray.

3.  Melaleuca, Tea tree oil: this handy essential oil is very earthy and grounding. In this season where we are more prone to perspire because of the heat, Melaleuca will help counter the build up of mold. Try a few drops on a cotton ball and a place in tennis shoes overnight, or on the dryer ball for your laundry cycle, or in the homemade spray with lavender, to clean and refresh your yoga mat!. 

4.  Lemon essential oil: try using lemon essential oil in homemade cleaners. It is refreshing, uplifting, and very inexpensive. Please remember that all citrus oils increase skin photosensitivity for about 12 hours, so take care not to spray it on the body before exposing yourself to sunlight. 

5.  Frankincense is the king of all essential oils, as it supports the breathy functioning of all body systems. From its ancient history it has been highly regarded and valued. A bottle of pure frankincense may be a bit pricey, but the myriad of potential wellness effects are worth the splurge. 

Take this essential set of oils with you to support your practice wherever you go.  Need a little help? Treat yourself to a copy of Essential Yoga Practice DVD from www.essentialyogapractice.com

Check out the six sequences and the introduction on essential oils.  

Enjoy your practice, Namaste!