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Essential Oils for Yoga & Meditation: the Instructor’s Guide to Using Yoga Oils in the Studio and Online (+6 DIY Recipes!)

Essential Oils for Yoga & Meditation: the Instructor’s Guide to Using Yoga Oils in the Studio and Online (+6 DIY Recipes!)

Essential oils and yoga are a match made in heaven! Yoga is all about opening the heart, connecting with the body, and finding healing and freedom through movement–what better way to assist the mind, body, and heart with transformation than with essential oils? 

If you teach yoga, essential oils can help your students relax, focus, release tension, and simply enjoy their practice even more. We’ve even heard stories about how essential oils for yoga lead to a stronger sense of community and connection–something we’re all hungry for right now! 

In today’s post, we’ll cover: 

  • Our favorite essential oils for yoga and meditation (including the doTERRA Yoga Collection + 6 essential oil recipes for yoga you can create yourself)  
  • How to use essential oils for yoga in the studio 
  • How to use essential oils for yoga when you’re teaching online classes

Let’s jump in! 

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Essential Oils for Yoga: Our Favorite Oils, Collections, and 6 DIY Blends 

Here are the best essential oils for for yoga class and meditation: 

  • Lavender, ylang ylang, and Roman chamomile (calming, relaxing, peaceful, soothing) 
  • Eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, myrrh, and lemon (cleansing, breathing, awareness) 
  • Cypress, cedarwood, patchouli, frankincense, vetiver, rosemary (grounding, connecting)
  • Lemongrass, wild orange, bergamot, basil, lime, peppermint, tangerine, grapefruit (wakening, energizing, invigorating) 
  • Palo santo, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, clary sage, bergamot (centering, grounding, spiritual)   
  • The doTERRA Yoga Collection (including Anchor, Align, and Arise)

Here’s how each essential oil can help you in your yoga class: 

1. Lavender 

They say frankincense is the king of oils; lavender may be the queen! Lavender essential oil has antimicrobial properties and is proven to help relax and reduce pain, anxiety, and depression. It also blends well with other oils. It helps set a relaxing, calming mood in the studio. 

2. Ylang Ylang 

Ylang ylang is another powerhouse oil. It is known for increasing focus and reducing anxiety–which means your students, when they inhale it, will be able to leave their fears and concerns at the door and focus on inner healing.  

3. Roman Chamomile 

Chamomile is the ultimate wind-down herb, and Roman chamomile is a delightfully soothing, relaxing herb. It’s also extremely gentle, perfect if anyone has sensitivities. 

4. Eucalyptus 

Eucalyptus is a powerful essential oil to turn to during yoga practice for its cleansing properties–it also enhances breathing, especially if you’re stuffed up, but it really works so make sure you keep tissues handy! 

5. Peppermint

Peppermint, wintergreen, and other mint essential oils serve multiple purposes–they’re awakening and energizing, but they’re also cleansing and help to open the mind up for greater awareness. Peppermint can also help with an upset stomach or headache. 

6. Rosemary 

Rosemary is both grounding and cleansing. It pair beautifully with peppermint and lavender–with peppermint, it helps to stimulate and ground the senses, and when paired with lavender, rosemary helps to calm and create deeper awareness. 

7. Myrrh 

Myrrh is a deeply spiritual essential oil that’s also spicy and exotic smelling–use it sparingly, but expect it to make a real impact! When it comes to essential oils for yoga, myrrh is great for using during the breathing portion of your class. 

8. Lemon 

Lemon essential oil is a sunny oil that opens up the mind and brings greater awareness. It’s also a cleansing oil, super gentle and perfect for people who want a wake up but are sensitive to smells. 

9. Cypress 

Cypress is woodsy, grounding essential oil perfect for yoga practise–especially because it can help relieve muscle pain and cramps. It works well as a base note when you’re combining oils yourself.

10. Cedarwood 

Cedarwood essential oil is also excellent for yoga. It is grounding and connecting, helping each of your students connect more deeply to him/herself and with each other. It also pairs well with citrus oils like bergamot and wild orange. 

11. Patchouli 

Patchouli is another grounding, connecting oil with a traditionally “masculine” scent. It’s known for its ability to relieve depression, stress, and anxiety, and promote relaxation. 

12. Frankincense 

As we mentioned, frankincense is the king of oils! Antiviral and antimicrobial, frank is also a deeply spiritual oil, helping to both ground and awaken, open and heal. It pairs well with many other oils, though beware–some people find frankincense’s spicy profile overwhelming. Use it in very small amounts. 

13. Vetiver 

Vetiver is deeply calming and grounding thanks to its ability to calm the mind and soothe inflammation. Vetiver has a cooling effect, and is another good option if you don’t like floral or citrusy scents in your practice. 

14. Lemongrass 

Lemongrass has all the awakening and energizing effects of its stronger citrus cousins (orange, lime, lemon), but is less obvious and “perky.” Use it to relieve headaches caused by tension or pressure, and to fight depression.

15. Wild Orange, Lime, Tangerine, and Grapefruit

Not only do these essential oils for yoga smell amazing, but they’re full of compounds that fight infection, boost immunity and wellness, increase self-esteem and confidence, and invigorate and wake the mind. They make perfect blends for early morning yoga classes! 

16. Bergamot 

Bergamot is actually a type of citrus, but bergamot oil isn’t obviously citrusy or floral. It has proven focus-enhancing and mood-boosting properties and pairs well with grounding oils. 

17. Basil 

Basil, like citrus oils, is a wakening, energizing, invigorating oil that increases alertness, aids in digestion, and even boosts the mood.  

18. Palo Santo

Palo santo is deeply associated with spiritual yoga practices, and it’s a great essential oil to reach for to help your students relax, open up their hearts, or work on specific chakras. It’s also well-known for its ability to help with panic attacks, depression, and anxiety. 

19. Sandalwood 

Sandalwood is similar to chamomile in that it’s extremely gentle and soothing, however it’s also very centering. Its deeper, “woodsier” scent also creates more of a spiritual atmosphere in your yoga studio. 

20. Clary Sage 

Clary sage essential oil is renowned for its ability to calm hormonal fluctuations in women. It also helps to reduce stress, and is a centering, grounding option for your yoga studio. 

21. The doTERRA Yoga Collection 

We’ve heard phenomenal things about the doTERRA Yoga Collection essential oils for yoga! DoTERRA Anchor includes lavender, cedarwood, sandalwood, and other grounding oils. doTERRA Arise uses citrus oils to enhance inspiration. And doTERRA Align leans on bergamot and rose (among others) to increase centeredness.  

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DIY Essential Oil Recipes for Yoga 

You can use single essential oils for yoga or you can use combinations or recipes. Here are some of our favorite DIY essential oil recipes for yoga and meditation! 

To create these recipes, add drops to a 10 ml roller bottle and fill the rest with fractionated coconut oil. You can learn more about making essential oil roller bottles here. If you’d like to diffuse these recipes, drop the oils directly into your diffuser–our recipe is for a 500mL diffuser; adjust yours accordingly! 

Yoga Morning

  • 15 drops peppermint 
  • 5 drops frankincense 

Inner Glow 

  • 7 drops palo santo
  • 7 drops basil 
  • 5 drops wild orange 

Mental Clarity 

  • 12 drops ylang ylang 
  • 5 drops lime
  • 3 drops grapefruit 

Whole-Hearted

  • 8 drops clary sage
  • 8 drops frankincense 
  • 3 drops sandalwood 

Savasana 

  • 10 drops roman chamomile  
  • 10 drops patchouli 

Yoga Mat Spray With Essential Oils 

Yoga Mat Spray with essential oils

Yoga mat sprays with essential oils are great for your yoga practice because they help you clean naturally, reducing the amount of toxins in your environment. 

To make a spray with essential oils for yoga, you’ll need: 

  • A spray bottle (not plastic) 
  • 10 drops tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil 
  • 10 drops lavender oil 
  • Witch hazel or distilled water

In a spray bottle, add tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil and lavender oil. Top with witch hazel or distilled water. Shake gently, and spray on your yoga mat. Allow it to sit for several minutes, then wipe with a clean cloth or paper towel. Turn your mat over and repeat! 

How to Use Essential Oils for Yoga in Your Studio Practice 

Here are 9 ways to use essential oils for yoga in your studio: 

1. Instructor Massage or Roll On

During Savasana (or at any point during class), place one or two drops of oil in your hands, rub them gently together, and firmly massage or press the base of your student’s neck. Make sure you get your student’s consent before attempting massage. 

2. Self-application 

Your student can apply oils her/himself on the bottom of her feet, her pulse points, or the base of her neck. This is useful when your students are worried about skin sensitivities. 

3. Small Cotton Pad on Mat 

Before practise, you can place several drops of oil on a small cotton pad, and place it on your students’ mats. They can enjoy the gentle diffusion during practice, or they can place the cotton close to their nose and breathe deeply. 

4. Diffuse Essential Oils 

Having oils diffusing before and during class is a great way to welcome your students into class, and encourage them deeper into their practice.  

5. Essential Oil Spray 

You can make an essential oil room spray for yoga by filling a small glass spray bottle with your favorite essential oils and topping it off with witch hazel or distilled water. 

6. Cool Down Towels

If you hand out towels to your students after your practice, you can lightly spritz them with essential oils.  

7. Essential Oil Candle  

When it comes to using essential oils for yoga, candles naturally scented with essential oils are soothing, warming touches.  

8. Eye Pillows With Drops of Essential Oils 

If you hand out eye pillows to your students, you can add a few drops of a gentle oil like lavender or chamomile. 

9. Add a Drop of Essential Oil to Water

If you’re using a high quality essential oil, like Young Living essential oil, you can add a drop of lemon oil or grapefruit oil to your students’ water after a class for extra hydration and cleansing. 

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How to Use Essential Oils for Yoga Classes Online 

If you’re teaching yoga classes online, you and your students can both still benefit from the powers of essential oils! Here are some tips: 

  • Talk about the scents you’re diffusing during your class–the suggestion of the mind is very powerful, and describing the scents in your yoga studio can help your students feel like they’re there with you! 
  • Invite your students to diffuse their own oils 
  • Educate your students about how they can use oils to enhance their practice
  • Teach your students how to use essential oils to make their own yoga mat sprays
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Essential oils for yoga are great ways to enhance your students’ experience and practice, and deepen their meditation. Do you use essential oils for yoga? We’d love to hear your favorite oils in the comments below! 

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