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Essential Oils and Yoga

Written by Michelle Skousen

Incorporating essential oils into your Yoga practice whether at home or in the studio can be a uplifting and mutually beneficial addition.  Essential oils and yoga are natural harmonistic therapies that compliment and enhance each other. If you love yoga, whether it’s Chakra balancing, Hatha yoga, Vinyassa, Bikram or whatever, you will find that incorporating essential oils can really make a positive difference.

As you are by now no doubt aware, one of my motto’s is Healthy Can Be Simple. This sentiment is also true when incorporating essential oils into your studio or personal yoga practice. Let’s take a look at some easy ways to use them.

Diffuse to clean the air and set the mood…

How often have you been running busy all morning or all day before you get time to go to Yoga class?  If you are an instructor, how many of your clients come in stressed out from a busy or stressful day? Setting the mood can make a big difference to what you are able to get out of your practice. Try diffusing wild orange and spearmint, or wintergreen or peppermint (not all 4). These oils provide an uplifting mood and a sense of “present in the now” as you get ready to stretch or meditate. These oils help with focus and energy as they stimulate your brain. For an overall clean you can spritz mats or the air with this blend as well.  You might even let people have a drop of each in their hands to in hale and rub on the back of their neck when class begins.

From the inside…

Do you enjoy a little fruit, especially lemon in your water? If so then you will love doTERRA’s lemon essential oil. Put a drop of lemon oil in your glass or stainless steel water bottle (not plastic) and sip throughout your practice. Not only does this smell great and boost your mood, but it is naturally detoxifying and immune boosting. You can add grapefruit too if you want to encourage the fat in your cells to be released. You only need 1-2 drops in a 16 oz bottle to get a refreshing, healthy drink throughout your yoga hour.

Grounding and centering…

Next try a drop of Balance essential oil on the back of the neck, or on the “third eye” or center of your forehead between your eyebrows. This will help to ground you, and bring more calm and focused centering to your exercises. You’ll enjoy it’s woodsy and inviting aroma as it helps you to truly get into your healthy space.

Expand your airways…

When it comes to essential oils and yoga, deep breathing is an area where you will really feel a significant difference. If you could use a little extra help getting in those deep cleansing breaths, then adding a drop of Breathe essential oil blend is amust! Rub a drop over your heart and/or rub your hands together and then inhale. Just one drop of Breathe can really deepen and expand your lung capacity. You’ll find stress melting away as you are able to take deeper, more expanding breaths. It is common knowledge that deep breathing naturally calms our anxious minds and brings down our stress levels. You can even try this at your desk at work or whenever you are feeling tense and uneasy. Take a drop of Breathe, rub it between your hands and inhale. It’s amazing, I promise! And so simple to use.

Sore spots…

Have some muscles or joints that take a minute to get going or just tend to be a little painful? As you begin your stretches, your “Child’s pose” or “Good morning”, you might find rubbing on the Deep Blue Stick with Copaiba to be your new best friend! It’s easy to glide on anywhere you need it and you don’t have to get this one on your hands. It will penetrate into those sore muscles and joints, helping you to get more out of your movements, enjoy them, and help to avoid injury. You can use this before, during and after your yoga practice. Keep your muscles supple and moving with the powerful combo of Deep Blue and Copaiba, releasing your inner “Warrior”! That’s one essential oil we can all get “Downward dog” into!

Immune support…

As an instructor, you can walk around the room and apply OnGuard essential oil to the bottoms of the feet of your participants with the OnGuard roll on. (Germs do not stick to the roll-ons or dispensers of the oils, so no need to worry!) For an added immune support, you can have them use Tea Tree oil behind their ears, over their heart,  and on the front of their throat. A great time to use this would be as you move into seated asana.

Deeper meditation…

As you or your clients move into Savasana, or resting pose, applying an oil that helps you to deepen your relaxation and awareness is key. Try applying lavender over your brows, behind the neck, over your heart, under your nose, and bottoms of your feet. Or any combination of those you wish.

As an instructor, spritzing a combo of lavender and balance around the room during Savasana can also deepen and support greater relaxation. Serenity blend is also a good choice for this part of your practice as it is made for deeper rest and relaxation. It will allow your mind to leave the last of the stress behind, helping you to go about the rest of your day feeling centered and supported.

Mat Cleaner…

Another practice many use is our Abode surface spray to clean and sanitize your yoga mats and studio surfaces. This is not only wonderful around your house but anywhere surfaces get touched. Abode essential oil will keep your mats and other surfaces smelling clean, and being deeply cleaned in a green and healthy way. If you like the idea of making your own DIY mat spray, this one is popular too. Just combine the following in a class spray bottle:  3/4 cup distilled water,  1/4 cup alcohol free witch hazel or white vinegar, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 3 drops tea tree essential oil.  Mix together and spritz on mats for a healthy, green clean.


It’s a great idea when applying any oil to your skin to use a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil (FCO), jojoba oil, or MCT oil. This helps extend the life of your oils by helping a little to go a long way, and protects more sensitive skin. REMEMBER. the safety tip that you NEVER try to wash an essential oil away with water as it will increase in intensity. Add more FCO if it is uncomfortable. That will help it dissipate.

Yoga Collection….

Last but not least is the doTERRA Yoga Collection. Yep, there are oils specially suited just for yoga! Yay! These are three perfectly blended oils that will inspire and delight you! Anchor promotes feelings of calm, completeness and courage. Align promotes feelings of harmony and peace. Arise helps promote feelings of happiness, focus and courage.

This is a long list, so don’t feel like you have to incorporate each of these oils on your very first time trying them. When you get your oils, simply smell them and get acquainted. I can help you with that. And as you do, try adding one or two into your yoga practice at a time. You’ll soon have a routine that you love, and wonder how you ever did yoga without them! Essential oils and yoga are a natural, harmonious fit.

Remember you can always got to my store and purchase these amazing oils at retail right here: My Store. If you’d rather save money and get them at wholesale, then let’s chat about what your needs are, so we can get the perfect set up for you. Just click on my calendar to schedule a no obligation, ask me anything call. No purchase necessary. Click here for My Calendar.

If you are wondering if it makes good sense to add essential oils into your yoga studio as an owner or instructor, you might find this blog post helpful: Good Scents, Sense and Cents! Until next time, remember, Healthy Can Be Simple!

***Many of the ideas in this blog were taught or inspired by Deidre Schaub, Jane Bloom, Stephanie Smith and Marty Harger who created the book “The Essential Yoga Program”.

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