Essential Yoga Practice: Combining Yoga and Essential Oils

If you are interested in yoga, whether you are a beginner or an expert, Asti Atkinson and Mona Flynn are with us today to share how you can get started using essential oils to add to the benefits of practicing yoga. Check out their book, DVD, and tear pad at AromaTools:


Is yoga for you? If it is, do you know how to effectively pair your yoga practice with essential oils? Do you teach yoga or know someone who does? Many yoga teachers have approached us with questions about how to introduce essential oils to their students. We’ve talked to yogis who are curious about essential oils but unsure where to start. We’ve also had many essential oil users ask us how to introduce essential oils to the yoga community, especially since more traditional yogis can be reluctant initially to introduce any type of aroma to a yoga practice.

These answers and more can be found in Essential Yoga Practice. This book clearly communicates the benefits of yoga, important information about essential oils, and how pairing these two practices can be so beneficial. It’s ideal for newcomers, yet also contains a wealth of information to help more seasoned yogis and oil users expand and deepen the benefits they experience.

In the last section of the book, yoga, wellness, and fitness expert Mona Flynn shares 6 original yoga sequences she has choreographed, and Asti Atkinson teaches how specific essential oils can have a powerful impact on your yoga experience. You’ll be able to watch these sequences in motion with the Essential Yoga Practice DVD.

Are you ready to teach others how to use essential oils with yoga in a simple way . . . or even get together with some friends for a self-guided tour of yoga with essential oils? Take home the new Essential Yoga Practice tear pad (available from AromaTools), and enjoy experimenting with oils and yoga. You’ll love the synergistic wellness pairing these two ancient practices provide for body, mind, and spirit.

About the Authors


Mona Flynn, MS, has over 25 years of experience in wellness and fitness. She holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology and is a registered yoga teacher with over 500 hours of experience (RYT 500E). She is a long-standing member of both the Yoga Alliance and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Mona is co-owner of the Institute of Integrated Yoga Therapy, which offers yoga teacher training programs, and owner of Lifefit Inc., a private yoga practice.

Asti Atkinson began her own natural wellness journey when she discovered essential oils in 1998, and she has been an essential oil distributor since 2010. She has educated thousands of people in groups around the world on the benefits of essential oils.

Overnight Oats with Blueberry Lemon Jam

Breakfast can be a hard meal to keep healthy while still tasting delicious. Overnight oats have caught our attention recently, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. These overnight oats are cardamom and cassia flavored, and topping them with Blueberry Lemon Jam makes for a wonderful flavorful combination. This is a breakfast that you can feel good about eating without sacrificing a delicious flavor!

Overnight Oats with Blueberry Lemon Jam

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (100 g) rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. (35 g) chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 drop cardamom essential oil
  • 1 drop cassia essential oil
  • 1–2 small, ripe pears, diced
  • Blueberry Lemon Jam (recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium container, combine the coconut milk, rolled oats, chia seeds, maple syrup, and essential oils.
  2. Cover, and chill the oats for at least 1–2 hours, or overnight, until the mixture thickens and the oats soften.
  3. Remove the oats from the fridge when ready to serve, and stir to combine.
  4. Layer the oats, jam, and pear slices in a bowl or small jar. These prepared layers can be stored in the fridge for 3–4 days.

This Blueberry Lemon Jam is super delicious and really easy to make! You can use it for the overnight oats, or simply top a bagel or piece of toast with it. The lemon essential oil adds a wonderful tangy flavor to the sweet blueberries. You might need to make a double batch of this jam to last you a little longer!

Blueberry Lemon Jam

  • Servings: Yield=6 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (550 g) frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. (35 g) chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot, combine the blueberries and maple syrup, and simmer over medium-high heat for 8–10 minutes, or until the berries are softened. The blueberries will release a lot of water at this point.
  2. Reduce the heat a little to avoid sticking, and stir in the chia seeds.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for 8–15 minutes, stirring frequently. Simmer until most of the water cooks off and the jam thickens up.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice, and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes before stirring in the lemon essential oil.
  6. Place the jam in the fridge for a couple hours, allowing it to cool completely.

Leftover jam can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for much longer.

Essential Educators: Yoga Mini Tear Pad

“Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years as an exercise that focuses on the health of the body and the mind. Yoga has been shown to build strength and flexibility over all areas of the body.” The new Essential Educators “Yoga” mini tear pad is a beginner-friendly resource for enhancing anyone’s yoga experience with essential oils. It discusses how oils benefit a workout and offers quick ideas for both aromatic and topical application. Also included are instructions for a yoga mat cleaning spray and a quick yoga stretch (that you can do anywhere). Designed for class use or to share with samples, the “Yoga” mini tear pad contains 50 sheets—plenty to share with your team, contacts, friends, and family!

The yoga presentation also coordinates with our “Chakras” mini tear pad. This tear pad  introduces the seven chakras as energy centers in the body. It lists essential oils that help open and balance each chakra—and explains application methods. Finally, it illustrates four basic yoga poses for balancing chakras.

Since yoga is such a hot topic, we’ve linked all our previous yoga-related blog posts below so that you can learn even more about using essential oils with yoga!

Ready to get going? Check out our yoga and meditation products—full-size tear pads, books, DVDs, exercise apparel, and more. Click here to browse everything!

“Mental Focus” Diffuser Blend

It’s getting close to school starting again, so it’s time to stock up on focus-enhancing study blends. This diffuser blend is stress relieving and energy boosting; it can even enhance blood flow to the brain, making you productive enough to handle any task at hand. This blend is also great for yoga and meditation, giving you the focus and strength you need. Whatever the occasion, this is a great blend to keep around the house! Try it out, and let us know what you think.

Diffuser blends bring great aromas and healing powers into our homes, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t have a great diffuser! AromaTools carries a wide variety of diffusers to fit your needs. Click here to learn more about these diffusers and how to pick the right one for you.

Sleeping Cream for Kids

If you have kids, you’ve probably struggled to get them to fall asleep at night. And we need sleep just as much as they do, so it’s time to help them fall asleep faster and sleep through the night. Orange essential oil is great for relieving anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. It also promotes calming and peaceful energy. Combined with lavender—known to help with relaxation and sleep—this simple cream is perfect for helping your little ones relax and sleep well at night.

Sleeping Cream for Kids

  • Servings: Yield=2 oz. (50 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Soften the coconut oil, but don’t melt it. Add the essential oils, and beat on high with a hand mixer for a couple minutes, or until the coconut oil is whipped and creamy and the oils are mixed in.
  2. Transfer the cream to the glass jar.
  3. Rub a small amount of cream on each of your children’s feet at the beginning of their bedtime routine. Proceed with the rest of the bedtime routine, tuck your kids in, and watch the cream work its magic as they drift off to dreamland!

This sleeping cream makes a perfect gift for friends with kids or grandparents that love to watch your kids!

Store this cream at room temperature. If it’s too cold, it will harden and be difficult to apply; too hot, and it will melt.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Juniper Berry

Juniper berry (Juniperus communis) essential oil is steam-distilled from the berries and needles of cypress conifer trees. This essential oil is recognized by its sweet, balsamic, and tenacious scent.

This essential oil contains antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cleansing, detoxifying, diuretic, stimulant, and tonic health properties. Juniper primarily affects the following body systems: digestive system, emotional balance, nervous system, and skin.

Historically, juniper has been used for physical and spiritual purification, cleansing infections, embalming, relieving arthritis and urinary tract infections, warding off plagues, epidemics, and contagious diseases, kidney and bladder problems, pulmonary infections, and fevers.

Today, juniper berry essential oil is commonly used to help with acne, alcoholism, dermatitis/eczema, kidney stones, and tinnitus. This oil may also help with detoxifying and cleansing the body, coughs, depression, energy, hemorrhoids, infections, liver problems, aching muscles, nerve function and regeneration, obesity, rheumatism, ulcers, water retention, and wounds.

Applications of Juniper Berry Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: This oil can be applied neat (with no dilution). Apply directly to the area of concern or to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: The aroma of juniper evokes feelings of health, love, and peace and may help to elevate one’s spiritual awareness.
Internal Application: Juniper berry is generally recognized as safe for human consumption. Place a drop under the tongue, or take in capsules.
Safety Data: This oil should not be consumed by children under 6 years old; use with caution and in greater dilution on children 6 years old and over. Use with caution during pregnancy or while nursing.

Ways to Use Juniper Berry Essential Oil:

1. Skin Clarity Roll-on
We all aspire to have clear, healthy skin. If you’re struggling to achieve this, try combining 10 drops melaleuca, 8 drops lavender, and 8 drops juniper berry with 2 tsp. (10 ml) carrier oil in a 10 ml (1/3 oz) roll-on bottle. Roll the mixture on your face after removing makeup, and massage in if necessary. Click here to view the full recipe.
2. Hangover
Add 5 drops grapefruit, 2 drops rosemary, and 1 drop juniper berry to 1 cup (250 g) epsom salt. Dissolve 1/2 cup (125 g) of the mixture in warm bathwater for a soothing bath to ease hangover symptoms.
3. Diffuser Blends
Juniper berry essential oil comes with so many aromatic benefits that you can’t help but diffuse it with some of your favorite oils. Here are a few diffuser blends we’ve come up with that you can try!

4. Dermatitis/Eczema
Skin conditions can become extremely uncomfortable and irritating. To treat dermatitis/eczema, blend 2 drops helichrysum and 2 drops juniper berry with 1 tsp. (5 ml) fractionated coconut oil in a small roll-on bottle, and apply on the affected skin.
5. Air-Freshening Spray
Air fresheners should not only smell great, but also be emotionally uplifting. Combine 10 drops fennel, 8 drops lemon, and 6 drops juniper berry with 1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil in a 1 oz. spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with distilled water, and shake to combine. Spray the mixture around the room, and breathe in the emotional support.

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 79.

Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites

Sometimes we all need a healthy energy boost to keep us going. These energy bites are so delicious that even your kids will love them! This snack is simple and fun, but also really healthy so that you can feel good about eating it.

Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites

  • Servings: 24–30
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (200 g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup grated apple (about 1 apple)
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) ground flaxseed
  • 5 Tbsp. (75 ml) honey
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the honey, vanilla, and cinnamon essential oil.
  3. Add the wet ingredients and the grated apple to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is completely combined (you may need to use your hands).
  4. Cover, and refrigerate for an hour or until the mixture solidifies a bit.
  5. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls, and snack away!

These energy bites can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.

You can substitute any other fruit for the apple if desired—pears, peaches, strawberries, etc.

Aloe Vera Acne Gel

There’s nothing worse than those pesky pimples that won’t seem to go away. Finding the perfect acne treatment can be difficult, especially when everything out there seems to do more harm than good with the harsh chemicals involved. This aloe vera acne gel is really easy to make with the oils you have on hand, and it does wonders for your face! The aloe vera acts as a moisturizer, and the witch hazel serves as an astringent, tightening your skin and leaving it super soft.

Aloe Vera Acne Gel

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (125 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 7 Tbsp. (110 ml) aloe vera gel
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Witch Hazel
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil
  • 4 oz. Glass Salve Jar

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in the 4 oz. jar, and use a spoon to combine the mixture thoroughly.
  2. Wash your face as you normally would.
  3. Place a hot wet washcloth over your face for a few minutes to allow your pores to open up so that the gel can clean from the inside out.
  4. Gently rub the gel over your face, and let it soak into your skin.
  5. If desired, you can follow up with a facial moisturizer.

This gel can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Before using this gel on your face, make sure to do a skin patch test on your inner forearm to ensure that the gel does not cause any adverse reactions. If this does happen, you may want to omit the cinnamon oil and try again.

Lighten Your Hair Naturally with Essential Oils

Have you ever wanted that perfect sun-bleached hair color after spending the summer on the beach? Unfortunately, few of us actually have that kind of time to spend out in the sun. Lucky for you, we’ve found some natural ways for you to get lighter hair quickly without damaging your hair with harsh chemicals and dyes.

Many men and women today are dying their hair regularly in order to make it look lighter or give it some highlights. Others shy away from a change they may want because of the harsh chemicals involved in hair dye. However, there are natural ways to give your hair a lighter color without using hair dye. You may have heard of using hydrogen peroxide to bleach your hair, but this method comes with complications. Hydrogen peroxide bleaching strips the natural pigment from your hair, making it just about as damaging as hair dye. Lemons have long been known for their bleaching qualities, and the essential oil has been found to possess the same properties. Apple cider vinegar helps with lightening, but also leaves a shine and works to strengthen your hair. Rosemary and grapefruit essential oils help to protect your hair from damage in the sun and can help heal other pre-existing damage. Try out this hair-lightening spray to add some color and depth to your hair this summer!

Hair-Lightening Spray

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (25 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • Water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Place the apple cider vinegar with the essential oils in the spray bottle, and shake to combine. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water, and shake again to combine.
  2. Spray the mixture through your hair, or in desired locations for highlights. The amount you use will depend on the length of your hair and the intensity of color desired.
  3. Lie out in the sun for 30 minutes, check the color, spray again, and return to the sun until the desired color is reached. Some hair may take multiple exposures to reach the desired color, as this is a very gradual process.
  4. Once you finish lightening your hair, wash your hair out thoroughly, making sure to apply plenty on conditioner to rehydrate your hair.

This recipe is created as a general rule of thumb for most hair colors. This should not be used on dark hair, as it can cause brassy colors or damage to your hair. If you have a strong pigment in your hair and the color isn’t taking quickly, you may need to increase the amount of lemon oil.

Make sure to keep an eye on how your hair is reacting in the sun. Some hair colors and pigments may lighten faster, while others could take much longer. Don’t get discouraged if it’s a slow process; it can take a few exposures to show extreme differences.

While you’re waiting for the lightening spray to work its magic, you can lie out in the sun with a good book or simply get some yard work done. Whatever you do, just don’t forget sunscreen!

 

Peppermint Chocolate Mousse

This dessert is so delicious—and healthy too! If you love rich, creamy, chocolate treats, this is the one for you. It’s made with coconut cream, which adds an amazing hint of coconut flavor. And the peppermint essential oil tops off this amazing dessert with a flavor to die for! This mousse is very rich, so it doesn’t take much to hit your sweet spot.

Peppermint Chocolate Mousse

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp. (18 g) confectioner’s sweetener (or confectioner’s sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp. (24 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 squares (20 g) 70% dark chocolate, shaved (optional for extra richness)
  • Shaved chocolate for garnish
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place the cans of coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight before using. Without shaking the cans, open them up and scoop the thick cream off the top of the water into a bowl.
  2. Add the sweetener or sugar to the cream, and beat on high until it thickens up. If desired, you can save a little bit of the whipped cream to top the mousse with.
  3. Fold the cocoa powder and salt into the cream, and beat again until smooth.
  4. Add the peppermint essential oil, and beat again.
  5. Fold in the chocolate shavings, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Top with whipped coconut cream and chocolate shavings, and serve!

You can also use coconut milk in place of coconut cream, but you will need to allow the mousse to thicken in the refrigerator for an hour or more before serving.