Essential Yoga Practice: Combining Essential Oils with Yoga

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.

How to Use Complementary Therapies within Your Addiction Treatment

Some people are able to overcome addiction on their own, while others need more support through professional treatment. Each person needs to take the recovery path that works for him or her. There’s no reason to feel weak if you need to rely on professional treatment. Drug or alcohol dependence creates significant changes in your brain and body, especially if you’ve been abusing the drug for a long time or in large amounts. Professional treatment can provide various tools and techniques to help you change your life. Or you might be someone who thrives more on your own than with the help of others.

at_yoga_manWhether you are working on overcoming addiction individually or with the help of professionals, there is a lot you can do on your own. After all, addiction recovery is your own personal journey of making changes and transitioning from an old way of living to a new one. You’re doing the work on your own anyway—it just helps to have support, whether that’s in the form of holistic therapies, medical/psychosocial treatment, or both!

A range of complementary therapies can add to whatever other steps you are taking without counteracting them. Many intensive treatment programs even offer numerous holistic therapies within their regimens.

About Addiction

Addiction, which now falls under the designation “substance use disorder,” is a complex health problem that involves all aspects of a person’s life. It affects one physically, emotionally, neurologically, and in other ways. Addiction comes with tolerance and dependence, and it changes the brain and other parts of the body.

Overall, addiction results in many problems to one’s life, and most agree that a person is addicted if he or she doesn’t stop using the substance despite these problems. Addicts are likely to experience at least some problems such as job loss, financial struggles, health troubles, relationship problems or endings, and other problems and losses that the addiction either causes or perpetuates.

Since addiction is a complex problem, it often helps to have a treatment plan that focuses on different aspects of one’s body, mind, and life. Many treatment programs incorporate psychological professionals, doctors and nurses, and other professionals to offer various treatment methods that focus on these different aspects. The specialties work together within a comprehensive treatment plan. Treatment also works best when it’s tailored to each person.

You might find that solely using holistic therapies is the path you need to take to overcome an addiction. Or you might find that some holistic techniques work well with your individualized plan that also includes treatments such as psychological therapy and even temporary medication.

How Complementary Therapies Can Help

The goal of many addiction treatment techniques is to help you change your way of thinking and behaving. Many holistic therapies can help with that goal.

Learning to relieve stress is often a key component of addiction treatment, since stress is a common trigger for substance use. You can use tools such as aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, and other techniques to cut your stress levels and help you react differently to situations.
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Certain complementary therapies can also help ease symptoms of withdrawal and can promote healing to your body and mind.

There is also a lot you can do on your own when you have recovered from an addiction and are trying to prevent relapse. Just as with various health conditions, it’s fairly common to relapse when you quit a substance. Nevertheless, it’s possible to reduce your risk of relapse, and holistic therapies can provide support toward this goal.

Techniques to Try within Your Addiction Treatment Plan

Aromatherapy is a natural treatment that can provide benefits for your treatment process. This therapy involves using essential oils in therapeutic ways, such as inhaling them or diluting and applying them to your skin.

In Yale Scientific, Cynthia Deng explained that some research has supported the idea that essential oils have a positive effect on mood, adding that “there is something to be said for the consistent mood improvement across studies.” Deng explained that the scent travels to the limbic system in the brain, where it can also play a role in memories. She gave the example that associating a certain scent with something positive could help a person have positive thoughts when smelling it in the future.

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So inhaling the scent of essential oils could improve your mood, which could be beneficial if you’re experiencing an addiction. This effect has particular potential for easing symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which is associated with a variety of emotional symptoms. Plus, you might be able to help train your brain to have new positive experiences by inhaling a scent you like while you engage in a drug-free activity.

If you are interested in using essential oils to help with addiction, you may wish to read our post “Essential Oils & the Road to Addiction Recovery” for more information.

There are many additional techniques you can incorporate into your personal process of overcoming addiction. Yoga, meditation, and other relaxing, reflective techniques provide wonderful methods of relieving stress and changing your perspective on life. Through these techniques, you learn to reflect, calm your mind and emotions, and think and act differently. Prayer can offer similar benefits if it fits your lifestyle.

Yoga also provides exercise, which takes us to the next point. Fitness and nutrition are incredibly beneficial to healing your body and mind from an addiction. A healthy diet gives your body and brain nutrients to make up for addiction-based deficiencies and to support your brain and body in healing themselves. Both nutrition and exercise help your mood and improve your overall health. Exercise also provides a healthy activity you can commit to rather than spending your time on addiction-based activities.

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There is an abundance of other healthy techniques you can use to promote healing and recovery, including:

Whether or not you rely on the support of professionals to overcome an addiction, you do have a lot of power to change your own life. These complementary techniques can support you in your journey and make the process a bit smoother. Also, you can support your transition in other ways, such as changing your environment, learning your triggers to avoid or manage them, and filling your life with positive and healthy influences, such as supportive people and enjoyable sober activities.

Sources:
https://www.lumierehealingcenters.com/what-is-addiction/
http://www.yalescientific.org/2011/11/aromatherapy-exploring-olfaction/
https://www.thefix.com/content/therapies-outside-box?page=all
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-12/health/sc-health-0612-fitness-fight-addiction-with-exerci-20130612_1_todd-crandell-drug-addiction-reward
http://riverbankhouse.net/why-drug-addiction-requires-long-term-treatment-and-extended-recovery-care/

About the Author


_fab1749-lowDr. Dina Macaluso’s journey toward a career in psychology began in 1990. Since then, she has dedicated her life to helping people recover from addiction and mental health issues. Dr. Macaluso holds a doctorate degree in psychology, a master’s degree in sociology and marriage and family therapy, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is licensed in the state of Florida as a mental health counselor. Additionally, Dr. Macaluso is working on her certification as an addiction counselor. She is currently the clinical director at Lumiere Healing Centers Florida Location.

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray

Have you ever thought about the bacteria collecting on your yoga mat? Yoga mats tend to be hard to clean; but it needs to be done, so we’ve come up with a simpler way to disinfect your mat while adding the benefits of essential oils to the routine. We’ve put together an antibacterial cleaning spray using essential oils that is sure to leave your mat smelling fresh and clean.

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Week of Wellness: EssentialYoga Workshop

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Overlooking a view of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains from the Elevé™ Event Center, a group ranging from beginners to experts participated in the June workshop from “The EssentialYoga Program” conducted by Marty Harger and Stephanie Smith. The program consists of monthly workshops designed to provide yoga instructors with “the knowledge and steps to confidently integrate six to seven essential oils into a theme-based monthly EssentialYoga workshop.” This is a great way to naturally introduce others to the benefits of combining essential oils with yoga.

In the class, Stephanie Smith led participants through yoga poses as essential oils were integrated aromatically, topically, and internally during the workshop. Marty Harger explained the benefits of essential oils using information from Modern Essentials, Living Healthy and Happily Ever AfterEmotions and Essential Oils, and Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.

The oils paired with yoga are beneficial to both mind and spirit. The oils support individuals with more clarity, focus, stamina, and the ability to breathe deeper. The theme for the June workshop is to breathe and be open to life.

“Let go and open to life” is inspired by fresh, summer citrus essential oils and their scents. The crisp and uplifting citrus aromas combined with the circular energy movement of this practice are the perfect fit for a summer yoga practice. Inspired by an all-levels vinyasa flow style of yoga, this workshop focuses on side-body lengthening and healthy function of the kidneys. Combined with the uplifting qualities of citrus oils such as lemon and grapefruit, this practice creates a powerful antidote to our linear world, helps to remove blinders, and opens peripheral vision.

The following chart is an excerpt from the program and shares the oils that were introduced in the class along with their physical and emotional benefits.

The program is also very committed to helping with causes and encourages those who conduct their workshops to give a portion of the proceeds from the workshop to charity. During the Week of Wellness, although the classes were free, participants were encouraged to donate $5.00 each. 100% of the $5.00 cash per person suggested donation went to the Healing Hands Nepal Earthquake Relief fund.

This is a wonderful program of workshops. Be sure to purchase the book to get the complete details for the June workshop and the entire EssentialYoga Program.

About the Presenter


Marty Harger was introduced to yoga while attending freestyle ski camp in Wyoming in the late 1970s––her first trip to the western USA. Her introduction to oils came a few years later as did her increasing awareness of the body’s powerful ability to heal itself with natural approaches. In midlife, Marty hopped off the big-city corporate fast-track and began her personal and professional journey to find her niche in the healing arts. It was during that year of massage school in Chicago that her passion for essential oils really took hold. What began with aromatherapy studies evolved into the use of therapeutic-grade essential oils as she was introduced to the oils in 2008 at the wellness center she owns in the Mountains of Heber City, Utah.

 

Stephanie Smith‘s path from the dance studio to the yoga studio began when she was a young girl exploring ballet, jazz, and tap. After a few years as a college dance major, she left her home state of Utah for a professional dance career in Los Angeles. That road led to ventures in personal training and fitness as well as teaching dance to others since 1984. Her love of yoga began in 1996 as she explored Bikram, or hot yoga. Ever curious, Stephanie continued her yoga instructor training in many forms over the years with a growing interest in the mind-body connection. Her unique style brings a sense of curiosity and inquiry into the studio as she meets yoga students where they are and helps guide them to a deeper understanding of their body, mind, and spirit.

Make Yoga a Part of Your Life This Year!

In some way or another, exercising is probably one of your new year’s resolutions. So, why not start with yoga? There are many benefits to practicing yoga, such as increased flexibility, muscle strength, and tone; improved breathing, energy, and vitality; cardio and circulatory health; and weight reduction. In fact, new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that yoga can be as beneficial to weight loss and lowering blood pressure as exercises such as cycling or brisk walking are.

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Along with physical benefits, yoga is beneficial for improving mental health. It has also been known to reduce stress, enhance sleep, and improve mental well-being.

So, if you have a goal this year to exercise more, maybe you should give yoga a try. According to Laura Holbrook, “As human beings we seek out experiences that make us feel good. We crave that altered state, whether it be through food, music, or overindulgence in anything. We all have habits, some of which can lead to negative consequences. So the question is … how can we achieve a natural high with positive consequences? Through the practice of yoga breathing and postures we quiet the inner critic and wake up our true authentic voice.”

The use of essential oils while practicing yoga really enhances the benefits of yoga. Learn more about these benefits and how to incorporate essential oils into your yoga routines with the following informational materials:

AromaTools™ also offers several options for yoga apparel, such as tank tops, short-sleeve shirts, capris, and pants to help you get started. Even if you aren’t into yoga, these items are comfortable to work out in or even for lounging around the house.

Sources:
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology: http://cpr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/12/02/2047487314562741.full.pdf
Essential Yoga by Laura Holbrook: https://www.aromatools.com/DVD_Essential_Yoga_p/DT8619K.htm