Scent is a powerful sense we can harness for our well-being.
In yoga we take great care to think about elements such as sound (or silence), temperature, textures of our clothing or mat, and lighting. What’s missing? Scent.
We can lift, change, and enhance our mood and meditative experience by bringing scent into our practice. This can take several forms. One option is an essential oil diffuser in the studio or your home practice space. An all-natural fragrance spray can provide a burst of scent to lift energy at the beginning of practice, or suffuse the room with calm before final savasana. Or you could alter your scent experience by dabbing a drop or two of properly diluted essential oil on a pulse point.
Here are three natural scents that can uplift your practice.
Nothing evokes freshness and energy quite like citrus. A burst of lemon, orange or grapefruit brightens the atmosphere of any room and boosts the mood. Opening class or practice with a splash of citrus is a great way to set yourself up for an energised, optimistic and “sunny” session.
Peppermint is the classic “fresh breath” scent but rosemary is a wonderful alternative that adds a touch of depth. This pungent Mediterranean herb has a similar effect to peppermint, as far as enhancing the breath and opening the lungs, but it also has an earthy element that makes it appropriate for the pace of a meditative yoga practice. It is also thought to increase energy and combat headaches and mental fatigue.
This is a great scent to calm your mind and relax your body at the end of practice. Cedarwood essential oil is renowned for its soothing effect, which can enhance the benefits of savasana by promoting deep relaxation and alleviating tension and anxiety. It will compound the beneficial effects of yoga on stress, depression and insomnia, helping you feel even better once you leave the studio, and ensuring that tranquility carries over into the rest of your life.
What’s your favourite scent? Share in the comments!