Introduction to Essential Oils


You have probably heard people mention Essential Oils, especially in reference to yoga. I remember the first yoga class I ever attended. While we were in Savasana (Corps Pose), the teacher came over and used Lavender to help me relax by applying it topically. I had no idea what was happening since my eyes were closed, but I loved the smell, and instantly felt the therapeutic, aromatic benefits! I soon discovered many essential oils were suggested for emotional and mental health, and I wanted to learn more!

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils found in plants, trees, shrubs, bushes, etc. Not only great for mental health, essential oils are often used for respiratory health, immune support, skin care, sleep, and muscle tension/pain relief.

Applied topically or diffused into the air (aromatically), there are several ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. Some oils are even ingested! Often essential oils are found in skin care products from lotion to lip balm, and other body care products. I personally like to apply them topically or use them in a diffuser (especially when I’m teaching a yoga class!)


The most commonly used essential oils for mental well being include:

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Rose
  • Vanilla
  • Nutmeg
  • Ylang Ylang

essential-oils-1958549_960_720 Young Living

I will be doing a series on essential oils and mental health. I will talk about the different oils, how they work, what they are used for, safety, and of course, their benefits. I hope you will follow along and learn to incorporate essential oils into your self care!




The Why & How of Ujjayi Breath in Yoga

Yoga is the unity of mind and body and to achieve this unity, we often focus on our breath as we move through postures. Previously, I talked about How Pranayama Breathing Relieves Anxiety, but now let’s look at a type of Pranayama known as Ujjayi breath. In Sanskrit, Ujjayi breath means “victorious breath.”

Ujjayi breath is relatively easy to practice by constricting the back of the throat (just as you would while whispering) and forcing the breath to pass through the nostrils. The breath can be heard, and some compare it to the sound of the ocean. You may hear some practitioners even refer to this type of breathing as “ocean breath.”

Happy breathing

There are a number of benefits to this type of breathing, including:

  • This type of breathing helps balance our chakras, or “energy centers” in the body
  • Ujjayi breath is calming
  • It helps in regulating blood pressure
  • It helps the lungs work freely to pass air to all parts of the body (even off the mat)
  • Aids in concentration and focus (you can hold a pose longer while using Ujjayi breath!)
  • It can release tension in tight areas of the body
  • Strengthens the nervous and digestive system
  • Helps relieve headaches and sinus pressure
  • It regulates the heat throughout the body

While any type of healthy breathing is beneficial to the body, we can practice different types of breathing during our yoga practice to benefit not just the body, but also the mind!



Meditation and breathing