Aromatherapy: Best Essential Oils To Use For Yoga

For many of us, an at-home yoga session feels familiar. It’s just you, the mat, and silence. Maybe there’s a glass of water or towel nearby. But what about essential oils, the fragrant liquids used in aromatherapy? Yoga and oils have a lot in common, so it only makes sense to combine them.

Aromatherapy helps you create the best environment for yoga. It energizes the mind, body, and soul, letting you focus on each and every breath. Mindfulness and awareness will thrive. In turn, it’ll be easier to move into poses, helping you get the most out of your routine. If you’ve been exposed to aromatherapy at the spa or in yoga class, you know how great it can be! Luckily, recreating the experience at home is totally possible.


What Are The Best Essential Oils For Yoga?

Pick and choose oils depending on your mood or practice. Create a personal blend or use them by one by one – it’s up to you. Always use high-quality, 100% pure essential oils.

1. Lavender

Lavender oil reduces stress, anxiety, and headaches


Lavender essential oil is known for its relaxing scent. In fact, ancient Egyptians used it in steam baths to calm the central nervous system. The Greeks and Romans followed suit soon after. It’s also used as a holistic treatment for stress, headache, and anxiety.1

For instance, studies have found calming benefits for postpartum mothers and dental patients. When combined with yoga, lavender will do amazing things for stress.2 3


2. Chamomile

Chamomile helps you sleep better

As a tea, chamomile is a popular sleep aid. It’s no different as an essential oil! In a 2013 study, chamomile oil improved sleep, anxiety, and blood pressure of patients in the intensive care unit. It’s even pegged as a possible treatment of insomnia, a common sleep disorder.4 5


Chamomile oil works by reducing stress-induced plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone. Feeling too tense to practice yoga? When applied to the skin, chamomile also controls pain and muscle spasms.6

3. Sandalwood

Sandalwood reduces anxiety


Sandalwood oil is another stress-busting remedy. It’s been proven to reduce anxiety, even for women undergoing a breast biopsy. The effects are greater when combined with lavender oil. If you’re working on a particularly hard pose, consider using sandalwood. Many use it to center and strengthen the mind and body.7

4. Peppermint

Peppermint is a natural painkiller


Don’t let a headache get in the way of your practice. As a natural painkiller, peppermint essential oil will release pressure and clear the mind. It’s one of the best remedies for a minor tension-type headache. Need a wake-up call? Instead of drinking caffeine, inhale peppermint to beat mental fatigue, burnout, and stress.8 9

5. Eucalyptus


Eucalyptus oil contains ellagic acid, a polyphenol with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects. The aroma is so refreshing that it can even calm patients waiting for surgery. During a yoga flow, you’re bound to feel rejuvenated. Plus, like peppermint, eucalyptus opens the mind and spirit. Use them together while you’re trying to cool down on a hot day.10

6. Bergamot

Bergamot oil boosts your mood

The sunny scent of bergamot oil is amazing for boosting your mood. For centuries, it’s doubled as a treatment for anxiety, stress, pain, and high blood pressure. In fact, a 2017 study in Phytotherapy Research found that inhaling bergamot can improve positive feelings in the waiting room. If you’re new to essential oils, consider starting with bergamot. The citrus aroma is common so it won’t seem too strange or different.11

7. Grapefruit

Grapefruit oil boosts your energy levels

Brighten up your practice with grapefruit essential oil. When inhaled, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, offering a gentle boost of energy. Inhaling grapefruit oil also decreases food intake while increasing thermogenesis. Like bergamot, this one’s an ideal starter oil. Use them together for a rejuvenating morning blend.12

How To Use Aromatherapy In Yoga

Make no mistake, essential oils can seriously transform your practice. Here’s how to put them into action.

1. Ultrasonic Diffuser

An ultrasonic diffuser uses water and essential oils. It disperses a light mist, filling the room with a marvelous aroma. You can easily find this device at department stores and health shops.

2. Clay Diffuser

For a DIY option, make or buy a clay diffuser. This simply holds drops of essential oil until it evaporates. It’s a budget-friendly option but won’t work as well as ultrasonic diffusers.

3. Essential Oil Warmer

A candle warmer can be used to diffuse essential oils. Fill the candle warmer dish with water and add 5 to 10 drops of the oil. Some warmers heat up with electricity, while others use a tea light candle.

To apply essential oils to your body, dilute them first. Use 5 drops for every 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Always do a patch test if you’re using something new.