Wonderful Whiffs: Aromatherapy Scents to help you cope with the 10,000 things on your mind
After momming so hard throughout the day, what are some of your favorite ways to unwind? Mine is using aromatherapy to help relax and clear my head after a long day. Scent is an extremely primitive sense that can help us propel our relaxation to the next level with the use of aromatherapy.
Essential oils have been used for centuries in a variety of cultures:
"The Egyptians used aromatics 5,000 years ago for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The Greeks used olive oil to absorb the odor from flower petals and herbs. Arab physicians perfected the method of distilling essential oils and brought them to Europe. By the 16th century, the women of the household made all kinds of remedies for home use. The new sciences of chemistry and pharmacology, however, reduced these practices to superstition, thus discouraging the use of aromatherapy until the beginning of the 20th century, when a succession of French chemists started to research the healing properties of essential oils," (source).
So what's the science behind it?
"As we inhale an essential oil, their aromatic molecules enter the body via the nasal passages and olfactory bulb and travel to the limbic region at the center of the brain, the group of structures that regulate processes like memory, creativity, and motivation, as well as the autonomic nervous and endocrine systems. This olfactory highway means that the scent bypasses the cerebral cortex—the conscious processing part of the brain. This is why even the faintest whiff of something evocative will instantly evoke a flash of memory, a recollection of a person from our past, or even inspire an emotional response," (source).
When practicing yoga, I believe essential oils and scents can help deepen your practice, and have outlined a few scents below with corresponding yoga poses to help while you stretch. Use in lotions, inhaling directly, adding to a bubble bath, or - maybe if you're REALLY lucky - get your partner to give you a little rubdown! Even if you merely just want to relax on the couch and watch the Bachelorette, below are some of my favorite scents and their benefits to encourage relaxation.
1) Lavendar. A classic. You can find this most anywhere to help calm and relax you, especially when it comes to sleeping. This scent pairs well with any meditative yoga poses.
2) Sandalwood. This is one of my absolute favorites. Its earthy hints aid in tension relief. This scent pairs well with restorative yoga poses, or even goddess poses because of its sensual nature.
3) Peppermint. Stretching in the morning and need a boost to wake up? Peppermint aids with mental focus, and pairs well with any standing asanas as you begin your day.
4) Chamomile. Another powerfully calming scent, this pairs well with any seated twist poses.
5) Rose. One of my favorite additions to my beauty routine is to lightly spray my face with Rosemary water. The scent has anti-depressive effects and helps with You can even buy tiny sprays at Nordstram Rack for $5 - here is a link to one below:
Lastly, below is a lotion with Frankincense and Myrrh one of my yoga teachers used during a Restorative Yoga teacher training, and its become my favorite for Savasana - here is a link where you can buy it on Amazon if you want to try it, too!
What are some of your favorite scents?