Yoga and essential oils go hand in hand! As a yoga teacher, I love incorporating essential oils into my community yoga classes as well as my own personal practice of yoga, meditation and relaxation. Essential oils have the powerful potential to elevate our health and well-being. In addition to teaching yoga, I am a wife and mother of two lovely girls. Our family uses essential oils on a daily basis. I am eager to share what I learn along with my favorite recipes with my students and essential oil group.
I've come to appreciate so many oils but my favorite will always be Joy! I ordered a diffuser necklace right after I received my kit. A couple of drops everyday along with using my little finger to wipe around the top of the bottle and that goes over my heart! It helps lift my spirits and I believe anything is possible!— Vicki Stoecker
I love using Stress Away, it helps relax me tremendously and keeps the mental tension away. I also love Digize for healthy digestion.— Mary Runnion
Oil Up Your Run!
Spring is in swing and it’s that time of the year to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air! The sound of the birds and the warmth of the sunshine can’t be beat. Many people are ditching the treadmills for the trails in preparation for spring races.
Whether you are running your first 5k or are a seasoned marathoner, everyone can use a little extra support when it comes to a running routine. As a former marathoner, I know both the joys and challenges of training. Essential oils are a fantastic way to support your wellness and help keep you on track!
Here are some of my top picks for fitness enthusiasts, especially runners!
Peppermint Vitality Oil: Bottom line, not all essential oils are created equally! I use Young Living because of their Seed to Seal promise which is unmatched by any other line. These essential oils are 100% pure, therapeutic grade and the Vitality collection is FDA approved for dietary use.
Here is why Peppermint Vitality is a runner’s best friend:
Add a drop of Peppermint Vitality to a vegetable capsule or glass of water before a run. Or, for post-workout relief, add a drop of Peppermint to a teaspoon of Young Living’s V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex (or other natural carrier such as olive oil) and apply to sore fatigued muscles and feet for cooling relief. It can also be applied carefully to the temples or back of the neck to refresh the mind.
RC: While spending time outdoors can feel refreshing, it can also be a challenge for some regarding the respiratory system as the trees, grass and weeds take their toll. The blend RC blend is wonderful for supporting the respiratory system and the immune system in a natural way. It is also has an energetic aroma to increase motivation! My favorite ways to use R.C. are inhaling directly from the bottle, applying with Young Living’s V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex to the chest before exercise or adding a few drops to the bathtub with Epsom salt post-workout.
Deep Relief Roll-On: This blend is a must-have for your running bag! It comes in a convenient roll-on so you can apply directly to fatigued muscles as needed. It’s refreshing aroma will also wake up your senses if you need a boost before hitting the pavement. Runners and yoga enthusiasts alike find this soothing for post-workout discomforts. My favorite way to use Deep Relief roll-on is to apply to the neck and shoulders or any other spot that carries tension or soreness.
NingXia Nitro: One of the most common questions I hear from runners: What should I fuel up with during the race? Runners need something nutritious and easy to carry during long training runs and on race day. NingXia Nitro comes in a pouch perfect for your pocket and is infused with essential oils, botanical extracts, D-ribose, Korean ginseng, and green tea extract to supports alertness, as well as cognitive and physical fitness.
These are just a few of my favorites, I am always willing to share more ideas! Simply drop me a note with your questions. I would be delighted to hear your running stories and offer suggestions if you are looking for ideas to oil up your run. Enjoy the sunshine!
Yin Yoga for Runners: Find Balance and Feel Your Best
The snow has melted and the sun is shining- runners rejoice! For many people, running offers a fun way to exercise in the great outdoors. Not only does running help individuals feel healthy and strong, it can also can bring people together! Friends often train along side one other for races, pounding out the miles all while catching up on recent events and offering encouragement along the way.
As a former marathoner, I can also recall the challenges: the achy joints, sore muscles and over-active mind. Like it was yesterday, I remember icing my creaky knees with bags of frozen corn and the daunting task of climbing a flight of stairs at work on Monday mornings after those 18-milers. Hello hamstrings!
Good news: Yin Yoga offers tremendous benefits that can complement your running program and help you find balance to feel your best. Different than active styles of yoga, Yin targets deeper connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints. Yin can also stimulate and improve energy flow through the body, nourish internal organs and bring a sense of relaxation to the mind.
The practice of Yin yoga involves exploring our edge- the place in a posture where we feel a stretch yet can relax and breathe evenly and smoothly. Once we find that edge, we resolve to hold still for 2-5 minutes. This allows energy to move into those deeper tissues.
It is ideal for everyone to practice Yin weekly, more sessions are best for those with intense training programs (such as running!) or hectic schedules. Attending a group Yin class is amazing- you get the benefit of being a part of a yoga community and the benefit of personal instruction and assistance. On days you can’t make it to a group class, try this abbreviated sequence to compliment your running routine. It is ideal to practice Yin yoga before a workout while the body is cool, but anytime of the day will offer benefits!
Dangle (Stretches the hamstrings; warms up the quadriceps; stretches lower spine).
Stand with the knees hip-width apart. Bend your knees and forward fold. Clasp the elbows with opposite hands. If the body needs more of a stretch, straighten the legs as long is it feels comfortable for the back.
Hold for 2 minutes. Take a break and move on to Squat. You can then repeat Dangle and Squat again, if desired.
*Avoid this pose if there are concerns with blood pressure.
Squat (Opens the hips; strengthens the ankles; releases lower back)
Stand with the feet hip-width apart. Squat down keeping knees in line with the feet and bring your hands in prayer in front of the heart, elbows lightly guiding the knees/shins into the stretch). Hold for 2-3 minutes.
*Avoid this pose if you have knee injuries.
Baby Dragons (Opens hips and groin; stretches back leg’s hip flexors and quadriceps) From hands and knees, step one foot between the hands and walk the foot forward until the knee is aligned above the ankle. Slide the back knee behind you as far as you can (option to rest back knee on folded towel or blanket for cushion). Place hands on top thigh or for a deeper version, place hands on either side of the front foot. Hold for 3 minutes then repeat on other side.
Toe Squat (Opens the toes and feet; strengthens the ankle).
Sit on your heels with the feet together. Tuck all toes under, especially that stubborn pinkie toe. Rest weight on the balls of the feet while sitting up tall. If the toes are extremely tight, stand up on the knees for a moment before sitting back on the heels. Hold for 2-3 minutes. You can also add your favorite arm, shoulder or neck stretches while you are in this posture.
Legs Up the Wall (Restoration)
Sit sideways against a wall, then lie down and swing your legs up the wall. Snuggle your seat approximately 6 inches from the wall (slide back if you need more space). You may wish to place a folded blanket beneath your sacrum. Rest your arms where they feel comfortable- along your sides or over your belly. Relax and enjoy for 5-10 minutes.
Recommendations For A Great Yoga Class Experience
-Please arrive at least 10 minutes early. This allows time to check in at the front desk, use restroom, ask questions and set up your space/props before class starts. Also, please plan to stay for the duration of class as final relaxation can be the most important part. If you must leave early, please make arrangements with the instructor.
-Arrive with an empty stomach. Allow 2-3 hours digestion after a large meal before practicing. If you need to eat before class, make it a light snack. Bring along water to drink, as needed.
-Notify your instructor regarding health concerns or injuries. Avoid any postures that cause pain or compromise smooth, even breathing.
-Notify your teacher whether or not you wish to use essential oils and be assisted during class (card provided).
-Practice in bare feet.
-Please silence your phone before class starts. Also, keep conversations before and after class at a low volume for other students who are practicing relaxation or meditation.
-Mats and props will be available to use at no charge. However, you are encouraged to bring your own mat if possible. If you do borrow a mat, please clean it after class.
-Honor the culture of kindness and respect in this community setting. We want each person to enjoy their practice to the fullest.
THANK YOU FOR COMING TO CLASS!
Savasana, also known as final relaxation, is known to be one of the most important postures of yoga. During Savasana, yoga practitioners lie on the back keeping the body and the mind still while remaining fully conscious. This practice is known to bring about deep relaxation, soothing both the body and the mind.
While it may seem simple to keep the body still, keeping the mind quiet is quite challenging which makes Savasana one of the most difficult postures to master. As a yoga instructor, I use essential oils in my classes to help facilitate the relaxation process. Students who wish to be assisted during class receive a shoulder and neck massage prior to Savasana and often remark it to be their favorite part of class! I use a homemade balm with organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, pure beeswax pellets and therapeutic grade Young Living essential oils.
For those practicing at home without the assistance of an instructor: self-apply Young Living essential oils (diluted as directed) to the neck, shoulders or feet. For extra benefit, then cup the hands over the nose and take a few slow, smooth breaths to enjoy the aroma of the oils before settling into Savasana. Enjoy!