Using Essential Oils with Yoga to Balance Your Chakras
June 21 is International Yoga Day. Whether you’re a dedicated yogi, a total beginner, or somewhere in between, International Yoga Day is the perfect time to hit the mat! Diffuse your favorite essential oil for yoga, then get ready to breathe and flow as you support your mind, body, and soul with this ancient practice.
Yoga is an Indian Hindu tradition that scholars estimate dates back to 3,000 B.C. Most people immediately think of downward-facing dog or sun salutations when someone mentions yoga, but the practice was originally developed as a path to enlightenment through harmony and balance. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to yoke,” i.e. to link together. Ancient teachers believed that one could ascend by harmoniously linking the body and spirit through yogic breathing and postures.
Over the centuries, new traditions have transformed yoga into the physical exercises we know and love. Yet harmony remains the core of yoga. That’s why even the most vigorous vinyasa class can leave you with a feeling of inner peace and serenity. Numerous studies show that the relaxing effects of yoga can help with mental health conditions, cardiovascular disease, and other medical issues.
When you use essential oil for yoga, you can engage your sense of smell and stay mindful of your breathing. Many oils also enhance concentration and create a zen-like atmosphere that promotes meditation. The best essential oils for meditation and yoga will help you take your practice to a deeper level, beyond the physical, and can even assist in balancing your chakras.
What Are Chakras?
Once you begin studying yoga, you’ll soon realize there’s a lot to explore beyond its physical practice. Keep in mind that yoga is like prayer or meditation; no matter what you believe, you can adapt its lessons to suit your own faith or personal life philosophy. One of the most powerful spiritual tools related to yoga is the chakra system.
Chakras are energy centers in the subtle body, which govern the flow of our life-force (also known as prana or chi) and help maintain our physical, spiritual, and mental wellness. Although there is currently no physical evidence for chakras, some researchers believe they can be mapped onto the glands in the body.
Chakras regulate our energy so it stays in the “Goldilocks” zone: not too much, not too little, but just the right amount to help us thrive. When we are ill, stressed out, or struggling with difficult emotions, our chakras can be thrown out of balance and cause our energy to become disrupted. This can lead to a wide variety of problems in our life.
Luckily, when your chakras become misaligned, there are many ways to bring them back into balance – including two of our favorite methods, yoga and essential oils!
That’s why for International Yoga Day this year, we’re highlighting some of our favorite yoga poses along with essential oils for chakra balancing. Read on, then unroll your mat and diffuse the aromas below as you flow through each pose to achieve harmony and tranquility.
The Best Yoga Poses & Essential Oils for Your Chakras
Root Chakra Essential Oils & Yoga Poses
The Root Chakra, also known as the First Chakra, is all about safety and stability. This chakra is positioned at the base of the spine, where it sets the foundation for the rest of the seven chakras in the primary system. Before you can balance your other chakras, make sure your root is steady and harmonious.
To balance the Root Chakra, try the following yoga poses:
- Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Stand tall, with a straight posture, and ground into your feet like a sturdy mountain
- Warrior One Pose (Virabhadrasana 1): A strong stance with one leg forward and arms held aloft with confidence and poise
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bhandasana): Lie on your back, lift your hips, and open the chest toward the sky.
- Corpse Pose (Savasana): Lie completely flat and still, allowing your body to fully relax into the floor
As you play with these yoga poses, try diffusing or topically using these Root chakra essential oils:
- Vetiver: Brings a deep sense of belonging and grounds the body and mind
- Myrrh: Revitalizes the body and brings emotional strength
- Frankincense Serrata: A grounding aroma that brings a sense of security
- Grapefruit: Energizes and rejuvenates the body and mind
- Pine: A woodsy aroma that is grounding and promotes well-being
Sacral Chakra Essential Oils & Yoga Poses
The Sacral Chakra, also known as the Second Chakra, regulates emotions, creativity, and sensuality. Positioned in the lower abdomen just below the naval, this chakra unlocks your truest feelings, passions, and the beauty of the world around you. Balancing this chakra helps you feel more creative and passionate.
Some great yoga poses for aligning or balancing your Sacral Chakra include:
- Open-Angle Pose (Upavistha Konasana): Sit with your legs apart, then reach forward towards your toes to lengthen your spine
- Frog Pose (Bhekasana): Squat down and place your hands on the floor between your knees to open your hips
- Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana): Bend forward across your front leg and extend your back leg to open and lengthen the lower back
- Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana): A wide-legged standing pose with toes turned outward and arms extended in divine grace
You can enhance these poses with the following Sacral Chakra essential oils:
- Sandalwood Oil: Warms the emotions and helps release negative thoughts
- Clary Sage Oil: Invites feelings of self-worth and stability
- Cardamom Oil: Promotes creativity, passion, and sensuality
- Cinnamon Bark Oil: Stimulates courage and promotes healthy spontaneity
- Jasmine Oil: Promotes love, joy, and harmony
Solar Plexus Chakra Essential Oils & Yoga Poses
After the Sacral Chakra comes the Third Chakra, better known as the Solar Plexus Chakra. Residing at the solar plexus in the center of the chest, this chakra is all about confidence, self-esteem, boundaries, and willpower. When properly balanced, the Solar Plexus Chakra helps you access your personal power.
Yoga postures for working with the Solar Plexus Chakra include:
- Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana): Balance on your sit bones and extend your legs upward in a “V” position
- Firefly Pose (Tittibhasana): An arm balance with legs extended and supported like a firefly
- Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana I): Sit with your knees crossed, then place one hand on the opposite knee and gently twist to rotate the spine
- Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A, B, or C): A flowing sequence of poses to awaken the body and inspire energy
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): Lie on your stomach, then bend your knees and hold the ankles to create a bow-like shape
While practicing these poses, enhance your yoga flow with the following Solar Plexus Chakra essential oils:
- Cedarwood: Promotes willpower and ambition
- Grapefruit: Brings feelings of optimism and spontaneity
- Sweet Marjoram: Promotes courage, confidence, and personal integrity
- Black Pepper: Helps strengthen your personal power
- Ginger Root: Encourages personal drive, motivation, and initiative
Heart Chakra Essential Oils & Yoga Poses
The Heart Chakra is the Fourth Chakra. Located in the center of the chest at heart-level, this chakra is all about love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. When you balance this chakra, you can truly navigate the world with greater empathy, openness, and acceptance and “follow your heart.”
Yoga poses for balancing the Heart Chakra include:
- Camel Pose (Ustrasana): Sit on your knees, then place your hands on your lower back and lift your heart to the sky
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Lie on your stomach and press your palms flat into the floor, pulling your chest up and gently curving the upper spine
- Fish Pose (Matsyasana): Lie on your back, lift the chest, and rest on your forearms
- Wild Thing (Camatkarasana): From downward dog pose, extend your back leg and open your chest, reaching your arm toward the sky
You can support and enhance your heart-opening yoga practice with Heart Chakra essential oils, such as:
- Geranium: Brings feelings of worthiness and combats self-isolation.
- Copaiba: Dispels feelings of shame, guilt, regret, and self-loathing.
- Lime: Uplifts spirits and combats emotional fatigue. Helps calm an anxious heart.
- Spearmint: Uplifts the mood and promotes positivity. Combats emotional strain and disconnection
- Rose: Promotes love and joy. Promotes comfort and restores trust in others
Throat Chakra Essential Oils & Yoga Poses
Next is the Throat Chakra, also known as the Fifth Chakra. As the name suggests, this chakra is found in the throat between the top of the chest and the base of the jaw. The Throat Chakra is all about communication and self-expression.
If you need to balance your Throat Chakra, try these yoga poses:
- Plow Pose (Halasana): Lie on your back, lift your legs overhead, and touch your toes to the ground behind you
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): From a position on your back, bend your knees and press your feet into the ground to lift the hips
- Child’s Pose (Balasana): Kneel down, then fold forward and rest your forehead on the mat
- Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana): Sit with legs extended, place hands behind you, and lift the hips up to create a straight line from heels to head
Then, support your fifth chakra with these Throat Chakra essential oils:
- Peppermint: Promotes insight into truth and dispels pride
- Cypress: Promotes confidence in your voice and opinion
- Roman Chamomile: Supports listening to others and calm and gentle speaking
- Rosemary: Promotes mental clarity and helps transform your thoughts into words
- Blue Tansy: Calms the mind. Promotes emotional stability, flexibility, and renewal
Third Eye Chakra Essential Oils & Yoga Poses
After the Throat Chakra, the next chakra is known as the Third Eye or Sixth Chakra. This energy center is found at the forehead, slightly above and in between your eyes. It’s said to promote clear vision, intuition, wisdom, and seeing through illusions.
Although meditation is more helpful for balancing this chakra than yoga poses, you can assist with the following postures:
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): With your hands and feet on the ground, lift your hips to form an inverted “V”
- Child’s Pose (Balasana): Sit on your knees, then gently fold forward with arms extended and head on the mat
- Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana): Lie on your back, lift the legs up, and support your hips with your hands as you lift the legs
- Hero’s Pose (Virasana): Sit on the knees with feet pointing back and straighten your back and shoulders
As you try these yoga poses, consider diffusing the following Third Eye Chakra essential oils:
- Ylang Ylang: Supports feelings of connection to the world around you
- Lavender: Promotes emotional stability and dispels feelings of conflict or confusion
- Clary Sage: Brings feelings of clarity and emotional stability
- Pine: Promotes self-confidence, instills positivity, and supports clarity for mediation
- Frankincense Serrata: Calms and brings peace to the mind, allowing you to expand your thought
Crown Chakra Essential Oils & Yoga Poses
Finally, there’s the Sixth Chakra or Crown Chakra, which sits at the crown of the head and acts as the gateway between our physical body and our connection to universal consciousness. By balancing this chakra, you can expand your awareness beyond the material world, fine-tune your intuition, and enhance your faith or spirituality.
For International Yoga Day, work with this chakra by incorporating any of the poses below:
- Lotus (Padmasana): Sit cross-legged with each foot resting on the opposite thigh
- Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana): Lie on the back, bring soles of the feet together, and allow the knees to gently open
- Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana): Balance on the forearms with head on the mat and lift your legs upright
- Tree Pose (Vrksasana): Balance on one foot, with the other foot placed on the inner thigh or calf, then raise your arms to the sky like gentle branches of a tree
- Sacred Frankincense: Helps you know your purpose in life. Promotes feelings of acceptance and love
- Sandalwood: Quiets the mental chatter of the mind. Aids in meditation and spiritual contemplation
- Lemon: Uplifts your mood and increases your energy
- Lavender: Dispels negativity and opens the mind for spiritual growth
- Neroli: Keeps your mind in the present moment and release self-imposed restrictions
Happy International Yoga Day!
Yoga is a power practice that can enhance your strength, flexibility, and physical health, while also balancing your chakras and supporting your spiritual life.
Whether you’re using International Yoga Day to begin a new yoga habit or take your current routine to a deeper level, we hope you’ll find the perfect essential oil for yoga to support your goals.
Now with our guide activate and align your chakras!