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While I don’t believe that essential oils are necessary for meditation, I have found that adding essential oils to my practice really enhances it.
I have used essential oils for my meditation practice both by diffusing them, and by applying them to my skin. Both ways help my mind and mood.
I tend to use the oils on my skin when I know I will only be able to sit for a few minutes. The scent on my skin after my meditation time is over helps me to regroup and refresh throughout the day. I have several roller bottles prepared with a fractionated coconut oil/essential oil blend that I choose from depending on my mood.
If I will be able to meditate for longer, I usually put the oils in the diffuser to allow the fragrance to circulate around me as I clear my mind.
Essential oils are a great addition to a regular meditation practice as they can soothe your anxieties, calm your mind, and relax your body and spirit. They can also help you get deeper into your meditation by creating a tranquil environment.
Here are some of my favorite essential oils to use while meditating:
Cypress is one of my favorite essential oils. I use it both in various DIY health & beauty blends, and in the diffuser. It mixes well with so many oils and it always lifts my mood.
My favorite blend to diffuse for meditation is 3 drops of eucalyptus, 2 drops of grapefruit and 3 drops of cypress. The oils mix together seamlessly and makes my house smell like a spa. For me, there is no better way to relax into meditation.
Lavender is one of the most well-known & recognized essential oils. It has a ton of different uses. Many people associate it with sleep because it’s calming effect can help soothe restless minds and relax racing thoughts. For this reason, and it’s stress-relieving properties, it is also a great oil to use during meditation.
Being such a popular and well-known oil, lavender is easy to find. I highly suggest making sure whatever brand you choose is 100% pure oil. Many companies mix their oils with alcohol and other fillers, which compromises the efficacy when using for aromatherapy benefits. (The oils also don’t smell as good like this.) The highest quality companies will always list their GS/MS testing results (purity testing) on their website. I personally recommend Rocky Mountain Oils, as they are extremely high quality, and very reasonably priced.
Petitgrain (also known as orange leaf) is an oil that I was surprised to enjoy as much as I do. Originally I bought it to include in my DIY facial toner (which I do use it in, and love.) However, when I opened it and smelled it for the first time, I was happily surprised to find a fragrance that is uplifting, fresh, and reminiscent of being outdoors in nature. In a crisp way, not so much a woodsy way. It gave me the same feeling I get when I smell fresh cut grass.
Petitgrain helps to spark feelings of joy and hopefulness and promotes problem solving. This is a great oil to use when you are meditating on difficult circumstances or are working through trying times.
I find sandalwood, which is a warm and earthy fragrance, to be incredibly comforting. When diffusing this oil I can relax into my meditations without stress. Sandalwood is known for helping to fortify your inner resolve and for helping with emotional stress and vulnerability.
Because of previous over-foresting in India, Indian sandalwood is rather expensive. For more cost-effective options, you can search out Australian sandalwood or grab a sandalwood blend (sandalwood pre-diluted in a carrier oil).
Here are some other essential oils that are great for meditation:
Patchouli helps to ground and center your spirit and spiritual awareness. Often associated with “hippies”, patchouli has a very earthy smell. The fragrance can be strong, but it is very relaxing and can be quite soothing.
Blends well with neroli.
also known as orange blossom, neroli has a light floral scent with a bit of a woodsy undertone. Often it is compared to the scent of honeysuckle.
Neroli is quite uplifting while also managing to be calming. It’s a great oil for meditating as it is said to enable you to feel a complete sense of peace & harmony.
Neroli is a rather pricey oil on it’s own, but you can find blends that include neroli that are cheaper. My favorite is by Rocky Mountain Oils, with 90% fractionated coconut oil and 10% neroli. The neroli is still fragrant and the FCO doesn’t take away or add to the scent. The blend allows the price to be much more reasonable for regular use.
I also like the blend, because I can use it directly on my skin without having to create my own FCO blend.
Because I believe in complete honesty with you, I have to say ylang-ylang is one of my least favorite scents. However, having worked in a popular local natural foods store that sold essential oils and at Bath& Body Works that had an ylang-ylang aromatherapy blend, I can tell you that it is rather popular.
Ylang-Ylang has a very earthy, floral scent. It can be rather strong, but works well diluted or mixed with other oils. It is said to develop the “inner feminine” and because of this it is often used in sensual aromatherapy blends.
However, it also heightens your senses and can boost creativity, along with helping to ease anxiety. Because of this, it is a great essential oil to diffuse or wear while meditating. Especially if you have a hard time letting go of anxious thoughts.
edit 5/21/19: I have found a blend that I enjoy ylang-ylang in. The At Peace blend from Rocky Mountain Oils combines it with several citrus fragrances. I actually really enjoy this blend and have been using it for a few days now. If you are interested in the benefits of ylang-ylang but are not a fan of the scent, I highly recommend giving this a try!
Geranium helps promote a sense of inner peace and can soothe away stress. Many use it to balance hormones and emotions. Geranium has a floral scent with an undertone of bright mint.
If you are a tea drinker at all, you know that chamomile is a go-to for sleep teas. If you use natural skin care products, you may have noticed chamomile in many skin-calming blends. This is no coincidence. Chamomile is a calming and relaxing oil.
German Chamomile helps to center your spirit, and promotes a sense of inner calm.
Roman Chamomile is associated more with a child-like sense of spontaneity and expressing your personal truth. If you find you need to connect more with your inner-child, or you are needing to connect with your true self, this is the oil to use. Other than that, I suggest using the german chamomile essential oil for meditation.
The german chamomile is, however, a stronger fragrance than the roman chamomile. If you are looking for a scent similar to chamomile tea, roman is the way to go.
If your meditations bring you to balancing, opening, or cleansing your chakras, (or anytime you are addressing ailments and emotional issues related to the chakras) these chakra blends from Rocky Mountain Oils will be beneficial:
Balance this chakra when feeling disconnected, disorganized, anxious or restless.
Focus on this chakra when you are feeling fatigued, experiencing a lack of creativity and/or are feeling detatched.
Pick up this blend to help with a lack of confidence, low self-esteem, indecisiveness or feelings of helplessness.
If you are feeling withdrawn, unforgiving, or overcritical of yourself or others, focus on your heart chakra with this essential oil during your meditations.
As the throat is where our voice comes from, it makes sense that when your throat chakra is underactive you will feel insecure, timid and have a fear of speaking up. If you find yourself being overly critical or gossiping a lot, your throat chakra may be overactive.
The third-eye chakra is my favorite. (Although I admit, it’s a bit weird to have a favorite, as they all help each other to balance our energies.) This chakra is the center of our intuition, and influences our connectedness to the universe, logic & creativity. Pretty much everything I live for and blab to you about on this blog.
If your third-eye chakra is underactive you will notice a disconnectedness from the universe, lack of intuition and concentration, and an inability to self-reflect.
An imbalanced crown chakra can cause you to lack empathy or inspiration, cause you to feel disconnected from your body, or in a mental fog.
One of the best things about using essential oils while meditating, is the connection that forms in your mind between those smells and the serene, peaceful feeling of meditating. Because of this connection, the essential oils you use while meditating can “transport” you back to that place when you smell them throughout the day.
What essential oils do you like to use for meditation? Let us know in the comments below!