Hot Yoga and Essential Oils

I've been stretching myself out of my comfort zone lately and literally getting stretchy with hot yoga.  My background in fitness is jumping around and lifting things, so slowing down and getting bendy is a new challenge for me, but I've been loving it!  

Hot yoga is different than a regular yoga class because it's HOT and high temperatures can have a negative effect on regulating body temperature and breathing!  I really struggled to "find my breath" which is something I was told to do when I first started doing hot yoga.  I didn't even know where to look!  My nose was stuffy, my chest felt heavy and it was all I could do to not pass out.  I knew I didn't want to quit so I needed to find a way to find my breath more easily so I could dig deeper into the getting bendy thing.  PS:  Yoga is so not about relaxing like I thought it was going to be.   Like I said, I jump around and lift heavy things most of the time, so I expected to relax in yoga, but it's a lot of WORK!  

Back to my point... Finding my breath became a priority and this is where my essential oils came into play.  Since breathing in yoga is kind of big deal, I knew opening up my airways to help facilitate that would help my struggling stuffy nose.  I experimented with a respiratory support blend and it helped but I needed more, so I chose peppermint  because it's incredibly strong!  I put a few drops at the top of my towel.  Now every time I go into low plank and then upward dog I get a big whiff of it.  Um, hello lungs, glad you could join me for yoga class! I found my breath!  

Hot yoga is a sweat session. Like sweat pouring off your body session. Like who turned on the sweat faucet and how do I turn it off kind of hour long session!  Not getting too hot is a challenge for me.  It's a thyroid thing and I'm working on it...  Anyway, to help with this I also put a drop of the peppermint on my chest before class begins.  Peppermint has a cooling effect when applied topically.  I'm not so cool that I don't sweat, but I'm cool enough that I'm not overheating.  

Last trick in my toolbox is to put a few drops of a metabolic support blend consisting of grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon in my Lifefactory glass water bottle.  The benefits I've found from using this blend are that I feel very energized to push through the hot hour long class and it has also helped with opening my airways to assist with breathing because peppermint is a part of the blend.  I think I love peppermint!  I only use a couple of drops in a full 20oz water bottle because I feel it is very strong, but everyone is different so find what works best for you. Interestingly enough, I only recently became a fan of this blend and I only like it when I'm hot. So, I also find it really helpful to me when I'm exercising out in the Texas heat. I know lots of people use this blend to curb cravings, but I didn't experience that effect when I was trying it out.  For me it's just a great blend to use when working out.  

How are you using essential oils in your exercise routine?  Leave a comment, I'd love to know your tips!  If you'd like to learn more about how to use essential oils to help you reach your fitness goals, you can contact me directly by clicking here to shoot me a message.  

Fuel your health, 

Karen