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Essential Oils

Essential Oils and Exercise

Tabitha Helms

Last month I began something I rarely ever stick with: exercising. I seem to go through major highs and lows of commitment to it. I'm lucky at this time in my life that my weight isn't a problem whether I exercise regularly or not, but I know that won't last forever. I've been through bouts of running, which ceased because of shin splints. I've been through bouts of Zumba, which ceased because summer ended, and I couldn't go to 10am classes anymore (and if you think teachers have enough energy after seven hours of 5 year olds, you have another think coming!). I've been through bouts of my own home exercise routines, which are really hard to stick with when there's so many things around me that need to get done! But THIS time is going to be different! ;) This time I'm doing Bikram Yoga.

I don't know if you've heard about hot yoga, but let me tell you about it: it's hot, it's humid, and it's sweaty. My body gets so wet it feels like I just turned off the shower and have yet to grab my towel. I am literally dripping. Sounds gross, right? But it is oh so good for you! One of sweat's many features is that it cleanses out the toxins from your body. The heat also allows you to safely push your body to stretch farther than it normally would be able to in a cold room. I watch myself do some of those poses and my chest gets a little puffed up with pride at how flexible I am! I have to kindly remind myself that it's the heat letting me do that. Personally, I love a good stretch. That was always a big plus of taking dance classes; I loved stretching out my body beforehand. The heat in the yoga studio also helps elevate your heart rate so your body works harder, and yoga helps you develop core strength, balance, and releases tension as you focus a lot on breathing. For a tired teacher like me who has little energy at the end of the day, I've found that Bikram Yoga helps me release  my stress and leave it at the door so I can enjoy my evening. I don't carry all my tension around as much anymore.

But, I'm not here to convince you to be like me and do hot yoga. Find what works for you and stick with it! I'm just here to tell you about how I use my essential oils to help enhance my workout experience!

I had never done hot yoga before, but after researching it I discovered that the toxin release is huge. I worried about being left weak afterwards because I'm sure there's plenty of toxins in my body since I [ahem] never work out. I immediately thought of my Lemon Essential Oil. That has always been the one I've heard referred to as helping release toxins. It's why it's used in cleaning a lot. So before I go to yoga, I always put a couple drops of lemon oil in my water. (Hot yoga is extremely dehydrating if you haven't been drinking water all day.) It's such an easy way to add an oil to your diet that does a great job of cleansing your system. I was grateful that I felt hydrated and not too weak after my first couple classes.

After yoga is over, my body is worn out! Soothing Blend Rub comes to the rescue! Even if I'm not immediately sore, if there were muscles that I felt a bigger pull on during class, then I'll rub them with a little Soothing Blend after my workout. I put it on before I hop in the shower so the warm water can drive it in even more. There's been a few times that I've forgotten it at home, and I can always tell a HUGE difference the next day! Use it. It'll change your life. :)

Finally, to keep my yoga mat and towels clean, I add about 4 drops of Protective Blend with 1/2 a cup of water in a spray bottle. Sometimes I put white vinegar in too. If you use vinegar, make sure you don't spray it in an enclosed space; the vinegar smell will be really strong! I hang my mat over my clothesline in the backyard and spray it down. Without the vinegar, you can use it right after you finish working out in the studio before you roll it up. I also put a few drops of Cleansing Blend in the washing machine with my towels to help them stay fresh and clean smelling!

I love how my oils help in so many ways. It's great to add them to your workout routine to help your body as your work it and your materials as they need a good cleaning! You can check out DoTerra's Living Magazine on page 20-21 for some additional ways to use EOs in your workout!