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My Journey with Essential Oils

My name is Emilie Nyman and I work as an osteopath and yoga teacher in Oslo. I also arrange and teach yoga retreats all over Norway.

Over the last ten years, I have explored and experienced many parts the world. Nature, people and culture inspire me. I'm especially intrigued by societies that use local and natural resources to live in accordance with ancient traditions. 

Contents/Quick Links

  • Insect spray à la Fiji
  • My background
  • Europeans fear the holistic
  • Rituals with a few special oils
  • Get the feeling of being at a yoga retreat in your living room
  • I learned a lot from Bali
  • A smart trick for reducing jetlag?

Insect spray à la Fiji

Not long into my travels, I was introduced to essential oils. In 2010 I traveled to Fiji. Dreamy? Yes. Unfortunately, I was eaten up by mosquitoes, despite using conventional insect repellent from Europe and the USA - full of DEET and poison. A receptionist at the hotel gave me a spray she'd made herself, a recipe her family had used for years. It smelled like lemon, my mom's kitchen, and a bit tree-like. I understood later on that this was a blend of citronella, peppermint, tea tree and rosemary essential oils. I got no more mosquito bites and brought more bottles for my travels through Australia, South America and Asia.

My background

As an osteopath and yoga teacher, I've got one foot in two worlds: one with a focus on anatomy, physiology and modern science, and another defined by eastern philosophy, ancient traditions and a holistic worldview. At the same time, these two worlds have much in common, seeing the connection between the physical and spiritual life cannot be separated. The health of the body affects the health of the soul and spirit, and the health of the spirit and soul affect the body. The physical body is used in various ways in everyday life, though our our inner voice may or may not agree with all of these ways.

Europeans fear the holistic

We Europeans are a little afraid of everything that is holistic. I often hear that I do not look like a yoga teacher, a vegan or someone who meditates daily. We tend to stigmatize the "alternative" and the holistic because the movement has received unjustified negativity and adversity in the media. I experience the same thing when I tell my loved ones that I use essential oils in my everyday life, even though I show them one research article after another that shows how aromatherapy can affect both body and mind. History also shows how natural medicine has been and still is used successfully. Nevertheless, there is great skepticism in modern society.

Rituals with a few special essential oils

In my everyday life and yoga practice, I notice that the use of a few carefully selected essential oils both inspires and calms me down. In my home I have a sacred spray  that I use for everything: Bergamot and Lavender with water. I spray it on my bedding every night, on the yoga mat before quiet practices or meditation, on the sofa cushions, the towels - really everything. It gives my home a comfortable and grounded atmosphere. It gives me a feeling of being at an Eco Lodge in Bali surrounded by palm trees and rice fields, despite the fact that I live in the middle of Oslo. Now I should mention that my home has some artifacts from Bali - this is also where I was first introduced to the exciting world of essential oils and aromatherapy.

Get the feeling of being at a yoga retreat in your living room

When I teach yoga at my retreats and camps, I often set myself two goals: creating an authentic breathing space there and then, but at the same time giving the participants tools they can take home. The threshold for sitting on the yoga mat at home alone in the living room is often greater than at a camp, especially after a retreat experience where you are among like-minded people, fantastic surroundings and inspiring teachers. Therefore, using essential oils that evoke memories of calm and pause can be just as important. I was so lucky to be able to share my favourite oil from volant, Bergamot, with my course participants this summer. And to be honest, I have received feedback from several participants that they like to use Bergamot essential oil better in everyday life than in yoga, and I think that is perfectly fine.

I learned a lot from Bali

As a young and curious backpacker, I went out into the world like many others - and like many before me, I fell in love with Bali. I was inspired to live a cleaner life. I tried Patchouli essential oil on the island, and I noticed how impurities on my face and stress just disappeared. Having lived in Australia, both tea tree oil and eucalyptus have become fixtures in my bathroom. The smell, freshness and purity these oils convey is completely unique. It's difficult to get fresh leaves to hang in the shower, but good, clean oils do a more than sufficient job.

A trick to avoid jetlag?

Before 2020 changed the way we travel forever, I worked as a freelance travel writer. Last year, this amazing job took me to South Korea. I expected strong jet lag, as the time difference is large and I was on a tight deadline to produce 4 articles in one week about two different cities, Seoul and Busan. I had my magic bottle of bergamot and lavender with me, and I used them diligently both during the flight and at the hotel. Whether it was my magic bottle that made my jet lag non-existent or pure excitement and exhaustion due to new experiences, great people and a seriously cool country, I do not know... I choose to believe it was the bergamot oil.

Using just a few but carefully selected oils in my everyday life gives me a little sense of luxury and presence. It inspires me on the yoga mat, it allows me to relax in my own home, and it can take me down memory lane to good moments on the other side of the planet.

Are you interested in learning more about me? Send me an email at, visit my website at AND follow me on Instagram for exiting yoga adventures and advice @emilienyman.


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