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Ayurvedic Practices

Q&A: How Kat Fowler Uses Essential Oils to Deepen Her Practice

We sat down with yoga teacher Kat Fowler to talk about how she uses essential oils to deepen her practice — personal expression, inner connection and courage through movement.

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Kat Fowler is a New York City based yoga teacher known for her lighthearted and inspirational style of teaching that encourages personal expression, inner connection and courage through movement. She teaches in NYC at Pure Yoga and Yoga Vida, privately, or online. Learn more about Kat at

Yoga Journal:Tell us about your path to yoga. What inspired you to take it seriously?
Kat Fowler: I was raised in an extremely spiritual family where meditation and eastern spirituality were the focus of my upbringing. My parents met and lived in an ashram, so needless to say yoga has always been an integral part of my life. It became my life’s path when I took my first asana class and heard a voice in Savasana telling me I had to teach. I’ve never heard a message so loud and clear and without a clue as to where it would take me. I decided to follow that voice. After years of personal practice, intense study, and almost a decade of teaching, I am so happy I listened to that voice and devoted my life to living and sharing the practice that has truly changed my inner-world.

YJ: What is your favorite pose to teach?
KF: It’s a tie between Savasana and Child’s Pose — because these are the two poses where the physical body can truly rest and all of the attention can shift inwards and on to the breath. Students can more easily drop into their bodies and have meditative experiences in these introspective poses.

YJ:What do you love about living and working in NYC?
KF: I love teaching in NYC because of the boldness and honesty of the yoga student population. NYC is a high energy, extremely busy and intense city. Having been born and raised here, I can relate to and tailor the kind of practice that NY’ers need; a practice based around balancing excess stress and restoring equanimity.

YJ:How do you use essential oils in class?
KF: I always use essential oils in Savasana on my students around their shoulders and neck. When I’m teaching a hot class I usually put peppermint oil (mixed with an almond oil base) on my wrists, ears and the back of my neck to cool down!

YJ:What is your favorite scent for aromatherapy?
KF: Lavender. I love that it’s calming and can help me to slow down and relax when I need it most.

YJ:When using aromatherapy and essential oils, what’s your routine?
KF: In the morning I put a few drops of peppermint oil in the steaming hot shower, filling my entire apartment with the smell of peppermint and waking me up. I also carry a peppermint roll on with me during my commute. The NYC subway platforms can get packed and crowded so it’s nice to be able to apply some essential oils on the go. After my yoga practice I’ll use a blend of oils (combination of lavender with sandalwood, mixed with an almond oil base) on my traps and neck to soften into Savasana. Every night before bed I massage a few drops of lavender oil (mixed with an almond oil base) on the soles of my feet.

 YJ: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve learned from your teachers?
KF: “Without Yama and Niyama, there is no yoga.“ (Dharma Mittra)

YJ:What’s your best piece of advice to new yoga students?
KF: Try as many teachers and styles as possible. There is a style of practice out there for everyone, it’s just about finding what resonates best with you. Also, don’t judge yourself on your ability to do the physical postures, that will get easier with practice, just keep showing up to your mat, that’s where the magic happens.

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