7 Essential Oils Every Yogi Needs

Searching for the willpower or strength you need to commit to your yoga practice? It just might come in a bottle.

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Essential oils 21-drops-feature-image

Searching for the willpower to commit to your practice? It just might come in a bottle.

Cary Caster, the founder of 21 Drops Essential Oil Therapy and a recent vendor in the Yoga Journal LIVE! market, says her 100 percent natural, pre-blended essential oils can also give you the strength you need for yoga, and can even transform, equalize, calm, uplift, and inspire you.

“The whole practice of yoga is bringing awareness to the body,” says Caster, a certified aromatherapist and hot yoga devotee. “Oils help us to feel grounded in that way—we can alter different parts of ourselves through the oils and the yoga.”

Caster is so passionate about essential oils that she never treated her three children with antibiotics or over-the-counter medications. Instead, she created her own “first aid kit of therapeutic oil blends” for pain, colds, allergies, and other childhood ailments.

“I believe in the body’s ability to heal itself. Oils are nourishing, they help support the body,” she says. “People don’t realize that natural plant extracts are more effective and healthier for the body than pharmaceuticals, without the negative side effects. Not only that, they smell good.”

Here, find seven of the essential oil blends imported from all over the world that Caster thinks you should have in your yoga bag. Bonus: YJ readers get 15% off purchases at 21 Drops by entering the coupon code yogajournal15.

See also Scents that Heal: Aromatherapy for What Ails You


What’s in it

  • Cedarwood to reduce lethargy and restore vitality
  • Geranium to foster stability and security
  • Sweet orange to encourage a positive outlook

Why it works

“Transform helps you feel grounded through life’s changes: new jobs, new relationships, sadness, all kinds of things,” Caster says. “It’s a wonderful overall tonic for the body, hormonally balancing, and extremely refreshing.”

See also Grounding Tips for Vata Imbalance


What’s in it

  • Cedarwood for perseverance
  • Rose to soothe and heal the heart
  • Rosemary to boost clarity

Why it works

“In yoga, we talk about opening the heart,” Caster says. “Strength gives you the confidence to really open and expose yourself. It’s not as much about physical as it is emotional strength.”

See also Two Fit Moms’ Heart-Opening Partner Sequence


What’s in it

  • Frankincense to balance emotions
  • Palmarosa to promote stability
  • Rose to soothe the heart and ease despair
  • Sandalwood to create inner peace and harmony

Why it works

“These oils have the natural ability to be adaptogenic, which means they have the ability to bring balance, and yogis are always in search of balance from the inside out,” Caster says.

See also Align Your Chakras: Sequences to Balance Your Energy Centers


What’s in it

  • Jasmine to relieve depression
  • Sweet orange to alleviate fear and frustration
  • Vetiver to nurture and restore nerves

Why it works

“Calm is all about settling the nerves and balancing the unexpected” Caster says. “People turn to yoga to balance stresses, strain, and worry, and to quiet the body.”

See also Bibi McGill’s Calming Sequence


essential oils

What’s in it

  • German chamomile to aid emotional healing
  • Helichrysum to buoy the spirit
  • Lavender to nurture and balance emotions
  • Rose to soothe the heart and ease despair

Why it works

“Uplift is for uplifting the emotions, to turn some of the negatives into positives,” says Caster, noting that it can also help yogis connect to something greater than themselves.

See also Mood-Boosting Essential Oils

Will Power

What’s in it

  • Cedarwood to increase strength and endurance
  • Geranium to foster a sense of stability
  • Ginger to light the “fire” and encourage resolve

Why it works

In Chinese medicine, the will is the life force, the desire to live,” Caster says. “We all use will and determination to show up every day to our practice, to go the extra distance in stretching. It’s not about saying no, it’s more about saying yes to what you really believe: ‘Yes, I want to support my body.’ It’s more about fortifying the good than denying yourself.”

See also 5 Ways to DIY Your Own Yoga Sanctuary


What’s in it

  • Black pepper to release blocked energy
  • Cedarwood to ground and support confidence
  • Sandalwood to quiet mental activity

Why it works

“This was my signature blend in a way,” Caster says. “The number 21 is about stepping out in the world. It’s about your accomplishments, new opportunities, removing blocks, and feeling fulfillment and success.”

See also DIY Your Own Air Fresheners