Yoga is a popular exercise practice that helps improve your balance, strength, and flexibility while also benefiting your mood and mental health. Having the right yoga equipment is important to make the most of your yoga routine. Here’s what you should know about choosing the right yoga gear.
What Equipment Do I Need for Yoga?
Practicing yoga with the right equipment is essential for getting a good yoga workout in. Although you might leave yoga equipment as an afterthought, having the correct gear truly does wonders. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yogi, having the proper equipment can help improve your alignment, prevent injury, and help you to modify difficult poses. It can also help keep you comfortable while practicing yoga.
If you’re a beginner in the yoga world, you won’t need as much equipment as you would if you’ve been doing yoga for a while and are an advanced student. In fact, as a beginner, you could probably get away with just a yoga mat and some cushions.
As you advance, you may want to invest in some better and fancier accessories to help you throughout your yoga journey.
Best Yoga Equipment for Beginners
The best yoga equipment for beginners includes:
- A high-quality yoga mat. This goes without saying — even a beginner should consider investing in a high-quality yoga mat. It should be non-slippery and have a solid grip in order for you to have a struggle-free practice. In addition to those factors, your mat should also be lightweight and provide you with comfortable cushioning. Ensure that your mat has gripping on both sides as this will help hold you firm while the mat remains secure against the floor.
- Yoga blocks. Yoga blocks are another necessity. The material and size are important to consider when selecting your blocks. Newbies often choose foam-based blocks since they are lightweight and can easily fit in your pocket. Even if you’re a newbie, having yoga blocks can provide you with many benefits, including being able to adjust poses and improve balance.
- Yoga straps. Straps can help with stretching poses. Those with tight shoulders or hamstrings will benefit the most from straps. Usually, these straps are six to 10 feet long and are used as an extension of your limbs while holding certain poses.
- Cushions or pillows. Soft cushions can help keep you comfortable during your yoga practice. It’s important to have these during therapeutic yoga experiences such as relief or healing yoga. These yoga practices include restorative and yin. When looking for cushions or pillows, look for yoga bolsters, zabuton, crescent cushions, and zafu meditation cushions.
- Blankets. Blankets are often provided by yoga studios as a prop. They are primarily used for providing warmth during recovery or meditative practices. In addition, they can be folded or rolled to provide support during certain poses or to cushion your knees.
- Chairs. Having an available chair at your side, such as a folding chair, can help with standing and kneeling when balance is an issue. They’re also great at helping you get up and down from the ground between yoga poses. When using a chair during yoga practice, it’s best to keep two legs of the chair on the yoga mat to prevent slipping.
Best Yoga Equipment for Advanced Students
There are a few must-have accessories that yogis should consider investing in once they’ve gotten out of the beginner phase. These must-have accessories include:
- Yoga foam rollers. Yoga foam rollers are great at providing you with some additional support while engaging in difficult poses. Not just that, but foam rollers are also beneficial for massaging your muscles after an intense workout. Those who are advanced students of yoga should opt for denser foam rollers, while newbies can use medium-thickness rollers. The denser the roller, the more difficult the workout will be.
- Sandbags. Sandbags are another great accessory to use when stretching. They add weight and create more resistance while working out. You can purchase sandbags that are ready to use or that you can modify and fill with sand yourself. Sandbags help with stability and are great in many forms of yoga such as Anusara and restorative practices.
Other Yoga Accessory Considerations
There are other accessories you should consider for your yoga practices aside from the yoga props mentioned above. These accessories are just as important as the props and include:
- Comfortable yoga clothes such as tank tops, yoga pants, or leggings
- A towel to wipe away sweat
- Water to stay hydrated
If you’re practicing yoga in an outdoor setting, you’ll also want to keep some protective gear on hand such as sunscreen, bandanas, and bug spray.
Yoga Equipment Storage
Yoga equipment storage is also important. Whether it’s a bag or cubical storage accessories, you'll want a place to keep your precious yoga props. A bag can be handy to transport your yoga props from one place to another and is recommended for those who travel to do yoga. Cube storage can help you organize your yoga accessories when not in use and will keep them from getting damaged or lost.
If you’re a beginner yoga student, having yoga storage may not be necessary. However, if you’ve advanced beyond the beginner level and have accumulated several yoga props through your journey, you should consider purchasing storage specifically for your yoga equipment.