Yoga is one of those great activities where there are few accessories that are needed to practice. Once you have attended some classes and leveraged the multitude of online information available on it you are good to go in starting your yoga journey. We do advise attending some classes at an early stage where a trained professional can make adjustments to your alignment and posture as getting the basics is integral to Yoga.
The main things that are needed for Yoga are a good mat that offers grip, durability, and that is easy to clean. Yoga blocks that offer sturdiness and alignment to a range of poses and a Yoga strap to allow you to reach some of the poses that you may not have the range of motion to reach.
If you don’t fancy reading through the whole article the summary of the essential items are as follows
- Yoga mat
- Yoga blocks
- Appropriate clothes
- Yoga Strap
- Yoga Wheel
- Bolster or cushion
How to choose your yoga essentials
This is the most important element to your yoga setup so when choosing a Yoga mat make sure that it aligns with your specific needs. Mats come in a range of materials, sizes, and weights. In general, mats are typically 24’ wide and the lengths are the area that can differ. When thinking about length and thickness for a yoga mat there are a few things you should be thinking about. Firstly, where will this mat be used. If this mat is primarily for home use, then you are probably better off going for a longer and thicker mat. If you’ll be going to yoga studios and potentially traveling with the mat. You should be looking at the lightweight thinner and shorter mats as there can be a pretty big difference in how easy these are to travel with.
Blocks are a great little piece of kit for yogis of all levels but are especially pertinent to beginner yogis in improving the form and holds. Blocks at their core help Yogis to elongate, align and deepen poses and are a great way to reach certain poses without losing the proper form. You should use two yoga blocks when practicing. Before you take the plunge and buy your first set of yoga blocks. Be sure to check out this article on why it’s important to use two yoga blocks and the material of yoga blocks you should get for your needs.
What you wear for your practice is an important decision to have comfortable and breathable athletic wear. The clothes ideally need to be stretchy and stay in place while you’re doing your downward dogs.
The top that you wear should be made from moisture-wicking material such as high-tech polyester and they should also be somewhat form-fitting. If you wear loose fitted tops the tendency can be for your clothing to go over your head as you forward fold.
Yoga pants or leggings are probably the best options as they are very comfortable, moisture-wicking, and are very durable for the range of motion that yoga requires. We recommend that you have a few different pairs in your rotation. To get a high level of comfort you should choose high waisted yoga pants. Firstly, they keep your leggings from falling down as your transition through the poses. They also suck in your body in the right places to make you feel comfortable and able to focus on your practice.
If Yoga pants aren’t your vibe then shorts are also a great option. Most popular with men the shorts should be somewhat form-fitting and made of a material that has some level of giving in them. Ideally, shorts should be made of sweat-wicking and quick-drying mesh fabric. Shorts are also a great option for anyone that is doing hot yoga and wants a bit more breathability compared to yoga pants.
If loose fitted pants are more your vibe than go for it. The most important thing is that you are wearing something that you feel comfortable in. Ideally, if you’re going for looser pants try and get pants that have elastic around the ankles so the pants won’t ride up when doing leg lifts.
Optional Yoga Accessories
There are a few tools that can be good to have to improve your practice and that allow you to focus on your form and pose. These tools aren’t essentials, but as you progress on your yoga journey may be good pieces of equipment to add to your arsenal.
Straps are similar to blocks in the sense that they allow you to improve alignment, help lengthen your stretches. Improve posture by keeping your shoulders back and reduce overextension. Straps do have a limited amount of poses that they can be used for, so this is why they have not been categorized as essentials.
When choosing a yoga strap there are a few things that you should be looking for and these are
2. Around an 8’ length
3. Made with eco friendly materials
5. Has a D ring buckle.
For more on yoga straps be sure to read our article on if you need yoga straps here.
This circular hollow prop is a relatively new invention when it comes to yoga props. Similar to the yoga block and strap. The wheel helps with improving flexibility, alignment, and releasing tension. This prop is very trendy at the moment, so if you’ve most likely seen some influencers releasing some tension with one of these handy inventions. We don’t recommend that a yoga wheel is not needed for beginners at all as a lot of the poses that are aided by a yoga wheel would be considered intermediate to advanced.
Bolster or cushion
They can be used in a range of poses to provide a level of comfort that will enable you to hold your poses for a longer period of time. It also helps in increasing stretching during restorative postures and deep breathing exercises. When in meditative states it’s important to get yourself in the most adequate and comfortable state for meditation, so if you find sitting on the ground uncomfortable or you would need your hips raised a little on a seated pose then a bolster or cushion is for you. If you’re doing restorative yoga then a bolster or cushion would be considered an essential item, but for most types of yoga, it should be considered an optional piece of equipment.
There are such things as Yoga towels but you don’t necessarily need to buy one. If you have a hand towel it will probably work too. Ideally, the towel would be a microfibre towel that is lightweight. The benefit of microfiber towels is that they can absorb up to seven times their weight in water. This makes them a lot more efficient at drying than normal cleaning cloths. You will work up a sweat when practicing yoga so the towels can be a handy piece of equipment to wipe away your sweat and to clean your mat at the end of class.