With over 36 million practitioners in 2016 and more people trying it each year, yoga is one of the fastest growing physical activities in America. Whether you’re interested in the relaxing movements and breathing involved in kundalini style yoga, or the faster-paced workout of vinyasa-style, one thing is certain: You’ll want to show up with the proper yoga gear to get the most out of your experience. Discover more about fundamental yoga equipment and how it will benefit you for your next yoga class.
Yoga Essentials – The Gear You’ll Need for Each Class
While some people may choose to invest in every yoga accessory from before their first class, only a few items are really considered essentials. These include comfortable, breathable, and flexible clothing, and a yoga mat. See why these bare essentials are the most important for yoga practitioners of any level and style.
Yoga Mat – The Quintessential Equipment for Yoga Practice
Available in a wide-range of textures, designs, and even shapes, the yoga mat is the main piece of gear you’ll need for any type of yoga practice. In its rolled up form, your yoga mat can be easily carried and stored, but when layed out, it provides a soft, high-traction space for you to perform your yoga sequences.
What to Consider When Buying a Yoga Mat
Although a yoga mat may seem like a simple product, you’ll be surprised to find that they vary wildly in price and features. These are some of the major factors to consider when shopping for the perfect yoga mat:
- Price – Mats can vary from $10 to over $100
- Thickness – You may prefer a thicker mat with more cushion or a thinner one.
- Color – Yoga mats come in a wide range of creative colors
- Designs – Some brands offer cool, artsy designs
Yoga mats of varying colors
Yoga Pants and Comfortable Yoga Apparel
More than just about any other activity, yoga involves stretching, and so it requires clothing that is flexible and uninhibiting to your movements. Your yoga wardrobe doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – technically, they don’t even have to be yoga clothes. Sweatpants, for example, can work really well too. Nevertheless, the thin, stretchy, material often used for yoga apparel is excellent for maximizing comfort and movement during class.
What to Consider When Buying Yoga Pants and Comfortable Apparel
- Remember the Goal – Maximum flexibility and stretching capability are ideal.
- Start Simple – Any clothes that are comfortable will do.
- Tight or Loose – Do you prefer tight yoga pants or looser ones?
- Secure – Will your pants stay up when doing a wide range of poses?
Optional Products for the Intermediate Yoga Practitioner
While comfortable clothes and a mat are all that’s required for yoga practice, other pieces of equipment may enhance your training progress as well. Although they go beyond the scope of the bare basics, check out these products that many devoted yoga practitioners choose to invest in to support and enhance their classes.
Yoga Blocks – Providing Assistance for Executing Challenging Poses
One of the most popular yoga accessories that is more about functionality than style is the yoga block. Resembling a brick that’s made from a sturdy, yet soft, material, yoga blocks are valuable for offering support when just a few extra inches are needed to maximize a pose. To the inexperienced yogi, it may seem like a marginal difference, but anyone who’s used them can attest to the fact that a yoga block can vastly enhance your experience, helping you increase range of motion and comfort in each pose.
What to Consider When Buying Yoga Blocks
- Price – The product is simple, so you probably don’t need an expensive brand.
- Color – Consider getting a pair that matches your yoga mat or other options.
- Grip – Comfort is key since you’ll be gripping these yoga blocks during many poses.
- Material and Shape – These can affect the subtle feeling and texture of the block.
Yoga practitioner using blocks to enhance her training
Yoga Straps – Helping You Achieve the Most Challenging Yoga Poses
With dozens of poses and sequences in yoga, you’re sure to encounter several that give you a challenge. One yoga tool that can help you complete stretches that may not otherwise be possible is the yoga strap. By simply using the strap to extend your reach or to wrap around your foot, you can amplify the effectiveness of your yoga routine, enabling you to safely execute stretches that might be too difficult with just your natural ability.
Yoga Gym Bag – Convenient Way to Carry Your Yoga Essentials
For an item that blurs the line between functionality and luxury, a yoga gym bag can be a convenient purchase for the dedicated yogini. Completely customized for your yoga training, yoga gym bags include a convenient pocket for your mat, personal belongings, and other gear you might have. Deciding whether you want the most basic bag available or one with lots of extra features will make your search for the perfect bag a lot easier.
Yoga Apparel – Live Your Lifestyle with Clothing for Every Occasion
If you enjoy yoga fashion and want to go all in with a new yoga-inspired wardrobe, then the sky’s the limit. From yoga shoes to yoga jackets, there are a wide range of trendy clothes that are designed for yoga-lovers of all types. Order from the following fashionable yoga brands and you won’t just show up to your yoga class, you’ll make an entrance they’ll remember.
5 Notable Yoga Fashion Brands
Quality of Training Trumps Quality of Gear Every Time
When first starting out in a new sport or physical activity, it can be tempting to think you need every product right off the bat. However, it’s important to remember the goal and purpose here – why are you practicing yoga in the first place? Remember, the accessories only serve one purpose, and that’s to enhance your yoga class experience. Whether you enter with an old mat or with the latest in yoga fashion, your dedication to the practice is most important.
What Accessories Lead to the Most Fulfilling Yoga Experience?
The fact is, people will have different preferences when it comes to the yoga gear they like to bring. While a mat and comfortable clothes are universal, the similarities end there as some will insist on their own blocks and straps, others may invest in an elaborate yoga bag, and others may choose to travel light, foregoing the yoga accessories altogether. By remembering that these objects only serve to assist your training, you’ll pave the way for an enlightening yoga experience in every class.