Before, there was no such thing as yoga equipment because practicing yoga only required your body, mind, and spirit. Well, that is still all you need today, however, many yoga practitioners feel more comfortable with some equipment. If you are new to yoga, it can be quite difficult to know what equipment you really need to have. Also, there are many new yoga equipment being produced by companies and sometimes it makes you feel that you need to spend a lot before even stepping in a yoga studio.
But did you know that you actually don’t need too much yoga equipment to get started? Well, if you are starting a home practice or you want to buy some yoga-specific equipment and clothing before your first class, you’re in the right place. Today, we are going to give you a list of the equipment you need for doing yoga.
When doing yoga, it is important to wear comfortable clothes. You don’t really need to wear printed yoga pants or designer gear to be accepted in a yoga class. You can simply go for comfortable, breathable athletic clothes that you already have at home and just buy other basics that you are missing. Here are the yoga clothes we can recommend.
Pants or Shorts
It is great to have a few pairs of yoga pants in solid colors such as brown, black, grey, and navy. It’s because you can mix-and-match them with different tops. If you do not like tight pants, you can also wear jogger-style pants that have elastic round ankles. They are stretchy but will stay in place throughout the yoga class.
For guys, shorts are a popular option when doing yoga but it can also be worn by women, especially when attending a hot yoga class. It’s better to opt for shorts with connected tights underneath because some yoga poses will require positioning legs in a way that could be uncomfortable when wearing looser, running-style shorts.
For your tops, it’s important to wear ones that are fairly form-fitting so that it will not fly over your head during forward bends. Yoga rooms are also usually kept cool so it’s essential to bring a light cover-up or a sweater as well. Wearing a sports bra is also great for women to move more comfortably.
Hair Ties or Headbands
If you have long hair, you need to secure it with hair ties or headbands when doing yoga. It can help keep stray locks from falling in your eyes and face while doing different poses.
Yoga socks are not really required because it is more preferable to do yoga barefoot. But if you’re uncomfortable in taking your socks off in front of strangers, then it’s great to invest in a pair of yoga socks which have grips on the bottom. Regular socks will not work because you will just end up slipping and sliding on your mat.
Your Own Yoga Mat
Yoga studios and gyms usually have mats that you can use but it’s better to bring your own as well. This way, you will be more comfortable rather than using mats that have been shared a lot of times. Although studios wash and dry their mats regularly. Aside from that, having your own yoga mat will also allow you to bring it anywhere and use it anytime. It will also enable you to practice yoga even at home.
Here are some things you can look into when buying a yoga mat:
When buying a yoga mat, make sure that its length is long enough and that your hands and feet will still be on it even when you do different poses. There are extra-long yoga mats that run from 72-84 inches.
If you will be doing vigorous yoga such as Ashtanga and Vinyasa, then you may want to get a quarter-inch-thick mat to avoid getting bruised. But if you will only opt for more gentle yoga classes, then you can go with a thinner mat. You just need to make sure that the mat you will be buying is made especially for yoga.
It’s also important to look into the texture of the mat because you need to make sure that it is comfortable to use. Most yoga mats are called sticky mats because of their textured grip that will prevent your hands and feet from slipping when doing yoga poses.
Mat Bags or Slings
It’s also great to have a mat bag or sling if you own a yoga mat to make it easy for you to bring it back and forth to the studio regularly. Yoga mat slings usually have Velcro straps to bind your yoga mat in its rolled formation and it has a connecting strap that you can throw over your shoulder.
Mat bags, on the other hand, have two types. One has Velcro straps that will keep your rolled mat secured against a larger gym bag. The other one has a snap or zipper closure that is designed specifically to hold your rolled mat. Both of these styles can also provide extra storage for other things such as clothes, wallets, phones, and more.
When doing yoga, you may end up sweating quite a bit and that can make your mat slippery and dangerous. This is why it’s essential to have a mat towel as well. There are yoga-specific towels you can buy which fit the entire length of your yoga mat. They are also made from absorbent materials that dry quickly.
A water bottle is also an essential equipment for doing yoga because it’s important to stay hydrated no matter what type of yoga you practice. If you will be attending hot yoga classes, it’s better to ring insulated water bottles to keep your water cool throughout the class.
Optional Yoga Equipment
Here are some of the optional yoga equipment that you can also have. These items are not really required when doing yoga but they can also help you when it comes to doing poses and some can also help in avoiding injury.
Blankets can help you in lifting the hips during seated poses. It can also offer support during lying poses. There are blankets available in yoga studios for students to use during class. You can just grab one or two at the beginning of the class. But if you want to practice yoga at home, you can just use what you have around the house. You can just buy one if you don’t have extra blankets available to use.
Yoga blocks are used to improve alignment and to make you more comfortable as well just like blankets. These are usually used for standing poses where your hands are supposed to be on the floor. You can place a block under your hand to raise the floor and meet your hand instead of forcing your hand to reach the floor.
These blocks are made either made of foam, wood, or cork. When you turn them, they can stand at three different heights to adapt to your needs. Blocks are provided when you attend yoga classes but you can buy your own if you want to practice at home.
These are also called belts. Yoga straps are useful when doing poses where you need to hold onto your feet but cannot reach them. They will act as arm extenders. Aside from that, it is also great for poses where you bind your hands behind your back if your shoulders do not have enough flexibility. Yoga studios also supply them to students during class. At home, you can use things like a belt or a towel. But you can buy yoga straps too if you want an official version.
For yoga students, bolsters have a lot of uses. They can be used in place of a stack of blankets for a more comfortable seated and forward bending poses. You can also use them under your knees or back when reclining for support. There are two shapes of bolters. One is round which is useful if you want more support. And the other one is flat which is more ergonomic. It’s up to your personal preference on which one you should use.
These are some of the equipment needed for doing yoga. It can be overwhelming to research and buy yoga equipment but don’t stress about it. Remember that your body, mind, and spirit are the most important things when doing yoga. The pieces of equipment are just there to help you out in making the exercise easy and comfortable. If you want to know more about yoga, you can also check out our Beginner’s Guide to Yoga for more information.