There’s plenty to think about when you’re starting or continuing your practice. Maybe you’re thinking about which type of yoga class you should try, who your next instructor will be, or if you should head to instructor training. Yoga accessories are another thing that might be on your mind. Before you get overwhelmed, read this article. We break down accessories to help you decide which you might need.
Mats can get funky and break down with use. That’s where towels come in. A full-length towel can add longevity to your mat and improve hygiene. Towels provide a machine-washable barrier for ease and cleanliness. If you’re using yoga mats from studios, they’ll offer a layer between you and that possible funk.
Getting proper alignment is important, whether it’s your first class or a hundredth. Straps and blocks help those with limited flexibility align better. Many studios have them on hand, so you can test how they work before you purchase your own. Instructors will help you learn how to use them, so you can practice more effectively in poses at home. Blocks are amazing props that help us build strength, and get deeper into the postures.
If you've been doing yoga for a while, you know how stressful it can be to your joints, especially elbows, hands, wrists, shoulders, and knees. These pads are designed to offer a soft cushion to your joints so that you don't have to worry about these pains anymore.
Heading to class? It’s easier without worrying about if your mat will unroll or get soaked by the rain. A yoga bag or sling lets you head hands-free to class--leaving your hands available for your bike or your latte. Some bags even have space for towels, accessories, and a change of clothes.
Designed just for mats, washes get rid of bacteria without disintegrating the outer layer of your map. They’ll also have fresh-smells, so you can enjoy a delightful scent. Lastly, they’ll extend the life of your mat.
If you’re heading into a particularly sweaty practice, like hot yoga or power yoga, a hand towel is a must. If you’re just starting out a bathroom towel or kitchen towel will do the trick. However, if you’re finding they don’t do the job, you’ll want a yoga-specific hand towel. They’re more absorbent and way more packable--to make the most of the limited space in your yoga bag.
Like straps and blocks, blankets are a great way to help get the perfect alignment. Roll one or fold one and use it underneath your hips so align your body into the perfect seated position at the beginning of class. And at the end, cozy up under it for savasana.
Used mainly in restorative, prenatal, or yin yoga classes, these are a side body pillow made to provide comfort. They’re also great to provide help with alignment--and you can use them under your hips at the beginning of class or during meditation.
How your workout clothes feel – no matter the type of exercise – is important, and particularly with yoga, you’ll need gear that offers lots of freedom of movement and wicks away perspiration.
Many people now wear yoga clothing for fashion, not just class. You’ll often find yoga clothing with pockets, plenty of colors and patterns, and mesh cutouts. Remember, when you’re wearing these types of clothes to a normal yoga class, you’ll want to make sure that they actually function. Try doing some Sun Salutations in the store before buying your clothes.
Yogabottoms are offered in a wide variety of styles, lengths, and fits. Try high-waisted leggings or pants because they’re less likely to ride down too far in inversions like Downward Dog. You can try loose-fitting pants for slower classes, but tight-fitting pants for high-velocity classes.
Yoga shorts are a good option for men, as they often have built-in liners for comfort. Women might like shorts for very hot classes, although they most likely don’t offer as much coverage in bends and inversions.
Yoga tops are another important piece for consideration. You’ll want a form-fitting T-shirt or tank top, one that fits snugly around the hips. This ensures the shirt won’t fall over your head during bending postures. You’ll want to choose a breathable, moisture-wicking material too. And why not bend forward to touch your toes in the fitting room. If the shirt gapes at the chest or falls over your head, it’s not the right shirt for you.
Yoga sweaters are another nice piece of clothing for consideration. If you are planning on doing errands after class, you’ll probably want something warm. Extra layers can prevent that chill that usually happens after leaving the warm room of the studio.