There are a few basic things you will need for yoga and depending on where you practice, you may not need all of these things. This will seem foreign to you at first, but after awhile, you will start to gain a preference for certain mats, clothing and gear just like you do for other daily activities.
Picking a yoga mat can be very simple, you just have to narrow down your choices. If you are not over 6 feet, then a standard 68″ mat will work find. They range in thickness, so if you have joint problems or feel that you need extra cushioning, pick up a thick yoga mat. Starting out, you don’t need anything super fancy or expensive. The gym of class you workout in may provide mats for you, but it is recommended that you pick up your own for sanitary reasons.
Yoga towels are important to have because you will get sweaty and perspire while doing yoga. Your towel can be used to wipe the sweat from your body as well as the sweat on your mat. If your mat gets wet, it can be very slippery so keeping a towel handy is a good idea. wiping your mat down after yoga is also important for sanitary purposes.
Yoga Props are fantastic for beginners and are highly recommended. Props can help a beginning yoga student who is not flexible enough yet or to ensure that you have proper body alignment. Some styles of yoga also require the use of props so if you are starting out, it doesn’t hurt to ask. The following is a list of common yoga props that you may see or need:
- Straps – are great for reaching parts of your body you might not be flexible enough to reach or to hold harder positions. Straps are specifically designed for beginners because it can be very difficult to do yoga when you are not flexible.
- Blocks & Bricks – designed for doing extensions when you can’t reach the floor. Again, this goes back to flexibility. The blocks and bricks act as an extension of your limbs while ensuring proper body alignment and increasing stability while holding yoga positions.
- Blankets – used primarily for hip elevation while in the seated or laying down positions. The blankets are also used for covering the body during the cool down phase of class.
- Yoga Balls – these are purely optional and are not typically used, but they might be. The come in 3 sizes depending on your height. The yoga balls can help with stability, balance and strength.
- Bolsters – if you need extra support, especially when doing restorative yoga, bolsters are a must have. They are also great for prenancy yoga.