Yoga Gear: What Yoga Gear And Equipment Do I Need?
What yoga gear do I need? Do I need my own yoga mat? What about yoga bras? We've got all the info on yoga gear you need...
Yoga gear is a huge part of practicing yoga, especially when you are first starting out. You want to make sure you have the right kit for your first yoga class.
Yoga gear is varied to say the least and it is growing. Whether you are an advanced yogi or a total beginner, there are plenty of different yoga gear options out there to enhance your practice.
Here is a list of all the different types of yoga accessories to choose from and how they can benefit each element of your practice.
Having your own yoga mat is important. If you are in a Bikram yoga class for example, you will sweat buckets. So it is much nicer to practice on your own mat rather than the studio's ones.
There are different materials and thicknesses to choose from when it comes to picking a yoga mat. Different yoga styles also suit different mats. Ashtanga yogis tend to prefer thinner mats, so they have more grip and contact with the ground. If you go to restorative classes more, then you might prefer a thicker mat with more cushioning.
Your mat carves out your personal space during a yoga class, so another thing to consider is length. Standard size mats will be fine for yogis under six foot. If you are taller than six foot, consider shopping around for an extra long yoga mat.
You can read our full guide to choosing your first yoga mat here.
YOGA MAT BAGS
Yoga mat bags are useful for carrying your mat to and from class. There's nothing worse than a yoga mat unravelling while you are running to catch your train. Yoga mat bag will keep you mat clean and safe from the elements.You can also store your valuables in your yoga mat bag during class.
Some yoga mat bags only hold one mat. Larger bags will hold up to two mats, a block, maybe a blanket or a towel. It's really up to you.
YOGA BLOCKS, BRICKS & BELTS
Yoga props are great for beginners or if you are recovering from an injury. Aids like blocks, bricks and straps can help you get further into postures that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Blocks and bricks are great props to help with tight muscle groups. For example, you would sit on a block if you had tight hips and hamstrings and were trying to come into a seated forward fold. They are also useful for balancing yoga poses, such as Half Moon when you grounded hand can't quite reach the floor.
Straps or belts are also helpful for postures, such as seated forward fold when you can't reach your feet or Supta Padangusthasana.
Yoga towels are more useful than they sound.
If you have a yoga towel and no mat then you can use your towel over the mat to ensure minimal sharing of microbes. In order for that to work well you will have to buy a specialised yoga towel with one smooth side and one perforated side.
This is especially useful in Bikram for the obvious elevated slip 'n’ slide risks.
While most sports bras will do for yoga, there are yoga bras that you can buy specifically for yoga.
You want to make sure that your yoga bra is both supportive and looks good. It should be stretchy with adjustable straps and made from sweat-wicking fabric.
Of course, make sure it has a funky yoga pattern and a cool, woven strappy back to make you stand out from the crowd.
Read our guide to the best yoga bras here.
Yoga tops are also worth considering. You don't want to wear a regular t-shirt to a yoga class, especially if you will be getting hot and sweaty. Just like in running, you want to wear a top that is sweat-wicking and comfortable. Make sure it is not too baggy however, otherwise you will find you won't be able to see while holding downward-facing dog!
Take a look at our guide to yoga tops here.
You just want to make sure they are comfortable and won't slip down while you practice. Check out our guide to the best yoga pants here.
You can read more about what to expect at your first yoga class here.