- Yoga Essentials and Props
Yoga Essentials and Props
The most amazing thing about yoga is that it can be done anywhere and at any time! You don’t need fancy equipment, all you really need is your body and a commitment to your practice. That being said, it can be fun to invest in a few props and tools to help enhance your practice! I always find that a new yoga prop sparks my imagination and helps to keep my practice fresh which is essential, especially if I’m in a bit of a rut or feeling unmotivated!
1) Yoga Mat
Finding the right yoga mat is such a personal experience. You want your mat to be like your best friend, you want to be motivated to spend time with it and practice on it often! You may need to try out a few mats before you find the one that is right for you. It is always a great idea to check yoga mats out in person to assess how thick they are, how heavy they are, and how grippy they are! I’ve listed a few of my personal favorites below!
Manduka makes beautiful mats and the Black Mat Pro is no exception. It comes in a standard length as well as a long length which is great for taller yogis! This mat is on the heavier side which can make it difficult for carrying to and from the studio, but it is a great mat to use for a home practice. Its extra weight comes from its incredible cushioning, making it an ideal mat for everything from relaxation poses to inversions. This mat is definitely an investment, but it is worth every penny as it will likely last much longer than some other mats on the market.
This mat features a unique polyurethane top layer which makes it ideal for sweaty practices. The top layer also provides an incredibly grippy surface to keep your feet and hands in place. Lululemon offers two thicknesses so you can decide how much cushioning you need!
This eco-friendly mat is perfect for yogis on the go. It is thinner and lighter than the mats listed above but it is still cushioned and durable. This is a great option if you plan on traveling with your mat or if you carry your mat on your back to and from class!
2) Yoga Block
If you’re going to invest in a yoga prop, start with a block (or two). Yoga blocks are incredibly versatile and can be used for every type of yoga practice. They provide support in restorative and yin yoga practices, they provide stability in intermediate practices and they can help ease you into advanced poses. Yoga blocks are also built to last and if you take care of them they should last for a long time. Check out some of the sequences below to see how yoga blocks can be used.
There are two main types of yoga blocks, foam blocks, and cork blocks. Foam blocks are very comfortable and also lightweight and easy to travel with. Cork blocks provide more support but are certainly heavier and not ideal if you plan on bringing them to and from class.
3) Yoga Strap
Like the yoga block, the yoga strap is also incredibly versatile. It can be used during yin poses to help you slowly move deeper into a stretch, but it can also be used to help advance more challenging poses like dancer or king pigeon. Most yoga straps are fairly similar so find one in a fabric and color that you like! There are lots of great options online here.
4) Yoga Bolster
A yoga bolster is basically the yoga equivalent of a really great yoga. A bolster is essentially a dense pillow that can be used during meditation, or in restorative poses, yin poses, and during relaxation. They are also wonderful props if you are practicing pre or post-natal yoga or are looking to be more supported during your practice. Ideally, it is great to find a bolster with a removable washable cover that is easy to care for. There are lots of great options available online here.