The great thing about yoga is that you need very little to get started. That said, there’s so many products on the internet nowadays, it can be confusing to know what’s essential and what isn’t. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here’s our list of yoga essentials to help you get going in the right way. So, put your mobile phone firmly away, carve out some time and begin your yoga journey today.
Your Own Yoga Mat
Whether you are a beginner, or an experienced yogi, you’ll definitely need to invest in your own mat. For group classes, there’s the option of using the mat provided by the instructor or bringing your own. It’s more hygienic to use your own mat though. Unsurprisingly sales of mats hugely increased as Covid-19 took hold with many people preferring not to share them to prevent the spread.
It’s always advisable to use a non-slip mat to prevent slipping and sliding. This is especially important when starting out. There’s nothing worse for confidence than constantly sliding out of pose. A non-slip mat also acts as a marker to keep you centred, supports joints and provides cushioning, enabling you to hold stronger poses and reduces the risk of injury. Try our Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Yoga Mat available in black, green, grey, blue and red. The mats don’t need much maintenance. All you need to do is wipe down with warm water diluted with fresh lemon juice at least once a week or as needed if practising regular or sweaty exercise too.
You don’t have to rush out to buy the latest designer wear, unless you want to, of course. What is important is to wear something breathable and comfortable. You’ll need to move around easily so tight or restrictive clothing isn’t suitable. Also, you don’t want to have to keep adjusting clothes or wear a top that rides up whenever you bend down. The general rule is to avoid anything that could make you feel self-conscious or distract you. Comfy leggings, yoga pants, a leotard, vest top, aerobics top or a slightly looser-fitting long-sleeved top can all work. If you normally finish with a relaxation or meditation session, have a pair of socks, a sweater and a blanket handy to keep you warm.
Sounds obvious but this one’s vital. For yoga in the home environment, choose somewhere spacious. You’ll be using your limbs, moving forwards, sideways and backwards in various poses. So, try to pre-empt any potential for hurting yourself. Clear the area to ensure ample space to move around in. During the Summer months consider exercising outside, especially now that the restrictions are lifting and we can meet in groups. It’s always wonderfully fulfilling to practice yoga whilst taking in nature and with the sun on your back!
As with any exercise, it’s important to keep hydrated. For more vigorous yoga workouts, you may find that you work up a sweat, and feel thirsty so be sure to replenish lost fluids. If you’ll be doing Bikram ‘hot’ yoga, an insulated water bottle can work well to keep water cold.
It’s never pleasant to experience sticky palms, feet or even a sweaty brow. Slipping and sliding around and sweat stinging your eyes can be quite distracting. They make you lose focus and can result in ruining your flow or worse still, cause an accident. Keep a hand towel nearby to absorb moisture when needed. In theory any hand towel will do. But if you’re planning to do something more vigorous, like Ashtanga, Bikram or Power Yoga or you simply find that you sweat a lot, consider using a specific yoga towel with a grippy bottom that fits the length of your mat.
As you gain confidence, you’ll probably want to deepen stretches and poses. A yoga block is a great accessory to have. Not only does it help with this, but it also makes some poses easier by creating less space between the floor and yourself. For a great first block, try our Firm Foam Support Block to support every pose. If you’re not a fan of foam or would prefer something sturdier, invest in our Bamboo Support Blocks. It goes without saying that all Yogi Bare products have been crafted from sustainable, eco-friendly materials complementing the holistic approach of yoga.
Straps are useful to anyone practising yoga, whether beginner or advanced. These enable you to ease into more difficult postures, by gradual and deep stretching of muscles. They also help users to achieve more control, depth, endurance and mobility. In short, they allow you to reach into poses you may not normally get into! Fancy giving one a try? Check our Yoga Stretching Strap, available in tropical, black, cosmic and blue.
So, you’re all kitted up and ready to go now. Only one thing remains to be said. Arrive early to allow enough time to set your mat up without feeling under pressure. You can do all the preparation in the world but there’s really nothing worse than beginning a yoga session, feeling out of breath and stressed. Begin with the right frame of mind to get the most out of your yoga. Enjoy!