Just getting started with yoga and have no idea what all of those props in your class are? I’m here to help.
In this post I’ll walk you through exactly what you’ll need to either get started with yoga, or take your yoga practice to the next level.
A lot of the items on this list are optional – you won’t need them all in order to practice yoga.
However, a yoga mat is pretty essential.
Having a yoga mat will allow you to move through poses, and stay in various ones more comfortably.
What type of mat you’ll need may depend on the yoga you’ll be practicing.
Most people can easily get started with a standard mat, however if you are practicing more specialised yoga such as hot yoga – you may want to look for something different.
Non-slip standard mats are great for beginners and those practicing a standard yoga practice.
However, if you practice hot yoga while on a standard mat, you’ll probably be slipping around, unable to hold poses for a sufficient amount of time.
Therefore, you may want to look at getting a suede yoga mat. On their first use, you can spray water onto the mat in order to make it more non-slip, and get going from there.
The great thing is that the more you use the suede mat for hot yoga (or the more you sweat on it!) the more grippy it gets!
Amazon is a great place to get looking for the best mat for you.
Different props can be used in yoga to enhance stretches, build more muscle, or make certain poses more comfortable.
Props such as straps can be beneficial regardless of your skill level and experience.
For example, a beginner may find low plank quite difficult to master due to the upper body strength needed. A yoga strap can be put across the chest, allowing you to essentially lean on it when practicing low plank.
From here, the muscles needed to achieve a full low plank would be activated, and you could build up your strength. A few times doing this, and you could try taking the strap away.
So, a yoga strap can help people build up their skill level also.
For a more experienced yogi, a yoga strap could really take their stretches to the next level, allowing them to stretch beyond that plateaued point.
Yoga blocks can be an extremely useful part of your yoga practice.
For beginners, yoga blocks can be used to help you get into poses which you may not be fully flexible enough to get into yet.
An example of this may be triangle pose – when first trying triangle pose, it can be difficult to open up one side of your body enough in order to fully extend into the pose.
To get around this, turn a block on its side and put one side to the floor. You can then use your hand to rest on the block, lean onto it and fully stretch the other side of your body.
Another great way to use a yoga block is in lizard pose (I use this tip all the time).
Lizard pose involves stretching into a lunge position, and trying to get your forearms on the floor in the stretch.
Personally, I really struggle to get my arms to the floor because my hips are quite tight, so I always use a block to bring the earth closer, allowing me to rest my forearms and get further into the stretch.
Yoga blocks can also be great if you have injuries that make certain poses feel painful. For example, I have quite a weak lower back and often feel pain here.
I therefore really like to use blocks to sit on when crossed legged, or like to use a block to support my lower back when lying down. This also allows for a really releasing and comforting stretch on my lower back.
There are different types of yoga blocks you can buy. There are some that are softer and more spongy, however there are some that are harder.
In a typical yoga class, there may be a variety of different yoga blocks you can use. Try some out with different poses and see how you feel. Then go ahead and buy your own!
Yoga socks are socks you can wear whilst practicing yoga. They usually have grip on the sole of the sock, allowing you to comfortably move through poses, feeling grounded and poised.
I’ve been thinking about getting yoga socks myself for a while now, particularly because when moving through certain poses, I tend to slip around. This means I have to break my flow, and come out of the pose to ground myself a little more.
This is okay, however can be a little annoying when you’re really feeling in the zone, and enjoying a certain flow.
So, yoga socks allow you to keep that grip and flow going.
They can also make your practice more enjoyable overall. They can help to keep your feet and toes warm and absorb sweat throughout your practice.
Also, yoga socks can help you maintain cleanliness throughout your practice. I know that in some hot yoga studios, there can be a lot of sweat (of course) and things can get a little dirty.
Using yoga socks during yoga classes can simply help you feel a little cleaner and more comfortable.
Where can you buy it all?
Whether you are just starting out with yoga, or have been practicing for a while, I hope that this article has offered some clarity on why using props and the correct gear during yoga can be really beneficial to our regular practice.
Personally, I always go to Amazon for anything I need. I’m sure there are also some great more niche websites out there selling amazing gear.
If you want to know more about these, then let me know!