A few weeks ago I offered up my tips for what running clothing to wear, including five items you need in your wardrobe as you hit the pavement. Last night when I was on my mat, I realized I could offer up my suggestions on the essential yoga items you need to practice yoga.
I’ve been practicing yoga casually for a decade, and practicing seriously since 2011. That year I attended a free community yoga event and became hooked. The good thing about practicing yoga is you need very little in the way of gear. Here are my suggestions.
Essential Yoga Items
1) Yoga Mat: Many studios do have community mats you can use in a pinch but you have little control over how clean those mats are. Plus having your own mat allows you to practice both in the studio and at home. For the first few years I had a Gaiam yoga mat I purchased at Target for about $20. I switched to the extra cushy Manduka Black Mat PRO for more knee support and love it. For a mat that isn’t as heavy, check out Jade Yoga mats.
2) Yoga Mat Strap: After selecting a mat you will want to find a strap, carrier or case for the mat. This doesn’t have to be costly. I was going to recommend “The Strap” carrier from Lululemon, which I purchased for about $12 a few years ago, but it appears they no longer carry it. Here is a similar inexpensive yoga mat strap.
3) Small Face Towel: This is especially important if you attend any heated yoga classes and want to wipe or dab any sweat during or after your practice. Any towel will do, just make sure the towel is only for your yoga classes. I alternate between a small athletic towel and a small microfiber towel.
4) Water Bottle: It’s always important to stay hydrated when exercising. I switched to a glass water bottle about a year ago. It has a handle on top for easy carrying, a protective silicone case, should you drop it and it’s easily washable. Being it’s made of glass, the water never has a plastic or metallic taste, even if you leave it in your car after practice.
Additional essential yoga tips:
- I like to wear capri bottoms (which help with grip during poses such as tree), and a tank top. When it’s cool out, I wear a zip up long-sleeve jacket over top. Experiment to find what works for you.
- If you are looking for a towel to cover your entire mat and absorb sweat during class, check out NamaSTAY Yoga Mat Towels.
- Also along the lines of mat protection, for intuitive ways to clean your yoga mat, check out Jo-Sha Wipes (available in bulk or individually wrapped) and NamaSTAY Yoga Mat Spray.
- When practicing hot yoga, you tend to sweat a lot, and clothing gets smelly if it’s not washed properly. Right now I am using Nathan Sport Wash Detergent.
What did I miss? Do you have any essential yoga items to add?