The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to bind’ or ‘union’. Yoga is a simple form of exercise that unites and strengthens both the mind and the body. It is often used as a practice to not only relax your mind and body but also increase your overall well-being.
One of the best things about yoga as a practice is that it can be done by anyone irrespective of gender, age or fitness level. The exercises in Yoga are heavily focused on breathing and relaxing the mind. It not only challenges your mind but also increases your flexibility, strength and the overall functioning capacity of your body.
If you are fairly new to the world of Yoga, you might find it a little hard to decide which essential yoga gear you need to buy. However, one of the best aspects of Yoga is that you need very little equipment to get started. Regardless of whether you are planning on practicing Yoga at home or simply looking to buy the basic yoga equipment before your first Yoga class, we have got you covered.
Here is everything that you need to know in order to get the best yoga gear.
➣ Essential Yoga Gear
1) Yoga Mats
Yoga mats are probably one of the most basic requirements for Yoga. A yoga mat can really change your experience with the practice of Yoga. The cost of the yoga mat will differ depending on the material, its thickness, size and so on.Pixabay
Hence, we have put together a couple of points that will help you in deciding which yoga mat to get.
- Portable and sweat tolerant ― Considering that you are going to sweat quite a bit during yoga sessions, it is important that you get yourself a portable and sweat tolerant yoga mat
- Thick and solid ― Going for a mat that is both thick as well as solid will help you when you practice complicated poses. It will also provide you with support and prevent any damage to bones
- Not too foamy ― While safety is an important criterion, good balance is important as well. Hence, do not get a mat that is too foamy
- Length ― The length of the mat should depend on how tall or short you are
- Padded mats ― Padded mats are preferable as they are a lot softer and more comfortable
- Sticky mats ― For better support and grip
- Earth-friendly ― Rubber and organic are examples of earth-friendly mat materials
- Colors ― Make your yoga experience colorful by picking the color of your choice
2) Yoga Clothes
In terms of purchasing Yoga clothing, the most important criterion is your comfort. Your yoga clothing must fit your body well. Some of the poses in yoga can be pretty challenging, hence, your clothing should be such that you are able to perform all the movements freely.
Some of the most common yoga clothing gear is:
- Capri-Medium length leggings
- Full-length leggings
- Straight or flared legs
- Tank Tops
- Sports Bra
There are three options in terms of material while picking yoga clothing ― Synthetic, Cotton, Cotton-Synthetic
You can follow this Buying Guide:
- Materials such as cotton and bamboo are preferable as they are very breathable
- Sweat tolerant clothing is highly recommended
- A Capri is preferable as compared to a full-length yoga pant
3) Yoga Straps
Yoga straps are one of the most useful pieces of equipment that beginners can purchase. It can drastically reduce the chances of injuries that may occur from overstretching. It also helps you carry out complicated moves safely. Furthermore, it can even help you increase the overall flexibility of your body.
Keep these qualities in mind before purchasing a Yoga strap
- The strap should be durable
- Straps made out of natural materials are more body-friendly as they do not contain any chemicals
- We highly suggest going for a non-slip strap
- You can even choose whether you want a plastic buckle or a metal buckle
A yoga strap is a good investment to make as a beginner as well as an advanced yoga practitioner.
4) Yoga Bolsters
A yoga bolster is a pillow-like piece of equipment that can help you in your breathing and can also help you achieve better alignment. A yoga bolster can be used for a number of purposes including performing new poses, breaking body limitations and relaxing.
- Bolster must include detailed washing instructions
- Do not forget to check the fabrics and the labels for allergy warnings
- Select a brand that provides a variety of option
- Choose a size according to the needs of the class you are starting with
5) Yoga Water Bottle
This essential yoga gear is absolutely necessary for any kind of activity that involves physical and mental exercise. You do not want to stay dehydrated during such activities and water bottles can really come in handy during this time. Some yoga sessions make you sweat a lot; hence, it is important that you have a water bottle with you at all times.Freepik
Here are a couple of water bottle options worth considering:
- Hydro Flask ― This is a stainless-steel bottle that can keep a cold beverage for 24 hours and a hot beverage for 6 hours at the same temperature. This bottle comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Filtering bottles ― Such bottles have the ability to filter water from any source. This will enable you to have clean and safe water on the go.
Your yoga class will mostly have a water cooler where you can fill water from. Hence, it is essential that you carry a good quality water bottle with you.
6) Yoga Hand Towel
Yoga sessions can obviously be quite challenging physically and will make you sweat a lot. The only way to get rid of sweat quickly is by using a towel. You will need a towel during yoga classes to wipe off sweat regularly.Freepik
Here are some of the things that you can keep in mind before buying a yoga towel.
- Grippy ― Make sure that your towel is sticky as well as grippy.
- Durability ― A durable towel will sustain longer
- Cheap ― Since a yoga towel is a basic piece of equipment with not too many requirements, a lower-priced towel will suffice.
- Quality ― While it is fine if you go for an inexpensive towel, make sure that the quality is good enough. Avoid towels that end up losing color after a few washes
7) Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks enhance the range of motion, provide better muscle flexibility and also help in maintaining balance. When you are in a pose and are not able to reach the floor, a yoga block can serve as a floor. Yoga blocks are available in a variety of materials such as foam, wood, cork, etc. You can pick the kind of material you want depending on the required texture and grip.
Yoga blocks also help immensely in providing support to the back, head, and hips in order to instill a better sense of alignment. Yoga blocks can come in extremely handy for the people who are not yet flexible to complete yoga poses yet.
- Build type ― One of the things to consider is a yoga block’s size and material
- Size ― People with smaller hands and reasonable flexibility can go for modestly sized blocks whereas people with bigger hands and lesser flexibility can go for a substantial sized block
- It is recommended that you should own more than one block
Yoga blocks are one of the best essential yoga gear for beginners who are still working on getting more flexible. Yoga blocks allow you to complete poses by giving you extra support whenever needed. They also help you in aligning better and getting better positioning
8) Mat Bags or Slings
If you own a yoga mat, it could be tiresome to keep carrying it back and forth on a regular basis. In such situations, a mat bag or a sling can be very useful. Slings make it extremely easy for you to carry the rolled mat on your shoulder without it coming unrolled.
Slings usually use a Velcro strap in order to keep the rolled mat in place. It also comes with a connecting strap that you can throw over your shoulders. Slings often also have additional pockets which you can use to store small things.
Even bags are a good option which usually comes in two types.
- The first type uses Velcro straps in order to keep your rolled mat in place against your larger gym bag.
- The second type of bag is usually a zipper-closure bag that is specifically designed to keep your rolled mat in position.
Both of these styles provide ample storage to keep stuff like wallets, cell phones, clothing, and keys.
The style and brand of swing that you purchase will depend on your personal taste. Slings can cost as little as Rs. 150 whereas heavy-duty bags can tend to be on the expensive side. It is a yoga essential for beginners.
FAQs Related to Essential Yoga Gear for Beginners
Q. How thick of a yoga mat should I get?
The thickness of a mat is directly related to its comfort. If it’s too thin, it can cause injuries and if it’s too thick, you can lose balance. The perfect way to decide which mat to buy is by considering a couple of things.
- How much room do you have to keep your yoga mat
- It’s portability
- The sweet spot for you ― Comfortable and also connected to the floor
Q. Which is better Cork or Foam Yoga Block?
There are numerous types of yoga blocks and each has its own pros and cons. Cork yoga blocks and foam yoga blocks are the most common ones.
Foam yoga blocks are affordable and come in a number of colors. They are the most suitable for yogis who are looking for versatility and convenience. It is light-weight and easy to carry, hence they are the best choice for yogis who are quite mobile.
Cork Yoga blocks are good for yogis who are looking for better balance. The cork yoga block is denser and sturdier than other types of yoga blocks. It helps in getting more confidence while attempting difficult poses.
Q. Does Yoga hurt at first?
Yoga in the initial stages can make you sore. The reason for this is because your body is not used to the intense stretching, mobility, and flexibility that comes with yoga poses. This pain or soreness reduces overtime and your body becomes much more flexible.
Q. How do I wash my yoga mat?
One of the easiest ways to was a yoga mat is to use a solution of warm water and mix a mild detergent such as a dish soap in it. Submerge the yoga mat in it and let it soak for a few minutes. Once this is done, you can let your yoga mat out to dry. This method will get rid of any kind of dirt, oils, and odors from the yoga mat.
Q. How long should a yoga mat last?
Intense sweating, stretching and balancing on the yoga mat will eventually lead to wear and tear. Ideally, you should be replacing your yoga mat every six to twelve months.
Q. What should you not do before Yoga?
Do not eat a heavy meal 2-3 hours before your yoga session. And do not drink more than a small glass of water half an hour before your session. In order to get energy for the yoga session, you can eat a small fruit an hour before the session.
Q. What is the best time to do Yoga?
The best time to practice yoga is early in the morning before you commence your daily activities. You are the freshest in the morning and can have a really impactful session during sunrise. This also sets the tone for the rest of the day and will make you feel active and energetic throughout.
The second-best time to practice yoga is during sunset. Once you are done with your day, yoga is one of the best methods to wind down and relax not only your mind but also your body.
Feature Image: Freepik