Now that we’ve secured a sacred space in your home, and decided on your preferred yoga style, teacher, and platform or studio, now it’s time to ensure that you have the right yoga gear. This article will highlight common yoga tools and props you’ll need for effective home practice. Of course, you don’t have to buy these items but it’s better if you are serious about practicing in the comfort of your own home.
If you purchase nothing else for your practice, it should definitely be a yoga mat (with a carrying case). If you ever want to take your mat on the go or decide to attend yoga classes in person, due to COVID restrictions, you’ll need your own mat.
There are different styles of mats – ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermal plastic elastomer (TPE), natural rubber, latex, cotton, cork yoga – based on different lengths, widths, and thicknesses. The most budget-friendly is the EVA (or the classic yoga mat), which is cheap and is sometimes thin and flimsy.
The standard length of a yoga mat is about 2’4″ (or 70 cm), whereas, the standard width is about 2′ (or 60 cm). However, taller individuals may need a longer mat, so to determine the right length, add 2-4″ (or 5-10 cm) to your current height. Wider mats are also available as well. The key is to find a mat not only within your price range but also one with anti-slip properties, hypoallergenic, long-term resistance to wear and tear, and finally is comfortable for taking it on the go. You will likely go through a number of different yoga mats at different prices so start onto the low end first until you find one that meets your sweet spot.
Yoga Blocks & Straps
The next important tool especially if you are a beginner or haven’t practiced in a while are yoga blocks and straps. Yoga blocks help to extend the arms, support the back, head, or hips when settling into a pose, whereas yoga straps, are used to help you improve your flexibility, sink deeper and remain longer in a pose. Yoga blocks are typically made from EVA but also come in wood, bamboo, and cork. They are 9″ long x 6″ wide x 4″ high and they are sold individually or as a two-pack. Yoga straps come as D-Ring Cotton Straps – most common but are also available as Elastic Straps, Multi-Loop Straps, Adjustable Straps, and Infinity Straps. Sometimes you can find low-cost packages that include two yoga blocks and a yoga strap.
The final most important prop you’ll need is yoga bolsters (or cushions), which also provide support and stability. Frequently used in restorative yoga poses, especially during Savasana, yoga bolsters relieve tension on the spine. The most common styles are rectangular (25″ x 12″ & 6″ thick), round (25″ x 10″) or a circular meditation cushion. They typically have a 100% cotton cover and a 100% polyester lining. Similar to yoga mats, bolsters should be chosen based on durability, washability, and/or firmness.
Aside from a yoga mat, blocks, straps, and a bolster, you’ll also need a light-weight blanket especially if you plan on staying in Savasana for an extended period of times, along with a microfiber towel – if your practice is fast-paced and you perspire a lot plus drinking water and of course, the right gear for your B.O.D.Y. Next up, we’ll discuss yoga clothing (for the average size woman).
- Different Types of Yoga Mats – Select Best for Your Practice by Health & Fitness Magazine (11/29/2019)
- Yoga Strap Buyer’s Guide by Yoga Rove (n.d.)