The beauty of yoga is that it can be performed almost anywhere and with a minimal equipment. Yoga accessories – usually referred to as props – help achieve proper alignment in poses. World-renowned Hatha Yogi, Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, introduced props to yoga. Props can make poses more accessible, allow for maximized stretching, contribute to confidence in practice, and much more. Props reduce strain and contribute to better performance of weight-bearing poses, especially for those with injuries or decreased range of motion. Our Wrist-Assured gloves for yoga (WAGs), are a great portable yoga prop for wrist pain, designed alleviate the strain of putting pressure on your wrists.
Buy a good, sticky yoga mat. We posted a few of our favorites in this earlier post. It may take a few trials to determine what type of thickness you like. Generally you want a thinner mat for practices that are centered around balance poses and thicker mats for floor work and weight-bearing exercises.
If you’re traveling, you can buy a travel mat or use your WAGs alone, directly on the floor. The non-slip, non-skid fabric on the palm, adds stability and security to your fitness routine. They also work well with yoga mats, Pilates mats and Pilates equipment like the reformers.
You may or may not need all of the support or extension provided by yoga blocks or bricks. Yoga blocks are constructed of varying materials, from cork to wood to foam. They also run in different sizes, but are more commonly six inches wide and four inches high. if you just need a little support and not the full block, or a little more leverage while using the blocks, give your WAGs a try in your practice.
MINIMIZE YOUR PROPS by USING WAGs in place of mats & blocks, especially when traveling or on the road.
Yoga straps are typically made from cotton or nylon, but in a bind you can also grab your belt or a scarf and use it. The purpose of straps is to help you extend your body so you can experience deeper stretches or support specific poses longer.
Yoga bolsters support and soothe the body during practice. Bolsters are cylindrical pillow-like props that make certain seated and reclined poses more comfortable for the neck, back, legs and abdomen.
Yoga blankets can serve a similar purpose as a bolster. It can be folded to provide elevation and support in seated poses or rolled and used much like a foam roller. One of our favorite teachers likes to begin her classes with students lying supine with the spine supported by a rolled blanket or bolster. Yoga blankets also add a layer of warmth during final relaxation.
We heard that nude yoga is gaining popularity, but for most of us, we won’t be going for downward dog in our bare skin anytime soon! Expensive or special clothing is not a necessity, but you do want to choose clothing that won’t get in your way. There are many great companies that provide yoga clothing at affordable prices and the durability to last years with repeated washer and dryer sessions. Some of our favorites are the Champion C9 line at Target and Lucy brand apparel. Yoga is typically practiced barefoot, but if you prefer covering your feet or need a little extra grip, try Yogitoes®.
What’s your essential yoga gear? Please share what you love to get you into your practice and flow in the comments section below!