What do I need for yoga?

I get this question a lot. What do I need for class? What's a bolster? I have descriptions of the props I use below, as well as options you can find around your home if you don't want to purchase items. If you do want to invest in some props, the good news is they are all relatively inexpensive! Note the links below are affiliate links.

A mat. You don't really need this, any surface of your house (or even yard) will work. But during class, teachers often use the mat corners, sides, etc as points of reference for alignment and movement. If you're just starting out, I suggest starting with an inexpensive option. It's great to have this as a back up mat (or your outdoor yoga mat) if you decide to splurge on a higher end mat in the future.

If you're looking for a higher end mat, one that provide some slip resistance specifically, there's many options and many brands. I personally love my Gaiam Dry Sol mat and have had it for years. It's a steal for the price point! I also enjoy using my Lululemon mat. Manduka is decent quality and lasts awhile. The only mat I don't recommend is Jade mats. I love that they are ethically made, but they do start to fall apart after some use.

Yoga Blocks. I use these in my classes a lot. I enjoy my practice more when I have them to support my movement and shapes. There's some household items that work great instead: large books, tissue boxes, show boxes, boxes of wine. If you're going to purchase some blocks, there's some options. Soft foam blocks are usually a great beginners choice as they are the most versatile - providing stability with a little bit of cushion and not a lot of weight. Here's the ones I recommend:

A strap. This is a prop I use frequently, especially when I'm teaching a student with less flexibility (we'll save the misconception discussion of the comment "I'm not flexible enough for yoga" for a later post). This prop is easy to find in your home: a scarf, belt, or towel. If you want to invest in a yoga strap though, this is the one I use and recommend. I like the ability to create a loop or not, and I also like the length.

A bolster. I loveeeee my bolster. If you are taking restorative or yin yoga, I highly recommend a bolster for your practice. There's not a substitute I've found that works as well as an actual bolster. If you don't want to invest in one, an option that is as close as I can find is to take a regular bed pillow, fold it in half longways and wrap it in a towel or folded blanket. If you're looking to buy one, there are reasonable options (and also expensive options). I highly recommend my homemade bolsters as I. knowtheir quality is top notch and they're afforable!

Custom Bolsters

 

Myofascial Balls. The brand name of these is Yoga Tune Up balls, but tennis balls work as well. Tennis balls are a bit softer than the tune up balls. So if you prefer a little more sensation, then I would say spring for the tune up balls. They have a bit of "stickiness" to them as well which is nice.

I hope this helps you when you're looking for products in the sea of the online market! If you have any questions or recommendations I would love to hear from you!

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