Having the right gear is essential to your yoga practice but not for the reasons you might expect. Having comfortable, well-fitting clothes isn’t just a fashion statement, it’s a necessary component of a comfortable, confident practice. Clothes that are too loose and distracting, or too thin and unsupportive, are all too common in women’s athletic clothing. Similarly, some yoga equipment is flimsy and doesn’t support the growth of your practice. So here we’ve compiled the bare essentials —five yoga gear must-haves for building a stronger practice.
A No-Slip Mat
There are all kinds of yoga mats out there, as you’ve probably noticed, but not all mats are created equal. For fast-moving vinyasa practices (and especially for sweaty hot yoga sessions), it is absolutely essential to have a mat that doesn’t slide along the ground or cause your hands and feet to slip. Not only does a slippery mat increase your risk of injury, it can be incredibly distracting to your peace of mind during practice. Brands like Manduka offer no-slip mats with great traction.
A Restorative Mat
Every balanced yoga practice includes restorative or yin-style yoga to complement the more challenging yang yoga we are accustomed to in Western culture. For this style, it helps to have a thicker, padded mat to support your knees and back. These mats feel spongy and will stay indented for a few seconds when you apply pressure. Thicker mats tend to be slippery, so be sure to use these for seated or reclined stretching rather than for standing poses.
A Long Strap
Contrary to popular belief, straps are not only for beginners or inflexible people. In fact, there’s no reason anyone should shy away from using straps. They can be tremendously supportive to anyone’s yoga practice. Straps can be used for simple shoulder openers at the beginning of practice, or even to support and train the body into alignment in shapes like Boat pose. In addition, they’re a must-have for anyone that wants to loosen up tight inner hamstrings from a reclined position.
If you’ve been to a few yoga studios, you’ve probably noticed the variety of blocks available. Some are lightweight and slender, while others are thicker and heavier. And while thicker, dense blocks may be on the pricier side, they are ideal for a few reasons. For one, they provide much-needed stability in balance poses like Half Moon and restorative poses like Heart Bench and Supported Bridge. Because they tend to be wider, they can more easily support students who want to reach a block in forward folds. Dense cork blocks also work great for deepening shoulder stretches (like this!) and are more sustainable for the environment.
A YogaClub Membership
Once you’ve got the equipment you need, the only thing left to do is find apparel you can rely on. YogaClub offers a monthly subscription box tailored to your needs with three options: The Mantra, The Karma and The Guru. Select a box based on your budget and clothing needs. Eliminate frustration and time spent trying on clothes that don’t fit right. YogaClub ensures fresh and simple style, premium brands and seamless comfort — shipped right to your doorstep.
If you’re ready to tap into your own personalized style and save money on yoga gear, start by taking their style quiz.