Yoga is one of the most unique exercises you can perform, as this ancient system focuses not only on improving your physical health but your mental wellbeing also.
Although traditionally yoga didn’t rely on many accessories or props to practice, the modern and western varieties employ a range of equipment to help people perform their moves more effectively.
Having your own yoga equipment means you can practice freely at home or a studio, without the need to share with others. As reports have indicated that yoga mats alone carry a range of bacteria, fungi, and viruses so it’s essential to have your own, if only for the hygiene reasons.
With such a growing market of yoga equipment, it can be hard to know exactly what you need. While it’s true you don’t have to use a lot of props and accessories in yoga, some people find it extremely valuable particularly in the beginning to improve their strength and flexibility.
Here are just a few of the most popular pieces of yoga equipment and how they can help your practice.
Undoubtedly the most important piece of equipment, your yoga mat serves many purposes. Traditionally, yogis practiced on the hard earth or with a mat made of animal skin, but nowadays the PVC kind is most common.
These mats help you to stick so that you’re able to perform the harder poses, especially when you might be a bit sweaty. Secondly, they help you to achieve your own personal space so that you can practice in peace which is important for group settings.
Finally, your mat allows you to practice this ancient system anywhere you like, so it’s a truly portable exercise.
Using yoga blocks isn’t just for beginners, as they can help even the most seasoned professional in their yoga practice. These blocks are traditionally made from cork, wood, or foam, with each of these varieties having distinct benefits over the rest. For a softer feel, foam is best, but if you require the density and support of something harder, wood is ideal.
Yoga blocks can be used in three main ways during your practice. Firstly, they help to bring the ground closer to you so that you can perform poses even with limited flexibility.
Secondly, they can improve your alignment and rotation which are both essential to yoga practice. Finally, they provide balance and support for beginners who might have difficulty with certain moves.
Another common name for yoga balls is an exercise ball, and these large rubber items are used for a range of different exercises and medical reasons. Incorporating yoga balls into your practice can improve your balance and flexibility, as well as make common yoga moves either more difficult or easy to achieve.
Yoga balls come in a few different sizes, and these should be chosen depending on your height and body type. The most common material for yoga balls is PVC as it provides an anti-burst and durable surface for you to practice on.
These devices are the newest item to be found on the yoga equipment market, with many people trading in a few of their favorites pieces of equipment for one of these. A yoga wheel is exactly as the name suggests, a solid wheel that can be incorporated into your yoga poses to help you achieve more.
These yoga wheels can not only help you achieve difficult poses, but they’re also an effective way to stretch and relieve muscle tension. For many, the yoga wheel is a great physical rehabilitation tool as well as an essential piece of yoga equipment. They tend to be a little more expensive than the other items, but they do have a greater variety of uses.
One of the most popular pieces of yoga equipment is yoga straps, designed to act as an extension of your arms. These straps allow you to stretch and bend easier and with a greater reach, just by holding onto both ends.
They’re generally made from durable material such as cotton and with a D-ring or other mechanism that allows the user to adjust the length to suit. Although favored mostly be beginners, there are huge benefits to yogis of all levels when using a strap in their practice.
Not to be confused with regular towels, yoga towels have been specially designed to work with this ancient exercise system. A yoga towel serves a few purposes to the yogi, and they’re most commonly used alongside your traditional yoga mat.
They feature an absorbent material top, usually made from microfiber, and a sticky bottom that helps it attach to the mat.
With a yoga towel, you’re able to wick away moisture and sweat from your body so that you don’t slide around on your mat. They help you stay comfortable and dry as you practice, which can be great for hot yoga varieties. In addition, these mats can be a great barrier against bacteria if you find yourself needing to share other pieces of equipment.
As with any exercise equipment, the quality of your yoga products is essential to just how well you perform. While it might be tempting to opt for the cheaper varieties, these often haven’t been built to last or withstand the unique requirements of yoga practice.
While it’s not necessary to kit yourself out with a whole variety of items, at the very least you need a quality yoga mat to practice this discipline. As the mat helps to center you and keep you from slipping as you perform your moves, it’s an absolute must-have for every style of yoga there is.
Although there are many classes available that can teach you this ancient system of exercise, for most people they prefer to enjoy yoga in their own home. With the right equipment by your side, you’ll be able to practice just as well as a professional studio and enjoy the serenity and privacy of performing poses at home.