If you are just a beginner to take yoga classes, it may be difficult to know exactly what to buy from the “yoga and fitness” section of a store. Do you really need your own customized PVC free yoga mat? What are the blocks and straps for? Do you need to keep your mat in a bag? The good news is that if you have already purchased yoga accessories, you will be able to find a good use for them in your yoga practice. If you decide not to buy anything at all, you will still be able to take yoga classes in most studios. If that seems confusing, here is a little more guidance for you.
It is not necessary to purchase a mat if you are just beginning yoga lessons. Most studios will provide mats for a small fee. However, as an enthusiastic yogi, I encourage everyone to purchase a mat. They are generally inexpensive and take up very little space. It will save you money in mat rentals and provide you with a “home base” of sorts as you travel around to different studios searching for the one that best suits you. If you are a yogi on the go, it may be a good idea to purchase a yoga mat carrier. You may not want to mix your funky yoga mat with the other things in your bag after a class.
All other blocks, straps, and pillows are usually provided by the studio. Some yoga studios do not provide non slip towels for yoga mats, so it is best to check with them ahead of time or just bring your own if you know you’ll need it. In addition, it is always a good idea to bring water to replenish you during and after class.
If you are going to practice yoga at home — which for many people is an important aspect of their yoga lifestyle — you will need to buy some props to have on hand. In addition to a mat, you may want to purchase a couple yoga blocks (also called bricks), which are used to help you balance and stabilize yourself during some postures. You may also want a yoga strap (also called a belt), which you can use to pull yourself deeper into stretches.
If you are doing restorative yoga or meditation at home, you should consider purchasing pillows (called bolsters) to help support your body. Bolsters come in a variety of different sizes and levels of firmness. You may also want a yoga blanket, which can substitute for a bolster in many postures and has a variety of other uses.
If you still have no choice which props to buy, you can wait to see which props you use in your favorite yoga classes. As you become more familiar with the styles of yoga that you enjoy most, you will know which yoga accessories are a “must have” for your home practice. Browse more yoga accessories at bhsyoga.