In fact, you can “do” yoga without any equipment at all. Even sitting and breathing mindfully as you quiet the mind is a form of yoga. That said there are a few items that can help you feel more comfortable when doing yoga.
Yoga Mat: If you plan to practice regularly, invest in a high-quality mat. Cheaper “sticky” mats tend to fall apart and shed yoga mat confetti all over the place. After wearing out two yoga mats during yoga training, I treated myself to a sturdier mat as my reward for earning my certification. TPE yoga mats are lightweight yet sturdy–you won’t need to layer a second mat under it as some people prefer to do with foam mats.
Yoga Mat Towel: If you plan to practice hot yoga or tend to sweat a lot, you’ll want to have a towel handy. You could use a beach towel, but these microfiber towels fit perfectly over a yoga mat and are super absorbent. And, these can double as a mat or at least be a barrier between you and a communal mat at the gym or studio.
Yoga Bolster: Yoga bolsters are pillows that can support your body and help you relax in various poses. They are great for beginners, as they can help you stay longer in poses while remaining comfortable. You can relax and stretch while you focus on your breath, not supporting your body.
Yoga Strap: Yoga straps are awesome for beginners and those who aren’t very flexible. They assist during poses where your arms aren’t long enough or your body not open enough to reach your feet or other body parts. Straps provide length and put limbs within reach. Teachers can also use these as a support to help you go deeper into poses. You can use any sturdy rope or scarf, but yoga straps have a buckle to help you create a loop for your hand or foot.
Yoga Blocks: EVA printed yoga blocks are another awesome prop for beginners and yogis of all levels. They can be used as a hand or foot rest when you cannot reach the floor during a certain pose, or they can provide support for limbs or even the back. With three heights and a lightweight construction, yoga blocks easily assist with both flexibility and alignment.
Yoga Mat Bag: If you’re doing yoga at home, you won’t need a yoga mat carry bag, but if you’re going to a gym or a studio, this is a must-have. Without a bag, yoga mats have a tendency to come unrolled at inopportune times! Cart yours around in style, and no matter which bag you choose, make sure it has at least a small zippered pocket for storing your keys, phone and wallet.
More great resources for yoga newbies: bhsyoga.