Yoga is a beautiful form of exercise. It can be done absolutely anywhere by anyone. All you need is yourself.
I have done yoga on beaches; slipping on my towel and getting sand everywhere. I have done yoga in my house: in the kitchen, the living room, any space I can find. I have done yoga on top of mountains, in forests. Yoga does NOT have to be done in a studio!
That being said, it can be beneficial for your practice if you do have some equipment.
When you are starting your practice it can be confusing what to buy. I know when I started I had no idea what mat to get or if I needed blocks. I wish I had had someone to help me. This blog post is hopefully going to be some help to you when deciding what you need, before you go spend a lot of money. The items are my personal favourites and what I use. I will give you a good quality option that will last for life or a cheaper option if you are not ready to invest money into it.
1. Yoga mat
I never really practice without my mat (unless I am outside). I love a mat because it gives you grip and some protection when you are in kneeling poses. I think a mat also adds structure to your practice by giving you a clear space to move around and markers where you should be placing your hands and feet.
If you want to invest in a really good mat then I recommend the Liforme Yoga Mat. This is a slightly pricey mat but super good because it is non-slip. If you are doing a sweaty vinyasa practice then it is crucial to have a non-slip mat. I have done a few rather complicated practices when I have been on a not so good mat and find myself sliding everywhere! Trust me it is hard to stay in the flow if you can barely stay on your mat. This mat is a great investment and I know a lot of yogis who have this mat and love it.
If you want a cheaper option but still good quality and non-slip then this SIMYJOY Eco Friendly Exercise Mat is perfect. It is just over £20 so really good value for money and is also eco-friendly! Perfect for hot yoga, bikram and ashtanga.
2. Yoga towel
As well as a yoga mat I have invested in a yoga towel. This is because when I am travelling to a studio and cannot take my own mat, I like to take my towel and use it on top of studio mats. This helps give me grip and makes sure I never slip, even on the worst mats. I also find it comforting to be practicing on my towel, I don’t know why.
A yoga towel is also great to soak up the sweat in a hot class and give you that added cushioning to protect joints.
I recommend THIS towel: The Hot Yoga Towel. It has a beautiful design, will fit perfectly onto your mat and is also lightweight so perfect for travel.
When I first started doing yoga I was so adamant that I didn’t need blocks. I saw them as a weakness almost. How wrong I was! The more I have progressed in my practice the more I use blocks. We all have completely different body shapes so using blocks can be so helpful to make the pose fit you.
I use blocks to help me balance, as an extended arm, or to open me up. My favourite pose ever is restorative bridge pose. Just place the block under your sacrum and relax over it.
I would recommend investing in two cork blocks. They will definitely come in handy for your practice. I usually use the ones at the studio but this brand is really good: Lotuscraft Cork Yoga Block. Or a cheaper option:Bodhi Set of 2 Yoga Blocks.
4. Savasana blanket
Blankets aren’t always essential for yoga but if you are practicing they can be very handy. I use blankets to cushion my knee when I am in a low lunge or doing anything with my knees. Our knees are very sensitive so it is essential to make sure we keep them safe when we are practicing. Blankets can also make your savasana so much more enjoyable. If you are practicing somewhere that isn’t heated then it will keep you warm when you relax and meditate. Some yoga teachers recommend placing the blanket over your abdomen, to represent protecting your delicate organs. I also always use a blanket to sit on when I am meditating just to make it more comfortable. I would recommend getting this blanket:Asana Yoga, Meditation Blanket .
5. Yoga clothes
So I don’t actually own a lot of yoga clothes. Since I have stopped buying stuff, that unfortunately includes yoga leggings and tops. I have been wearing a lot of the clothes I already owned from when I was a keen runner. When I practice at home I always always wear these Nike shorts. I find I can flow so freely when I am in them. I also own 2 pairs of really good quality yoga leggings for when I am practicing in a studio (2 is all you need really). Lululemon is my favourite brand ever and their leggings are just amazing quality, but there are an investment. If you want a cheaper pair then I would recommend these Yoga Pants.
Ok so I hope this was helpful for everyone. Don’t feel obliged to buy anything for yoga because like I said at the start of this blog post, all you need is yourself. Don’t let the fact you don’t have the gear stop you doing yoga. The most important thing isn’t that you have a mat or the most fashionable leggings, it is that you actually go do yoga and enjoy it!