When starting out in any endeavour there is always the propensity to buy everything you see connected with it…perpetuating the phrase “all the gear, no idea”.
With Yoga, you don’t need very much at all to being with. By far, the most important thing is the clothing you wear, making sure you are comfortable is of paramount importance to the enjoyment of Yoga. Below, we have listed the top seven items that we believe a beginner should invest in.
As well as providing traction for your hands and feet, Yoga mats can be used to ‘mark’ your area so that other people attending your class do not get too near.
These are often referred to as ‘Sticky mats’ due to the fact the grip they allow you during complex moves. However, gyms and classes can provide this and the ‘stickiness’ gets a whole new meaning! If you are OK exercising in someone else’s sweat – fine, otherwise, this is a worthwhile and necessary investment.
Some advanced moves un Yoga may require the attendee to keep a part of their body slightly raised. This is what a Yoga blanket helps with.
As a beginner, a yoga blanket, as the ones at https://www.889yoga.com/gear/best-yoga-blankets/, is a must as there may be positions that you will initially find difficult to hold and having a prop to help is invaluable. The yoga blanket is used to support the body and ensure a better or more comfortable alignment in a posture. These are versatile and can be rolled into whatever shape you need to support yourself…you can even wrap yourself up in one at the end of the session!
Yoga Mat Towels
Although these are largely associated with ‘Hot Yoga’, if you are new to Yoga then you are probably going to need to mop up some sweat! Whilst you are learning, the original Yoga Mat is what you should use, but if you advance onwards to Hot Yoga, you will need to purchase one of these…so why not buy it now and use it as a towel (it is super absorbent). You might end up always using it as a towel…but you might become skilled enough at Yoga that you can also use it as your Yoga Mat.
You are going to get thirsty either during or after Yoga. Sometimes bringing a bottle of water you bought from the shop next door can be problematic if you left it at the side of the room and so did everyone else.
We recommend an insulated water bottle to keep the water cold, trust me, you will appreciate it at the end of the session (and in particular in hot yoga!).
Although Yoga blocks are used to intensify flexibility for more advanced Yoga moves, they can also be used by beginners to balance themselves when they are not yet able to complete a full pose (by leaning on them). In this way they are similar to the Yoga blanket but are a bit heftier to carry around with you. They are not heavy as they are made of foam, but can be awkward.
Yoga Mat Bag
You can, of course, buy bags which fold out into a mat. However, there are other items you will need to take with you and, fitting them into a self-rolling bag can be difficult.
We recommend a separate Yoga mat bag to give yourself room for all the extras you need to take with you…you can also store your clothes in it, once you’ve changed into your yoga gear and laid everything out ready (which means if the lockers are full you can bring your bag in with you and know that it is safe0.
There are many on trend designs available which is another reason to get one!
Although this was already mentioned in the introduction, it deserves a place in the top 7 too. Be true to yourself. DON’T be carried away by labels and brands if they are uncomfortable. Make sure all the clothing you are wearing is truly comfortable…including, and particularly, underwear. Sports bras should not be uncomfortable, just supportive. Knickers should not be too big or too small. Wear what is comfortable, not what you think you should be wearing and definitely NOT to impress others otherwise you are completely missing the ethos of yoga.
Or buy nothing…
If you don’t want to invest before you try…it’s OK to attend a class in your sweats, borrow a mat and take one of your bathroom towels with you. If you enjoy the session then the above recommendations can only enhance it. If you don’t enjoy it, was it something that one of the above suggestions could have fixed? If you absolutely hated it – nothing lost!