I often receive questions from students and friends about what they need to start practicing yoga. One of the things I have appreciated the most about practicing yoga for so many years is that it takes so little as far as supplies to practice, that you can practice literally anywhere! I’ve done yoga in hotels, airports, office buildings and hospital rooms. The three most important things you need to practice yoga are your BODY, your BREATH, and your MIND – all of which are ALWAYS with you!
That being said, there are a few supplies that can make your practice more comfortable.
- YOGA MAT – You can purchase a beginners yoga mat just about anywhere these days for a minimal investment. Most of these are fine in quality and will last about a year or two. If you become a more dedicated practitioner and start to practice daily, I strongly recommend the Manduka line of mats. They are such high quality that they have a lifetime guarantee. After literally shredding a dozen of the low quality mats you find in local departments stores, I made the investment in a Manduka mat and have never looked back. I especially liked that I could get a mat that is extra long and extra wide to fit my 6’0″ frame. You can find Manduka mats HERE.
- YOGA BLOCKS – Yoga blocks are super useful for modifying poses, bringing the earth up to meet our bodies, and offering support. You can find blocks made in a number of different materials, but my favorite are CORK blocks. They have a little more weight than the foam blocks and have seemed to last longer for me over the years. I recommend the Manduka or Gaiam foam blocks HERE. You can also purchase foam blocks at your local store that will work fine. Be sure to PURCHASE 2.
- BLANKET – You really can use any blanket you have in your home. Many studios use Mexican blankets because they can be folded in many specific ways for restorative yoga poses. If you want a Mexican blanket (or two), I like the ones from HERE.
- STRAP – You can use a belt from a robe, or tie men’s ties together. Anything long and sturdy will work. There are specific yoga straps that have buckles that are useful for some restorative and more Iyengar based practices. You can find yoga straps in most large stores in the fitness department. My favorite strap is the Manduka. I recommend the longer 8 foot one HERE, but if you have a smaller frame than me, the shorter strap may be sufficient. You can find the shorter 6 foot one HERE.
OTHER NICE PROPS
- BOLSTER – You can use pillows from home to support the body, but yoga bolsters are nice to elevate the seat in seated poses or support the knees as you rest. If you are going to purchase bolsters, I recommend a large round one HERE and a smaller rectangular one (or 2) HERE.
- EYE PILLOW – This is SO nice to have for rest. You can get them scented or unscented. I purchased mine from my favorite local yoga studio in Ohio, but you can find a nice one HERE.
WHAT ABOUT CLOTHES?
You can find yoga clothes anywhere. One of my favorite places to shop are closeout stores (TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall’s). You can find high quality gear at a fraction of the price. But honestly, just wear what is comfortable. Yoga shouldn’t be a fashion show (at least that’s my opinion). Wear something that you can move in, tighter fitting is sometimes better when you got to a studio because the clothing stays put as you move, but if you are practicing at home, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Hope this helps!