When it comes to yoga accessories, the choice can seem overwhelming. With all of the mats, blocks, straps, and other gadgets out there on the market, where do you start? The good news is that each one of these items has been designed to enhance your practice and make it even more fun and rewarding than it already is.
Must have yoga accessories
- A yoga mat is the most important thing to have on hand because without it, you won’t be able to do anything else. It provides a soft surface for your body and absorbs any sweat or moisture so that you don’t slip and slide during your practice. The best mats are typically made of natural rubber, but there are also synthetic versions available as well that can cost less than $20. If you’re not sure what size to get, make sure it’s big enough for the area in which you plan on practicing.
- Yoga blocks come in handy when you want to perform certain poses that might otherwise be difficult with just your body weight alone, or if they require props like straps or blankets that aren’t available at home.
What to know about mats
If you’re just starting out with yoga, it’s important to get the right mat. It’ll be your foundation during practice and support your joints. Mats come in many shapes, sizes, and textures, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
- Stick with what you know. If you prefer the feel of cotton clothing to silk or microfiber, opt for a natural rubber mat over an artificial one made from PVC plastic or vinyl. If you want more cushioning under your feet (and who doesn’t!), choose a thicker mat that has more than two inches of thickness.
- Choose a size that matches your needs and space constraints. Most people will need a standard 72×24 mat. But if you’re not confident on your balance, a wider 48×24 mat may be better. And if you have limited space at home but still want to practice at home, consider getting a folding 24×48 mat instead of one that’s full-sized but takes up too much room.
- Add some pizzazz with patterns! From polka dots and checks to mandala designs, there are plenty of colorful options available in all sorts of price ranges. What matters is finding the design that suits your personality—not everyone wants their yoga experience to look like meditation in monochrome!
Other things you can practice with
- Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on breathing and physical postures that stretch, strengthen and relax your muscles. It can be practiced by beginners with some instruction from a teacher or instructor, or by more advanced practitioners with no instruction at all. The point of hatha yoga is to deepen one’s practice and spiritual connection to their mind, body, and breath. The five types of poses in hatha yoga are standing poses, seated poses, supine (lying down) poses, inverted poses (upside-down), and balancing postures.
- Vinyasa Flow Yoga: Vinyasa flow yoga is also a form of hatha yoga. As the name implies, it involves flowing through a series of poses without stopping. You might feel the need to take a deep inhale and exhale between each pose.
- Mantra Meditation: Mantra meditation is simply repeating a word or phrase to focus your attention during meditation sessions.
- Namaste: Namaste means I bow to you in Sanskrit. Usually done while bowing the head or hands together, this posture symbolizes being connected spiritually as well as physically with oneself and others.
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