If you’re like me, you take your health and physical and mental fitness seriously. Consequently, you must have taken steps to get in shape. These steps involve signing up for a gym class, getting a personal trainer for your physical health, or signing up for a yoga class for the mental and holistic benefits.
Like any yoga newbie, you must wonder, “what do I really even need for this activity.” Well, that is what I’m here to answer. In this piece, we’ll be looking at all the most important equipment for yoga and why they’re so important to yoga practices
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient art form that combines physical postures, meditation, and deep breathing to foster harmony in the body, mind, and environment. Yoga can also be described as an internal science that includes a range of techniques for helping people realize this unity and take control of their lives.
Regular yoga sessions can help build stamina, power, serenity, flexibility, and wellbeing. The exercise regimen includes asanas, breathing exercises, relaxation, meditation, and low-impact physical activities. Most people are familiar with yoga’s physical postures or stances, but most are unaware of its extensive additional benefits.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
Yoga offers several benefits to the mind and the body as a whole. These benefits include:
- Help improve overall wellness by reducing stress, fostering healthy lifestyle choices, and enhancing mental/emotional health and sleep.
- Helps to improve strength, balance, and flexibility
- Relieve low-back pain and neck pain, and possibly pain from tension-type headaches and knee osteoarthritis.
- Promote weight loss in those who are overweight or obese.
- Encourage people to stop smoking.
- Helps to improve the mood and stay energized
- Helping people in controlling anxiety or depression symptoms caused by challenging circumstances.
- Promote better self-care
- Helps to reduce arthritis symptoms.
- Helps to improve heart health
- Relieve menopause symptoms.
- Connects you with a supportive community
- Assist those with chronic illnesses in controlling their symptoms and enhancing their quality of life.
Although much research has been done on the benefits of yoga for health, most studies have been of low quality and only involved a few participants. As a result, in most cases, we can only state that yoga has demonstrated potential for a given health benefit rather than that it has been demonstrated to be effective.
Equipment Needed to Practice Yoga
One of the best things about yoga is that you don’t need a ton of gear to succeed. Yoga equipment increases your skill level and provides your body with more support as needed.
There are lots of equipment that may be used to practice yoga. However, not all of these are necessary. All you need to note are the most essential piece of equipment that are crucial to your success. Some of the most essential yoga pieces include:
- Yoga Mat
- Yoga Mat Bag
- Comfortable Exercise Clothes
- Water Bottle
- Yoga Block
- Yoga Strap
Other types of yoga equipment include resistance bands, yoga wheel, wall ropes, yoga chairs, etc., which are meant for yoga experts. While other pieces of yoga fitness gear are not necessary for your practice, they will enable you to drive yourself in particular directions, like aerial yoga.
1. Yoga Mat
You need a yoga mat to start your home yoga studio. The yoga mat is, without a doubt, the most important piece of yoga exercise equipment. Regarding yoga equipment, the mats are advantageous because they provide greater grip than any type of flooring.
It is important to buy yoga equipment to keep you safe and avoid injury during work out. Yoga mats provide your hands and feet with extra traction as you enter yoga poses and soften your fall in the worst-case circumstances of sliding or falling. The availability of this piece of equipment is now more widespread than ever, which is an additional benefit. Yoga mats are also quite easy to clean, so if this is your first visit to the yoga class after a long time, you can relax about all health and safety concerns.
2. Yoga Mat Bag
The yoga mat bag is one of the most frequently disregarded items when considering beginner yoga equipment. This may not seem “essential” if you only practice restorative yoga at home, but if you want to take classes, you’ll need to transport your equipment as effectively as possible. The unusual shape and size of yoga mats simply don’t fit most gym bags, backpacks, or handbags. You shouldn’t be stuffing your mat into a bag because doing so could harm it.
Therefore, buying a yoga mat bag is better than attempting to squeeze all of your essentials into a gym bag, which could damage your equipment. In the long term, it is a wise investment that will save you money by preventing the need to repair damaged equipment. If you are having trouble figuring out which mat features you want, try asking other yoga students or your yoga teacher what they prefer, or check for reviews and compare products online.
3. Yoga Towels
You will undoubtedly sweat more if you practice hot yoga. The sweat, however, can potentially make the mat hazardous for you to use and more prone to slipping or moving around on the floor. The mat can be covered with a yoga towel to stop it from getting sweaty and slippery. The towel will soak the sweat and generate resistance against the mat and floor, which is a benefit of utilizing the mat because the more you sweat, the more grip it will have.
Furthermore, if you sweat a lot and are concerned that the towel will get slick and lose its hold, we advise shopping for towels with non-slip backings, such as those that include silicone nubs. This is not just an excellent piece of Bikram yoga equipment but can also be used during regular yoga classes if you want to avoid using soiled or previously used mats.
4. Water Bottles
When working out, staying hydrated is crucial, yet many beginners overlook that yoga is a strenuous activity. You wouldn’t practice without a mat, so do the same when bringing a water bottle to yoga class. We need to drink extra water to compensate for the water we lose via perspiration/sweating. Whatever method you use, you must always remember to stay hydrated.
5. Yoga Pants and Leggings
Yoga positions demand us to stretch and twist our bodies; thus, we need to feel comfortable doing them. While you might want to wear your existing workout attire, if you want the best yoga gear and apparel, you should opt for items that are made especially for yoga practice. High-waisted pants or leggings with the ability to wick moisture are what you’ll need. This may be true for most exercise clothing, but yoga clothing has the added benefit of typically being softer and thinner.
By wearing clothing with these yoga-specific patterns, you may exercise comfortably while allowing your clothes to move and stretch. Ensure that the size you choose fits you properly. Avoid wearing an excessively tight waistline as it will hinder your movement rather than support it. For men to receive the same level of support as women, comfortable pants are essential yoga equipment.
6. Yoga Blocks
The yoga block is another type of yoga fitness equipment commonly used by beginners and is made of foam, bamboo, or cork. When you can’t reach the full extent of some postures, you can use the block to attain positions by using it as an extension of your arms. If you are not as flexible as you want, the yoga block can help bring the floor closer to flexibility.
For instance, using a block will give your arm the extra length it needs to perform a half-moon pose, making the entire exercise less scary for beginners. Every beginner yogi should get a yoga block, especially if they haven’t done any flexibility exercises.
The yoga block has other uses as well because it is versatile. Beginners can use it to bring the floor closer to them, but there are also additional uses for the device, such as using it as a balance block while standing and practicing poses. It can also be used as a support to loosen up stiff muscles.
7. Yoga Straps
Yoga straps are tools that are used in the practice of yoga to help in the improvement of flexibility. Yoga straps are a good investment if you’re a newbie with no prior flexibility training because they’ll reduce the risk of muscle strain. The strap is a flexible piece of yoga gear that may also support the buttocks, feet, back, chest, knees, and hips.
Using the strap in certain positions and stretches can help to reduce tension and improve flexibility. Use a yoga strap upright to improve your flexibility and balance. The strap can also strengthen your arms, which will help you balance better by putting pressure on those muscles.
The primary focus of yoga is to promote both inner calm and physical vitality. Practicing yoga can encourage an active and healthy way of life. The fun part about yoga is that it does not require a ton of equipment, although there are some that are considered inevitable. Most yoga studios and some gyms have straps, blocks, and other props for you to use as a beginner. Other yoga equipment may be reserved for more specialized styles or yoga practices.
As a beginner in yoga, never forget that what is most important is not the number of equipment you have. Rather, how well you are able to utilize your gear and how consistent you stay with your practice will determine how far you can go in becoming an expert.