Six YOGA PROPS Worth Your Investment
Once you practice with yoga props, you can never go back. Are you ready to transform your practice?
1. yoga mat
For many reasons, I highly recommend getting your own yoga mat (sanitary being the first and the foremost). Any mats are sufficient to hold you so you don't slip in class.
If you are ready to dive deep, I highly recommend investing in a really good mat. For my yogis and yoga teachers, yoga mats are highly personal and almost sacred! I've had my fling with Jade yoga mats, but my love is with Manduka yoga mats, specifically PRO or PROlite lines, both of which come with the life time guarantee!
For home practice, I use my PRO mat, which is much thicker and heavier. For studio practice or teaching, I use my PROlite, which is in fact lighter and easier to travel with.
Let me know if you need to shop for your yoga mat. Happy to provide additional thoughts and also help you through my wholesale accounts!
One easy prop worth your investment is a yoga strap. It is inexpensive (under $10) but using it can dramatically deepen your practice. You only need one. But of course, you can always get a few more and give them out as gifts.
There are several lengths and rings. Unless you are very tall, 8-feet strap is fine. As for the rings, the D-ring straps are recommended as they tend to hold the shape better.
The next recommendation is for the yoga blocks. They are also inexpensive and extremely helpful. The weight of a cork or bamboo cork can be nice and, in certain poses, can provide more stability. But for regular home practice, foam blocks are perfectly sufficient. Get two per person.
Warning: When they arrive, air them out and the smell usually goes away within a day or two.
If you must go with cork or bamboo, I find cork blocks to be more user friendly. Case in point, imagine squeezing a block between your inner thighs while perfecting your chair pose (utkatasana). Would you rather squeeze the cork or bamboo block?
Any sturdy blankets that can keep the shape in which they are folded are helpful to have. Here are the blankets I have for my home practice. They are not heavyweight but sufficiently sturdy and also flexible for rolling. About 2-5 are recommended per person (more blankets the better for restorative yoga).
Have you practiced with a bolster before? If not, I am sorry. I hate to tell you, but the truth is that you have been missing out.
But it is not too late. While bolsters are more expensive than the 3 items above, all you really need is one. Of course, if you are pregnant or practicing restorative yoga, I'd recommend 2-3 bolsters.
The answer depends on many factors including your height, shape, and preference. I prefer round bolsters because that's how I first learned to use bolsters and find them to be more versatile. Also, if you are tall or have a long top half, round bolsters tend to be longer and provide more length and stability in say, supported bound angle pose (supported supta baddha konasana). How do you know if it is long enough? Hint: Your head should be fully supported by the bolster and not hanging off the edge.
I'm not sure if this is important to you. But another consideration is that the rectangular bolsters are easier to stack than round bolsters. I believe this is the reason that many smaller studios get rectangular bolsters. If you do not have a strong preference for either, you want to invest in more than one, and you have limited space for your yoga props, then consider getting the rectangular bolsters.
Tip: Try out a bolster at a studio before buying one. Really. Sit on it. Lay on it. Roll around on it. Experience the support before investing.
Candles are neither required nor necessary. But they do help to create a more relaxing and peaceful atmosphere.
Here are the candles I've used in my Candlelight Yoga class (flame-less & AA battery operated). They come with a timer so that they stay on for 5 hours and off for 19 hours from the moment you turn on the timer. You can also ignore the timer function and use the "on" and "off" clicks instead.
Tip: Who says these are for yoga only? Try using them for a candlelight dinner or bath!
Do you have a favorite yoga prop you absolutely love and recommend? Please share with me!