Yoga is a physical and mental discipline that can be enjoyed solo or as part of a class, at home or in a studio, and in a way that’s physically demanding and/or emotionally restorative.
Here are some of the best accessories and necessities to ensure a comfortable and rewarding yoga experience, no matter if you’re starting fresh or looking to improve your Mayurasana.
If you’re really starting from scratch when it comes to picking up yoga, this could be your first stop. The Sivan set contains everything you need: a thick, comfortable memory-foam mat, two yoga blocks, a mat towel, a hand towel, and a yoga strap. The microfiber towels are nicely absorbent and the ribbed underside of the mat is effective in preventing slippage. You may eventually upgrade or improve elements as you get more advanced, but for a one-click entry point, this set is great.
Yoga is about building up flexibility and strength, but you have work up to different levels. The best way to safely push yourself to lean a little deeper into that stretch is with a good, sturdy stretching strap. The Sports2People strap is 96 inches long and boasts 12 loops interspersed along its length, which is ideal for people of different heights and stretching abilities. It’s also a great rehabilitation exercise aid after an injury. It’s machine washable, too.
One of the best things about yoga is that don’t need a gym or a studio in order to practice. You can set up a mat in your living room or, if you need just a little change of scenery, you can pack up your mat in a carrier like this and head outside to a nice open field or the far end of your back yard. The Elenture carrier is unique in that it zips closed and has multi-functional storage pockets (which is great for when you’re juggling your phone and keys). It also comes in a broad range of patterns and colors.
Like a strap, the yoga blocks are a great way to help those who have limited flexibility still get the most of out each pose and stretch. They can also provide extra support and stability. Made from durable, lightweight foam, the Gaiam blocks grip easily (so you don’t slip, even with sweaty hands) and are available in 21 different color variations—so you’re sure to find one that doesn’t clash with your mat.
Yoga’s stretching and balance often require strain on your muscles. A good foam roller can help ease the tension after a session. Weighing just about a pound, this solid-core massager is rugged and durable, and its ribbed design helps increase blood flow to tired muscles. You can deploy it before or after exercise to get a bit of relief for your upper back, hamstrings, arches, or whatever else. It’s great for people who do any sort of exercise—or for people who need to loosen things up a bit after a long week hunched over a laptop.