Yoga Equipment for Beginners
Yoga is a relaxation and strength training exercise that many people use to get in better shape and live a healthier lifestyle. There are a variety of benefits of yoga such as stress relief, better stamina, increased focus, and stronger muscles.
It’s a lower impact exercise that participants can select a higher or lower intensity based on ability and skill. No matter your reason for beginning this journey, you are sure to reap the benefits if you put in the effort. The result will be a stronger body and mind and even a better sense of your spiritual self.
Of course, yoga requires some equipment to ensure that you are getting the most out of the process.
Whether you are new to yoga or simply want to reconnect with it, there are a few things you need to set yourself up for the best yoga experience.
Yoga Equipment for Beginners
If you’re brand new to yoga, then there are a few basics you should start with. Of course, as you develop your personal style of yoga practices, you will opt for other equipment as needed.
To get started you will need the following:
A Yoga Mat
This is one of the most fundamental parts of yoga. Some facilities offer yoga mats for use, but for health purposes, you are better off bringing your own.
Plus, you’ll be sure that you are comfortable with your selected mat as there is a variety to choose from. Some of the most popular types of mats include cotton, hemp, rubber, and grass.
Cotton Yoga Mats
For those who are particularly heavy sweaters, cotton yoga rugs are a must. These cotton yoga rugs were traditionally used by ancient Ashtanga yogis, and are also believed to be the first mats ever used by the ancient yogis of Mysore, India.
These decorative cotton yoga mats are tightly woven using a loom; a style of weaving that has been used for centuries to make Hatha yoga mats.
Natural Rubber Yoga Mats
The majority of natural rubber mats you'll find on the market are made of open cell rubber derived from rubber trees. They are designed with latex-free and allergic-free properties.
These natural rubber mats offer excellent traction, even when they become wet from perspiration. They are tougher, denser and thicker than standard yoga mats.
Hemp Yoga Mats
Another popular option is a hemp yoga mat made from organic European hemp, which is processed without any chemicals in a pure environmental facility. These hand-woven yoga mats are wound with tight hemp yarns and offer a comfortable and calming surface for yoga exercise.
For those who are allergic to rubber, a rubber-free material like hemp is ideal for your yoga workouts. In addition, natural hemp yoga mats are ideal for traveling because they fold and roll so easily.
Grass Yoga Mats
A third yoga mat option is an eco-friendly dried grass mat, which is suitable for gentle yoga exercises – such as Ashtanga yoga and Hatha yoga. These mats are hand-woven with a heavy latex underside to provide great firmness without the sticky chemical support. The fresh smell of the dried grass will bring you back to nature whenever you're doing yoga postures or meditation.
A Mat Towel
Believe it or not, yoga can be sweaty! Even if you don’t participate in hot yoga or another form of intense yoga your body will likely sweat at least somewhat.
A mat towel will allow you to wipe away the sweat and continue putting your entire focus into the yoga session. Ordinary towels can get the job done, but there are specially designed yoga towels that will fit along your entire mat.
A Water Bottle
This is an absolute must-have! People sometimes assume that yoga isn’t serious enough to require water. However, proper hydration is an important part of any physical activity. Make sure you invest in a water bottle that is spill-proof and keeps your water nice and cool.
Yoga clothing is another important part of the entire yoga experience. Comfort is key when selecting your yoga wardrobe.
You want to have breathable clothing that fits appropriately so you can focus on the activity rather than pulling and tugging at your clothing.
Some other tips:
- Choose clothing you feel comfortable in.
- Make sure you have a good fit, so clothing isn’t too light or too loose.
- Dress in layers if you aren’t sure about the temperature of a facility.
If you experience swelling in parts of your body, you could be at risk for hereditary angiodema. Learn more about the symptoms here.
Yoga Whale Back Bender (or Back Bender)
Whale back benders are yoga spinal supports designed to allow you to stretch and extend your spine while revitalizing and energizing your entire body. The name of this prop is derived from its elegantly curved shape – which resembles a whale's back.
By positioning yourself on this back bender, facing upwards, your spine is stretched in the opposite direction. As a result, this stretch provides a way to counteract the problems of tight back muscles and disc compression that might discourage you from simple everyday activities like walking, picking things up off the floor and reaching for high items.
Since the weight of the upper and lower body acts in contradictory directions, stretching with a whale back bender can help to elongate the spine. This extension reduces spinal problems and relieves associated pain and discomfort. In addition, straight posture will improve your overall appearance and level of confidence.
You can move up and down along the curve of the whale back bender to increase the intensity, so that you can experience different stretches. At the same time, the curvature of the whale back bender will protect weak lower backs from overextension.
The whale bender also provides a series of yoga balancing postures. You can place both legs straight on the small curve of the bender and do a forward bend by bending your upper body towards your legs.
The whale back bender can also be used when you finish a backbend pose – you can move into a shoulder and chest opening stretch followed by a forward bend. This series of back exercises will relax and remove tension from the back.
Other Yoga Accessories
Of course, many other yoga accessories may interest you. Some of this may be determined later once you find your groove with the type of yoga you prefer.
Other equipment you can keep in mind includes:
- Yoga blocks — Blocks add a level of difficulty to yoga that will help you as you advance through more difficult moves. You’ll definitely want to purchase these as you move forward in your activity.
- Yoga arch support — Your feet are so important when it comes to safely participating in yoga. To help keep your feet strong and supported you should invest in an arch support. This lightweight band will help keep your feet solid during the entire process.
- Yoga ball — A yoga ball helps increase your balance and stability. This is definitely something you want to purchase at some point.
- Sandbags — Believe it or not, sandbags are a crucial part of yoga recovery. The weight of the sandbags allows your muscles to relax following a workout.
- Resistance bands — Resistance bands are a great way to add a little challenge to yoga. Enhance your flexibility by using the bands during your yoga session.
- Yoga bag — If you end up with more than a couple of pieces of equipment then you’ll quickly realize how useful a bag is. Choose a bag that comfortably carries all of your belongings.
The Bottom Line...
Yoga is such a healthy activity for you to participate in.
However, to better your experience, you should be prepared to buy all the necessary equipment that will help you develop your skills and increase your balance, stamina, and strength throughout the process.
Yoga is all about self-development, and these products will help you achieve your best results.