A delightful balance of fitness and meditation, practicing yoga can strengthen, stretch and relax your body – not to mention your brain. Is there any down(ward facing dog)side? Truly all you need to start a healthy practice is a teacher and some comfy clothes, but for those beginners who want to jump in with two flexed feet, we pulled together a list of our personal favorite/high-rated yoga gear to perfect everything from your tadasana to your supta baddha konasana.
Essential for any healthy practice, your ideal yoga mat should be a balance of sticky, sturdy, and durable. Try the popular and five-star rated Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat, available at Backcountry. $80 – $94.
The only work out pants so comfortable that most of us just wear them out and about; there are tons upon tons of amazing options out there. But our favorites will always be the comfortable, supportive, and affordable Gap yoga pants. Full disclosure: I’m wearing mine right now. $16.95.
Make no mistake: yoga is a work out and breathable clothes are a must. We are big fans of almost everything in L.A.-based Alo’s high performance, slimming yoga line, and this supportive and sleek ‘Blossom’ Longline Bra (in mint deep teal) is no exception. And yes, it’s a tank top. It just has a fabulous built in bra. Grab one at at Nordstrom for $64-$72.
Key to gaining an edge for your home practice, blocks help yogis reach a position’s full potential no matter where your body is that day, flexibility-wise. Blocks are also very useful for tailor sitting in prenatal yoga, if the need ever arises. Hugger Mugger is our go-to brand, and their cork yoga block is made of all-natural and durable cork. Available at Backcountry for $19.95.
Once you move beyond renting mats, a reliable and sturdy bag to schlep your mat is a must-have. Why not activate some good energy with the Chakra Embroidered Yoga Mat Bag from Gaiam? $19.98.
Nothing is better then ending your practice in a comfortable final resting Savasana pose under a soft blanket. Sure you could just use the throw from your couch, but why not step it up with Hugger Mugger’s eco-friendly recycled sweater yoga blanket. Warm, cozy, and green! Grab on at Hayneedle for $39.95.
Yes, dear readers, yoga will make you sweat – especially if you fall in love with 100+ degree hot yoga. To reduce slip and slide try the super-absorbent Thirsty Yoga Mat Towel from Giaim for $24.98.
Can’t make it out to a class everyday (who can?) Try the super popular “Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners” DVD to learn and perfect those basic yoga poses. Remember, yoga is a process – not a destination. $14.98 at Gaiam.
Deepen your stretches and let the “ahhhhhs” out with a good yoga strap. A tight-weave is key so we chose the Banyan & Bo premium yoga strap from Gaiam for $9.98.
Groupons for Yoga Classes
One of the best ways to get into a new yoga routine is to try out local yoga classes and find one that’s the perfect fit. Groupon literally always has great deals for up to 70% off yoga classes for first timers.
These are just some of the things to get you started on your career as a yogi. What brands do you experienced yoga masters prefer? And are their any tools you can’t live with out? Bolsters? Balance balls? Meditation gongs? Tell us below in the comments! Namaste.