Loose-fitting and comfortable clothing are the most popular yoga supplies because some Asanas (yoga postures that promote a healthy internal body, increase muscle flexibility, tendon strength, and stamina) demand a freedom of movement not offered by tight clothing. Most yoga supplies are unnecessary or supplementary at best to a successful workout. The practice is designed to physically connect body and mind, but anything that makes a workout more comfortable and effective is worthwhile. Each yoga instructor will have his or her own style and equipment, whether it’s inherited from their teacher or created as a melding of styles. Instructors might also recommend mats/mat bags, blocks (adds strength/stability to postures), cushions, grips, and relaxing music/DVDs.
A yoga mat is a slender piece of foam rubber protecting the sharp angles of your body from the floor. While not strictly necessary, floor poses are going to be very painful without a yoga mat to provide a little padding. A yoga mat bag protects your yoga mat from getting dirty or torn. It also provides a handy carrying case when you take your mat to and from yoga class. Even if you just practice yoga in our own home, a bag can still serve as a convenient way to store your mat when not in use.
Yoga balls allow you a range of stretching you couldn’t normally achieve without this type of support. The balls are effective because not only do they stretch you, but they also keep your back from being injured during the stretch. As with any method in yoga, it is wise to see the yoga ball stretches demonstrated for you before you try them on your own. Whether this demonstration comes from an instructor or an instructional DVD is up to you.
In addition to the mat, yoga balls, and the yoga mat bag, there are a number of other useful and popular yoga supplies. Yoga DVDs are a great way to stay in practice if you cannot afford daily lessons. Yoga DVDs are also great yoga supplies for beginners. They provide ongoing structure and encouragement to those practicing yoga.
Yoga blocks or grip blocks are two other pieces of equipment that can enhance and advance your yoga practice. Yoga blocks are made from a variety of materials such as cork, bamboo, and lightweight foam. Blocks, also called bricks, are great yoga supplies that offer enhanced poses and deeper stretches. Grip blocks are a wrist-stress reliever for certain poses, such as the “downward dog” pose. They are designed to bear your full body weight in place of your wrists. Blocks also allow for deeper stretches and can expand your range of poses. To prevent significant injury, it’s a good idea to view a demonstration of how to use yoga blocks before trying to use them yourself or you could get hurt. If your yoga instructor doesn’t use or demonstrate blocks to you, blocks are usually sold with at least written instructions on how to use them. In this case, try to find blocks accompanied by instructional DVDs.