When I first started to get serious about yoga, I was overwhelmed by the many products for sale in the studios I visited: different types of mats and props, water bottles, and other "must have" items. As a newbie, I wanted to set myself up for success. I remember asking myself, looking at the chakra balancing crystals (really!), the homemade soaps, and the mala beads - What do I really need?
Years later I can tell you that besides discipline, the simple answer is a quality mat and a quality instructor. But if you want to go a little deeper, these other things will definitely help, too.
7 Essential Yoga Products
1. A great mat - It's where hours and hours of yoga is done. Sweat drips, tears shed, breakthroughs happen. So my advice is to invest in a quality one. The Manduka eKo Lite mat is a great option. I own this one (review here) and once the rubber smell went away, absolutely loved it.
2. Leg warmers - Leg warmers are a must for me in cold weather months. If you're one of those people who is perpetually cold, you'll appreciate these. My favorites are stirrup leg warmers because they stay in place and don't have you sliding around on your mat.
3. Yoga block - There are so many ways to use yoga blocks and they are beneficial to both the newbie and seasoned yoga student. The cork yoga block is at the higher end of the market, but is a favorite among practitioners for its durability.
4. Sweat towel - If you're headed to a hot yoga or power class, a towel is a must. I like this face and hand towel set for their packability, bright colors and soft, absorbant microfiber material.
5. Yoga strap - A yoga strap is another example of a prop that helps yoga students at all levels. There are so many ways to use a yoga strap to improve the practice, and this yoga strap is great quality and has the D buckle that I prefer.
6. Water bottle - It isn't a good idea to drink water during the practice, but it's essential after a practice. This water bottle is something I own and absolutely love for its durability (that glass isn't breaking!).
7. Quality instructor - Ok nothing is a substitute for the real thing, but the yoga bible is an excellent reference for postures as well as breath work and meditation. The photos are high quality and the instructions are clear and concise.
I'd love to know - what would you add to the list?