The Best Guide to Yoga Equipment for Beginners
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Are you just picking up yoga and wondering where to start?
Practicing yoga is an effective way to keep yourself healthy, and it might even become a life-long passion.
The only (small) downside is that beginnings can also be confusing and can make you wonder: “Where to buy my yoga equipment? What equipment do I need for yoga? Am I over-doing this?”
All these questions are normal curiosities when you’re just starting yoga but they can chip away from the fun and amazement of it all. And, after all, learning to fret less is one of the chief purposes of yoga (and especially of mindfulness), so let’s get these doubts out of the way.
In this article, we will walk you through the best answers to these questions and more.
Yoga Equipment for Beginners 101
First of all, remember that you don’t need to stock up on everything at once, especially if you’re not sure about practicing any type of specialized yoga (like aerial yoga or dance yoga) in the long term.
Still, we will walk you through the basics of a special type of yoga as well, after we cover the list of essentials for yoga beginners.
However, to start practicing yoga as a fitness routine (just a few poses or asanas), these essentials are more than enough.
The initial yoga equipment list you will need:
- A yoga mat: this needs to be stretchy, comfortable but also reasonably sticky, so you don’t slip while stretching (if you sweat more, opt for an open-cell yoga mat);
- A yoga mat bag: for carrying your mat around without it losing shape;
- A water bottle (you will get thirsty during your sequence and it’s essential to stay hydrated), ideal for keeping your supply of fresh water or even lemon water on hand;
- A yoga towel: no matter the type of yoga you practice or how peaceful it looks from afar, yoga is still a workout and I can promise you will sweat, especially if you sign up for Hot Yoga;
- A yoga strap: this is a piece of equipment you will use for wrapping yourself up tightly to deepen the effect of some of the stretches, or you will use it as a prop for certain exercises to make them a bit more challenging and so on.
» Read more about Yoga Tips for Beginners
Extras to consider:
- A smartphone / tablet / laptop: if you’re not attending classes on the regular (though, as a beginner, you definitely should do that), or it is inconvenient to join a yoga class in a studio, you can attend an online yoga retreat at home instead. All you need is a stable internet connection and one of the mentioned gadgets to log onto the app used to stream the classes;
- A yoga blanket: it’s not mandatory but it will help you relax better towards the end of your training sessions;
- A yoga brick or yoga block: especially useful for home practice. Not only does a good block help you achieve a more stable position, but it also provides better comfort and relaxation during the less challenging parts of your yoga workout.
What about Yoga Clothes?
To start with, you will only need a few items of special clothing, to stay comfortable during yoga sessions and to be able to perform at your best. In time, however, don’t be surprised if you find yourself passionate about collecting yoga clothing items.
Also, you should know that there are yoga-inspired clothes for day to day use, too, for those who want to display their passion for yoga with symbols and so on. The same goes for yoga-inspired jewelry and accessories: there’s no shortage of meaningful ways to make your outer appearance reflect your hobby.
But speaking about yoga clothes in the strict sense of clothes that you will need for your practice, things are much simpler.
This is what you will need to be equipped for yoga classes:
- A pair of yoga pants (these need to be tight but comfortable, to allow you to push the limits of your flexibility further);
- A yoga tank top (and, depending on your bust size if you’re a lady, also a sturdy sports bra);
- A pair of comfy sneakers that you should only keep for indoor use and that should have light and flexible soles.
If you just started out doing yoga and don’t want to go broke buying everything you need at once, we suggest you wear some other comfortable shoes or sneakers for a while. You don’t absolutely need specialized yoga sneakers, but you do need special clothing for yogis, so you should make that your priority if you need to choose.
Yoga Equipment for Practicing Outdoors
The long summer days entice everyone to take their yoga practice outdoors. Whether you want to do yoga in the yard, in the park, or on the beach, there aren’t many special additions to the basic equipment to allow for a great experience.
While a yoga towel, block, blanket, and bag can be the same you use for indoor practice, the other items will need to be slightly different:
- An ultra-grip yoga mat: You want to invest in a yoga mat with an ultra-grip since sand, pavement or grass don’t react the same as the flooring in a yoga studio (or your home).
- A double-wall insulation water bottle: You should get one that allows its contents to stay cold even in the scorching heat.
- Portable speaker / wireless earbuds: If you know you won’t be bothering anyone, you can take a small portable speaker with you; else some wireless earbuds should do the trick.
- Sun protection: Don’t forget the protection from the sun’s rays, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a bandana (or a visor hat).
- Bug spray: Especially if you will practice in the grass, make sure to purchase a bug spray that can keep away mosquitos, ticks, and other creepy crawlers (or flyers).
- Yoga mat restore spray: After using your yoga mat outdoors, you should always clean it thoroughly. There are special restore sprays for this purpose and they’ll keep your mat in tiptop shape.
Yoga Equipment for Specialized Types of Yoga
Of course, if you start practicing different types of yoga, you may need special equipment for those, too. Still, you can rest assured that the basic equipment that you already invested in (some yoga clothing, the yoga mat, the mat bag, or the blanket and yoga block) will still be useful. You’ll only need a few extras depending on the type of yoga you start practicing.
The yoga trainer you will be learning from will have their recommendations and requirements, so you will find out more about the necessary equipment when you start going to classes. But, in a nutshell, this is the yoga equipment you can expect needing.
1. Yoga Equipment for Aerial Yoga
Aerial yoga is something else: halfway through suspension exercise and classic asanas, this yoga style can give you a good workout and make you feel relaxed at the same time. This amazing combination of physical fitness and head-in-the-clouds feeling is one of the most coveted benefits of aerial yoga.
To get started, this is the equipment you will need:
- A beginner’s yoga hammock;
- An aerial hoop;
- An aerial double point (a long strip of fabric similar to the aerial hammock);
- Rigging hardware and accessories for securing the aerial hammock to your ceiling, according to the instructions for installing the hammock and the double point.
Remember that these are only necessary if you plan on installing an aerial yoga studio at home.
For attending classes, you will only need the basic yoga equipment consisting of clothes, a water bottle, and a yoga towel.
2. Yoga Equipment for Acro Yoga
Acro Yoga is a type of yoga practice that combines acrobatics with asanas and some principles of Thai massage. To say that practicing Acro Yoga makes you more flexible would be an understatement. But while the results of this style can be spectacular, the equipment list needed for Acro Yoga is modest.
You can wear your usual yoga clothing to an Acro Yoga class, and make your own choices depending on the weather or indoor climate of the place where the class will take place. For example, choosing between shorts and full leggings is only a matter of warmth, since it will not affect your practice in any way.
The only precaution to consider is regarding the shoes. You cannot wear any hard-soled running shoes or sneakers to an Acro Yoga class, because you need to be able to feel subtle movements and pressure with your feet, too. Therefore, you will need soft-soled indoor shoes or simply a pair of yoga socks.
3. Yoga Equipment for Dancing Yoga
If you like dancing and you also like yoga – like our very own Cris, who combines yoga with tango – you’re a lucky practitioner of the two best body-sculptors ever. Of course, besides dancing and attending yoga classes separately, you can also give dancing yoga a run for its money, to have the best of both worlds in one session.
As for the equipment you will need, things can be a little more complicated here. It all depends on the exact style you will be practicing because there are many different ways of doing dancing yoga, ranging from pole dancing yoga to Buti yoga and ballet yoga, and so on.
Here are a few general directions for yoga dancing equipment, and your instructor will fill you in for the rest.
For ballet yoga you will need:
- Pointed ballet shoes and a mini-skirt to wear over your yoga leggings;
- A ballet barre to place near a wall (optional);
- A foot stretcher (you can easily make a DIY version of a foot stretcher and yoga block).
For Buti Yoga, which is an intense style of dancing energetically, you should just follow the dress code for Hot Yoga.
For general combinations of yoga and dancing, you won’t need any special equipment besides good yoga socks (wearing shoes is not recommended) and an optional skirt-like addition on top of your leggings. The skirt is not mandatory, but it can lift your mood and add a more dynamic flow to your movements. The whole point is to enjoy what you’re doing to the fullest, so why not?
4. Yoga Equipment for Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is named such because you will practice in a heated room, where you’ll burn a lot of energy and sweat buckets during a session of it. It’s not brutally demanding, and thankfully it’s fun enough for you not to notice how hard you are exercising, but it’s a challenge for your body, nonetheless.
This is the equipment you will need for hot yoga:
- Yoga shorts instead of leggings;
- An extra towel beside the one towel recommended for any kind of yoga;
- Extra water (you will get very thirsty during training sessions);
- Yoga socks (with special anti-slipping soles), these can be with or without toes, depending on what you like more;
- Yoga gloves (also with a grippy and non-slip fabric) with no fingers.
With this being said, we wish you the best of luck with your yoga practice. No matter the style of yoga you chose to practice, you should be proud of your decision to improve your well-being and your life. Have fun!
Don’t know where to start, but you’re excited about your new yoga journey? You should book a stay in a yoga retreat for beginners to get initiated properly and to learn the ropes from more experienced yogis.