8 Equipment Essentials for Practicing Yoga at Home • Yoga Basics
One of the most important parts of starting a new fitness routine is finding the right equipment to get started. Practising yoga at home without the help of a yoga teacher or the equipment provided by a yoga studio can be challenging for beginners. Having the right yoga gear for your practice will help beginners feel more comfortable and confident when they are just learning the poses, and it will also help more experienced practitioners increase your flexibility and strength for more advanced poses. While yoga studios often provide lots of equipment for their students, you don’t need to make an enormous investment to start practicing yoga at home. Below, we’ve listed the best at home yoga essentials for beginners and experienced yogis.
If you’re looking to start your practice, but are unsure what to buy, this guide is for you. We’ve provided some great basic items that will help you get started without breaking the bank. Here’s a look at all the most important items you’ll need to get started, plus additional items to make your yoga space more conductive for practice. We will also list some optional yoga gear that can help established yoga students with more challenging poses.
At home yoga essentials to get started
In order to practice yoga at home, you will need certain yoga equipment. Part of the beauty of yoga is that you don’t need a lot of yoga gear to practice at home or outside of the yoga studio. At the bare minimum you only need a mat. The other items on our must-haves for an at-home yoga practice are highly recommended for a successful practice. We’ve listed the essentials below by order of necessity and utility, so focus your purchases from the top down.
- Yoga mat—You can buy a yoga mat online or in any big-box store for about $15-25. A good mat prevents you from slipping and gives you some padding from a hard floor. If you have carpeting or other types of flooring, then a regular mat should be fine. If you have hardwood floors in your house, consider getting a thicker mat.
- Comfortable yoga clothes—You can start by just wearing what you normally wear to work out at the gym or to go jogging. Make sure what you wear can move easily with your body in the yoga poses. If you practice more vigorous styles of yoga you will want something that wicks away sweat and drys quickly. Most importantly, buy what you feel most comfortable wearing.
- Yoga blocks—Made from wood, foam or cork, yoga blocks or bricks can be very helpful for beginners. They are used as an extension of your hands to stabilize your body when you are doing poses that require you to be balanced and grounded. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be found online or at most big-box stores for about $13 per set of two.
- Yoga strap or yoga belt—A yoga strap is a very useful item if you lack flexibly in your legs. it is used as an extension of your arms to allow you to hold onto your feet and stretch deeper into the pose. You can find yoga straps online or at most big-box stores for about $7.
- YouTube videos or yoga apps—There are hundreds of free yoga videos on YouTube, and we’ve compiled the best videos for beginners. There are also several good free apps available for your smart phone. These apps will help you track your progress, give you tips and tricks and keep you motivated. You can check these options for doing Yoga at home using an app.
- Yoga mat wash—When your yoga mat gets dirty in can become smelly and slippery. You can use a pre-made yoga mat spray (it usually sells for about $11) or make your own spray to clean your mat. A quick spray and wipe down on a regular basis is all that is needed to keep your mat looking new.
- Yoga websites or books—Using a good website or book will be helpful to learn the various poses, how to properly align your body in those poses, meditation, and yoga philosophy. This will give you a lot of information and inspiration to help you on your journey. You can find a good yoga book at any bookstore and you can purchase YogaBasics’ two beginner yoga books online.
- Towel— A microfiber yoga mat towel is essential if you practice hot yoga or if you easily get sweaty during yoga. If only your hands are getting sweaty and slippery you can use smaller microfiber hand towels. Make sure the towel is thick and absorbent enough to help keep you dry and clean.
At home yoga essentials for experienced yogis
- Bolster or yoga blanket—For restorative poses you will need a bolster and one or two yoga blankets. You can certainly use any extra blankets, folded up towels and firm pillows around your home, but if you practice restorative yoga regularly it will be best to have the proper equipment to support you in these passive poses.
- Meditation cushion—You will want to support your body for seated meditation with support under your hips. You can use a bolster or yoga blanket for this, but if you are meditating daily, a comfortable meditation cushion is best to sit on when you are in your seated asanas. Cushions come in all different shapes and sizes and you can check out our meditation cushion guide to help choose the best one for you.
- Foam roller—If you have tight and tense muscles you may want to use a foam roller to help massage and release tension before or during your yoga practice. Foam rollers come in many different shapes and sizes, so choose one based on your body size, massage preferences and budget.
- Yoga wheel or yoga ball—if you like restorative yoga and back bending poses a yoga wheel is a fun prop to play with. You can also use it for making some poses more challenging. Alternatively, an inflatable yoga ball is a great accessory to support your backbends and to use for core strengthening exercises.
- Eye pillow—A weighted eye pillow can be used to reduce tension around your eyes and promote deeper states of relaxation while resting in Shavasana pose.
Essentials for a tranquil yoga space
Find a clean and comfortable place in your home where you can practice in peace and quiet. Equipping your space with a few items can greatly improve your experience and enjoyment.
- Air Fan—If you tend to get hot and sweaty in your practice you may want a small portable fan to keep you cool and comfortable.
- Portable heater—if you live in a cold climate or prefer a hot yoga class you can use a portable heater to warm up your yoga space instead of heating up the whole house.
- Aroma diffuser—Using an essential oil diffuser or burning incense would also add to the atmosphere of your practice. Different scents can be used to make your space more calming or energizing, depending on your desired mood.
- Bluetooth speaker—A good quality speaker can be used to improve the sound quality of any music or audio instructions used in your practice.
Yoga essentials shopping tips
- Shop around to find the best prices and deals. If you are brand new, consider looking at bundled yoga sets that contain a mat, blocks, strap and other items at a reduced cost.
- Look for eco-friendly materials and natural materials like cork, rubber and organic cotton.
- Ask your yogi friends which products and brands have been the most helpful and improving and supporting their yoga experience.
- If you are unsure how serious and committed you will be, it might be best to purchase inexpensive items at first and then upgrade to higher quality gear once you’ve had more time to feel things out.