At some point in our lives, we’ve all made the conscious decision to be more healthy and fit, and one of the ways of doing that is through yoga. This ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice which originated in India has grown in popularity over the years with a large following. Practicing yoga is a great way to meditate and get a lean, toned body.
Now before you rush off to sign up for a class, there are a few things you should know about buying exercise equipment for yoga. It’s not just loose clothes and colourful mats you’ll need, there are quite a few yoga essentials that, depending on skill level, various yogis use in a class.
Yoga mats or sticky mats are made of various materials, thickness and lengths. The bigger and thicker they are, the more money you’ll need to spend. Mats are most commonly made with PVC or rubber, to offer a better grip. Lots of ultimate mats are coated with polyurethane provide a persevering grip during the sweatiest of routines. However, natural mats made of Jute or organic, recycled materials are generally comfier, especially for seated positions and less vigorous forms of practice.
The thickness of your yoga mat will determine how comfortable it is, if it’s too thin, your knees will suffer during surya namaskara. On the other hand, a mat that is too thick can make it harder for you to balance. A standard yoga mat is about 1/8 inch thick, while the thickest can go up to 1/4 inch. There are also slim, travel yoga mats that are a mere 1/16 inch thick. They don’t weigh much, making them a great option for travelling.
A good mat is essential and it will be with you during your practice for years, so look for a mat with a decent amount of cushion and one that you’ll feel comfortable to practice with.
Comfortable cotton material or any breathable clothes are best and should be loose enough to let you move freely into various poses. Wear a top that is a little form-fitting, as many poses will have you bending your body in various positions and your shirt can slide up. There is also specialised yoga sportswear for women with built-in bras to provide the appropriate support. Any exercise pants or shorts will do, however, a good pair of leggings can go a long way. Yoga involves flexibility and wide ranging motions, so make sure you get the clothes to assist in this.
Yoga props, namely straps and blocks, are good for beginners, since they provide additional support during poses, improve your alignment and compensate for lack of flexibility.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s an hour of deep breathing or a vigorous Bikram routine, a lot of people sweat during a yoga class so you’ll want a towel to wipe yourself and the mat down with after.