Beginning a yoga practice is a wonderful idea, but one may not know where to begin. Especially when creating your at-home work out area, getting all the proper equipment may be an endless search through countless options available online. One of the most important steps when creating a consistent exercise plan is having a plan. Also, buying new equipment can be an added bit of motivation to exercise which is always a positive. In this blog post, I will share three props needed when beginning a yoga practice. If new to yoga, these three props will provide you with the stability and confidence needed to step onto a yoga mat and enjoy the many benefits that yoga can provide.
Let’s first take a look at the meaning of yoga. Yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit, a union in all aspects of life. When stepping onto a yoga mat, one not only receives the physical benefits of the practice, but will also connect on an emotional and physiological level. Once there is an understanding of what the benefits of yoga can entail and bring into a daily lifestyle, the next step is purchasing the props necessary for that first yoga practice.
- Yoga Mat
First and foremost, a yoga mat is a ‘must have’ when beginning to practice yoga. Yoga mats are necessary to prevent the hands and feet from slipping during the yoga practice. A yoga mat should be no more than 5mm. If too thick, one will not be able to practice balancing poses and which may lead to injury. Yoga mats are usually 3mm and 5mm in thickness. The length can vary slightly depending on how tall one is. The material of a yoga mat will determine the texture, stickiness, sponginess, and eco-friendliness. Most yoga mats are made of vinyl or rubber. Vinyl mats are known to last longer and can be utilized throughout many yoga classes. Rubber mats have jute and cotton in them making them more eco-friendly but less spongy. For new Yogis I suggest purchasing a less expensive yoga mat. Listed below are a couple recommendations for your convenience. If yoga is a practice you come to love and practice on a regular basis, then consider purchasing a more expensive, more durable yoga mat from Manduka or Gaiam.
Beginner Recommendation #1 – https://amzn.to/3ngdxSw
Beginner Recommendation #2 – https://amzn.to/2JQyN3W
Gaiam Yoga Mat – https://amzn.to/35bA9xA
Manduka Premium Yoga Mat – https://amzn.to/3rWS7gO
- Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks are highly recommended for beginners. They are a great prop to provide comfort and improve the alignment of the body while practicing yoga. Depending on the yoga pose, blocks can be placed under the hands, feet or bottom to gain the most benefit while ensuring the individual stays in proper alignment while keeping the body safe. The standard size of a yoga block is 4 inches (4”x 6”x 9”) and reasonably-priced yoga blocks can be purchased at one of the links below.
Gaiam Essentials Yoga Blocks – https://amzn.to/35aDa14
URBNFit Yoga Blocks – https://amzn.to/3b5dJ4R
Cork Yoga Blocks – https://amzn.to/3hIKmGC
- Yoga Strap
Yoga straps are used for static stretching and provide better posture while practicing yoga poses. Yoga straps are utilized in practices, such as Yin Yoga and help to improve alignment and form. If stiff or new to yoga, a strap can safely assist an individual with poses that were previously inaccessible. In other words, you get to enjoy the juicy stretch without compromising form. Yoga straps can be purchased via one of the links below.
Tumaz Yoga Strap – https://amzn.to/2Xc22Bm
Pete’s Choice Straps – https://amzn.to/2Xb1U4T
Gaiam Yoga Strap – https://amzn.to/38dm18J
When beginning a new journey practicing yoga, purchasing a mat, blocks, and strap are a positive way to increase your adherence. These must-have props will provide a new Yogi with not only the comfort and ease as they move into their yoga practice, but will also reduce fatigue, provide a healthy circulatory system, and release stress. When getting yourself ready to practice yoga, it’s important to get yourself the appropriate tools. A common reason that many fail when starting a new habit is not having a positive first experience. Keep in mind that exercise tends to cause soreness for beginners and when adding in a poor experience, the chances of consistently practicing yoga is slim. These are just some of the many benefits one can receive as they begin their new journey practicing yoga.
About Vickie Kuchinski
Vickie is the owner of Yoga Fusion in Maricopa, AZ. She is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor and has been teaching and practicing yoga for over ten years. Throughout her years of practicing, she has utilized yoga to alleviate depression and improve overall health. When diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, yoga played an integral part in her healing process; not only physically but emotionally and physiologically. Join Vickie in one of her live classes on Time 2 Train Fitness or on demand anytime!