You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to practice yoga successfully! Here are 4 affordable yoga essentials for getting started with your practice…
As a form of exercise, yoga is accessible to just about anyone, of any age, shape, or fitness level. You don’t need a ton of expensive equipment to do yoga, and neither do you need to be super thin and flexible (though most images you see of people doing yoga might lead you to think so!).
In fact, you really only need a few basics to get started with a regular yoga practice. Below are some basic yoga essentials that we recommend for beginners.
Pretty much the only truly essential piece of equipment for doing yoga is a good yoga mat. However, there are a huge variety of yoga mats to choose from, so how do you pick one? Yoga mats come in a wide range of colors, materials of different thicknesses, and prices ranging from around $10 up to over $50. If you’re just starting out, you may wish to go with a cheaper mat, and transition to a higher quality one once you start doing yoga on the regular.
The BalanceFrom GoYoga Mat is a good place to start. The durable eco-friendly foam will protect your knees in basic poses as well as your spine when you decide to make your first forays into headstands and shoulder stands. The high-density non-slip surface provides a secure experience as you move into more complex poses. As a bonus, it also comes with a convenient carry-strap so you can take your new practice anywhere. At only $11, it’s hard to find a better mat for the price!
Ready to spend a little more? We love the Iuga Non-Slip Yoga Mat for it’s sticky surface, additional cushioning, alignment lines, and eco-friendly TPE material.
While not every beginner has to use yoga blocks, they can come in very handy – especially if you aren’t especially flexible – and many more advanced yogis use them as well to help enhance their practice. Blocks can be used as support for hands, feet, hips, or even your forehead in some poses. They can also help to extend poses, improve flexibility, or help you relax more fully as you stretch.
As with yoga mats, you can find yoga blocks in a wide range of colors and prices. In general you can expect to spend at least $10-$20 for one or two of the cheaper foam blocks. We would suggest two, as usually you won’t spend a lot more on a set of two than on a single block, and you will probably use them both.
The Peace Yoga Blocks are made from high-density renewable cork, and they are slip-resistant to prevent sliding during use. These handy yoga blocks will provide support, balance, and comfort to help you achieve new postures. At under $25 for the pair, they’re also a steal for blocks of this quality!
You might have heard that yoga straps are only useful for the super-inflexible, but they can actually benefit all levels of yoga students, and they are especially great for beginners. A strap is a great way to create mind-muscle connections in basic poses and increase flexibility as you work towards advanced poses. This sturdy and inexpensive strap by Cleveryoga is made from durable machine-washable cotton that’s designed to last. It comes in several different lengths for yogis of different heights and flexiblity levels, and starts at around $10.
Once you have your equipment, it’s time to try it out! Live yoga classes, where you can learn from an experienced instructor, are very helpful for beginners in learning proper form. However, classes can also sometimes be inconvenient and expensive. Once you have a basic understanding of yoga form, you may want to try some home practice sessions.
There are loads of free yoga videos online (see our free weekly workouts every Wednesday!), but for convenience and accessibility, an online membership like YogaDownload can be helpful – and much more affordable than live classes. You can stream this service on your computer, Roku, or other device for easy access anywhere to thousands of yoga videos of all different types, styles, and levels of intensity!
Or, once you find a style or instructor you really like, you may wish to buy a few inexpensive yoga DVDs that you can do over and over again without any ongoing costs.