There are very few tools “required” to practice yoga. However, there are quite a few “optional” tools. Here is a list of both:
When practicing yoga, you’ll need to wear something comfortable and breathable. Make sure your shirt isn’t too loose. Some of the poses can cause a loose shirt to get in the way, and reveal more than you may be willing to reveal.
As far as bottoms, you can wear shorts or pants. Just make sure the fabric isn’t too “slippery,” if you know what I mean. You don’t want to fall down in the middle of a pose because you slipped on your lucre pants.
Most of the time, you’ll be barefoot. So, I’d recommend you just wear some shoes that are easy-off and easy-on.
A mat is really something that you need. It serves many purposes. For one thing, it defines your personal space, something that may be in short supply in a large class.
More importantly, your yoga mat, or “sticky mat,” helps keep you in place by providing traction. You will most likely sweat and your hands and feet can slip easily without the mat.
Your mat will also provide a more comfortable yoga experience. It’s much softer than the hard floor.
Some gyms or studios will rent mats for a couple of bucks per class. The problem with this is, who used the mat before you? I don’t know about you, but I gladly spent $20 for my own, personal mat.
The following tools are basically used for Iyengar yoga, a yoga style that focuses on body alignment. Not only can they help you achieve your goal, but they can help prevent injury.
Because of this, the tools are usually provided for the class and unless you’re using a Iyengar DVD at home, you don’t really need to buy them.
Yoga studios usually have blankets available for use during classes. Take one or two for yourself. Fold them and you can use them to sit on and lie on during class. They come in handy for warming yourself during final relaxation at the end of class. But again, make sure they’ve been washed.
Blocks are props to make you more comfortable and improve your body’s alignment. Blocks are good for standing poses in which your hands won’t reach the floor.
Straps are particularly useful for bound poses if your hands do not reach each other, and for poses where you need to hold onto your feet but cannot reach them.