Article by Konstantin T.Yoga is increasingly popular in the western part of the world. Dozens of new “styles” have been crafted to accommodate the generally unfit, inactive, stressed-out and obese Americans and Europeans. The public’s increasing demand for Yoga-like exercises drives an expanding market of related products. There are hundreds of new companies, offering thousands of products designed to help you do Yoga. For most people in the western hemisphere this millennia-old science is brand new, and this lack of experience makes it difficult to navigate the overwhelming market of yoga goods. This short tutorial will help choosing the basic set of suggested accessories that may help in your practice. If you are just getting started all you may need is a yoga mat, a carry bag, a set of props and maybe a special towel.
This is the most commonly purchased Yoga accessory and the most used. A yoga mat is a companion to your practice, providing support, stability and cushioning for your body and a place to meditate. When choosing a mat, consider its thickness, length and composition. Make sure your mat provides enough grip, even when wet and consider the mat’s weight if you plant to carry it to the studio. Most expensive mats are usually the heaviest.
Yoga Mat Bag
Mat bags can be bulky and heavy tending to unroll at most inappropriate moments. Storing your mat in a bag is convenient and safe. A good yoga mat bag must fit your mat easily. Many bags are designed for thin, short mats and will not accommodate large, thick and sticky mats, commonly used by beginners.
A piece of super-absorbent fabric, with tiny nibs that grip to a mat is called a yoga towel. This towel is specifically designed to provide additional traction during practice, absorb moisture (especially in hot yoga classes, such as Bikram), and provide a layer of hygienic protection when not using own mat. A yoga towel is a worthy investment if moisture during practice is an issue and an alternative to purchasing a mat.
Yoga props are designed to increase flexibility and provide additional safety in some poses. The most commonly used yoga props are bricks and straps. Straps can be used to gently pull your limbs during stretching exercises, adding to your natural flexibility, while brick are mostly used for support during bends and side stretches. These props are completely optional, and newcomers can completely avoid purchasing them in the initial stages of their journey. Consult your instructor for more information.
Yoga practice can be more enjoyable and comfortable with a good mat, a non-slip towel and some straps and block to help you with difficult stretches. Use your judgement and remember – none of this is required to succeed in Yoga, what matters is how you feel inside.
Successful Yoga practice does not require any props or accessories. Yoga is a science that utilizes your mind a lot more than your body, and there are no magical tools that will affect your inner self. The desire to improve your body, mind and spirit comes from within.