By popular demand: on Instagram, I have been asked very often what kind of equipment I use for my yoga practice. To round up on the basics and to show you some inexpensive alternatives, I have created this blogpost in which I’ve collected all the necessary information for you.
Good things take time: My personal yoga journey
Just a few words at the beginning: I have been practicing yoga for 4 years now. Before that, I’ve attended a yoga class 2-3 times a year, but I’d always felt sore afterwards and it didn’t really motivate me to keep going. I was also a lazy ass at that time, to be honest and every workout in any kind of sports felt like work which I didn’t like.
This only changed when, in 2015/16, I started to actively take on little 20-30 minute yoga sessions a couple of times per week with the help of the app “Asana Rebel” (which was way cheaper back then). Through these very regularly practiced, short, intense trainings, the soreness quickly disappeared and the fun in yoga started for me. Slowly, I started to enter more intense vinyasa-sessions and still, I took longer breaks, sometimes even a month, in which I didn’t practice yoga at all.
My daily practice of yoga started about a year ago. Since then, not a day passes in which I don’t do yoga. Even during my travels, I try to squeeze in shorter sequences, but at home, I practice at least 60 minutes daily which benefits me in so many ways. I’ve become more relaxed, happier and so much stronger, both mentally and physically. Yoga has become such an important part of my life and I’m ultimately thankful for that.
My Yoga-equipment: what do you really need, what is nice to have?
In the next passages, I would like to show you my equipment. And yes, it’s all bought from one and the same brand but that is only because when I decided I needed a new mat, I also decided to buy my first blocks and a belt. Of course, you don’t need to buy all at once, it was just that moment when I decided I wanted to try working with real blocks and a belt that I bought it all together. Of course, there are super good alternatives that we all already have at home that work as perfect substitutes for blocks and belt…
The Yoga mat
The most basic but also most important item for your yoga practice is the mat. It is also the one thing I don’t like in many yoga studios – bad mats. When they are slippery, don’t stick to the ground, are too thick or too soft, yoga practice is only half as much fun.
So I really wanted to practice on a super non-slippery mat and I found the perfect one Lotuscrafts (bought it myself). I’ve been using it for about 5 months now and I’m super happy with it. Great quality, non-slippery and durable. It supports my asanas perfectly and I really have never stood on a better mat in my life. True fact. I also really like the brand as it is sustainable, fair and ecological.
The Yoga blocks
If you don’t practice yoga, you’ll probably wonder what yoga blocks are supposed to be, anyway. In fact, until this year, I never practiced with blocks and it worked. For example, you can use 1-2 big books as a substitute. But why are yoga blocks so helpful? What do they do?
For one, they support the hips in seated positions, especially, if you’re not yet stretched enough to reach the ground with your hips. For example, in pigeon pose, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, the blocks help to maintain a straight hip and in Ardha Chandrasana, half moon pose, to open further and softer. There are many possibilities to use creatively use yoga blocks in your practice as they help to stretch further or hold a pose correctly.
If you’re only starting off with your yoga journey, you won’t necessarily have to buy blocks right away. Your yoga studio will provide them if needed and, as I said, at home you may improvise with a big book or two.
The Yoga belt
The belt is useful to stretch further, especially in positions where you can’t reach four ankles or toes, yet. For example, in seated forward fold, Paschimottanasana or in dancer pose, Natarajasana, the belt can be very helpful. I also like to use the belt at the beginning of each practice to open up my shoulders in a specific exercise.
If you don’t own a belt, yet, it’s no problem. You can just as well use a bathrobe-belt, a soft canvas-belt or a small scarf. Only when you start noticing that you are using your belt very often, it might make sense to think about buying a proper yoga belt which has a great amount of grip and a sling to place your foot in.
And what else?
Moreover, I like to use my all-time favourite Caudalíe Eau de Beauté Spray* as a kind of aromatic therapy at the beginning of my practice and at the end for my Savasana. It helps me to breathe deeper and feel super well.
Drinking fresh water is also super important, especially if you sweat a lot during practice. The more you drink, the less bad substances stay in your body which supports the inner cleanliness. It’ll simply make you feel so much better.
A yoga roll (a sort of big, round cushion) is something I’m still thinking about getting, because it supports the back very nicely in positions like fish pose. Maybe I’ll buy one, soon…
So, do you have any more questions towards my yoga-equipment? I’m very much looking forward to your comments!