Selecting the Perfect Yoga Accessories for Your Practice

Micaela Pimentel Equipment, Featured, Fitness, Yoga Accessories

People of all ages and persuasions are enjoying the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga. Many of these practitioners delve into the deeper and more traditional areas of yoga practiced in many parts of Asia. For some, so deeply imbedded are their beliefs that they even go so far as to wear charms that fit in with this lifestyle, such as the Jovivi 7 Chakras Gemstone Bracelet or the Flymei Tree of Life Necklace,

Others, however, choose to focus instead on the exercise and health applications of this discipline.  As such, a great many people can practice yoga without needing to devote their lives in pursuit of its transcendental goals or embracing any philosophy other than their own. These people can allot some time for their daily yoga exercises and activities, then return to their corporate lives for the rest of the day.

Seeking Comfort

Many of us associate practitioners of yoga with the stoic ascetics depicted in motion pictures. These people are shown to be capable of enduring great physical stress or deprivation as part and parcel of achieving their spiritual goals. Thus, we imagine yogis as barefoot and near-naked practitioners who accomplish amazing physical feats out in the rough without the aid of any equipment or paraphernalia.

Those rest of us regular folks who wish to benefit from yoga without having to go hardcore can avail of the many accessories and exercise aids that assist novices and intermediate practitioners  manage what would otherwise be difficult positions, movements, or actions. These range from mats to handheld gadgets and rehydration systems that promote safety and open up greater possibilities in the practice of yoga.

Of course, anyone can rummage around the house or nearby department store for articles that are useful or helpful in these exercises. The best approach, however, would be to procure these items from distributors that specialize in yoga accessories, thereby ensuring oneself that the products used are well-thought-out and best suited to the purpose.

1. Yoga Mats

A number of sports, performance and martial arts, recreational activities, and therapeutic modalities employ an appropriate mat as basic equipment. The Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat shares many of the benefits of most other mats such as providing a clean and smooth surface to place one’s body on. Like any mat, a proper yoga mat protects users from scratches or bug bites that would be a problem when doing exercise on turf or dirt. A yoga mat has to provide cushioning comfort and ample support with plenty of grip. At the same time, the mat should provide a flat, stable, and even surface to exercise on, so practitioners don’t struggle with their asanas on something that yields to every variation in weight or pressure as a foam or spring mattress would.

Portable yoga mats are popular accessories since they can be rolled up and crammed into a carrying case, or stowed in a closet. Of course, it is important for these mats to be fabricated out resilient and washable materials. Yoga studios often utilize the interlocking tatami floor mats that can be laid out in whatever size array is desired. Other practitioners prefer to use woven blankets as they can be folded over for desired thickness, are easily rolled up to act as cushioned props, and could be quite fashionable.

2. Props

For some exercises, the flat and firm surface of the mat is not enough to allow the practitioner to perform the more advanced exercises with some degree of comfort. In such instances, people resort to using books, strong boxes, cushions, rolled-up blankets, or any article that can offer a boosted surface. Providers of good yoga equipment carry yoga props like the Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Set that are sturdy and easy to clean, and custom designed for use in yoga exercises.

The most common yoga boosting accessories are blocks which come in pairs and are usually constructed of wood, cork, or foam. These are useful in providing an auxiliary resting surface to relieve excessive strain or even increase height to actually produce more strain when desired. Using blocks as a rest for one’s hand, foot, buttock, or any other support site facilitates the performance of the Wheel pose, the Pigeon pose, the Hero pose, the Triangle pose, the Crow pose, and the Fish pose, among others.

Bolsters are cushion-like supports that facilitate the performance of the Child’s pose, the Fish pose, Legs up the wall, the Easy pose or forward fold, the Reclining bound angle pose, and other positions in which a soft support or spacer could make things more comfortable. Some bolsters come in the form of foam rollers, thereby enabling even more dynamic exercises with proper support.

3. Straps

While straps and stretchy bands are not intrinsic to traditional yoga, the discipline borrows a lot of these modalities from other exercise systems such as Pilates, and from mainstream gym setups. Non-stretching straps are made of a soft fabric like cotton or hemp and are of adjustable length. Loops at the ends of the straps are meant to stick one’s feet or hands into. These straps enable the person to do exercises like the Reclining hand to toe posture or leg stretch, the Cow face pose, the One-legged king pigeon pose, the Downward facing dog, the Dancer pose, the Forearm stand, and various other positions that contribute to correcting spine alignment, increasing flexibility, or easing the stress caused by shoulder or back injuries.

Stretchy straps like the OPTP Stretch Out Strap or resistant bands are elastic straps that enable one to exercise by applying force against the resistance of the elastic, or even use the elastic to relieve some of the weight and tension in the movement. These straps, including the hugely popular Clever Yoga Strap are often used in conjunction with an exercise ball.

4. Personal Accessories

As in all sports or fitness disciplines, yoga is associated with a wide range of paraphernalia to use on one’s body during exercise routines, or to use before and after yoga. While a good mat should provide good traction to prevent slipping , it is also useful to equip oneself with a good pair of grippy socks  like Rahabsox, and a pair of grippy gloves. Using these accessories will not only make an exercise session more fulfilling, it will also foster safety as it prevents accidents caused by losing one’s grip on the mat, support props, or straps.

Using a headband while exercising is much more than a fashion statement, it is often necessary to keep one’s hair from flailing around where it shouldn’t and soak up excessive perspiration that could get in one’s eyes or make surfaces slippery. Headbands used in yoga, like the Toraway and the Blom Multi Style Headband are usually of the dual-band or triple band type, thereby reducing the risk of slipping off in the middle of things.

A variety of other accessories such as eye pillows, hydration bottles, and gear bags (We personally love the Fit Spirit Tree of Life Exercise Yoga Mat Bag) can make the daily yoga routine a lot more fulfilling, fun, and certainly a lot more doable than yoga was for the traditional practitioners in Asia. With the use of these widely available accessories, more and more people are being drawn into yoga and enjoying the benefits it offers. They might not be achieving liftoff like a Siddhi, nor unlocking the mysteries of the universe through their yoga practice, but they are surely more limber, sprightly, and less susceptible to disease and injury than most people.

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