When you practice yoga at home, it really does help to have the correct essentials and accessories.
Yoga accessories can really make your yoga practice that much easier, whether you practice yoga in a studio or at home. Most yoga studios nowadays offer a wide range of yoga essentials and accessories to help their students with their practice.
At home, it is up to us to make sure we have the necessary yoga equipment to help complement our practice.
Yoga essentials and accessories are there to:
- Make your yoga practice more accessible. This is the case for yoga beginners and those with injuries. And so having the yoga equipment that will help you adjust your practice and modify it and cater it to your needs will make the world difference
- Encourage you to go deeper into your practice. This is the case for certain yoga equipment, such as yoga wheels, that help us go deeper into poses and can really make a difference to our practice. Additionally, yoga blocks may be mainly used to make yoga poses more accessible, but did you know that they can also be used by more advanced yoga practitioners to go deeper into yoga poses?
If you are looking for inspiration on how to set up a home yoga practice you may like my article: Your Ultimate Guide To A Successful Home Yoga Practice
Whether you are a yoga beginner or a more advanced practitioner, here is my list of yoga essentials and accessories that you can use for your home yoga practice.
What yoga accessories do I need for yoga at home?
1. Yoga Mat
A yoga mat is the one essential item you will need for a home yoga practice. And so it really is worth investing in something that you will have for many years to come.
I have had many students come to class with cheap yoga mats that after a few classes start falling apart or little bits of the material start to peel off. And worse, most cheap yoga mats have no grip, making any downward dog pose a nightmare.
And so as a yoga mat really is your ONE ESSENTIAL item to a home yoga practice, try investing in a good one.
One option which is excellent for beginners and more advanced yoga practitioners is the Liforme yoga mat.
The Liforme yoga mat is ideal for beginners as it uses an ‘AlignForMe’ system. This intelligent system works as a navigational tool for any form of asana practice. What is great about it is that these markers are designed to give you as much, or as little, guidance as you need.
These mats use a natural rubber base with an added felt portion between the layers that help provide extra support, stability, and cushioning. According to Lifeform: “We believe our revolutionary ‘GripForMe’ material is the grippiest Yoga mat material currently available on earth. It stays grippy even when ‘sweaty-wet’”
One reviewer commented on how much they love their Liforme mat. They then went on to say how helpful the alignment cues are to both beginners and experienced yoga practitioners.
My second yoga mat recommendation is the Manduka Pro, which comes with a Lifetime Guarantee!
This is a very popular yoga mat mainly amongst Ashtanga yoga practitioners. It is ultra-dense and thick, making it perfect for those who want a bit of cushioning for their joints.
It has a closed-cell surface that keeps moisture and bacteria at bay, increasing longevity and making cleaning very easy.
I have had my Manduka Pro mat for around 8 years and this is the mat I use to practice and teach on. It really is a mat for life as after 8 years there is hardly any wear or tear.
Yoga clothing can range from a crop top, to a sleeveles tank top, to a Tshort. It can be full lenght leggings, capri or loose pants. It really is a personal preference.
Here is what I wear for my yoga home practice:
- Leggings – I have found that I prefer (non-see-through) long leggings to capris, but that’s my preference. I have also found that I prefer tighter clothes to looser clothes when I am practice. When I practice more relaxing or gentle yin yoga or restorative class, I also like to wear looser pants.
- Top – I like simple and slightly loose-fitting tank tops for practicing. I used to wear Tshirts when I first started yoga but then found that I had sweat patches, especially as I practiced Ashtanga yoga which is a dynamic practice.
- Sports bra – When I first started practicing yoga I wore my bra to class. It didn’t take long to invest in a sports bra, given how uncomfortable to clip at the back become, especially when doing poses that had my lying on my back. And so this type of sports bra is my absolute favorite. Simple, not too tight, easy to wear, and tight enough to make you feel comfortable and in place enough, even for more dynamic practices.
- Yoga socks/leg warmers – It is worth having a pair of leg warmers, especially if it gets cold where you like. Leg warmers are something ballerinas swear by, as it is a way to keep muscles warm, when we are still warming up, or if the room is particularly cold. This may help avoid potential injury.
- Hair tie – I have a little jar at my yoga studio with hair ties, essential for anyone with long hair who practices yoga!
3. Yoga Mat Bag
Not that a mat bag is essential for a home yoga practice, it is, however, useful if you plan to go to a studio or plan to go to a yoga retreat.
For more information on yoga retreats you may find these articles interesting:
- What To Pack For A Yoga Retreat (25 Essentials)
- 30 Reasons To Go On A Yoga Retreat
- 21 Things To Expect At Your First Yoga Retreat & 9 Tips For Beginners
So let’s have a look at yoga mat bags just in case you find yourself needing one.
There are two most commonly used options for yoga mat bags.
- An actual yoga mat bag. Here you can place your yoga mat, perhaps a towel, and a water bottle. This particular bag is waterproof and has internal pockets, which always come in handy.
- A yoga mat strap. You use this strap to keep your mat in place. The advantage of a yoga strap as a bag is that it can be used on mats of all sizes, plus it can double as a yoga strap during practice.
Depending on your preferences, both types of bags are commonly used.
There is nothing like wrapping yourself in a yoga blanket after a long practice on a cold winter day. Or even on an autumn or spring day!
And so especially for those chillier days, it is worth getting a good quality yoga blanket to cover up in savasana after your practice. It can also be used under the knees for those with sensitive knees.
A nice example is the Mexican Blanket Hand Woven Yoga Blanket. One reviewer who purchased this blanket mentioned how comfortable and beautiful this particular blanket is and how great it is for yoga and for relaxation in particular.
5. Yoga Blocks
Most yoga studios have blocks available and it is not surprising why. Yoga blocks are a great yoga accessory for both beginners and more advanced yoga practitioners.
Here are some ways to use yoga blocks in your practice:
- Chest opening exercises – Place one block flat side down lengthways under the shoulder blades. To increase the opening, place it on its 2nd highest side under the shoulder blades, and one under the head.
- Alignment – When practicing Marichyasana A, we ideally want the foot to be one yoga block away from the straight leg. And so place a yoga block between the legs (thinnest side separating the legs).
- Straight spine – When we first start practicing yoga, even sitting crosslegged may be challenging. What usually happens is we slouch, because the hips aren’t open enough to allow the spine to lengthen. And so try sitting on a yoga block to help tilt the pelvis forward and thus sit up straight.
6. Yoga Strap
Yoga straps are great for beginners. One way to use them is when sitting and doing a forward fold if you can’t touch your toes then use a strap and use that to hold on to your feet. This is great to lengthen the spine, rather than slouch down when trying to get hold of the toes.
I love to use a yoga strap and two yoga blocks for back bending.
This one is actually one of my favourites exercises.
When working on deepening backbends, I like to practice up against the wall. So I place two blocks where my hands would go, use a strap to keep my elbows shoulder width, and then come up to a backend. Once there, try pressing your chest to the wall for an amazing upper back extension and an improved backbend.
7. Yoga Bolster
Yoga bolsters really are a big hug in yoga class. They are a dream come true in a restorative yoga practices. This particular yoga bolster comes in a variety of colors and is firm enough and will not lose its shape.
Yoga bolsters are also great to use during savasana. Place the bolster under the knees in savasana and this then releases tension in the lower back. perfect for those with low back pain.
Bolsters are also great to use for inversions. If we are avoiding shoulder stands or headstand, then simply lying down on a bolster and lifting the legs up is a great way to experience the many benefits of inversions.
8. Yoga Wheel
A yoga wheel can be a really good investment for your yoga practice.
They can help you with backbends and even core work.
I love using my wheel when I am working on backbends, by simply lying over it and feeling my spine extend in a very safe and relaxing way.
I also like to sometimes do a little extra core work. Simply place your feet on the yoga wheel and attempt some plank poses or pushups. By having your feet elevated on an unstable object, your abs really will get a workout!
Here is a yoga wheel yoga practice if you are looking for some inspiration:
9. Eye pillow
Yoga eye pillows are my favorite thing to use during savasana! They offer that little extra bit of luxury and relaxation. The weight of eye pillows is just perfect to help calm an active mind and also to help with tense forehead muscles.
These particular eye pillows have an organic lavender and flaxseed insert. This helps them feel warm and cool at the same time. As an added bonus, these eye pillows have a sleeve that is machine washable and it was hand-knitted in the USA.
10. Yoga Books
There are so many yoga books out there to complement your home yoga practice. These can range from yoga philosophy to anatomy, to kids yoga, to storytelling.
For more information on recommended yoga books, read my article: 25 Of The Best Yoga Books Every Yogi Will Love
11. Meditation cushion
For anyone who wants to add some meditation to your home yoga practice, it may be worth investing in a meditation cushion.
Meditation requires us to sit comfortably for extended periods of time. And so to make this pose easier, it really is worth using a meditation cushion to help the spine stay long throughout the practice and keep pressure off the knees.
12. YouTube videos
There are now so many options to choose from. And these cater to all levels of practitioners from complete beginners to advanced practitioners.
You will find 5 minute guided meditations, tutorials on specific poses, short practices for beginners, longer practices for beginners, guided and demanding classed for advanced students, talks on yoga history and philosophy.
The list is endless, so if you are a complete beginner looking for inspiration, try typing in “yoga beginner” and take it from there.
Alternatively, if you want to experiment with eh different types of yoga, you can try typing in “Hatha yoga beginner” and then “Vinyasa yoga beginner” etc That way, you will get to try out all the fascinating and wonderful types of yoga out there.
If you are still getting to grips with the types of yoga, read this article: Beginner’s Guide To The Popular Types Of Yoga And Their Benefits
And if you need a little bit of guidance with the YouTube yoga videos, then read this article: The 10 Best & Most Loved Yoga Videos On YouTube in 2020
13. Audio guided meditation
One last little essential tip for your home yoga practice is to follow a guided meditation for your savasana. You can use your laptop speakers or if you want to block out all external noise, you may even want to invest in a pair of headphones or even some Ear Pods.
If you are looking for guided mediation to follow, you could try this one:
Can you teach yourself yoga?
I always recommend starting practicing yoga with a teacher. That is how it was traditionally taught in India many years ago and this is how it is continuing to be taught. Once you have gained some experience, you may practice at home. In fact, practicing yoga at home has many advantages!
One such advantage is that you develop self-discipline and do not need to rely on a studio and a teacher. However, learning correct alignment and having someone to guide us through the muddy waters is always recommended and needed in spiritual practices.
Which yoga is for beginners?
There are many different types of yoga. Each yoga type may vary regarding how dynamic it is, how gentle it is, who it is geared to, and what the physical benefits may be. Regardless of the type you so choose, you will leave the class feeling more energized and relaxed.
For more information on the different yoga types for beginners, you may like my article: Beginner’s Guide To The Popular Types Of Yoga And Their Benefits
What is the best yoga on YouTube?
There are many types of yoga and there are many yoga teachers and many yoga videos on YouTube. It really is a personal preference and so if you are looking for a list of the best yoga classes on YouTube, read my article: The 10 Best & Most Loved Yoga Videos On YouTube in 2020