Gear up like a serious yogi: What you should have in your kit to be well-prepared for your practice
Don't have time to read this whole post right now? Check out the TL;DR highlight video. You can come back to this post for more detail later. When you have time. Oy, life! 😉
Having the right equipment for yoga is key. Appropriate and high-quality gear can keep you safe. It can also help you progress more quickly to more advanced poses.
This goes for all yogis at any point on their path. Newbies and gurus alike need to approach their yoga pursuits outfitted with the tools to facilitate the best outcomes and experiences.
BASICS: Must-Have BYO Gear
Many studios provide a variety of yoga equipment. However, I recommend getting your very own of the following items. I have three main reasons for suggesting this.
Not all studios don't offer these things. Or you might want to practice at home or in the park, where you'll need your own anyway
Some studios charge beaucoup bucks to rent equipment. It's cheaper, especially over the long-run, to buy your own.
Cleanliness may be a concern. With your own gear, you can clean them whenever you want with the cleanser of your choice. If your stuff smells like BO or has hairs on it, you'll rest assured that they're yours. (I can't tell you how many mats I've used that have pet hair on them - yuck!)
This said, I do get lazy or rushed sometimes and use the mats, towels, etc. at the studios I go to. That's life. We're all busy. :-) So don't stress this too much. (How unyogic anyway!)
Bag - You need a bag to tote all your stuff! Get one that's big enough to carry the items listed below, plus maybe a sweatshirt or light jacket. I have this C9 bag and love it; it was $4.99 at TJMaxx or Ross. And I used to have a nice Gaiam bag sort of like this and it was really well-constructed and had nice storage capabilities. So, this need not be a budget buster.
Mat - There are so many options here. I'll eventually do another post dedicated to picking the right mat for you and your needs. That said, get a sturdy, all-purpose 1/8"-thick mat. It won't be too bulky and is appropriate for most kinds of yoga. You can add another mat, blanket or towel to your mat any time you want a little extra cushion. I have this sticky mat from Jade Yoga; it's pretty good and super transportable. Usually I lay it on top of a studio mat so I have more knee cush. And I use