Let’s just preface this, by saying there is probably no such thing as true yoga essentials. If you want to practice yoga, you could in all honesty practice naked on your hardwood floor, zero gear required – BUT the right clothes (that make you feel comfortable), props and gear can make your practice just that much better. I wanted to share some of my personal practice changing items, and a few that I am coveting after doing a ton of research and testing.
No 1. Hot Yoga Towel : I have one of these mat sized towels and it is amazing! If you practice hot yoga this is the towel – it’s grippy, absorbent but not smooth or fluffy and slippery. I save my yogitoes towel for days when I practice a more vigorous Hot Vinyasa (sometimes called Flow) class, the other days I switch off between regular bathroom towels – the difference is like night and a bright sun shiny day.
No 2. Leggings and Crops : My all time favorite yoga leggings and crop pants are Lululemon’s Wunderunders. They are absorbent enough that they hold out for the sweatiest of hot yoga classes. I personally love a full length or crop pant over any shorty shorts for a sweaty class – I find I have more grip and there is just way less slipping and sliding. Also I like owning gear that works for all types of workouts and classes, these babies are all around awesome. I have heard there are a few brands that are just as awesome, but I am always a bit nervous to test them out because I know how well Lulu stands up in a 90 degree room.
No 3. Headband : My best bud got me a few of these headbands (she actually gifted me almost all my best yoga gear, she’s a sweet brat that one). The Yogitoes headband, is heads and shoulders above the other ones I’ve tried – it’s thin but absorbent, comfortable with no having to readjust during your practice (or whatever workout you are doing). And it is wide enough to wear any way you like – fold it in half, twist it, wear it around your neck as a sweat absorbing scarf, whatever you please!
No 4. Water Bottle : I keep wanting to try another brand (just because some of them look so cool) but I have no reason to switch because this brand just never lets me down. This new style is great: that metal handle makes it extra easy to open, when my hands are sweaty from class. And it’s just really pretty and shiny. EDIT: I did it, I tried a new brand – this bottle keeps water cold or hot for 24 full hours. Which means my water is ice cold even at the end of a hot 75 min class.
No 5. Tank Top : A simple racer back tank with built in support. No frills or too crazy straps. I like my yoga clothes to be pretty simple and functional, this is by far my favorite tank top. Also of course it is a star when it comes to wicking away the moisture in and out of a strenuous heated class.
No 6. Strap : I really love using a strap in my practice once in a while. My current favorite is using it when I’m in dancers pose, the loveliest of heart openers. I don’t currently have one for my home practice, but have my heart eyes set on this one. I like the cotton canvas material (some of the others are, more of a grosgrain and smooth and slippery) which to be honest is my only real requirement when I was searching.
No 7. Mat : I raved about this mat before, it’s just that good. My old mat, was an 8 year old Lululemon – not the same as the mat they have now, it was really great…8 years ago. When I upgraded to this Jade (another gift from my best friend) it was literally practice changing. The grip on this baby is like nothing else, my wrist pain was gone (no more fighting to keep myself from slipping).
No 8. Sports Bra : Sometimes, if I’m wearing a full length legging I like to wear a cropped top like this sports bra. It has the same simplistic look as the Power Y tank, but it’s just a tad shorter. Also it’s longer in length then most sports bras, I probably shouldn’t even call it that.
No 9. Block : Another item I have my eyes on, I love having a block beside me when I practice – it can add so much to a pose, and sometimes I just need it. I searched up and down and found that this is the one I want, because of the price and also because I really want a natural wood block not foam.
No 10. Mat Strap : Not in the image, but it should be. Some really like a mat bag but personally I love an open strap like this. I always remember that episode of 30 Rock when Liz Lemon is taking her stinky gym bag home, and just assume that if I had a mat bag both my mat and bag when stink juuust like that.
Do you have a favorite yoga or workout item? I’m always looking for new and amazing workout or yoga clothes so would love to hear your favorites! Also, for curiosity sake are you a fan of workout style yoga clothes, or do you prefer the more natural yogi/hippie style?