Time to celebrate one of the most beloved forms of exercise and meditation in the world. In honor of this special occasion, we decided to round up the most popular and not-so popular pieces of yoga gear that will help make the most of your yoga session.
Many pieces of yoga equipment may look weird, but they serve as props to help you ease into a pose — whether you're coming back from an injury, you're a beginner or learning an advanced pose — the following pieces of yoga gear can help you out big time!
Ball: Using an exercise ball will help you get into a pose and also give you a good workout. Try one of our stability ball exercises for a great workout!
Blanket: Because blankets are easily adjustable, they are perfect props to support your back, legs or neck. You can sit on a blanket for cushion or cover yourself with one during Savasana so you are warm and cozy. Mexican blankets are the most popular blankets to use in yoga.
Blocks: Blocks bring the floor to you. They are used to help you comfortably get into a pose without hurting yourself — especially if you're a yogi beginner, have a physical limitation or are learning advanced poses — and with proper alignment of the body. They are also a great prop to use in restorative poses so you can relax into a pose without struggling to stay in position. The block does all the work.
>> Read More: Get the beginner's guide to becoming a yogi here!
Bolsters: These pillows come in different sizes and shapes and serve as ways to modify poses so you are comfortable and safe.
Crystals: Placing certain crystals around your mat or in front of your mat while you practice yoga is believed to heal, give clarity during your practice and tap into your chakras, or energy centers. Check out this extensive crystal glossary to learn the benefits of different crystals.
Crystal Bowls: Crystal bowls — or singing bowls — are usually played toward the end of a yoga class, during Savasana, or to signal the beginning of a class. The soothing vibrating sounds bring you deeper into a state of meditation and relaxation. They are made of pure crushed quartz crystal.
Eye Pillow: Bring an eye pillow — especially one filled with lavender — with you to your next yoga practice, and your Savasanas will be even more heavenly as they block out the light. Because they apply a little bit of pressure on your eyes, it is a great way to relieve pressure after a long day of work.
Gloves: Grippy gloves allow you to strike a pose on any surface. They are especially "handy" during hot yoga sessions — no more slipping!
Gong: If yoga had a sound, the gong would be it. The gong may be used during Kundalini or Hatha yoga classes, but it's especially effective at the end of your practice. The gong aids in meditation because of its relaxing, unique sound.
Yoga Mat: Doing yoga on the hard floor or ground is no fun. A yoga mat is a must for any yogi. Check out these stylish yoga mats you must have for your next class.
Straps: Straps improve your flexibility and range of motion in a safe way without losing alignment during your practice — another great prop for easing you into a pose.
Socks: Grippy socks, just like the gloves, help you keep your balance on a sweaty mat, keep your feet warm and are a hygienic way to use your gym's mat. They come in both half or full-toe and high-knee versions in funky color combinations.
Oils: Ever wonder why your yoga instructor rubs oil on your head during Savasana? Essential oils, such as lavender, lemon or peppermint, are used in yoga as a form of aromatherapy in order to put you in a positive state of mental clarity. They can be applied to areas of your body since they are easily absorbed by your skin, or diffused into the air to purify your environment. Some people choose to ingest essential oils as a dietary supplement.
Toe Stretcher: When you’re not practicing yoga, exercise your feet so they remain strong and avoid injury with a toe stretcher. They are helpful in preventing and treating foot problems, like claw toes and bunions. Just put them on and they will spread, stretch and exercise your toes.
Yoga Towel: Great for hot yoga, yoga towels provide a grip and absorb sweat so you're not slipping all over your mat. They also provide a comfy place to lay for Savasana.
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