The times have changed and more and more people are looking towards the art of Yoga as a savior and peaceful way of living. No matter where you stand currently in your Yogic journey, we have got you covered. Here is the ultimate Yoga buying guide for all Yoga enthusiasts. Here we will acquaint you with the most important features you need to look for in your new Yoga mat, towel, bag, bottle, etc. while covering all aspects to make your decision process much shorter and simpler. So, breathe out and calmly browse through our list to rest your whirling mind and experience an immensely uplifting Yoga session.
1. How To Choose The Best Yoga Mats For You
There are many factors that contribute positively to make for a good mat. Most important are the material and texture – which dictate how long it will serve you and how much pressure can it really take. Your yoga mat is your sanctuary on your journey to find balance and that cannot happen if you are allergic to a particular material.
Most Yoga mats are made out of PVC or vinyl and are the best when it comes to sticking in place to the floor. The sponginess is just right and can endure almost an entire decade before giving in. Natural rubber mats are also available, but be careful to avoid them if you are allergic to latex. Newer eco-friendly options are available these days – cotton, jute, recycled rubber, etc. However, where PVC is not eco-friendly, it is the best bet when it comes to comfort and stickiness.
Jute is coarser and much less comfortable while the cotton alternatives are used as an addition to other yoga mats since cotton alone is unable to provide the support required. Foam mats are the latest entries to the yoga mat universe, they are eco-friendly and provide similar comfort when compared to PVC ones. Do remember to check up on the presence of latex on this one if you are allergic.
Thickness is another very crucial factor. A thickness of 1/8th of an inch is generally recommended for proper support, give and yield. Various lengths are available, so you can be sure to find the perfect fit for your height. Your budget will ultimately decide the best mat for you. Eco-friendly options are generally more expensive whereas your regular PVC mats will be the most affordable. Patterns, colors and styles are readily available in stores.
Recommended Yoga Mats:
3. Sivan Health and Fitness Exercise Mat; comes in various colors and is ½ inch thick for better support and comfort. Non-slip surface, highly durable, designed with memory foam and very easy to clean.
2. How To Choose The Best Mat Bags For You
Once you have your perfect Yoga mat at your disposal, the next thing you need is a Yoga Mat Bag to store it. Yes, such bags are available so that you do not end up carrying these long mats in your hands. They are mostly available in the form of straps and strings and are designed in a way to keep your hands free by hanging off the mat off your shoulder.
A yoga mat sling is commonly seen and is basically a strap that wraps around the mat perfectly while keeping it from unrolling and opening up. Harness slings are also available which offer an added advantage of protection for your yoga mat by wrapping a high quality material sleeve around it. It too is hung using a sling strap.
You should go for lightweight bag options that come with cushioned straps so that the weight of the mat does not cause pain in your shoulders. The more open your yoga mat bag is, the better it is for the mat to breathe and air-dry itself. Opting for the closed yoga mat bags will definitely provide your bag with protection against the environment, but will never let it dry off. The harness sling bags are therefore the best alternatives. Go through your needs and preferences and fully consider them before making a decision
Recommended Mat Bags:
3. How To Choose The Best Yoga Towels For You
The next step is to find the best yoga towel for you. While some may ask why you need a special “yoga towel” when you already have regular bath towels, it is important to know how these two are different. Your regular bath towel will just not work; see for yourself if you like. The quality of yoga towel fabric, their size and absorption will make a huge difference.
There are two main purposes of a yoga towel – to improve grip on the mat and to absorb sweat better, especially in cases of hot yoga. The yoga towels are generally available in 2 sizes – full and hand towel. The full towels are almost 68 inches in length and can cover the entire mat surface, while the hand towels are mainly used for wiping off sweat.
Yoga towels are preemptive against skidding on the floor or on the mat while exercising. The quality and material of the fabric is just right to absorb any amounts of sweat and maintain comfort as well. If you are low on the mat budget, buying a basic mat now and covering it with a beautiful skid-free towel will definitely amp up not just the looks but also your inspiration to exercise
Recommended Yoga Towels:
4. How To Choose The Best Yoga Blocks For You
The next thing you need to perfect your yoga poses and alignments is a yoga block or yoga brick. These are basic tools which are used as supports and also to better stretch while performing yoga. The ideal size of such a yoga block is 9x4.5x inches and other size variations are available. You can choose the size according to your height and level of flexibility.
The material of these blocks ranges from wood to cork to bamboo. You need something that is durable, supportive and easy to move around. Wood and bamboo blocks often are hard and resting on them is highly uncomfortable. Foam blocks are the best bet here if you want something cheap, light, soft and easily replaceable for resting your head upon.
Buying more than one block at a time is recommended, since, stacking them up will help you practice better from the get go. Color is another important factor, foam blocks can get soiled easily so you may want to invest in a darker color. Cork and wood blocks go with everything but care needs to be taken as they are prone to slipping and are not so well suited on sensitive body parts. Also, the more you sweat, the more these blocks may slip off, so stick with foam or cork.
Recommended Yoga Blocks:
5. How To Choose The Best Yoga Straps For You
Noticed a few folks using some strange straps in your Yoga studio? They are called straps and are used for stretching properly. These straps help beginners most for improving and working on their flexibility whilst the straps aide in extending and elongating poses.
Yoga straps are mainly built from nylon or cotton and can be a few feet long. The traction you require can be achieved by a strap which measures 6 feet in length. If you are abnormally tall or like to get creative with your poses, an 8 or 10 feet strap could be used. They come in an array of colors and cinches at both ends.
The cinch or the D shaped rings could either be plastic, metal or may offer quick release and you can make your choice depending on your comfort and style requirements. Choosing a strap which is manufactured by a familiar yoga brand is recommended since cheap material may not last for long since durability is primary here
Recommended Yoga Straps:
6. How To Choose The Best Water Bottles For You
Never forget the importance of hydration during your Yoga sessions. Water is the healthiest drink to carry around in a water bottle which serves the right purpose. You need a bottle that does not let the water get contaminated and rather keeps it completely safe at a constant temperature.You know the worth of cool water at the end of your workout and would want to invest in a stainless steel bottle over a plastic one any day, at least during the summer months.
The steel also keeps germs and contaminants away. Nowadays, BPA free plastic bottles are trending which are devoid of the health hazards posed by regular plastic bottles.Always look for a bottle that can keep you hydrated for longer durations and can store volumes of water, at least 27 ounces is recommended. It should be easy to carry either because of straps or other design features and should look great at all costs.
Recommended Water Bottles:
7. How To Choose The Best Yoga Clothing For You
The very last point to take care of while performing yoga is making absolutely sure that your yoga clothes are comfortable and soothing. You should be particular while investing in fitness wear since you should aim for flexibility, elasticity and softness. The fabric should be soft and absorbent while being made out of materials benign like cotton, linen or other eco-friendly materials.
Men and women should opt for stretchable t-shirts and yoga pants that hug the torso comfortably. The pants could be Capri style and have an elastic waist. Modesty is recommended while buying yoga attire. Buy something which is not too revealing, lest you may have to keep adjusting your clothes mid poses. Loose necklines and collars should be avoided and women should invest in yoga tops which come with good bra support.
While comfort is essential, so is trendy fashion. Prints and embroidery is popularly seen on yoga clothes and you should definitely purchase something you like and feel like yourself in. Opt for layers like jackets and light shawls for early morning sessions. If you workout in air conditioned surroundings, then you can avoid the chills with the help of a light, fashionable jacket.
Recommended Yoga Clothing:
Hope our guide was helpful to you in many ways. Happy Yoga!