When you first start doing yoga, it can be hard to know what you really need to buy. So we thought we’d give you a little direction because while the yoga industrial complex has put a lot of products into the world, the good news is that you don’t need most of them, especially as a beginner. So don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money up front. In fact, it’s quite the opposite…let’s take a look at what are the essentials…
Wear comfortable, breathable clothing for yoga. You’ll probably want to wear a shirt that is a little form-fitting, since in some yoga poses (forward bends, for instance) your head comes below your hips and your shirt can slide down. Any exercise pants or shorts with a bit of stretch will do. Leggings are trendy for women, though looser pants are completely ok. Men tend to favor shorts (check out our SAXX shorts for men as they are equipped with the ballpark pouch which is a game changer for our men-folk…) but plenty wear pants as well. Sports bras are good for women, but if you don’t have one, don’t let that stop you.
Luckily, you don’t need any kind of special shoes or socks for class. Yoga is almost exclusively done barefoot, which is great for those tired of packing athletic shoes for after work trips to the gym. At Kodawari we have specially made shoe cubbies where we request that you leave your shoes before entering the yoga rooms. Most studios have this same policy – it helps to keep the floor, which you will spend a lot of time next to, clean!
It’s commonplace to use a yoga mat, sometimes also called a sticky mat. The mat helps define your personal space, and, more importantly, it creates traction for your hands and feet so you don’t slip, especially as you get a little sweaty. The mat also provides a bit of cushioning on the floor – even though at Kodawari we have comfy flooring made specially for yoga that you can read about here.
We do provide “loaner” mats for your first few classes use but eventually you will want your own. Premium yoga mats – this is an investment in yourself and your practice and good mats that provide traction, are easy-to-clean and won’t fall apart in a year will tend to cost somewhere between $80 and $120. You can also get a “starter” mat for as little as $20 from Target or on Amazon. Our current personal favorite is the Liquid Balance from Clever Yoga and can be purchased at the studio with (or without) a pretty mandala pattern!
You should familiarize yourself with the props described below, but you don’t need to buy your own (unless you are starting a home practice) because we have them all for you at the studio. Yoga props are a real boon to a fledgling yoga practice. Props allow students to maintain the healthiest alignment in a range poses as the body opens up. Props help you get the most out of each pose and the help you to avoid injury.
We have stacks of blankets available for students to use during class. Grab yourself one or two blankets at the beginning of class.
The folded blankets are props to sit and lie on when necessary. For instance, when you sit cross-legged, put a blanket under your sit bones to elevate the hips above the knees. They come in handy for all sorts of things during class, and if it’s chilly you can use them to cover yourself during final relaxation as well.
Like blankets, blocks are props to make yourself more comfortable and improve your alignment. Blocks are great for standing poses in which your hands don’t reach the floor.
Straps are particularly useful for bound poses if your hands do not reach each other, and for poses where you need to hold onto your feet but cannot reach them.
All you need now is to get to studio so you can join us on the mat! See you soon!