The days when you could go to the gym or class wearing your old tank top and your boyfriend’s gym shorts are gone. These days there are so many choices for exercise clothing and gear it is hard to keep track of what to wear where. Here is the ultimate guide to the must-have yoga gear you need for your yoga routine.

The Yoga Gear You Absolutely Have To Have

Technically the only things you need to do yoga are a yoga mat and comfortable, loose fitting clothing. This makes it a highly affordable fitness discipline to get into. Beginners need only invest in an inexpensive mat and attend a class.

Attending a yoga class is highly advisable for your first yoga experience. The poses look simple enough, but without an instructor to correct your body posture it is easy to mess up the pose or worse, get hurt.

Showing up to your first class is nerve wracking. You feel pressured to buy an expensive yoga outfit and mat to fit in. This is not necessary. All you absolutely have to have to do yoga is a mat, comfortable clothing, and a water bottle.

The Yoga Gear You Want To Have

If yoga is your thing, and you commit to the discipline, the list of gear you “need” quickly becomes inundated with the gear you “want.” Yoga towels, yoga mat bags, yoga props, an all natural mat to replace the cheap foam one you purchased when you first signed up for a class, and the long list of fashionable yoga pants and shirts sold by hundreds of yoga sites all suddenly seem absolutely necessary. Here is what you need to know.

Choosing A Yoga Mat

yoga mat

If you purchased a cheap mat, chances are you do need a better one. Yoga mats come in a variety of thicknesses for added protection. Some are advertised as “dry-grip” to prevent feet and hands from slipping during a workout. Some are made of recycled materials. Others have attractive designs.

Choose a mat with a thickness appropriate for your body. Mats that are too thin are uncomfortable during certain poses. Mats that are too thick seem unstable in other poses, and take up more space in storage. Thicker mats are easier on joints and are a good long-term choice for serious yoga enthusiasts. Thin mats are easier to transport. If you do a lot of traveling or attend a yoga class regularly that requires public or cramped transport, a thinner mat is a better bet.

Color, design, and material are less important in regards to health (unless you have a latex allergy). Choose a mat that excites you, is comfortable, and falls within your yoga budget. PVC mats are the stickiest and last for years. Natural fibers and earth-friendly recycled materials have different textures. Try a few to see which works best for you.

Stylish Apparel

We all want to look good. Yoga apparel offers a stylish and comfortable line of clothing designed with yoga in mind. The clothes are almost always comfortable and come in a variety of styles. There is yoga gear for guys as well as women, and some companies carry a line of children’s yoga apparel.

The most important thing to keep in mind when buying yoga clothing and apparel is a comfort. You plan to work out, sweat and stretch in these clothes. How they look is secondary to how they feel. Try on several different styles to see which provide you with the most mobility and the most comfortable fit.

It is hard to be totally comfortable if the clothes don’t look the way we want. Once you find a few comfortable outfits, select the ones that look the best and feel the best. Many yoga enthusiasts find they love their yoga apparel so much they wear it around the house and even around town.

Yoga Accessories

Yoga blocks and towels are useful. Blocks provide balance, support, and improved flexibility during poses. Towels take care of sweaty mats and faces, making you more comfortable during your workout.

yoga equipment and blocks

Read product reviews before purchasing a yoga block. The material, durability, and texture are all important factors to consider prior to purchase. Look for blocks with rounded edges, not sharp, as sharp edges cause cuts during yoga accidents. Blocks that slip easily are similarly dangerous. Your yoga block is not limited to yoga. Incorporate heavier blocks into your non-yoga workouts, or use them to increase the intensity of push-ups and triceps dips.

Yoga towels are lightweight and available in many colors and designs. These towels are essential for hot yoga practice and practical for all other yoga disciplines. Made of microfiber or natural materials, non-slip and thin enough to not interfere with your balance, yoga towels come in full mat length and hand towel lengths depending on your preference.

Where To Find Affordable Yoga Gear

Finding affordable yoga gear is another matter.  Yoga’s growing popularity is boosting the price tag on yoga gear along with the number of people practicing. Companies selling yoga clothing may have the gear you want, but not necessarily the prices. The trick is finding yoga clothes cheap.

There are several ways to do this. The easiest is to the find the style and size you like from a retailer and then try and find the product online at a discount. Companies like Amazon and are good places to start. Another way is to canvas yoga clothes sales for the clothing you want and buy them at the sales price.

The Yoga Mindset

yoga zen mindset

Spending exorbitant amounts of money on unnecessary gear defeats the purpose of yoga. Purchase yoga accessories within your budget. Don’t cause yourself financial stress by spending too much on your stress relief.

So what is the best yoga gear for you? The best gear makes you feel comfortable and stylish while also keeping you safe. When it comes to your yoga clothing and accessories, don’t settle for anything less.

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