Melanie took ballet as a young adult and is interested in health and fitness. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
Yoga can be incredibly helpful in relieving stress and improving health. It also can be a lot of fun. Before getting started in yoga, it's a good idea to learn about the various items commonly used in yoga.
By arming yourself with information on the various yoga-related products, you can purchase exactly what you need without investing extra money into a particular product you might never use.
This article will show you everything you'll need to get started in yoga, including a little bit of information on each product, so you can make an informed decision on what you need.
Having a good-quality yoga mat is important. While there are some really pretty designs in stores, it's crucial to get one that's really comfortable.
I prefer a really thick mat which can be somewhat hard to find, so I just have a standard gym mat.
Whether you want something thick that will offer more comfort or something that's thinner and easy to carry, there is a huge variety of yoga mats out there.
Yoga towels are another option that can be added on top of a yoga mat. A yoga towel won't slip off your mat and have a plush, soft side which is especially helpful in keeping you dry during your stretches.
Yoga Blocks & Other Props
Yoga props allow you to safely do some of the more difficult poses. Even though props look like something for people who are more experienced in yoga, they're actually perfect for anyone at any experience level. If your muscles aren't quite ready to handle a tricky pose, a prop can help you safely get there.
There are different kinds of yoga props available. My personal favorite is the yoga block. This can aid in supporting your body when you can't quite reach the floor, can help you better align your body, and even offer support.
A bolster is another great yoga prop. Like the block, it can offer support. I prefer using a block versus a bolster as it's easier to find blocks and they're fairly standard in any yoga class.
Straps are a must-have. They're great for pulling your arms or legs closer during certain poses.
Clothing for Yoga
There are numerous types of clothing that are both popular and incredibly useful for Yoga. Yoga pants are incredibly popular (and are admittedly cute.) However, you can really wear whatever you feel is comfortable.
Any clothing that easily stretches is perfect for doing floor exercises, even if it's loose-fitting. I have a pair of stretchy gaucho pants that I absolutely love (and would recommend to anyone!)
Shirts follow a similar concept to the pants: comfortable and stretchy. You can just wear an old t-shirt, a gym halter, or just an undershirt.
Since I'm in ballet as well as yoga, I find that wearing my leotard (with my gaucho pants on top) is a comfortable choice (and still looks great.)
I also recommend yoga socks which allow me to do poses without having to worry about slipping.
A Gym Bag
Most of your yoga clothing and supplies will fit in a standard-sized duffel bag (with the exception of your mat), so you won't have to invest in a fancy yoga bag. Keeping that in mind, it's still great to be able to carry your mat in a bag, particularly if you don't want it to get dirty.
You can easily pick up a carrying bag or a strap anywhere mats are available for sale. Some are even large enough to carry all your other stuff, too!
© 2012 Melanie Palen
carol stanley from Arizona on August 31, 2012:
For those starting out at Yoga this is a great hub. You always want to know what you need for any activity. Great hub and thanks for sharing.
Ritakriti from India on August 31, 2012:
Being a yoga lover I loved this hub. I remember how I was suffering with hypothyrodism and cured this with the help of yoga and medication. Recently I have also bought a yoga mat to give myself a treat.