So you’re taking your first steps into a new world and a wondering what Yoga equipment for beginners is really needed.
When you’re new to yoga it can be a little daunting, especially when faced with lots of different techniques, poses and phrases. However to start off you really don’t need very much at all – there are just a few items that will come in handy as you begin your first sessions, and make things a lot easier as you embark on your yoga journey.
One or two pieces of yoga equipment for beginners may require a purchase or for you to borrow from friends who are already practitioners, but others are everyday objects that you will find in any home or apartment and can easily be included in your exercises.
Yoga Equipment For Beginners: Yoga Mat
If you’ve just got a wood floor or thin carpet it’s always best to use a mat for your exercises – they provide a comfortable cushion for when you are practising poses, especially for your knees, feet and hands, and give you a sense of the space you are able to move within.
Yoga mats are readily available in stores and online, often for as little as a few pounds, and can make a world of difference as you are moving from pose to pose.
The thicker the mat the more comfort you will have, and the majority of budget to mid-range choices are made of flexible PVC, typically from 3mm to 5mm in thickness.
While ideal yoga equipment for beginners, these cheaper mats can wear out quickly (and aren’t especially friendly to the environment) so once you are more proficient it might be worth seeking out something a little more high quality. For example, some yogis prefer mats with non-slip surfaces, or extra grip on the underside. There are companies that offer extra thickness mats that are perfect for hard floors too.
A good quality mat will last for a good few years, even with regular, sweat-sodden exercises!
Dont forget: As a beginner you can even use a blanket, some carpet underlay or even a beach towel for those first couple of attempts at yoga – as long as you’re comfortable!
Yoga Equipment For Beginners: Yoga Blocks
Also known as yoga bricks, these block-shaped pieces of yoga equipment are ideal for beginners and provide excellent stability and support during exercises.
Originally made from wood, modern blocks are essentially cubes of plastic or rubber wrapped in protective sleeves, although there are an increasing amount of eco-friendly variants, including cork and recycled foam.
They are great for sitting on, or using during exercise to support your legs, arms or sections of your body as you get used to and fine-tune new poses.
As with mats, you can pick up yoga bricks in lots of places, usually for five pounds and upwards. However, if you are just starting your practice at home, a couple of thick hardback books will work just as well.
Yoga Equipment for Beginners – Yoga Belt
Yoga belts – sometimes referred to as straps or bands – are often incorporated into exercises and poses, especially as you progress in the yoga world and need more from your sessions.
Typically made of cotton or nylon, they can be anything from six to ten feet in length with a buckle (or D-ring) at one end, and come in myriad colours.
Belts are excellent for improving flexibility, posture and balance, as you can wrap them around feet, legs and hands, then pull in order to stretch and make your limbs and muscles suppler.
Straps can improve any yogi’s range of motion and extend their ability to stretch, and can be picked up from the usual suspects for around five pounds.
Yoga Equipment For Beginners: Books, Blankets and Pillows and Neckties!
If you’re an absolute novice though, look no further than your own home for a selection of everyday household objects that can be easily incorporated into your yoga.
For example, if you don’t have blocks, the ideal replacement yoga equipment for beginners are a couple of thick hardback books – such as cookery books!
Blankets are very handy too, and a standard winter blanket can be rolled or folded beneath your knees or hands to provide even more support and comfort while you are in the middle of a pose.
If, as some people do, you have discomfort at first when you are sitting cross-legged, a pillow lifted straight from your bed can make a huge amount of difference if you place it beneath your legs, and give instant support to your limbs.
And finally, if you have old neckties gathering dust in the back of a wardrobe, one or two of these tied together make the perfect homemade yoga belt!
All of these are absolutely ideal for the first few times, will provide ample support and improve your yoga session, and mean you don’t have to spend a single penny.