One of the great things about yoga is you need very little to do it – just a mat and some comfortable clothing. However if you need a little help with mastering certain poses, or feel ready to push your workout further, then investing in a few simple accessories can help.
(Related: Yoga is now a leading fitness trend)
A yoga block is an affordable and easy way to start experimenting with yoga accessories. A yoga block can help you reach the floor when you just can’t get there, for example during Triangle Pose, and provide a stable and support base to hold on to. You can also sit on them during forward folds for better alignment and to help you stretch forwards, or use them to prop you up in poses such as pigeon pose.
Perhaps a more unusual piece of yoga equipment, a yoga wheel can be used to help you stretch out, relieve tension, and improve flexibility. It looks a little daunting but it can be used by both beginners and advanced yogis, and is a popular tool for massaging the back and opening up the chest and shoulders to relieve tension. It can also be used to prop you up as a block would when you can’t quite reach the floor. For more advanced yogis, it’s particularly useful for helping you ease into a backbend, providing support to help reduce injury.
Straps are great for helping you out when you can’t quite stretch far enough to fully get into a pose. Perhaps you can’t reach your toes yet, or your hands don’t meet each other behind your back, a strap is useful to have by your mat for a variety of poses. They are also great for both experienced yogis who want to extend and deepen the stretch, taking their practice further, and also for beginners who might still be working on their flexibility and looking for a little extra support.
A good aid for those who prefer a more relaxing style of yoga, a bolster can be used to support you during relaxation poses such as Savasana or when seated in meditation poses. However, it can also be used during more challenging poses such as forward fold to give you a softer and more comfortable support.
A towel is a handy accessory for any yoga class, especially those such as Ashtanga or Bikram which really work up a sweat. But a yoga hand towel isn’t just for wiping your brow after class. Often made using a slip-resistant, highly absorbent fabric, these smaller-sized towels are perfect for giving you some extra grip during your flow. Just place the towel on your mat and under your hands and to benefit from extra hold during all of your poses.