Yoga props can be expensive and confusing. But are they necessary? No, yoga props aren’t necessary but they can make life a little easier.

To do yoga really all you need in yourself. No special clothes, fancy props or expensive instructors. There are a few things that can make yoga a little easier and a lot more enjoyable.

The Mat
If you are going to purchase one prop a yoga mat would be the first thing to look into. When I started practicing they were expensive and far between. Now you can get a mat pretty much anywhere but before you buy one do a little of research. There are standard sizes of mat’s but they work for standard size people. If you are taller, look for a longer mat. If you have sensitive knees or back look for a thicker than average mat, I always use two mats stacked together and find that most comfortable. A newer development in mat’s is the material. The price range and material vary. There are mats made artificial products, which can off-gas so make sure to be careful of the content if you are allergic to rubber and or latex. There are now recycled mats, eco mats and many others. Evaluate your needs, wants, money and priorities before purchasing.

The Strap
Depending on your age this one could cook up some scary images! After the mat I would rank the strap as 2nd most important. Lots of poses can be broken down into smaller steps, we are not all pretzels. A strap is useful for all levels of users, to helps use reach our toes or to aid us into getting into poses easier. Depending on your budget an old neck-tie can work just fine. Not all facilities have props to borrow.

The Block
I’m ranking the block third most important yoga block. There is a wide range of materials used for blocks, dense foam, cork, fiber, bamboo and I’m sure some others. A phone book works great when practicing at home but if you’re traveling anywhere to practice you may want something a bit lighter. I find the cork and wood a bit hard, but the dense foam isn’t the best environmentally friendly item. Try out a few and make this call for yourself.

Comfortable Clothes
You don’t need expensive and fancy clothes for yoga but you do need comfortable, breathable clothes. For women it’s best to have a well fitting top so that when you are hanging out upside down you keep your dignity. I would advise against short shorts just for everyone’s piece of mind. Avoid ties, belts, zippers, snaps or buttons would be advisable.

There are other props such as bolsters, blankets, sandbags and more but the above are the basics.

This article by Gaylene Thoeny, a 500hr Registered Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, Lifestyle Manager, Yogi and mom. Go to [] for more information. Gaylene specializes in creating a grounded life on and off the mat. You can also follow her at gaylenet on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Categories: Yoga