When you first start to practise yoga, all you really need is a yoga mat and some suitable clothing - however, once you start to take things a bit more seriously and yoga becomes an important part of your life, you'll probably want to buy a few accessories to assist you in your poses.
There are plenty of helpful extras including yoga blocks, bolsters, bags, water bottles, mat cleaners, yoga balls, towels and straps. You'll find most of these items available to buy in our site store.
Let's take a look at some of the accessories available more closely, starting with the most popular ones.
YOGA BLOCK: These are excellent for beginners to use when they need extra support and reinforcement. They are also often used by intermediate and advanced yoga practitioners who want to expand their complicated poses. Blocks are usually made of foam, but there are other reputable products made from cork and bamboo. Beginners who are building up their flexibility and can't quite reach the floor when bending over will often place a block between their hands and the floor. A yoga block really is a useful block to help muscle strength and flexibility. Most blocks cost between £10 and £30 - there are plenty of yoga blocks to choose from in our site store
YOGA BOLSTER: These are very useful props for beginners and advanced yoga students who want to improve their posture. They are usually spherical or rectangular cushion-like accessories which are often filled with kapok wool, fire-retardant polyester fibre, or buckwheat hulls. Bolsters are ideal for helping to reduce strain on various parts of the body and can really help out when practising forward bends or poses that involve raising your legs. They also provide a comfortable cushion to relax on at the end of a tiring session.
YOGA BAGS & STRAPS: Yoga beginners are inclined to make do with simply rolling their mat up and tying it with a bit of string or a few elastic bands after a session. However, when you start to practice more regularly, most yogis and yoginis will be keen to buy a proper yoga bag, or at least a yoga mat carrying strap. Bags are available in many styles, sizes and colours - so it's quite easy to find one that suits your need, whether you need a bag just to hold your mat or you want a larger holdall type bag which will accommodate your various accessories. A bag helps to protect your mat from dirt, grime and moisture and helps you get organised, with all your accessories kept safely in one place. We have plenty of yoga bags for sale in our store.
YOGA PANTS: A good quality pair of yoga pants will allow you to practice your poses in comfort and absorb sweat. It's best to buy pants that are made from breathable material which is flexible enough to allow you to comfortably bend and stretch. It's fine to wear a pair of tracksuit bottoms or leggings and other gym wear when you first start learning yoga - however, most people eventually decide to buy a pair of pants which are specially designed for yoga practice. There are many different styles and colours to choose from there's something to suit everyone's personal taste.
YOGA TOWELS: These are great for placing on top of your mat so that sweat is absorbed into the towel and not your mat - then you just throw your towel into the washing machine when you get home. Yoga towels are often made of lightweight microfibre and fold up to a compact size for placing in a yoga bag. These towels are just the job for having a hygienic layer between your body and your mat. Some come with little rubber dots across the surface to help prevent slipping. They are available with a range of stylish patterns and designs, and there are several colour choices including blue, white, black, pink, purple, yellow, cream and green. We have an excellent range of yoga towels in our site store.
When you think of yoga accessories and props the first items that spring to mind are those discussed above - but there are plenty of other excellent aids for beginners to advanced practitioners of yoga. Let's take a look at a few of them.
MAT CLEANER: Every yoga enthusiast needs to keep their mat clean for obvious hygiene reasons - so it makes sense to buy a fresh-smelling mat spray or a packet of scented wipes. Citrus spray is a popular choice and it will not reduce the grip and stickiness of your mar, which is essential to perform your yoga poses safely and comfortably.
DRINKING BOTTLE: A yoga drinks bottle is worth having to hand when you need replenishment after all the sweating you experience if you take on some particularly challenging yoga positions. Aluminium bottles are a popular choice and are more environmentally-friendly than plastic bottles which are thrown away when they outlive their term of use.
HEAD BAND: A head band is another useful accessory for soaking up the sweat on your brow and stopping distracting beads of sweat from rolling down your face from your head.
YOGA STRAP: We are not referring to a yoga bag carrying strap here, but instead the specially-designed strap that is very useful if you need to extend your reach in deeper stretches - these are particularly helpful to beginners and excellent for helping you stretch your shoulders, arms and sides of your body. If you require some assistance with your alignment, support and posture, a yoga strap is what you need.
YOGA BLANKET: These are sometimes referred to as Mexican blankets and they can be folded into the required shape to assist with many yoga poses. A yoga blanket can also can be rolled up to support your back, neck and legs.
These blankets are available in various sizes, colours and materials including polyester blend, cotton, fleece, micro fibre, wool and acrylic. Most of them are machine washable.
A cheap yoga blanket will cost around £10 to £15 but you can expect to pay quite a bit more for a deluxe hand-woven blanket, made from delicate, absorbent cloth. They are available with a range of patterns and designs and there's plenty of choice when it comes to colour including blue, green, yellow, white, black, pink, purple and beige.
YOGA BALLS: These come in various sizes and are also used in other forms of physical exercise including pilates. They are ideal for use in a yoga class at your local health centre or at home classes and home to improve control and strengthen your muscle groups.
Yoga balls are also referred to as exercise balls, fitness ball, stability balls and Swiss balls. They are usually made of plastic vinyl and elastic. They are inflated with a pump and are widely-used health clubs and gyms throughout the UK.
There are dozens of excellent yoga poses which can be carried out with a yoga ball to improve your balance and flexibility including squats, spinal and torso rotation, lunges, scissor kicks, seated stork poses and hip stretches.
YOGA WEDGE: These are very helpful for improving support and posture. They are made from lightweight, dense foam and are ideal for reducing the risk of pain, or alleviate existing pain, during yoga sessions.
A wedge is great for helping beginners add length and flexibility to their poses where all your body weight is directed on to the hands and toes. This is achievable by a veteran yogi without the use a wedge, but the accessory is very beneficial to newcomers to the art of yoga.
Wedges are usually made out of EVA foam or cork and are available in various sizes and colours including purple, blue, red, pink, black, white and orange.
YOGA FITNESS WHEEL: These assist with flexability and stability when carrying out your yoga postures. These wheels feature a soft foam exterior which feels sort on the skin and a hard interior to provide good tractionn, stability and helps relieve muscle tension and back ache. They are also ideal for using to carry out back bends, asanas, inversions, as well as a range of ab and core exercises.
SPIKED ACUPUNCTURE MAT: This is an excellent accessory to help you relax and ease muscle fatigue. These mats are made of organic cotton fabric and are covered with hundreds of mini accupressure spikes which stimulate your skin. You can sit or lie on the mat which creates the same sensation as a bed of nails used by many yogis for centuries.
INCENSE STICKS: If you practice yoga at home you may wish to buy a few incense sticks to create a pleasant and relaxing aroma which will help you to be at one with yourself and your surroundings.
YOGA STOOL: Many intermediate and advance level yogis choose to buy a wooden yoga stool which is an excellent aid for fine-tuning your posture. These accessories - sometimes referred to as meditation stools - allow you to 'rock' into perfect balance and some people use them with a specially-shaped cushion for extra comfort and padding. They are usually made of wood, including oak, teak and beech, and they cost around £20 to £50, depending on the quality and design.
YOGA DVDs AND BOOKS: Let's not forget the importance of books and video tutorials when in comes to accessories - these play a vital role in helping yoga lovers develop their skills and techniques at all levels of yoga. These invaluable written and visual aids are ideal for beginners who are just getting to grips with the first challenging stages of yoga. We feature an impressive range of yoga books and DVDs in the yoga accessories section in our site store.
As you can see there are plenty of useful accessories to consider buying - we're confident you'll find something of interest in our range of top quality products feature above.