Whether you’re practicing yoga at home via online classes, or you simply want the peace of mind that comes with using your personal yoga props wherever you travel, having the right kit can greatly enhance your practice. From dynamic vinyasa flow, to restorative and pregnancy yoga, we all need something a little different. Depending upon what stage of life you’re at, or whether you’re practicing for two right now, you’ll need a kit that is specifically suited to you. Using yoga props is a great way to deepen your practice, to honour your body depending upon what it needs each day, and to move deeper – physically and mentally – into a posture or meditation. Read on for 6 different yoga kits to suit your needs!
1. Active & Dynamic
A dynamic yoga practice like vinyasa flow, ashtanga or power yoga needs a yoga kit that can be dynamic too. The Yogamatters cork brick can double up as a way to provide support in balancing asanas like Ardha Chandrasana (half moon), or Trikonasana (triangle), but is also a great prop for core-strength practices. To use the prop for building core strength, lay on your front in Spinx pose, with your elbows bent and forearms out in front of you. Place the block between your thighs, squeeze it tight, tuck your toes and lift into a forearm style plank. Hold for 3 – 5 breaths, then repeat twice more. The Yogamatters Reclaim Sticky Yoga Mat has an extra grippy surface, which allows for confidence and support as you flow through your practice. It’s also super sustainable, and made with reclaimed and recycled materials too!
If you’re the sweaty type or you love hot yoga classes, the Cork Yoga Mat increases its grip the more you sweat, and the Grippy Mandala Yoga Mat Towel is a great way to make your sweat-infused yoga practice more less slippy, and more hygienic too.
As for clothing, the Gossypium Move cropped yoga top and Gossypium Rhythm yoga shorts are beautiful essentials to wear whilst you practice, and are the type of yoga clothing that can work to wear out whether you’re heading out for brunch, or heading into a yoga class.
2. Restorative & Restful Yoga
Restorative Yoga is perhaps one of the best remedies to modern life. If you’re always on the go, if you hold a lot of tension in your muscles and mind, or if you find it difficult to ‘switch off’, it’s time to add a restorative class or two to your weekly routine. Those who are already familiar with the practice will know that when it comes to restorative yoga and props, the more the merrier! The idea of restorative yoga is that your body is completely supported, your nervous system relaxed, and you can completely let go physically and mentally. Use a cotton yoga blanket on top of your mat for extra comfort, and the Organic Cotton Buckwheat Bolster to support gentle restorative backbends. A sandbag can totally transform postures like Balasana (child’s pose) and Viparita Karani (legs up the wall), giving them a more grounded, earthy feeling; place the sandbag on the lower back in child’s pose, and on the feet when you have your legs up the wall. Of course, a restorative practice wouldn’t be complete without an eye pillow, which adds an extra layer of relaxation to savasana.
3. Antenatal Yoga
If you’re practicing for two, we’re here for you! And so are books like Yoga Mama: The Practitioner’s Guide To Prenatal Yoga by Linda Sparrowe, and the Prenatal Yoga Academy Daily Dozen wall chart to guide you through a daily round of beneficial asanas. Give yourself space and support with the Yogamatters Buckwheat Bolster, which you can pair with a Large Cork Brick for supported forward folds and supported chest-openers. For that all-important relaxation time, use a natural cotton blanket and eye pillow. Yoga pants and leggings can be hard to find when you need a little extra space, but the Urban Goddess Pranafied Pants are not only beautiful and comfortable, but they work well as maternity pants too!
4. The Travel Kit
If you need to save space in your case and you want to travel light, it can be difficult to justify bringing your yoga equipment, until now! Yoga Matters have developed the perfect props to bring with you on adventures and holidays, so you can maintain your practice or simply stretch out after a long flight or road-trip. The Eco Travel Yoga Mat is ultra-light and ultra-thin, plus it’s foldable, so will fit perfectly amongst your clothes whilst traveling without adding a lot of extra weight! The Classic Yoga Belt is a must-have for tight post-flight or post-drive legs, and if your trips are adventurous and active, the Cork Massage Ball Set will help soothe and massage sore feet after a long day. If you like to travel minimally, the Georganics Mouthwash Tablets are a washbag essential, as is the Malin+Goetz Mini Eucalyptus Deodorant.
5. Yoga for Athletes
Many athletes, runners and dedicated gym-goers use yoga as a way to unwind, de-stress, and release tension and tightness from sore muscles. Yoga postures are a great compliment to activities like running, cycling and weight training, allowing you to maintain healthy mobility, and recover faster after a tough session in the gym or on the track. For rest and recovery days, there are some special new Yoga Matters props that will work wonders for your muscles; try the Cork Massage Ball set to roll out the soles of the feet, which can help prevent and remedy plantar fasciitis and tight hamstrings. The Cork Massage Fascia Roller is a sustainable way to make your own workout routine more sustainable too – use it to massage the leg and back muscles, which will increase circulation and reduce tightness, thus preventing injuries. The Cork Peanut Roller can pin-point specific knots that are often hard to get to with other therapies, and works wonders specifically for the calves, muscles on the front of the shins, and the muscles either side of the spine. The best part about these three props is that they’re all made from the bark of the Cork tree, which is sustainable, renewable and recyclable, as well as being naturally antibacterial!
6. Yoga for Seniors
As we age, we require a slightly different approach to yoga – not necessarily reducing or stopping what we love doing, but adding in a few extra self-care practices to ensure we feel great no matter what age we are. After menopause, hormones like oestrogen start to decline, as does the production of collagen and elastin, which can all contribute to a slight loss in bone density, joint pain and stiffness. Maintaining bone and joint health are just a couple of reasons to make yoga a life-long practice, as well as its ability to enhance healthy breathing habits, and decrease stress, which both have a link to longevity. Body-weight exercises and postures like plank, downward facing dog, and standing postures like warrior 1 and 2 can all help maintain strength in the wrist, shoulder, hip and ankle joints, whilst maintaining important muscular strength too. The Revive Yoga Mat is 5mm thick, which offers supportive cushioning for the joints, as well as being one of the lightest mats available, so is easy to carry wherever you may venture, and keeping a natural cotton blanket on hand means you can use it for extra cushioning under the knees or hips. For days when you’re in need of a more gentle practice, chair yoga is also the perfect way to continue practicing, without putting strain on the joints; A Chair For Yoga is a complete Iyengar guide to practicing yoga with a chair, and the Yogamatters Chair is a strong and sturdy prop to practice with. Whatever age you are, using a chair can be a great way to experiment with different ways of practicing postures, and it lends a minimalistic style to the home too!
Discover even more yoga essentials, shop more Yogamatters best-selling mats, bolsters and props here.