So many people right now, are realizing how important a yoga practice is. Plus, with studios shutting, and gyms closed we’re all having to figure out yoga at home. Well, consider this post a guide to yoga equipment for home practice. A yoga props 101 if you will. Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links.
I’m going to start with complete beginner section then move through intermediate/advanced. Whether you’re a newbie, a regular, or you practice daily, there is something for everyone.
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Yoga equipment for home – basics
Before you ask “what do I need for yoga at home?” let’s first agree that there is a difference between need and want. With a sub category of “didn’t know I needed/wanted it till I had it, now I can’t do yoga without it”! Really, it’s going to depend on where you are in your practice, your limitations, and aspirations to where you’d like to take your practice. Here are the top 5 yoga props to have at home.
Most people would call this essential, and a no-brainer. But, traditionally, yoga was practiced without a yoga mat. I’ve practiced with and without, and much prefer with. Especially indoors. There is something to be said for having a space to do yoga. Even if all it is, is your mat!
If you have a thick mat that is 1/2″ thick or more, then let me just tell you. That, is NOT a yoga mat! An exercise mat and yoga mat are not always one in the same. Sure the thick mat will be more comfortable laying, and kneeling. But, once you stand you’ll be more challenged.
Your feet need to be grounded and fully connected to the earth. Opt for a thin 6mm mat that is non-stick. This will ensure you stay put in your poses!
Because the mats are on the thinner side (as mentioned above) I suggest a blanket to pad the boney bits of your body. Maybe under the knees, or hips. Blankets also serve as a little lift in some poses where we may need a boost.
If you’re a fan of restorative yoga blankets are great to have for supported and soothing. If the weather is cool in your yoga space they also keep the body warm. As an added bonus if you have a dog, they keep the dog on the blanket and off your mat while you practice!
One thing I wish more people would invest in as yoga equipment for home practice, is some yoga blocks! Sure you can use some alternatives but blocks are pretty cheap and a great way to go deeper into your practice.
Whether for support, or to bridge the gap between you and the floor blocks are a great way to discover more about your body and your practice. They can also make some poses more difficult, so it’s not all about making things easier!
There is something to be said for having the right tool for the job. That is never more true when we think about yoga equipment for home practice. Sure a belt or tie works, but to really explore your body in poses I suggest an 8ft strap.
I prefer the longer strap as it’s more versatile for only a few dollars more. It opens up the opportunity to do more standing poses. Also if you’re on the taller side, or less flexible, get a longer strap!
Bolster or zafu (meditation cushion)
Rounding out my top 5 essential yoga equipment for home practice is a bolster, or meditation cushion (zafu). I got my bolster for home about 5 years ago and never felt so happy about a yoga prop purchase.
Great for supporting the body in savasana, or for working in somatic exercises a bolster is a must in my opinion. If you are a fan of restorative yoga (I love adding a restorative pose or two at the end of my practice) then get yourself a bolster to go with the blankets mentioned above.
If meditation is more your style, then maybe opt for a zafu. What’s a zafu? A buckwheat filled meditation cushion. These are versatile and can also be used as a weighted sandbag in a pinch (see below).
7 props to take things to the next level
So, those are the top 5 pieces of Yoga equipment for home practice that I’d recommend. The basics if you will. After that, there are more props for comfort and accessibility and a few for fun.
Tennis ball & massage balls
Flexibility isn’t something that just happens, it takes time and effort. One thing I recommend everyone do is some self myofascial release and somatic exercises with a tennis ball.
Using a tennis ball, or other massage tools is a great way to work out the knots and kinks holding us back in our poses. Plus, it’s frankly just a great way to get a cheap massage at home!
Socks, mitts, or towel
If you’re slipping on your yoga mat you have a few options to elevate your yoga practice. Yoga socks are ones with grippy dots on the bottom. For those with sweaty hands there are gloves (mitts) also.
If you want to add a little sweat barrier to your mat I suggest a yoga towel. Made of microfibre to absorb sweat, and has the non-stick dots on the bottom. These are great for those in high temperature areas, or hot yoga. I have two that I use regularly when it gets hot here (it was 105°F at the weekend!)
When we think of Yoga equipment for home practice we need to think of props that deepen our practice. One which I HIGHLY recommend is a lavender eye pillow.
Slightly weighted this is a great prop to deepen restorative yoga, or savasana. Since discovering these years ago I LOVE using my eye pillow for my practice. Once you get one, you’ll wonder how you relaxed without it!
Inversion table/headstand bench
One of my absolute favorite purchases (aside from my bolster) is this headstand inversion bench. If you struggle with headstands or handstands, you can use this stool to experience the inversion with very little effort.
This piece of yoga equipment for home practice is one that has come down in price in recent years. These are now pretty affordable for a home practice, and now they come in different styles. The inversion bench can double as blocks when in standing poses bringing the floor up to you. Also, I use it in restorative yoga with the legs supported on top of the bench. Bliss!
While they may seem pretty boring a sandbag is a great way to ground and bring yourself present into your practice. These are great for restorative yoga, or for those with a vata dosha. Personally, I use them in pranayama and restorative.
As this a weighted prop it makes it a versatile yoga equipment for home practice as you can use it as resistance. Sometimes I blend yoga and pilates movements and this is a great prop for some resistance training for the upper body and core.
If you’re looking for some yoga playtime then I recommend a yoga wheel. These can be used so many ways. Whether you want to play in shoulder stands, or explore backbends with less effort.
In a pinch, a yoga wheel could be used as blocks in standing poses. As support in some restorative poses, when pair with a bolster, and maybe as a strap! Think outside the box, and reinvent the wheel!
Earlier, I noted that yoga mats should be thin to help balance. However, sometimes we want to challenge our balance. Increasing our proprioception. Working the stabilizer muscles. A balance pad is a great way to do that. Typically 2″ thick these are super cushy and really challenge your balance.
Being thick makes them a great option for replacing a blanket under the hands, knees or head. My husband has used this in some home improvement projects when he’s been kneeling a lot. It’s a yoga equipment for home practice that’s moved around the house quite a bit!
Honestly, there are still yoga props I haven’t included in this guide. There are so many other things I could include. From singing bowls, to incense, massage rollers and chairs. While all we need is our own body, sometimes it’s nice to get out the toys and play.
- Do you use props in your yoga practice?
- Are there any new props you discovered in this article?
- Which of the above props looks the most comfortable to you?