In ancient days, yogis used to practise yoga anywhere, from jungles to mountain tops wearing nothing but a dhoti with their body serving as props. But during modern days, many accessories have found their way into yoga. So, the question arises, do I need any of those yoga props?
The answer is quite simple; it is your choice!
Since yoga involves stretching and twisting in a myriad of ways, it is only logical to wear clothing that enables freedom of movement. And the prominent yoga attire brands such as lululemon does just that. The tight pants that feel like a second skin stay in place, even when you are doing an inversion like Sarvangasana.
The same applies to the form-fitting tops; you don’t have to worry about it falling on your face in a forward fold or a downward dog. Additionally, most brands offer sweat-wicking fabric choices that can make athletic practices such as vinyasa a little bit more comfortable.
If you don’t prefer such form-fitting clothing or fabric, you can try out any attire that serves the purpose.
Practising yoga on the floor would be perfectly alright. In fact, many times, you will notice the yoga instructors asking you to step out of the mat for balancing poses. But in all other cases, you might feel that a smooth tiled floor does not offer enough grip or the hard surface hurts the body parts that come into contact with the floor. That is where a yoga mat comes in handy; it provides the necessary cushion to achieve a level of comfort.
Most studios provide yoga mats. But if you prefer to get your own, you can invest in one. Manduka, Lululemon, Jade yoga, Alo yoga, Gaiam are some of the most preferred yoga mat brands. However, if you find those expensive, you can look at the value for money options decathlon offers.
Blocks and straps
Blocks and straps are the other most common props you find in a yoga studio. Some instructors would seem to utilize these more while others don’t. However, they are not mandatory.
There would be times when you can get into a pose easily with the props; without using them, you might struggle. In such a case, the blocks and straps will be of great help.
Eventually, as your practice improves, you will find that you don’t need any prop to get into a pose. That is when you won’t need those blocks or straps anymore.
Bolsters are most commonly used in restorative practices such as yin yoga, which helps you settle down in a pose comfortably and stay longer. But if you don’t have a bolster at home, do you need to buy one? Not necessarily. You can improvise and use a pillow or a cushion to achieve the same end. However, since a bolster is designed explicitly for the purpose, you will find it much better than using substitutes.
All this said, do you wait to procure these yoga props to start your practice? Not necessarily. All you need is your own body to practice yoga, and everything else is optional. Start doing it, and then figure out what props help you the best as you go.