Essential yoga gear

Get prepped for yoga with this gear that will help you stretch, flex and pose your way to yoga bliss

Essential yoga gear

Source: Best Health magazine, March/April 2013; Image: Tracy Shumate

1. Multi-purpose Mat

A cushioned mat is really the only yoga essential. Nike’s extra-thick 5 mm ‘Ultimate Mat’ takes it to the next level, with a built-in microfibre towel panel on one side and perforated surface on the other. ($60, at Sport Chek)

2. Stretch it out

A webbed canvas strap with a bit of give is handy to loop around feet to help pull yourself deeper into lengthening stretches. (Jogi, $8)

3. Support Blocks

A firm block gives the support and extension needed to properly align and maintain balancing poses, and acts as a raised seat when needed. Choose from lightweight foam (left, Shock Athletic, $8 at Canadian Tire), or a substantial nat­ural cork option (right, Half Moon, $21).

4. Soft landing

A pretty blossom print adorns Gaiam’s ‘Summer Garden’ mat. The cushy, nubbly-textured 3 mm thickness makes this a perfect basic. ($30)

5 & 9. Grippy Gloves & Socks

For sweaty hot-yoga sessions, gloves and socks with sticky non-slip nubs on the palms and soles help to prevent slips. Styles with half-digit coverage still allow fingers and toes to spread wide when needed. (Gloves: Jogi, $10; socks: Toe Sox, $17)

6. Stay Hydrated

Fill this wide-mouthed glass bottle with 600 mL of water to sip between poses. The silicone sleeve is imprinted with Lululemon’s signature motivational mantras. ($28)

7. Towel trick

Layer an absorbent microfibre towel over your mat to stop slipping and sliding. (Winners, $20)

8. Yoga to go

This printed drawstring canvas bag is roomy enough to hold a tank and leggings along with your mat (Half Moon, $29). We’ve tucked inside a thin 3 mm mat by North 44, which rolls up extra tightly for travel ($15, at Walmart).


This article was originally titled "Get prepped" in the March/April 2013 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!