As yoga has become more popular across all ages in recent years, more and more accessories have become available for purchase. Let’s take a look and see which of these will actually benefit your next yoga session and which are just an attempt to get your money.
First, yoga socks — these are intended to allow people to have more stability while doing yoga exercises since they have grip pads on the soles. They can be helpful to keep your feet warm on those cold winter days. These are also great for when you are practicing yoga without a mat — on a hardwood floor or in an outdoor yoga class.
The next product that some might choose is a yoga towel, placed over a yoga mat. Many people use these to protect themselves from touching shared yoga mats as they’re often great bacterial breeding grounds.
If you are properly cleaning off your mat after each yoga session, do you really need a yoga towel? Maybe not. I would say that if you are using a mat that is not your own at a yoga studio, then it is an option worth looking into. If you’d rather just invest in your own mat, you probably don’t need one.
Yoga blocks are essential to many people’s yoga routines because of their versatility. They are intended as tools to assist in stretching, balance and strength exercises.
Blocks can be all-around helpful and seem to be a very multi-functional accessory to use while practicing yoga. They can also be purchased at a very low price, so if you are looking to add one to your yoga routine, you can purchase them for as little as $4.83 on Amazon.
Next up, we have the yoga wheel. This is an unusual looking tool that many yoga-lovers enjoy. These are great for improving flexibility while stretching and doing difficult poses. Yoga wheels can be somewhat more helpful than a yoga block because of their ability to roll, which makes it easier to transfer from one pose to the next or move into a deeper stretch without having to get up and adjust your positioning.
Finally, what about yoga mat carriers? These are very helpful for transporting your yoga mat from point A to point B without it unrolling. Another option, however, is just to purchase a yoga bag that you can fit your mat into. Neither is truly necessary for transporting your yoga mat, but they are helpful.
If you purchase a mat carrier, then you will have to carry that and your clothes, accessories and water bottle separately. If you purchase a bag that can hold your yoga mat, it is less of a hassle to transport your items, but you must also take into consideration that the bag will be larger. This one is completely up to personal preference.
People have done yoga for centuries, without all of these accessories, but many of these items have proven to be effective in helping you enrich your yoga experience. Accessories are always an optional thing to add to your yoga routine, but if you’re looking to broaden your repertoire, I am sure you will find one that works for you.
Hope N.S. Jeffery
Graphic: Jaymie Stachyruk / Graphics Editor