Research shows that almost 10% of Americans practice yoga. That’s over 30 million people! Not to mention, as well as us “normies”, some of Hollywood’s best have caught the yoga bug, too, including the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson and Lady Gaga, to name a few.
Yoga boasts an array of attractive benefits; it not only boosts your body physically – improving breathing, flexibility, posture, and strength – but it has an assortment of mental and emotional benefits, including lowering stress and tension, anxiety and symptoms of depression. As a result, those that practice yoga have found it an essential tool for increasing productivity and concentration, which has even led to some employers introducing weekly yoga classes to the workplace.
With yoga ever increasing in popularity, both on our shores and overseas, the demand for excellent quality yoga gear is higher than ever. After all, you can’t do yoga without the equipment. You need the right yoga equipment to get the most out of a class and feel comfortable throughout, too.
Below, we explore yoga essentials, including choosing a yoga mat, yoga leggings, and a yoga bag.
It may seem obvious; however, you’d be surprised how many aspiring yogis turn up to their first yoga class without a yoga mat, often assuming the class will provide one. Sometimes, classes will provide mats; however, it’s always best to have your own – for hygiene and comfort more than anything else.
The most important consideration when choosing a quality yoga mat is a comfort. Your yoga mat needs to feel light and spongy and relaxing to sit on. If you can feel the floor through your mat, it’s most likely too thin. You’re going to be on your yoga mat for at least 45 minutes to an hour, if not more, so you need to feel at ease. If you’re someone that practices yoga once a week or more, you’re going to need a very durable, high-quality mat. At a glance, a premium yoga mat may seem expensive; however, you’ll get plenty of use out of it that the higher cost will even out in no time. For instance, a low-quality yoga mat will last 3-6 months, whereas a higher-quality mat will last up to 12 months.
At Ana Heart, our lightweight, durable and comfortable yoga mat is an excellent example of a premium yoga mat that will last. Our mat has high-performance cushioning which makes it easy and relaxing to work on; it has been specially designed to provide stability and comfort for all different yoga poses. Our yoga mat is slip-resistant without being sticky, like others, and is 100% latex-free, which is perfect for those with allergies. The mat is very easy to clean, only needing a quick wipe after every class.
If you’re trying yoga for the first time and haven’t decided whether you’re going to practice regularly, to begin with, you can get away with a cheap yoga mat from your local fitness store. However, always upgrade to the thicker, softer-feeling style if you start doing yoga more than once or twice a month.
Of course, you could just roll your yoga mat up and stuff it under your arm, but it’s hardly practical. A yoga bag is essential, particularly if you’re traveling to and from class by other means than a car.
Essentially, a yoga bag is a “purse” you can carry your yoga mat in, which means no flailing on the pavement with your mat unrolled. Most importantly, a yoga bag helps to protect your mat which will ensure its longevity. You don’t want to get rain, dirt and other pollutants on your mat as it, over time, it will damage the mat which will mean replacing it more often than is necessary. If you’ve invested in a high-quality yoga mat, without a doubt, you should also invest in a high-quality, practical yoga bag.
There are yoga bags in every shape, size, and color imaginable. While you can pick up a yoga bag from your local fitness store, at Ana Heart, we have an excellent yoga bag made from 100% cotton that even has a handy pocket for your water bottle and a zip pocket for your phone and other valuables.
Need it be said? The key to a comfortable yoga session is not only having the right equipment but also about having the right yoga clothing. Yoga leggings are the perfect choice of clothing for your bottom half as, typically, they are breathable to reduce sweat, quick-dry, and fitted, so they won’t ride up or down while you’re transitioning into and holding different poses, regardless of the type of yoga. Better still, yoga leggings allow for ultimate flexibility – your legs won’t end up twisted in an ocean of fabric.
When you’re attending yoga classes, especially for the first time, it can be tempting to try to “fit in”, however, we always recommend using your leggings and other yoga clothing to show off your unique personality. Choose colors, patterns and a fit you love and feel comfortable in, and that reflect your style. Yoga leggings are available in full-length and cropped styles and almost every color and pattern.
Wondering how to choose yoga leggings? There are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, you need quality leggings that are somewhat thicker than those you’d find in the bargain bin. Thin leggings will quickly become see-through, which could be embarrassing, and they will become worn very quickly. Secondly, your leggings should use a breathable fabric such as spandex or a spandex and polyester blend. Lastly, your yoga leggings should reflect your style through color and pattern.
At Ana Heart, we have a variety of styles of leggings, all of which are high-quality and durable. Our leggings also double as a fashion item that you can wear out and about in the morning, such as when heading to brunch. After all, if leggings work for style sensation Gigi Hadid, they work for us.
For yoga, layers are always advised, especially during the chilly months. You should invest in a good quality yoga pullover that you can wear to and from class. Your pullover will also act as a second layer during class that you can take off when your body warms up – don’t get caught out by the air conditioning.
Whether you’re someone that prefers a hoodie or a sweater, at Ana Heart, we have an array of practical and stylish options. All our yoga clothing is made from comfortable, breathable fabric, too.
Yoga is an excellent way to take time out from the bustle of life, stretch and breathe, however, to get the most out of your yoga class, you need to have the right yoga equipment. Investing in quality yoga equipment will help you to feel and perform at your best, and unique styles will boost your confidence, too. You need to stay focused, so you don’t want a yoga mat that won’t stay flat, no matter how hard you try. You also need practical, comfortable yoga clothing and a quality yoga bag for your essentials.
What are you waiting for? Get your gear together; it’s time for yoga.