Yoga is an excellent form of exercise and can come with a ton of mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional benefits.
If you’re thinking about taking up the practice of yoga, there’s no better way to start than to attend a yoga class. But if you’ve never been to a class before, you may not know what you should bring with you.
The basics that you need for attending a yoga class are comfy clothes, a water bottle, and an open mind. But there are a few other tools you can bring with you to make your practice better. Read on to discover the yoga equipment list of yoga essentials you need to gather before you attend your first class.
One of the most important things you’ll want to have for a yoga class is a set of comfortable clothes that you can move in. That starts with a pair of stretchy pants. These can be the traditional flowing yoga pants if you want them to, but they don’t have to be.
Find a pair of pants that you’re comfortable in and that you can move well in. When you try them on, run through a few poses to make sure they fit well. They should be loose enough to be comfortable but not so loose that you feel like they’re going to fall off.
Like your pants, you want your top to be both supportive and comfortable. You should be able to move in the top without worrying about it sliding up or down. You’ll have a difficult time focusing on mindfulness if you’re constantly adjusting your clothes.
Try to find a top that has built-in support for your chest. If you aren’t comfortable in tight clothing, that’s fine; look for something you can tuck into your pants. Your shirt should also be made of a light, breathable material that will keep you cool throughout the class.
If you’re a little more well-endowed in the chest area, you may also want to get a sports bra. You want to make sure the bra offers plenty of support, but you should try to avoid wires. Underwires are great for supporting you through everyday life, but they make it hard to move in class.
Look for a bra that has a wide elastic band and a double layer of breathable fabric. If you can find adjustable straps, that’s ideal; sports bra straps will stretch out over time. Adjustable straps can also allow you to hoist the girls up and strap them down for your class.
Many people prefer to practice yoga barefoot, and if that’s your preference, that’s fine. But you may want to have something covering your feet, especially in winter. Yoga socks are a great way to stay warm and keep your grip.
Yoga socks cover the arch and ankle on your feet while leaving the ball and heel of your foot bare. This will help you keep a grip on your mat during poses like downward dog and the warrior poses. Look for socks that hug your foot tightly and are made of a washable material.
Other than comfy, breathable clothes, one of the most important things you can bring to your yoga class is a water bottle, especially for hot yoga. Some yoga studios will provide water bottles at their classes, but it’s good to get into the habit of bringing your own. You’re going to be sweating a lot in class, and you need to make sure you stay hydrated.
If you don’t like drinking plain water, get a water bottle with an infuser basket. You can put fruit and herbs in the bottle to add some extra flavor to the water. Make sure your water bottle is comfortable to carry and holds enough to get you through a class.
Many yoga studios offer yoga mats, and if you’re going to your first class, it’s fine to borrow one of those mats. But if you’re going to set up a regular yoga practice, you’re going to want a mat of your own. Not only will this personalize your practice, but it will also help you bring your practice back home.
There are a variety of options you can choose from in terms of yoga mats. They come in different thicknesses, ranging from 1/16 of an inch (good for traveling) to ¼ of an inch (great for people with injuries or joint trouble). Pick a thickness that works well for you, as well as a pattern that draws you in and helps prevent slipping during hot yoga.
Having yoga blocks around can help you modify yoga positions when you need to and support you as you’re learning to do new poses. These foam blocks are about a foot by six inches by three inches and are lightweight. They usually come in pairs and can come in a bright variety of colors.
You may also need other props and aids for your yoga class. Straps, self-massage balls, and other such tools can help you better your practice. It’s a good idea to attend a few yoga classes first to figure out what you’ll need.
Whether or not you tend to sweat a lot during a workout, it’s a good idea to have a towel around. Your hands may get slippery on the mat, and it’s nice to have something to wipe them off on. If you do tend to sweat a lot, having a towel around can help you keep sweat out of your eyes and off your mat, making your practice more comfortable.
Almost any towel will serve this purpose well, but you can get a designated yoga towel if you like. You probably want to go for a small towel to make it easier to use during class. But if you plan to take a shower at the studio, you may want to bring a full-sized towel along as well.
Change of Clothes
Yoga clothes are great to work out in, but you may not feel comfortable walking down the street wearing them. Or you may be heading to work or a meeting after your class. In either case, you’re going to want an extra change of clothes with you.
If you’re planning on going somewhere after your class, you may also want to bring along some shampoo, conditioner, and soap. If you don’t want to haul around full-sized bottles, you can get travel bottles to tuck in your yoga bag (which we’ll get to in a moment). It’s probably a good idea to pack these bottles in a zip-top bag in case they start leaking.
After a hard workout, you may need something to snack on. You probably don’t want to eat a lot (or anything) before your class. But if you’re going anywhere after the class, you’re going to need something to eat before your next meal.
Go for snacks that are low in fat and oil and high in protein. Nuts or a protein bar may be a good idea. You may also want to grab a banana or a smoothie – they’re high in fiber and can give you a nice sugar boost.
Having a blanket can be great for your yoga practice. If your class is focused on gentle, slow movements or has an extended savasana session at the end of class, you may want something to keep you warm and comfortable.
Having this simple element of comfort can help you gain a lot more from your practice.
Look for a lightweight blanket that’s still going to keep you warm. You want something you can easily wash, since you may be sweaty at the end of your practice. Keep it by your mat during practice for the relaxation session at the end of the class.
If you’re going to be toting around a change of clothes, shampoo and body wash, snacks, and a yoga mat, you’re going to need a bag to carry it all in. Your yoga bag can become your best tool in sticking to your yoga practice.
Look for a bag that has plenty of room to hold your bag and clothes and enough pockets to keep everything organized.
You want to look for a bag with a solid shoulder strap that’s comfortable to wear. And the design should be something that makes you happy so whenever you see the bag, you want to go to class.
Discover the Yoga Essentials
When you’re first setting up a yoga practice, the most important thing you need is a set of comfy clothes and a willingness to be present there on your mat. But having a water bottle, a change of clothes, a snack, and the other things we’ve mentioned here can make your practice go much better.
Having all the yoga essentials will make you feel much more well-prepared for your class.
If you’d like to get started with your own yoga practice, see us at Yoga London. We have classes for people at every level of practice, from beginners to experienced yogis.