yoga equipment guide

Yoga Blocks ~ A Buyer's Guide

Reehut Yoga Blocks - High Density EVA Foam Blocks to Support and Deepen Poses, Improve Strength and Aid Balance and Flexibility.

One of the most used props in the exquisitely calm sport, a yoga block is something to use for stabilization, much like a yoga strap. In a different form that caters to those who cannot use the yoga strap, yoga blocks help with the core and the alignment of the user. We’ll discuss the benefits of a yoga block, factors when buying, and tips to know before you buy.

When To Use Yoga Blocks

While yoga blocks allow you to have an abundance of support during more advanced techniques, there are a ton of other benefits that include:

– Improving the alignment of your body.
– Reduce the distance between your body and the ground you’re performing on.
– You’re able to modify poses to your liking and your current state of flexibility.
– Blocks reduce the amount of stress that’s put on your body, especially during advanced poses and techniques.
You can hold onto difficult poses for an extended period.
– Pregnant women can perform yoga poses long into their pregnancy successfully when using a block.

Another benefit of the yoga block is that you can combine multiple of them to perform the most advanced techniques or to make yourself that much more comfortable. There is no limit, and there are various sizes and shapes in order to further advance your success in performing.

YogaAccessories Rectangular Cotton Yoga Bolster

What You Need to Consider

Depending on your height and size (in terms of width of your back and chest), you’ll need a specific size of block to cater to your needs. If you’re a newbie that isn’t super thing or larger, the most standard size to begin trying is 9″ by 6″. If this doesn’t work for you, you may need to go smaller or larger. Even if you’re not in the size range, these blocks may help your specific bodily needs.

Speaking of size, the general height of the basic block is around 4 inches, although this can vary if you’re not into the size. Blocks aren’t the only shape that’s available either, as you can purchase circular and even those that are in the shape of a head support. If you’re going to a yoga class, you’ll probably hear the instructor give the advice of going with a standard size instead of trying to closely monitor measurements until you get the feel of a yoga block and if you’ll continue to use.

Another factor to consider is the material. The most common material that yoga blocks are made of are foam because they’re easy to find in store (if you want to go the DIY method), and they’re cheaper to make and distribute for online retailers. If you want something with more stability, there are wooden blocks. However, if you want something that allows you to truly explore your flexibility, you’ll want to look into a cork block because they’re sturdy, durable, and allow you movement and flexibility.

Tips Before Buying Yoga Blocks

Factors and tips can go hand in hand, and the size of your yoga block mixed in with your core composition will ultimately decide on what type or size of yoga block you’ll want to go with. The main function of a yoga block besides the aforementioned is being able to lengthen your spine comfortably during intense asana.

Blocks are there for you when you need that physical push, but with the safety and stability in mind of a moral push. It’s suggested that you can combine the block styles to perform the trickiest moves, along with allowing you to be exceptionally comfortable. For women who are pregnant, the combo block style is a great way to safely perform and maintain your physical and mental health.

At the end of the day, yoga isn’t about flexibility despite the poses and the people who are at the forefront. Being able to connect with your core and the right gear can provide you with heightened flexibility, sure, but yoga is about calming down and creating a connection between energy, your body, and your mind. When you have the right tools to succeed, you won’t have to worry about anything else. Mental flexibility is something you’ll experience before physical flexibility.

Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Meditation Pillow, Made in California, Oval.

Yoga Mats ~ Things You Need To Know

Spoga Premium Extra Thick 71-Inch Long High Density Exercise Yoga Mat with Comfort Foam and Carrying Straps.

Namaste doesn’t just have to do with our minds, body, and souls, it has to do with our wallet, too – well, some of us anyway. It’s imperative to know the basics of a yoga mat before buying, or else you’ll form a negative opinion on the product without knowing what’s good or bad. In doing so, you could tarnish the reputation of your future buying experiences. We’ll discuss the benefits of a yoga mat, factors to consider before buying, and tips on choosing the best.

Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat
$17.80 - $35.67

Choosing a Yoga Mat

Initially, you may think, “it’s such a thin piece of material – is it really worth my time or money?” The answer is: yes. The success of a yoga mat has little to do with its thickness and more to do with the material. In choosing a solid yoga mat, you’re going to reap the benefits of improved strength, relieved stress, safety, and peace.

Traction – The material that you choose is extremely important as most yoga sessions are done on a hard surface flooring that’s slippery. When you’re performing extreme poses that stretch your body and your mind, you’ll want a sturdy enough yoga mat that provides safe traction, ensuring that you’re not going to fall. When you’re trying to stabilize yourself against a poorly constructed mat, your mind is taken off of your yoga and peace experience and begins focusing more on trying not to fail at posing.

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Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat

Improved balance – Speaking of failing at posing, buying a yoga mat will indefinitely improve your overall core balance. Depending on the thickness and the material, your feet will push into this material while you’re countering your weight and provide a bit of support. You’ll be able to move a bit easier on this textured mat and successfully perform yoga poses.

A not-so-cold temperature – We’ve all been there. Whether it was our first session without a mat or your mat wasn’t big enough, a cold wooden floor can seriously mess up our vibes. The perfect yoga mat will provide enough warmth that you don’t feel cold or disturbed, but not enough warmth so you’re feeling like you’re posing on the hot sands of Maui.

Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mats
Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mats

What You Need to Consider

Before buying a yoga mat, you should know how to choose one size-wise. We all aren’t the same height or length, and some can stretch further than others. When choosing, you’ll want to know your height in both feet and inches, and then add at least 6 inches onto that for the perfect length. You may find that you like longer or shorter, depending on your past experiences.

As for stickiness and traction, yoga mats that are made from PVC have a much higher “sticky factor” than those that are not composed of this material. If you find that your PVC mat has become less sticky and you think it’s a “knock-off” just know that PVC becomes less sticky as it becomes more dirty. You must learn to maintain and clean the yoga mat as you would your mind, body, and soul.

Lastly, the price range is something you are obviously going to look at when buying a yoga mat. If you’re on the lower end of the price range, don’t expect the thickest mat out there. A basic 1/8 mat will cost you little to nothing, but it may show during your yoga performances. Cheap and thin doesn’t mean better, by any means, but it doesn’t mean that the thickest and most expensive is right for you, either.

Tips on Choosing a Yoga Mat

If it’s your first session, but you feel as if you want to continue, you’ll want to go with a level 1 type of yoga mat. In choosing something this low, it means that you aren’t spending hundreds just because of a brand name or price tag. As your new to the world of yoga, you want to find your style of practicing before diving in and buying the “best gear” out there – that gear may not be the best for you at all!

Maybe you’ve signed up for a yoga class that moves around a lot. If this is the case, you’ll want a mat that specifies dry and wet traction. You’ll be able to downward dog or flow/Yinyasa until the sun comes up! In knowing the aforementioned information as a whole, your yoga mat buying experience will be amplified.

Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat
Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat

Yoga Straps ~ A Few Tips To Know

Clever Yoga Strap 8FT or 10FT Made With The Best, Durable Cotton.

If you’re new to the world of yoga, you may only recognize a yoga mat. If this is the case, we must introduce you to another helpful piece of gear: yoga straps. If you have tense muscles or have gone through physical therapy for injuries, yoga straps allow you to embrace all of the extreme poses without hurting your body further. Here you’ll learn more about the benefits of buying a yoga strap, factors to consider when purchasing one, and tips to consider in your final choice.

Gaiam Restore Multi-Grip Stretch Strap
Gaiam Restore Multi-Grip Stretch Strap
Yoga Strap Best For Stretching
yoga strap exercise guide
yoga strap exercise guide

What Are Yoga Straps Used For?

Support and flexibility go hand-in-hand when purchasing a yoga strap. A yoga strap provides an enormous amount of flexibility, which works your core. When your core is worked and improved, you have an increased balance. More advanced poses may seem attractive to newbie yoga performers, but with a yoga strap, these advanced techniques are able to be tested and tried. In having a strap, you can monitor your progress of not needing one over time.

Another benefit of purchasing a yoga strap includes being able to be more safe. You can perform these advanced poses safely by wearing the belt/strap, stopping you from hitting the floor. You won’t hurt your muscles or extremities thanks to a yoga strap.
One last benefit of a yoga strap is doing a “2-in-1” option and you can use your strap to hold together your mat. Doing this allows you to have all of your gear for class and you won’t have to worry about losing one another. Using a strap will allow you to unwrap much faster.

Here’s What You Need to Consider

If you’re someone who’s been in an accident and still doesn’t have full range of motion, but misses being able to be active, a yoga strap is for you. Price is also something that should be heavily considered because price is usually indicative of quality in cases like this. Straps that are less than $10 may show signs of being cheaply made, which could further lessen the “safe” aspect of doing yoga.

Something else you should consider is your height and arm length, along with your leg length. If you choose a strap that’s entirely too small without knowing, you won’t be able to do anything other than the fetal position.

Yoga Strap Best For Stretching
Yoga Strap Best For Stretching
Gaiam Restore Multi-Grip Stretch Strap
Gaiam Restore Multi-Grip Stretch Strap

Tips on Choosing Yoga Straps

Choosing the best yoga strap goes hand in hand with choosing your other materials. If you slack on the yoga strap and mat, you’re going to risk your safety. If you spend a little amount to ensure your safety, you might as well not buy a strap at all. If you’re look specifically for yoga rehabilitation, a strap is the perfect yoga accessory for you.

Those who don’t have anything wrong with them other than the fact they can’t hold their poses well, a strap is perfect for learning the more advanced poses and bettering your learning curve. Those who are unable to touch their fingers to their feet or toes should seriously consider a yoga strap.

The material is yet another aspect you should consider before buying: a thick cotton weave material is optimal for flexibility on the user and durability of the product. These two factors hand in hand will allow you to enjoy the yoga strap without any worry at all. In knowing all of the information above, you’re on your way to becoming a yoga guru.

Choosing a thin and easily torn material is also a huge no-no when buying a strap. After a few uses, the wear may be too much and you could come crashing to the ground. If you’re trying to adjust your shoulders and you’re as short as 5’2″, you’ll want something that’s around 10 feet. In having this as a general guide, you can find the perfect size for you. Those who aren’t adjusting their shoulders should take two feet off of this number. The aforementioned number may increase or decrease depending on your personal flexibility.

Gaiam Yoga Straps Gaiam Yoga Straps
$5.99 - $20.00