Beginning a regular yoga practice has plenty of benefits. Yoga has been proven to decrease stress and anxiety, reduce inflammation and chronic pain, and help fight depression, among other things. That said, paying for daily yoga classes can get expensive fast. Another option is to start your own at-home yoga practice. With the purchase of a few essential items, you’ll be ready to go.
Before You Start
An at-home yoga practice can be just as relaxing and beneficial as yoga done in a classroom with a professional instructor (although if you’ve never done it before, you might want to take at least one beginner class to get the basics down). While you can definitely do yoga without purchasing all of the accessories below, you may find these more helpful in your practice, especially as you get more advanced. Here’s what to know before you begin.
- Decide what kind of yoga you’re interested in. There are many different styles of yoga, and some might be a better fit for you than others. Decide on what kind you want to do before you begin purchasing items. For example, you may need a bolster and a block if you’re doing restorative yoga.
- Check out YouTube for free videos. A quick search for yoga videos on YouTube will bring up thousands of results, and many of them are great. Channels like Yoga With Adriene offer plenty of videos and routines that are easy to follow and totally free. You can also find routine ideas online by a quick Google search.
- Download an app on your phone or smart TV. If YouTube isn’t your thing, look for yoga apps that offer classes and routines on your phone or smart TV. You might have to pay a monthly or weekly fee, but that’s still cheaper than going to classes.
- Set up in a designated spot in your home. Yoga is meant to be a relaxing, healing practice. You don’t want to be surrounded by clutter or chaos. Pick a spot in your home to keep your new items and try to make sure it’s somewhere relaxing.
Best Yoga Mat: Gaiam Extra Thick Yoga Mat
There are many different yoga mats to choose from, but Gaiam is popular for a reason: These are truly fantastic yoga mats. Gaiam’s Extra Thick Yoga Mat is thick enough to offer comfortable cushioning even on hardwood floor, yet feels lightweight when you’re carrying it. It is also durable and will likely last for years, even if you practice every day.
The textured, slightly sticky (but not in a weird way) surface never slips, no matter what kind of positions you’re practicing. It’s non-toxic and free of PVC and other chemicals. A nice perk is that it’s reversible, so you can switch it around if you get sick of one design. An additional bonus? Your mat purchase comes with a free downloadable yoga class to get you started at home.
Gaiam Yoga Mat Premium Print Reversible Extra Thick Non Slip Exercise & Fitness Mat for All Types of Yoga, Pilates & Floor Workouts, Purple Lotus, 6mm
The best yoga mat out there, Gaiam Extra Thick Yoga Mat is cushioned, lightweight, and reversible.
Best Yoga Straps: Tumaz Yoga Strap/Stretch Bands
Yoga straps are great for beginners, especially if you’re not a flexible person. They help you stretch a little farther than you would be able to on your own, and you really want a pair that’s going to provide the stability you need. Tumaz Yoga Straps have high ratings for being simple but great. These are thicker than most other yoga straps, making them easier to use and more comfortable to handle.
They’re also softer than your average strap, so they feel smooth instead of rough. The D-ring makes it easy to adjust them as needed, and they come in lots of color options, so you can definitely find your favorite.
Tumaz Yoga Strap/Stretch Bands with Adjustable D-Ring Buckle (6ft/8ft/10ft, Many Stylish Colors) - Best for Daily Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Physical Therapy, Fitness
Tumaz Yoga Straps are thick, soft, and comfortable, and they're easy to use during any pose.
Best Towel: Yoga-Mate The Perfect Yoga Towel
The last thing you want when you’re in the middle of a complicated pose is to slip out of it because of your sweaty hands. That’s one reason it’s nice to have a yoga towel on hand during your practice. Yoga-Mate calls this The Perfect Yoga Towel for a reason. These soft, super absorbent microfiber towels are ideal for wiping away sweat and keeping you from slipping.
If you find you’re slipping on your mat, you can add a small amount of water to the Yoga-Mate towel to make it damp, then lay it over your yoga mat as an added layer to keep from falling. It fits almost any mat, is really lightweight, and dries quickly.
Yoga Mate Soft, Sweat Absorbent, Non-Slip Bikram Yoga Mat Size Towel, Blue & Pink Tie Dye | Blue Trim
The Yoga-Mate Perfect Yoga Towel is ultra-absorbent and soft to keep you from slipping.
Best Yoga Block: Gaiam Yoga Block
Yoga blocks work as little props in yoga. You can use one or stack two on top of each other to help get into a pose you can’t do on your own—think of them as a way to bring the floor to you. Blocks are especially great if you’re not super flexible yet, because they tend to make things a little bit easier and really allow you to focus on your pose and balance.
Gaiam Yoga Blocks are simple and to the point. Made of durable foam, they’re soft, easy to grab, and super lightweight, although they don’t fall over easily. They feel nice, come in a whole bunch of different colors, and have a non-slip surface so that you won’t fall over while using them for balance.
Gaiam Yoga Block - Supportive Latex-Free EVA Foam Soft Non-Slip Surface for Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Tri-Color Teal Tonal
Gaiam Yoga Blocks have a soft, non-slip surface that allows you to get deeper into a pose.
Best Yoga Mat Spray: Asutra Natural and Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner
When you’re regularly using and sweating on a yoga mat, you’re going to get it dirty pretty quickly, which can lead to some unpleasant smells and a buildup of bacteria. Cleaning is easy with a spritz of Asutra Natural and Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner. Made with all-natural ingredients that are non-toxic and eco-friendly, this cleaner leaves your mat smelling amazing and feeling fresh.
The lavender scent is also really relaxing and refreshing, especially when you breathe it in during your practice. It disinfects on contact, and even though it’s made with essential oils, it never leaves your mat feeling slippery.
ASUTRA Natural & Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner (Peaceful Lavender Aroma), 4 fl oz | Safe for All Mats & No Slippery Residue | Cleans, Restores, Refreshes | Comes w/ Microfiber Cleaning Towel
Asutra Natural and Organic Yoga Mat Spray smells great and leaves your mat clean and disinfected.
Best Yoga Socks: Tucketts Yoga Socks
A lot of people like to do yoga barefoot, but if you’d prefer to wear socks, make sure you wear Tucketts Yoga Socks. The toe-free design gives your feet more movement, which is really important in yoga, and allows you to use your toes more effectively. The strap and heel keep them on no matter how much you move around, and the grip bottom keeps you from slipping around.
They’re also really soft, they wick moisture away quickly, and they give you that barefoot feeling without you having to be, you know, barefoot.
Tucketts Womens Yoga Socks, Toeless Non Slip Skid Grip Low Cut Socks for Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Studio, Bikram, Ballet, Dance - Allegro Style (Gray/Red)
Tucketts Yoga Socks have a patented toe-free design that allows your feet more flexibility during poses.
Best Bolster: YogaAccessories Supportive Round Cotton Bolster
A yoga bolster looks like a small body pillow, but it’s not just for lounging on. A bolster is often used in restorative or prenatal yoga and is a great tool for relaxing into a pose or opening up the body if you need extra help. The YogaAccessories Supportive Round Cotton Bolster is comfortable, firm enough to lean on but not so firm it feels hard, and is a great size. It also comes with a zippered case that’s easy to take on and off to throw in the washing machine.
YogaAccessories Supportive Round Cotton Yoga Bolster - Purple
This YogaAccessories bolster is comfortable, sturdy, and easy to wash.
Best Essential Oil Diffuser: VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser
If you really want to get the vibe of a yoga studio in your home, you need some essential oils. Better yet, you need a diffuser like the VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser. Not only does it look like it belongs in a yoga studio, it will make it smell like you’re in one. It also works as a humidifier to keep you from getting sick, which is a nice plus.
On top of that, the VicTsing has seven soothing lights and 15 modes to choose from, two mist settings, and a timer. Scented essential oils mixed with the soothing humidifier creates a relaxing and calm atmosphere where you can fully get into your practice.
VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ml Oil Diffuser with 7 Color Lights and 4 Timer, Aromatherapy Diffuser with Auto Shut-off Function, Cool Mist Humidifier BPA-Free for Bedroom Home
Create a calm and relaxed yoga environment with the VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser.
Best Meditation Cushion: Seat of Your Soul Meditation Cushion
Yoga does not usually involve meditation, especially at home, but it does typically involve moments where you’re simply sitting there while breathing correctly (some types more than others). If you’re not thrilled with the idea of just sitting on your mat, then get a meditation cushion to feel more comfortable. The Seat of Your Soul Meditation Cushion is firm but still comfortable, made of organic cotton, and filled with buckwheat. It’s just the right size and will help you sit more comfortably even on a hardwood floor.
Buckwheat Zafu Therapeutic Meditation Cushion | Yoga Pillow | Round Ergonomic Design Relieves Stress On Back, Hips, Legs For Complete Comfort | Washable Premium Organic Cotton Removable Cover - Black
Seat of Your Soul makes a comfortable, firm, and durable meditation cushion to use when needed.