10 yoga essentials that will enhance your practice

10 products for every type of yogi. (Getty/File)

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From yoga blocks to yoga straps, the range of yoga gear out there can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. If you’re not well-versed in the different yoga styles, figuring out which items are essential might seem like a puzzle. Fear not, though – we’re here to demystify things for you.

We’re breaking down some must-have items for every type of yogi, whether you’re diving into a vigorous sweat session or opting for a gentle restorative practice to unwind and stretch.

From ashtanga to yin yoga, every style of yoga has one thing in common and that’s a yoga mat. Not all yoga mats are created equal though – you want something that has a good grip and is made without toxic chemicals, so it doesn’t create a negative health impact. This handcrafted PRO series mat has not only been certified tested against 350 toxic chemicals but is also top teacher-recommended and will provide ultra-dense cushioning, grip, and comfort for every style of yoga.
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Think you might want to do yoga on your travels? Manduka also has a thin foldable eKO yoga mat, made with biodegradable natural tree rubber, that you can easily store in your luggage.


For more sweat-inducing yoga practices, it’s best to wipe down your mat after every use and for restorative practices, your yoga mat can be cleaned every couple of uses. Look for a yoga mat cleaner that is non-toxic and doesn’t leave a sticky residue like this plant-based mat spray by MOXĒ, an eco-friendly, cruelty-free brand. Bonus: The essential oil-scented spray also comes with a microfiber cleaning towel.


This roomy yoga bag is water-resistant and includes wet and dry separation – the bottom zip compartment can be used to pack up sweaty towels and headbands. It also features two exterior side pockets for water bottles, umbrellas, phones, wallets, keys, or any other loose items.
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If you just want to sling your bag over your shoulder to get to class, a yoga strap works well, too.


With every yoga practice, chances are there will be some poses that will challenge tighter muscles. This is where a yoga strap comes in to help stretch without sacrificing good yoga form. Slim Panda’s yoga straps are made with 100 per cent cotton so they are soft but sturdy and easy to grasp. Available in five different colours.


Yoga towels are most necessary in hot yoga to prevent slips due to excess moisture, but they are also helpful if you are borrowing a studio mat. The towels help provide grip for the hands and feet and for moisture management. When using a full-mat yoga towel, you may need to lightly mist the towel so it can grip the mat properly. But with this Gaiam yoga towel, you can skip that step because it features corner pockets to secure the towel to the mat easily to prevent any shifting. Bonus: Its fabric is also hypoallergenic.
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Yoga blocks help by providing more stability during challenging poses. In seated poses, yoga blocks can help relieve pressure on the joints. For restorative yoga and sometimes yin yoga, blocks may be necessary to create optimal restorative poses for deeper stretches and relaxation. Though yoga blocks come in different materials, cork yoga blocks are best because they are more durable, non-toxic, and may offer more stability.


From savasana (corpse pose) to restorative sequences, a blanket is an amazing tool for yoga practice. The weight of a traditional Mexican blanket helps bring about relaxation and warmth in savasana and be turned into a headrest and prop in restorative poses. Made with 100 per cent recycled cotton fibres, these blankets are handmade by local artisans in Tlaxcala, Mexico on traditional wooden looms.


Most commonly used for meditation and restorative yoga, bolsters can help ease pain and provide support for the body in deep poses. These supportive cushions come in different shapes and sizes, but the cylindrical bolster is most commonly used. Made in British Columbia, Halfmoon uses 100 per cent all-natural fibres that resist shrinking, and stretching and are highly durable. The bolster features a removable cover to make washing it regularly a cinch.
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A weighted eye pillow is not just great for resting poses to block out light, but it can help focus your breathing and promote deeper relaxation. This eye pillow made by Quebec company Amma Therapie is filled with organic pearled barley and dried lavender flowers for a calming aroma, and its removable washable cover is made with eco-friendly fabrics hemp, and organic cotton.


Be sure to keep a water bottle handy to take sips during yoga practice and to fully hydrate after practice. Klean Kanteen’s food-grade stainless steel water bottles ensure your water can be kept cold for hours. Bonus: You can feel good about supporting this clean company because they are climate neutral-certified and invest a portion of each sale in environmental initiatives.
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