Do you remember your very first yoga purchase? Maybe it was a cute pair of leggings, a strappy sports bra or a sturdy mat. Whether you’re a novice yogi or have been a dedicated practitioner for years, creating a zen atmosphere starts with these little investments in your practice. As time goes on, and you begin to progress in your practice, you might even consider adding a few yoga props to your home studio’s stockpile to enhance your performance — things like meditation pillows, yoga wheels and blocks that make mastering those tricky poses a bit easier.
There are so many branches of yoga — acroyoga, bikram, yin, kundalini, etc — and each is made up of different poses and flows. The yoga props you add to your cart will ultimately depend on the types of movements in your practice and the areas you want to improve in. For example, if your sessions are heavily focused on flexibility, yoga straps can help stretch you out a little more. If your practice includes back bends, yoga wheels assist in your rotation. Other items, like yoga pillows and blankets, are key components of restorative practices — they can act as a bolster or allow your muscles to relax deeper in savasana.
Yoga is a unique form of exercise for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it doesn’t require a ton of heavy duty equipment. All you need to advance your practice are a few key items that help you further connect to your body and mind through your flow, and the following products are some of the best yoga props to do just that.
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1. Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Pranayama Yoga Pillow
Meditation can be one of the most satisfying parts of yoga, but it can also be one of the most difficult to master. Especially for someone new to the practice, sitting in silence with nothing but you and your private thoughts can be intimidating, which is why setting the mood is just as important as showing up on the mat. That’s where Brentwood Home comes in. Its pranayama yoga pillow is the mother of all yoga cushions: Not only does it look zen with its earthy aesthetic and scale pattern, but the bolster is also designed to serve as a resting place. Lined with certified organic cotton and filled with buckwheat, the 5-pound yoga prop offers optimal support to yogis of all levels.
2. UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel
After headstands, we’d say backbends are one of the toughest yoga poses to master. These types of poses require another level of flexibility, but if you’re determined to get bendy with it despite a lack of malleability, you definitely want to invest in a yoga wheel. The UpCircleSeven wheel can withstand up to 550 pounds and features the thickest padding available to deliver optimal support. It’s also sweat-resistant, which is good news considering your efforts are definitely going to translate to perspiration.
3. Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block & Strap Set
Who doesn’t love a three-for-one special? Gaiam’s yoga prop set comes equipped with three pieces: two yoga blocks and one strap. The blocks are made out of durable foam and coated with a non-slip surface to ensure your stability. Beveled edges make gripping easy and the block itself can be used under your hands, feet and even as a seat during the meditative portions of your practice. And with an 8-foot metal buckle strap increasing your range of motion, deep stretches never felt so good.