Go with the Flow: How to Pick the Right Basic Yoga Kit for Your Style
Yoga styles can differ greatly, from slow subtle movement to a hot, sweaty flow! Here's Woman magazine's quick guide to picking the right basic kit for your style.
Can’t get enough of Iyengar? Or perhaps you don’t know your Ashtanga from your Anusara yet? Whether you're on your way to being a yoga pro or are just starting to find your path, there are a wealth of yoga styles out there to explore and enjoy – and the right kit can help!
Choosing Your Yoga Mat
Whether you’re a Vinyasa veteran or just getting into the flow of things, no yoga session is complete without a mat to practise on. However, the type of mat you need depends on your experience level and how frequently you attend yoga classes. If you’re happy with your once-a-week Hatha, a basic mat made of PVC or rubber will be perfect, but if you’ve caught the Bikram bug, look into some cotton mat alternatives. These are great for absorbing sweat and still maintain a good grip when wet – so getting your sweat on won’t slow you down!
Although yoga mats can seem like an investment, having your own mat to practice on at home is really important if you want to improve your confidence and technique between classes. You can also find great deals and inexpensive basic mats if you’re just starting out.
Get the Right Support
There’s nothing wrong with wearing your basic gym kit to a yoga class, but choosing the right sports bra is essential. More strenuous styles such as Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Power yoga may require a medium support sports bra, but for lower-intensity classes this isn’t necessarily the best choice. For practices such as restorative, yin and Taoist yoga, comfortable clothing and kit should be your highest priority, as you’ll be still for long periods of time.
Whether it’s a focus on breathing, meditation or holding relaxed postures for extended periods, you want to be wearing a comfortable yet supportive sports bra in a fabric that breathes when you do. A low-impact sports bra for this style of yoga class is a good choice.
A racerback sports bra is also a great choice for whatever yoga class you pick, as the design means you can move freely between different yoga positions and poses.
Yoga Extras You Might Need
Aside from your mat, sports bra, and the basic yoga kit that you’ll wear to every class such as leggings and a yoga top, there is also a wide range of accessories that you can buy if you decide to pursue your practice to a more advanced level. Yoga gloves are a great, inexpensive addition to your kit bag if you find your hands slip a lot while you’re trying to hold poses on a mat. Equally, yoga socks are great for improving your grip, especially if you’ve chosen hot yoga or Bikram classes. And a specially designed bag for your yoga mat makes carrying it to and from class a lot easier (and you'll look like a pro!).