Quick Note: Scroll to the bottom to see the summary I created for quick reference. Because prices change so much, I didn’t list them. The towels, bags, and mats range from $40-120. Everything else ranges $10-$30
I’m not flexible. I have no balance. What if I’m not prepared. Do I need props? I’m out of shape. People will make fun of me!
I’m just listing off all of the excuses I hear of why people stray away from going to yoga studios. It can be a little intimidating being the yogi newbie, I get it. Everyone has to start somewhere, so remember that every single person in that yoga studio has been in your position. Everyone had a first yoga class!
Yoga is not about how graceful and advanced you are in postures. Yoga is about using these postures as a tool to work with the breath and mind. The fact that you are having these fears, and then taking a step into your first yoga class is the actual practice of yoga. There are actually eight limbs to yoga, and asana (posture) practice is just one of them. Most people associate yoga practice with postures, but yoga is actually a lifestyle, a 24/7 practice.
Ask yourself this: “Would I think badly of a beginner or make fun of them if they walked into a class?” It makes me the most happy to see beginners because I remember when I was a beginner and how transformative this practice is, so it warms my heart to see someone taking steps towards inner growth. When I turn the question towards me, I realize it’s my own fear of judgement, and then when I can get over it.
It’s time to get over it!
To ease a little bit of the fear, I took the liberty of putting together a yoga essentials starter kit! This way you don’t have to call every studio, or wonder if they have mats or towels for rent, you can just let go of your fears and have all of your essentials ready to go.
I wish I would have had something like this so I wouldn’t have wasted money on lousy yoga mats. And who wants to use a smelly over used yoga mat from the studio? It’s a nice option, but not the best option!
A. For the Dedicated Yogi: Practicing Daily
The Manduka Yoga Mat is a MUST for any yogi. I used to practice with those really thin mats you can get from Walmart or Target (usually around $20), but if you do yoga twice a week or more, then that mat is going to smell and fall apart in no time. You don’t want to be the one at the studio with the smelly mat! Manduka mat’s are more expensive, but they last a lifetime, so it pays for itself. Since they have a lifetime guarantee, Manduka will send you a new one if for some strange reason something happens to it.
Click the mat to read more about it
The Black Mat Pro is the best possible mat you can get. – See It Here
There are some other colors too —-> Check them out here!
B. For the Occasional Practitioner: 2 Days a Week or Less
Below are other great Manduka mat’s that are a little cheaper. Just a quick note that only the Pro mats and Pro-Lite mats have the lifetime guarantee.
The Pro-Lite – See It Here
The Eko Yoga Mat – See It Here
The Eko Lite – See it Here
C. For the Traveler
As far as traveling goes: I also highly recommend the travel mat because it folds in half, and it still has Manduka quality. Unless you’re going on a yoga specific training or retreat, I would just bring a lighter travel mat with me for convenience. It’s well worth the money because it’s been the biggest pain for on my shoulders to travel across the country with my Manduka over my arm. Everyone I know who has a travel mat swears by it!
The Eko SuperLite Travel Mat – See It Here
Here’s why I LOVE the Manduka: They are really really sturdy, so you’ll just notice that your practice becomes stronger and more balanced as well. It’s non-slip, it has a slight cushion, so headstand or any arm balance is comfortable. With the thin and cheaper mats, I can feel the hard floor underneath, so I found headstand to be uncomfortable. There is a top layer as a protectant, so I recommend giving it a good scrub when you first receive it. It’s easy and the layer will wear off, but it’s best to scrub it to prevent slipping.
Once I switched to Manduka, my yoga practice completely changed. I’ve had to use other mats on occasion if for some reason I forgot my Manduka, and it’s an extreme difference. It’s the preferred mat for yogis, so you’ll notice that it’s very rare to see a teacher or long time practitioner without the black Manduka.
**Photo Taken at the 29Palms Inn. One of my most favorite places in the world!**
A yoga mat bag is essential because it not only makes it really easy to carry around your mat, but also a lot of mat bags are made with extra compartments to hold your keys, towels, wallets, water bottles, etc. Manduka has some great ones. Here are my recommendations below:
A. Best for Beginners:
The Go Getter See It Here
It’s a light sling designed to carry your mat . You can’t really go wrong with it because it’s under $20 and it’s really light and versatile. If you don’t carry much with you, this is the one to go with.
B. Best For The Experienced Yogi:
The Go Light Mat Bag See It Here
This is the cheapest Manduka mat bag. It has one compartment in the inside, and it’s really light and perfect if you don’t carry much with you. This is the type of bag that I have, and it works great.
C. Best for Travelers:
The GO Roam See It Here
The pricier of the options, but I think it’s the best bet because you can carry all of your belongings in it. Also, if you are going on a yoga trip, and opt to bring your Manduka, you can use this whole bag as your carry on assuming you’re checking other luggage. This bag is slim, fits your mat, but also can fit anything else you’d bring on an airplane (books, iPods, sweater, etc). This is going to be my next purchase because I do go on a lot of yoga retreats where I’ll bring my Manduka. This will provide that I don’t need other carry-ons and that makes me smile and breathe easier!
Manduka has a lot of other great options, but I wanted to share with you my favorites. Here’s a link to all of their bags if you want to have a look around: See It Here
A. For the Environmentalist:
I’m a Huge Fan of the Sigg water bottle. It’s completely eco friendly, and it’s BPA-Free and Phthalate-Free, as well as being free of any VOCs (volatile organic compounds). You aren’t ingesting anything that will harm you. I’ve had mine for years and dropped it all over the place. Maybe there are a few scratches and dents, but other than that, it never breaks. I also use it for smoothies and juices because it doubles as a thermos. See It Here
B. For the Funky Yogi
Funky Yoga has all kinds of fun and funky products from the traditional yoga accessories and clothing, to coffee mugs, bumper stickers, and door mats. They even have some clothing for yoga babies!
I love this namaste water bottle! It’s stainless steel and has namaste printed in both sides. It’s perfect for yoga, school, work, or quenching your thirst in the exhibit hall of your favorite convention.
Here’s a small list of a few other things you’ll need:
A. Towel: Yogitoes:
I am seriously in love with this Yogitoes collection! These are super absorbent, non-slip and quick drying. They’re great if you sweat or especially for hot yoga, Bikram Yoga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga. You can click on the picture to take you to them:
B. Mat cleaner: See It Here
I love my mat cleaner from Manduka. It’s a really great vinegar cleaning solution, and convenient to carry with you so you can clean your mat right after practice. It smells like sage and lemongrass, so don’t be turned off.
So there you have it!
Quick Summary For You:
Yoga Studio Essentials:
The Mat: The Black Manduka – See It Here
The Mat Bag: The Go Light Mat Bag See It Here
The Yoga Towel: See It Here
The Mat Wash: See It Here
The Mat: The Eko SuperLite Travel Mat See It Here
The Mat Bag: The GO Roam See It Here
Did this help? I’d love to know in the comments below: