The beauty of yoga is that you really need very little in order to practice. Just space, time, a little knowledge and the desire to do it. You can go flow through a few poses almost anywhere!
But, if you’re stepping out for a class or looking to enhance your home practice, maybe you’ve run into a few of these problems. And if so, we’ve got products that should do the trick!
Problem: You slip and slide all over your mat.
Solution: The Manduka eKO Lite 68″ mat ($64) is designed to offer great grip even when you get super sweaty. Now, in my experience, it’s good, but not infallible in that regard — I still ended up with a bit of slippage, but, I mean, I’m a crazy sweater and this has never, ever had this not be an issue, and it’s certainly an improvement over other mats I’ve used. Plus I love that it’s thick and cushy enough for comfort but not so soft that it throws off my balance. The incredibly eco-friendly angle doesn’t hurt, either.
Problem: You have to use a community mat in a class and you are Freaked. Out. about all the germs that might be there.
Solution: GermBloc Sport Pack ($9.99) lets you sanitize your mat and pretty much anything else that’s icking you out (yoga blocks, BOSU balls, you name it!) with an antimicrobial spray, plus it has a separate hand sanitizer spray for your own bad self. It comes in a 3-ounce and 1-ounce kit, both of which are super portable and easy to fit in your bag.
Problem: You want to carry your mat, but you also want a foam roller handy. And you’d also like to have your wallet and phone …
Solution: Check out the GoRoll ($79-$89), which is a foam roller with a hollow center where you can store pretty much anything you need. It has a strap so you can basically use it as your bag for the day, and, while your mat will fit all rolled up in the bag without the top on (or, if you have a narrower mat than I do, it should fit with the top on, too!), once you put the top back on, you can actually lock up anything inside.
Problem: Your feet slip and slide and put you into the splits when you practice.
Solution: Shashi socks ($16-$18) are rocking my world. They provide fantastic grip with a super cool added detail — the tops are sheer in order to keep your tootsies from getting too warm. Plus, you can get them in split or regular toe!
Problem: You want to cover up going to and from class, but you want some ventilation.
Solution: Threads 4 Thought’s Mercury Top ($50) offers a semi-flowy fit, bright colors (love the Neptune and Mermaid Cove), and ventilation via mesh inserts on the sides that will help to keep you a bit cooler than, say, a sweatshirt. Plus, you’ve gotta love the fact that this sustainable company uses water bottles, so this top is made from 86 percent recycled polyester, which comes from those water bottles.
Problem: You like yoga pants, but your legs just get so hot mid-asana.
Solution: The lucy Powerfully Poised Capri Legging ($89, available soon!) gives coverage like a typical capri, but there are two large mesh panels on the back and side of each leg to help you stay a bit cooler. The fact that they’re right on trend doesn’t exactly hurt.
Problem: You want to practice at home, but you aren’t sure how to get started.
Solutions: Yep, I’ve got two of ’em for you! If you like following classes on your laptop, tablet or phone (and you’ve already checked out the fab yoga series that Sean Vigue did for us!), you’ve gotta check out Grokker — you’ll find not just yoga classes, but fitness and cooking classes and meditations, too — 3500 plus of them! You can sort and search to find the type and level of class you want, or even follow along with a series. It’s subscription-based, with a free, basic membership entitling you to just a couple of premium videos a week (although you have unlimited access to non-premium videos), and a premium membership (as low as $9.99/month) gives you unlimited access to all videos. I love that you can check things out for free before deciding to sign up, because if it’s a good fit for you, that’s a serious bargain!
The other solution for home practice is Everyday Yoga by Sage Rountree. I’ve been following Rountree’s work for years — she’s so great at making yoga really accessible, particularly for athletes who may not feel like they have the time or bendiness necessary to get into yoga. The book starts with the sentence, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga,” which I love. Now, it’s not a how-to book (because Rountree always recommends practicing with a teacher to learn the basics), but it is a what-to book, providing you with routines and practices that you can easily work into your schedule. And what’s really cool is that, for many poses, she provides cues to make the pose sweeter (a little easier), spicier (a bit more challenging) or with added seasoning (can make it easier or harder depending on your body). Between the great explanations of what the poses work, the practices that put these poses together, and the organization at the back to help you plan out your practice, well, it’s one of the most helpful tools in my at-home yoga arsenal!
What yoga tools can you not practice without? —Kristen