Yoga Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed (But Will Elevate Your Practice)

When we say yoga accessories, you probably think of leggings. Or a fancy mat. Both are definitely high on the list of must-have yoga accessories, but chances are — especially if you’re a novice yogi — you’re missing a few key items. See, yoga is a meditative practice, but it’s also a form of exercise. You don’t need anywhere near a gymnasium’s worth of high end equipment to elevate your performance, but there are some essentials you’ll want to add to your cart.

Let’s be honest, one of the best parts about starting a yoga practice (or any fitness program, really), is treating yourself to some new gear. Of course, finding the perfect pair of leggings and the best sports bra for your boob size are crucial components to feeling comfortable in your flow, however, there’s more to yoga than an Instagram-worthy outfit. For example, if you aren’t super flexible (yet), a yoga block made of bamboo, cork, foam, or wood can act as an extension of the arms, legs, or offer support for different body parts during a variety of poses. Yoga straps can help you stretch deeper, while yoga wheels assist during tricky back bends. You’ll also want to invest in an aromatic spray to detox your mat after a few particularly sweaty sessions.

Whether you’ve been devoted to the practice for years or are just starting out on this exciting journey, there is always room for improvement on the mat. To enhance your mind-body connection even further, we’ve rounded up some of the best yoga accessories to take your practice to the next level.

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Native Yoga Solid Color Woven Yoga Blanket

There’s a lot of movement in yoga, but you’ll also be spending a lot of downtime on the mat, too. That’s where yoga blankets come in: They can act as a cushion under your bottom, neck, head, and back. Native Yoga’s Mexican-style blanket is gorgeously woven with acrylic, polyester and cotton materials and can be used as an alternative bolster, meditation seat, or a comforting wrap during peaceful savasana.

Gaiam Yoga Mat

Gaiam yoga mats are a personal favorite of this writer for their durability, thickness, and, of course, gorgeous designs. These premium designs are particularly great: Their 6mm thick, made of 100% non-toxic materials and non-stick, so it’s easy to move in and out of poses. Plus, these mats are reversible, so you get two aesthetics in one.

Marika Deluxe Yoga Block

Got balance? Yoga blocks are a must-have yogi staple if you struggle with stability or maybe aren’t as flexible in certain poses. You’ll get there with practice, but in the meantime, take advantage of Marika’s deluxe foam block that’s made extra wide for extra assistance.

Gaiam Yoga Bolster Meditation Pillow

Sometimes you’re in the mood for a full-blow yoga workout that has you flowing in and out of poses at a heightened pace, other times you step onto the mat with only enough energy to surrender to your thoughts. When that happens, and your session focuses solely on the mind, you might lie back in savasana or you might prefer to sit up tall in a comfortable seat. For the latter, we highly recommend investing in Gaim’s cotton meditation pillow for some extra cushion. The thick pillow also doubles as a bolster, so your muscles can melt into its support when lying on your back or chest.

UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel

Among the most trying categories of yoga poses, backbends definitely make the top three. These poses require a ton of flexibility that even some of the most dedicated practitioners don’t have, but luckily there are yoga wheels to assist. UpCircleSeven’s model is one of the best on the market: It can withstand up to 550 pounds and is designed with the thickest padding available to ensure users feel completely supported. It’s also sweat-resistant, meaning the odors of your hard work won’t stick to the wheel and get in the way of your concentration.

Clever Yoga Yoga Strap

That’s right, friends: fancy bands are not gym bag exclusive; they’re used in the yoga studio and on the mat, too. But unlike resistance bands that, like free weights and weight machines, create a force your muscles have to work against, the purpose of a yoga strap is to strengthen your flexibility and correct your alignment. Clever Yoga straps come in two sizes — 8 ft and 10 ft — and are made from a thick cotton material that offers sturdy support.

Tavi Noir Savvy Non-Slip Socks

Yoga teaches you a lot of things: how to be more mindful, how to connect with your mind and body on a deeper level, and how to be more grounded, figuratively and literally. Still, if you’re having trouble getting a grip, Tavi Noir’s got your back — err, feet.

These socks hit just below the ankle and because they’re no-show, they can be worn from the office to studio or home practice. Designed with an organic cotton knitting that features arch compression and a gripping pattern, these are the best socks to keep you stable on the mat.

The Science of Yoga

How much do you actually know about the logistics of your practice? In The Science of Yoga, lifelong practitioner William Broad breaks down the centuries-old practice by listing its benefits and evaluating the potential drawbacks (i.e. problematic poses that can be crippling or even fatal). Citing research from medical literature and texts pulled from Calcuttan archives, listening to Broad’s findings and conclusions can help deepen your connection to the exercise.

Saje Yoga Natural Perfume

There are going to be instances when you step onto the yoga mat or get yourself situated in a comfortable seat, but the calm just doesn’t come. Stress levels can definitely interfere with the quality of your practice, so if you need a little extra help finding your zen, try this soothing fragrance from Saje. Made from a blend of patchouli, bergamot, jojoba oil, orange, and cedarwood, apply the natural perfume to all pulse points using the amethyst gemstone rollerball applicator. Amethyst is said to bring wisdom and inspire awareness — together the stone and scent will guide you in the direction of focus and surrendering to the practice.

Ewedoos Yoga Mat Bag

For yogis who prefer studio sessions to at-home practices, this yoga mat bag from Ewedoos is a must. This on-the-go bag comes in eight fun designs like Ancient Totem, fancy stripes, and Ice blue and white leaves, and is incredibly roomy. Toss in your mat and straps in the main compartment, your water bottle and towel in the large side pocket, and your keys, phone, wallet, and mini yoga mat spray in the small interior zip compartment. And the best part is, this bag is so cute and functional, you can swap out your yoga gear for diaper essentials, gym equipment or use as a grocery bag.

Goody Ouchless Hair Ties

There are few things less “zen” than hair falling in your face, and because yoga sequences can be all over the place, you want to make sure your strands won’t be. Enter Goody’s Ouchless Hair Ties — buy these in bulk and you’ll always be prepared with a classic black band around your wrist to throw your hair in a ponytail or yogi bun.

ASTURA Yoga Mat Detox

A common misconception about yoga is that it’s this highly tranquil practice in which you sit or lie in savasana, work in a downward dog here, a child pose there — keeping perspiration at a minimum. That’s true for some practices, but yoga can actually get really sweaty (see: ashtanga, bikram, and yogasana yoga), so you want your yoga mat namaste-ing fresh (see what we did there?). Astura’s mat detox spray can help: Available in a range of scents, each spritzer has been formulated with organic essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus to rid your mat of dirt and sweat, and replace it with an calming aroma to help you find your zen. 

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