If you are just starting your yoga journey, it can be quite tricky to know what to purchase or where to learn. Or maybe you’ve been trying it out for a while but are looking for ways to make the overall experience even better!
Naturally, since there are new clothing and equipment pieces developing constantly, it can be confusing to choose, and you may feel like you need to do a lot of research and spend a lot to take yoga to the next level.
However, the reality, and the good news, is that you don’t need much to enjoy the practice, especially at first.
You don’t even need to go out and start attending a studio or class. Instead, doing yoga in the comfort of your own home can be really rewarding!
Furthermore, you can even enjoy some yoga-related content while practicing yoga! How fun is that? You will get some entertainment and learn a lot of new things, all the while relaxing and moving your body!
As for the minimal equipment you need, obviously, some yoga apparel and a yoga mat would come in handy, but if, after a while, you wish to take things to the next level, there are many other things you can try as well, of course.
Fortunately, these days, you can get yoga apparel pretty much everywhere, in all kinds of fun or cool prints.
At the same time, you should keep in mind that as long as you’re wearing something breathable and comfortable, even if it’s just something you already own right now, it’s good enough!
Now that the stress of putting on something specific for a yoga session is out of the way, all you need to consider is purchasing any other mid-level basics you may be needing.
Here are some examples of yoga-friendly clothes and accessories you can use!
– Yoga Pants: Obviously, owning a few different pairs of solid-color yoga pants, particularly black, can do wonders for your confidence while also allowing you a wider range of motions on the mat. Or, if you’re a little more adventurous, you could always pick some wild prints!
– Loose Pants: If you’re not a big fan of tight clothing, however, you can’t go wrong wearing some joggers or harem-style pants either, as long as they have elastic around the ankles. This way, they are comfortable, and offer some extra room while also not riding up while doing yoga.
– Shorts: Form fitting spandex shots or even looser shorts with connected tights underneath are a great option for both men and women, especially if you’re thinking of trying hot yoga.
– Tops: Naturally, just like you need a comfortable pair of bottoms, you also need some equally comfy and reliable tops that are suitable for yoga. More precisely, make sure to pick form fitting ones so that the shirt doesn’t just fly over your head during some positions that require you to bend forward or backward. As for materials, go for wicking ones as they keep the sweating to a minimum.
– Cover-Ups: If you’re planning on attending a class, make sure you have something like a sweater or light cover-up with you since sometimes, yoga rooms are kept really cool. You’ll most likely take it off when the class starts and put it back on at the end but it can make a huge difference in your overall comfort.
– Headbands or Hair Ties: If you have longer locks, you will benefit from not forgetting to get yourself some trusty accessories that will keep the hair out of your face. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than hair sticking to your face and neck when you start to sweat.
– Yoga Socks: Of course, these are not actually required at all. In fact, yoga is usually practiced barefoot. However, if you don’t like the idea of people seeing your toes, make sure to invest in some really good yoga socks. This is because standard ones with cause you to slip and slide all over the mat, which is obviously a nightmare you’d rather avoid.
– Sports Bras: Yoga may be a low-impact activity, but wearing a sports bra will still make a huge difference for most women as it will keep everything in place when transitioning from one pose to another, keeping you focused on the activity without distractions.
So what other yoga equipment should you get?
Now that the basic clothing and accessories have been discussed and established, you may be wondering about the type of equipment you need to practice yoga.
As mentioned before, most of everything is optional, but one thing is rather necessary and that is a yoga mat!
The yoga mat, also known as a sticky mat, is always present in gyms and yoga studios and for a good reason!
This is because it helps define your personal space when posing but even more importantly, because it creates enough traction for your hands and feet so you don’t slip and slide during yoga.
Not to mention that, while super thin, it still provides some much needed cushioning between your hands and feet and the hard floor.
Yoga and SoulCycle instructor Eve Lynn Churst explains that great quality yoga mats “allow us a cushion to fall on, some grip to hold onto, and a boundary to work within. [They also help me] move in the ways my body wants to, without the worry of hurting anything.”
Gyms and yoga studios will absolutely provide you with a mat to rent but the disadvantage is that you’d have to use a mat many other people use without even knowing for sure how often they are being cleaned.
So you may seriously consider getting your own, whether you’re doing yoga at home in front of the TV or at a gym or studio.
There are many options out there but, just like with anything else, higher quality ones will last you longer. Just check the reviews before deciding!
Other Yoga Props You May Want to Try Out:
As mentioned previously, the only thing you really need is a yoga mat but that is just the bare minimum! You may be interested in knowing what else is out there and how they impact your experience!
Well, such props can help people maintain a healthy alignment in a number of poses as your body twists, bends and opens up.
Not to mention they can be really useful in helping you avoid injuring yourself a well while trying to get the most out of every pose!
The director of programming at YYoga, Kelly Colleen, shared with SELF that “With students of all shapes, sizes, and ages practicing yoga, props can offer accessible variations so everyone can experience the postures truer to their body’s individual needs.”
Jennifer Brilliant, a yoga therapist and instructor also agrees, saying that props, while not mandatory, can really benefit anyone, from beginners to the most experienced yogis.
She explained that “Props can be helpful in yoga practice for giving support, increasing comfort, offering stability, managing variations in anatomical body proportions, and allowing for distinct levels of intensity for poses.”
These are almost always provided by gyms and studios so you don’t actually need to purchase them unless you’re planning on starting your own home gym.
Either way, here are some non-mandatory yoga accessories you may want to check out!
– Sling: Slings use velcro straps usually, as to bind your mat in a rolled form and making it easier to take around. All you have to do is throw it over your shoulder and be on your way! Sometimes they even have pockets for some extra storage!
– Mat Bag: It makes sense that if you own your own mat, you should also get yourself a super practical mat bag for it to make transportation easier. It does pretty much the same thing the sling does so whether you choose one or the other, that’s down to personal preference.
– Blankets: Folded blankets are usually used to lift the hips during some seated poses as some extra support. So if you feel like you may need that, purchasing your own should come in handy. However, if you’re practicing yoga at home, there is little reason to get anything extra for this reason. It’s totally fine to use whatever extra blanket you already own.
– Blocks: Just like blankets, blocks are also used to improve comfort and body alignment. They are especially useful for the standing poses where your hands need to be on the floor. This is because they give the effect of “raising the floor” instead of you having to force yourself to touch the floor and possibly compromising the pose if you are not very flexible at first. They are made out of wood, cork and foam and provide three different heights, which makes them really adaptable for your unique needs.
– Yoga Straps: These accessories basically act as an arm extender for any pose where you need to hold onto the feet but struggle to actually reach them. This way, you can still maintain a flat back instead of slouching. They can come in use when your shoulders don’t allow enough flexibility for poses where you need to bind the hands behind the back. The strap can connect both hands without any excess strain.
– Bolters: These accessories are especially useful in restorative and prenatal yoga classes. They can be used to make forward bending and seated poses more comfortable. Or you can just place them under the knees or your back as support when reclining for passive stretching.
So now that you know everything about what you may need or want in your life to make practicing yoga into even more of a rewarding experience, here is where Netflix comes into play!
That’s right – Netlfix and yoga can really go hand in hand, especially in this day and age!
After all, after being stuck in their homes for many months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people may have become even more attached to their watch lists and binge watching movies and shows.
At the same time, there are also many who used this opportunity to start practicing yoga at home so why not combine both!
That being said, we’ve compiled a list of great Netflix titles every yogi out there should check out whether during or after their daily dose of yoga.
Here you will find some great documentaries on famous gurus but also other inspiring tales from passionate yogis, great meditative music and stunning visuals of the world that will help you relax and focus on your breathing and poses.
Basically, no matter what, every yogi will find something here that they’ll enjoy checking out while learning more about this ancient practice as well as about themselves, life and more!
- Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator (2019)
“Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator” is a documentary that was released quite recently so it’s still all the rage in the yoga world!
This production is all about the yoga instructor for the stars that got hot yoga popularized, Bikram Choudhury, a fascinating person that you’ll love to learn about!
At the very peak of his career, Choudhury would attract yoga practitioners from all over the world into 5 star hotels in order to attend his expensive teacher training.
In fact, many Hollywood celebrities had to line up in order to attend his so-called “torture chamber” and swear together as well!
At the same time, he would get criticized for showing off his rolex watches, many luxury cars and having a really overbearing personality whether that was in the hot yoga room or out of it.
And then everything got even worse as far as his reputation is concerned, his fall from grace starting with shocking accusations of abuse and rape by some of his students.
It was so incriminating that even one of his former lawyers, Minakkshi Jafa-Bodden, ended up suing him on accusations of sex discrimination.
Eventually, she ended up winning his whole estate and that included the Bikram College of India business.
- Ram Dass, Going Home (2017)
“Ram Dass, Going Home” is a short documentary that came out in 2017 and which focuses on the very last chapter of Baba Ram Dass’ life.
In 1997, Dass suffered a devastating stroke, his health deteriorating even more afterward.
That is when he decided to move to the Hawaii island of Maui, where he focused on his spiritual practice and life more than ever.
Long before that, Richard Alpert, which was the name Dass was born with, became an influential figure throughout the 1960s and 1970s due to the fact that he pioneered some important research into psychedelics.
What really sparked his rebirth into Baba Ram Dass, however, was a pilgrimage to India, that ultimately led to him becoming a spiritual leader to millions of people from all over the world.
All in all, “Ram Dass, Going Home” is pretty much a beautiful cinematic summary of the icon’s final days as he looks back on his life and teachings as well as the journey home of his soul.
- Heal (2017)
“Heal,” released in 2017, offers an inspirational look into the fields of meditation, mind-body healing, yoga, Ayurveda and more, through the valuable insights of various experts on the meaning of healing.
Furthermore, it also looks into the personal and profound personal healing journeys of three different people dealing with chronic illnesses.
The three get to explore the very limits of their emotions and beliefs as well as the power that they have when it comes to their personal healing.
Not only that but this film also explores the intermingling of faith, spiritual elements and science as well as how one person’s perceptions have the power to change their reality.
- I am Maris (2018)
“I am Maris” was released in 2018 and it’s all about a teen girl who struggles with anxiety, depression as well as a life threatening eating disorder.
The documentary focuses on the ways in which she starts to explore all her deeply buried emotions with the help of practicing yoga.
It shows how she balances dealing with parents struggling to let go, mental illness and coming into her own in the world with the help of yoga.
As it turns out, at the age of only 16 years old, Maris was able to get her certification as a yoga instructor and write a blog focusing on her personal struggles, food and yoga, actively changing her life for the better.
The production follows Maris as a really successful inspirational speaker despite her young age and her transition into a new life chapter.
- 100 Days of Solitude / Cien Dias de Soledad (2018)
“100 Days of Solitude,” also known as “Cien Dias de Soledad” in Spanish, is all about photographer Jose Diaz, who retreats to a remote mountain region in the country of Spain due to being tired of all the stress and noise of the modern world.
While there for a total of 100 days, hence the title, the photographer lived in a cabin only accompanied by chickens and horses, with zero human contact.
The documentary explores his journey in rekindling the bond between humankind and nature.
Diaz was inspired to do this by his favorite book by Henry David Thoreau, “Walden,” following into the author’s footsteps and choosing to experience a simpler life for a while as well.
But the viewers get to see both the good and the bad parts of living in nature as Diaz is honest about missing his family and having to learn survival skills for the first time in his life.
This film will encourage everyone watching it to also meditate on their own place in the world as Diaz slowly discovers his place in nature.
- Wild Wild Country (2018)
“Wild Wild Country” was released in 2018 and is a docu-series that brings Osho, a community established by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Oregon, into spotlight.
The commune included no less than 50,000 followers of Osho known as sannyasins and often drew the ire of Antelope, Oregon locals who perceived them to be a sex cult.
In fact, the tensions escalated so much that they eventually escalated into a full-on war featuring threats, guns and even a bioterror attack.
The series has a total of 6 episodes that also allow the viewers to learn more about Ma Anand Sheela who met Osho while she was a teenager and later became the President of the Rajneesh Foundation International.
Not only that but she managed the whole commune in Oregon and spoke on the leader’s behalf while keeping him drugged.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)
While “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is quite old having ran on Nickelodeon back in 2005, as well as one of the most popular animation series out there, it’s actually grabbed some newfound popularity on Netflix so if you are yet to see it or would like to rewatch, you are free to do so!
The beloved story follows the fun and intriguing adventures of Aang and his friends. Aang is the main character as well as the last Avatar in the world, as well as someone who has already mastered natural elements.
As for how the story is linked to yoga, one of the most popular episodes of the animated show has Aang learn meditation in order to master the chakras, which are energy centers that correspond to the elements and other various qualities of self awareness and self discipline.
- Tales by Light (2015)
“Tales by Light” was released in 2015 and is an exciting journey around the world through the points of view of three image makers.
They are filmmakers and photographers documenting all their experiences traveling through Australia, Indonesia, India and other countries in order to meet locals and learn their many stories and immerse in their fascinating cultures.
In fact, celebrities such as Orlando Bloom also joined the series three years in (2018) as a Goodwill Ambassador in order to document impoverished children from Bangladesh so you might even get to see some of your favorite celebs as well on this series!
- The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow (2020)
While “The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow” is oftentimes criticized for supposedly spreading pseudo-science, there is no doubt that this newer series is at least really entertaining and also intriguing at times.
This is because it explores a number of different alternative therapies popular in many traditional cultures for many generations so it may still be worth tuning in and possibly learning some useful things!
The actress and her Goop staff explore all kinds of non-mainstream healing methods on themselves throughout the series, including vegan eating, the female orgasm, energy healing, magic mushrooms, breathwork and more!
And that’s not all! They are also occasionally joined by experts in those different fields as to offer an educated perspective during each 30-minute episode.
- Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (2019)
Not many people are yet to hear about “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”
This Netflix series quickly became viral after teaching millions all over the world about the unexpected positive effects of decluttering and minimizing the number of possessions that do not “spark joy” in their lives.
The secret was dubbed as Konmari Method of Organization and has definitely helped many find joy.
With that being said, if you haven’t seen this series yet and are in need of some amazing advice on how to organize your life and find harmony, rest assured that you can watch it right now!
Marie Kondo also teaches her audience how to maximize space, in addition to decluttering, while also talking about the deeper reasons why people tend to accumulate so much more “stuff” than they need.
In addition to decluttering, Marie Kondo also teaches how to maximize space by folding clothes more efficiently and diving into the deeper reasons why people accumulate so much “stuff.”
- The Little Prince (2015)
The classic story of “The Little Prince” retold in a stop motion animation format that features an all-star cast may just be exactly what you need to watch while practicing some yoga.
The 1943 Antoine de Saint-Exupery novella is adapted and reimagined through various meetings between a young girl on her way to becoming her workaholic mother’s exact copy and a number of different adults.
The latter gets to introduce familiar characters from the novel to her, each one of them having an important lesson to give.
The whole story is able to wonderfully contrast that childhood sense of wonder with the unfortunate but all too common disillusionment people end up experiencing as they grow up into adults.
- City of Joy (2018)
“City of Joy” was released in 2018 and focuses on the women who survived through the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It tells their shocking stories of terrible tragedy but the film is also able to give back their power and transform their overall narrative into one of joy and community at the end of the day.
The women live in a big, gated community in the city of Bukavu for a total of six months while getting supported by so-called “Mama’s,” a collective of social workers who managed to pretty much build this City of Joy from the ground up.
A significant number of women hosted by the City of Joy are survivors of sexual assault but thankfully, between the walls of this community, their needs and the needs of their children are well taken care of in order to allow them the opportunity to focus on healing from their traumas.
At the same time, they also learn valuable skills to build independent and successful lives after leaving the commune.
- Yeh Ballet (2020)
“Yeh Ballet” was released in 2020 and is a fictional version of a short documentary on two boys from Mumbai who decide to pursue their dreams of dancing.
Furthermore, this production also draws parallels to yet another famous film about ballet, “Billy Elliot.”
However, as opposed to the British movie, “Yeh Ballet” is inspired by the real lives of Manish Chauhan and Amiruddin Shah.
The two had to overcome the disapproval of their families as they were against them pursuing their dreams to become dancers.
What makes this project even more amazing is that one of them, Manish Chauhan, plays the fictionalized version of himself, portraying a character that is able to overcome adversity and become an internationally renowned ballet dancer.
- Hole in the Wall / Gat In Die Muur (2016)
“Hole in the Wall” also known as “Gat In Die Muur” was released in 2016 and is about Riaan, a man who gets diagnosed with colon cancer.
After receiving this terrible news, the man decided to take a final road trip around South Africa along with his son.
The father and son pair are also joined by a woman who also shared their life-changing, inspiring journey to meet up with Riaan’s close friend who turns his very own coffee farm.
You will love seeing the beautiful and unique landscapes in this indie Afrikaans film, all rarely ever seen on tourist maps.
Of course, you will also love to follow the touching story of friendship, love and self discovery.
- 1000 Rupee Note (2014)
“1000 Rupee Note” is an Indian film set in a small, poor village in Maharashtra State.
The story is about a widower by the name of Budhi who gets a political bribe of 1000 rupee notes.
After receiving the money, she chooses to spend it at a nearby market along with her favorite neighbor.
It is a heartbreaking story as well as Budhi’s son had committed suicide, something way too familiar in India’s “suicide belt” where desperate farmers took the hard decision to end their lives by drinking pesticides due to being unable to repay their debts to GMO seed brokers.
While the movie showcases a rather dark side of India, it also shows the human spirit and the capacity it has to see beauty even in the direst situations.