Updated: Apr 29
A Yoga practice can easily be enhanced with the use of simple props to bring greater ease and accessibility to each individual. Here you will find many props that will do just that. From yoga mats to Tune Up balls, straps, blocks, and blankets too, I hope this guide brings ease in making your choices!
Looking for a good Yoga mat? Mats come in a variety of sizes, densities and prices. Your yoga mat is very much like a best friend and can last a lifetime. Two of my favorites are down below**
Let's start here:
The Hugger Mugger Tapas original 74" yoga mat
@ $42.95 was my first yoga mat and lasted many, many years. I changed mats when I realized I wanted to practice more, and I wanted to increase the padding under my knees. I got a lot of use out of my Hugger Mugger mat. It's very light weight, which makes it easy to travel with from home to...anywhere!
The eKO Manduka Yoga Mat Travel Superlite
@ $52 is a well priced light weight mat that will travel well since it folds up and can be stowed in your carry-on. I have a colleague that loves this mat.
The Manduka Pro Yoga mat
@ $121 - $137 is a thicker mat offering more padding for
sensitive knees, wrists and other boney parts.
It's by no means a light weight
mat but in my opinion, it's worth
the effort to carry.
I have recommended this mat to many happy yogis!
I love this mat and alternate with the one below...
**The Lifeforme yoga mat
@ $149 this is the mat I enjoy alternating with the one above. It is lighter in weight at 5.5 lbs. than my Manduka Pro, yet it still offers lots
of padding for my elder bones.
I like the alignment guides marked on the mat as well as the earth friendly materials. It's got great grip, and is among the best I've used!
As you can see, there is a range of prices when choosing a mat, but you do get what you pay for...a mat can be a one time investment. Take care of your mat and it may last the rest of your life! A nice firm mat with adequate density will help protect wrists and boney parts, will remain flat on the surface it lies upon, and will ultimately serve you well, giving you more ease in your practice.
Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block (Set Of 2)
@ $17.03 for two.
These blocks are lightweight and easy to use. These 9x6x4" blocks are the correct size, and size will make a difference. If you purchase elsewhere please note the size. These blocks are also available in black, grey, and turquoise. If you are leaning toward a Restorative Yoga practice, please consider getting two sets...you will find it well worth it.
Gaiam Yoga Wedge
A wedge might be useful to relieve wrist flexion in certain
postures such as Table, Plank, Cobra or Upward Facing Dog.
I ordered this wedge for my own wrist issues. I found it to be a bit slippery on my mat, but if placed under my mat it stayed in place.
For those with tender wrists this prop might be the solution for practicing poses such as Downward Facing Dog, Planks and Cobras, making these positions more accessable and increasing one's ability to keep building core, back, and arm strength!
Hugger Mugger Strap
Straps are an essential part of my yoga practice, and I think you will also find that to be true for you.
I've been enjoying using my Hugger Mugger strap for around 35-40 years and it's still like new!
These are $15.95 and though you only need one, you can do some pretty amazing things with two! I recommend the 8' strap for the variations it offers compared to the shorter ones. The straps with D-rings are easiest to work with, in my opinion. These come in a few color choices.
We will be using blocks and straps, so it would be very nice (read essential!) for you to have them both.
If you don't already have a good blanket to practice with, or want more than one (good idea) here's a good economical choice:
Classic Mexican Yoga Blankets
@$15/each (now seemingly available only in a 4pak @$59.99)
This blanket is what I use for my home practice. It's easy to wash and they come in a variety of nice colors. They are great as restorative props too! Outside of using them for our classes, these can also be used at the beach or campground too.
One will do, two is even better...and four is absolutely perfect for your Restorative Yoga Practice💜
I offer Restorative as well as ball-rolling classes and workshops which you might enjoy, so if you plan on participating in those you will want some "Tune-up" therapy balls. You will find they're so very handy when you want some deep , therapeutic massage right there, on the spot...something you can Lovingly give to yourself...and they travel well too, so after your long trip you can give yourself a massage and relax!
Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls
These are the balls I use and teach with.
These tune-up balls (small size)
are sold in a set of two at
I use and teach with these as well.
Tune Up Alpha Balls
Tune-up Alpha balls (Large size) are sold at $19.94 each.
These are great for the larger muscles such as your glutes.
These are now available to purchase as a set of two for $34.86
Please know that none of this is mandatory! Ball rolling needs balls. While you can use tennis balls as an alternative, they are comparatively much harder and can be uncomfortable. The Tune Up Balls are just great, having the perfect combination of firmness and “give” to be really wonderful self-care tools.
Ball rolling is a wonderful way to give yourself a massage, especially during these times when we aren't able to see our favorite masseuse and could use some pampering, why not give it to ourselves?!
For those of us who enjoy the benefits of placing weight on our bodies for a variety of benefits, the use of a yoga Sandbag is a wonderful and inexpensive prop. This is very sweet in Restorative practice and is also wonderful when working with the breath in pranayama practice.
The unfilled sandbag with a liner is available from Sunshine yoga as well as Amazon. My preference are those with two handles making it much easier for placing them on the body. You can purchase sandbox quality sand at a hardware store for under $10.
Atenia 10lb Unfilled Yoga Sandbag
Yoga Sand Bag Cover with Filler Bag $7.97 each
These 10lb Unfilled Yoga Sandbags, are 7.25 X 16
These are the perfect size and have a filler bag inside to hold the sand without leakage!
For my Restorative class, you will need a bolster. You can always use blankets instead of bolsters but if you'd like to use a bolster, I'm going to share the link for the best ones.
Hugger Mugger Standard Bolster
These bolsters from Hugger Mugger go for $92.95 each. Yes, they are expensive but they are made to last at least a decade or more. They are amazing and worth every penny!
Ajna Yoga Bolster
I honestly know nothing about this bolster except for it's good reviews. At $69.95 it's more affordable, but, as the reviews mention, it's not as firm as the Hugger Mugger, which is known by yoga teachers as the "gold standard" of bolsters due to its sturdy material and they maintain their shape and firmness.(I have a few that are over 16 years old!)
Sunshine Yoga Deluxe Bolster @ $44.99
Sunshine Yoga has bolsters too! While they are not as sturdy as Hugger Mugger's they are less than half the price.
These bolsters go for $44.99 each.
I've personally never used Sunshine Yoga's bolsters so have don't have a clear idea of their durability. I've been told they don't hold up as long as the Hugger Muggers and begin to sag, which is not a plus and not beneficial for Restorative use. While these may not be the best quality, they can be a cheaper alternative.
Restorative Yoga is very much prop / equipment oriented and is truly such a beneficial practice to nurture and support. I would think during these times, we would all benefit from this sweet and kind practice which down-regulates the nervous system relieving anxiety and supporting the immune function within the body. This list of equipment options is the best I know of, but you are always welcome to choose others if you prefer.
I am so happy to share these resources with the intention of supporting you well in your practice!
Sending You Love
From My Heart to Yours,