We are all impacted by the changes due the COVID-19 pandemic. Group classes, practicing at a studio in a close-knit setting, deep breathing, and sharing props that seemed important earlier are being reevaluated in the current situation.
The fear of health concerns, cleanliness at your favorite location, using mats or more so props which are normally shared by students like yoga straps, rugs and blocks or cushions are not likely.
While props are not essential for the practice, they do help to deepen the postures, provide stability in standing posture like a revolved triangle twist or even to just stay longer in the seated postures. If you are deciding to get back to the studio for a group practice – it is essential to carry your own mat and needed props. Here are some of the recommendations to get you set for your next studio class. Please note this post does contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you purchase through our site.
This is a must have roomy duffel bag that will help keep all your props and mat sorted together. We love everything about this bag, it has enough space to keep at least two blocks, straps, knee pads or even a small blanket or towel inside for a fully supported yoga class.
It is lightweight for everyday use but strong enough to hold your props and has multiple pockets for a water bottle, phone and other essentials. The external loops can hold a medium thickness yoga mat with ease, also has multiple straps to adjust while on the move. It also works great as an overnight bag or a travel carry on for a short trip.
Price point between $28 to 35.
It’s one of the most popular Eco friendly, light weight yoga mats out there. The YOGO Ultralight Travel Yoga Mat comes with an attached strap which can be useful in drying it easily after a rinse in the shower.
It’s a foldable thin, lightweight yoga mat, made with natural tree rubber that provides a solid grip even for a strong, sweaty practice. The thickness of the mat is in the range of 1.5 to 2 mm thick, if you have a sensitive knee you might consider to have additional support for your knee with a towel or a knee pad for the extra cushioning, much needed for some of the postures. It can easily fit in a duffle bag or even an over-sized handbag.This mat also folds in half along the length, the bottom of the mat never gets rolled up to the top of the mat.
Price point between $60 to $65.
The Begin Manduka mat is a premium 5mm thick yoga mat, reversible, lightweight with dense cushioning for extra support. While this might not be as light as the other alternatives, it is still lightweight, weighing around 2.5 lbs. This might be an excellent choice for you if you need some extra cushioning and support for your practice. It is easy to clean and carry in and out of your studio. Beginners will also appreciate the alignment stripe in the center for the standing postures.
This is a perfect mat for beginners price point between $35 to $40.
This mat from Gaiam is perfect if you are on a budget or prefer a lightweight addition for your practice. It is a foldable mat, with 2mm thickness. This foldable mat can be easily fit in a large duffel bag. It also has a sticky texture which would provide the stability in your movements. It might be slightly thicker than the YOGO mat when being folded, however it is still quite compact. You might need to wipe it down before using to have a strong grip and to get rid of any smell for first use. Again, extra cushioning is recommended if you have sensitive knees as it is not very thick. The perforated lines for this foldable mat can also help with your alignment in standing postures.
Priced at around $25.
The Gaiam Essential Yoga Block provide that extra stability and balance in your practice, especially if you are a beginner or if you want to go deeper into a posture or even to hold them longer in a slow yoga class. They are supportive foam blocks with a good grip. These will not be as strong as a bamboo or a cork blocks but will definitely be an easier lightweight alternative to carry. It is a great beginner set, easy to carry and will definitely help to support a standing twist or for seated meditations.
These lightweight Gaiam blocks are priced at $14 to 16 for a set of 2 yoga blocks
The Tumaz Yoga strap is a non-elastic band that will provide extra stability and flexibility in your stretches. It comes in multiple colors, with a 2.5mm thickness and with varying length options for your needs. It is made of polyester cotton and is quite sturdy and also soft on the hands.
Price point between $8 to 12 depending on the length and color of the strap.
A more portable support for you knees than a blanket, these sunflower home yoga knee pads would be much needed in case you are carrying a lightweight mat for your studio classes. These come with extra cushioning for additional support or if you are recovering from any injuries. It is made of high-quality eco-friendly PU foam, can absorb moisture during the practice and is also easy to clean. These can also be switched for your hands or wrists while holding the long downward dog or planks.
They come in a pair, price point between $14 to 16.