To live spiritually is to live in the present. Yoga brings us into the present moment by being more aware of your body alignment, your movements and your breathing - Bks Lyengar
When we think of yoga, we think at first of sun salutations, serenity, and a whole gamut of strange postures, but we forget the essential elements. We see videos on the internet, and we think it looks too hard or too peaceful, we would never get there, and that it's not even worth it to try.
But this would be a serious mistake! Because a part of the success in yoga is due to the help of certain good accessories, starting with the yoga mat, which allows better postures and stabilizes them. With 300 million practitioners in the world, yoga is a real discipline that deserves attention, because it goes far beyond being a trend that is associated with a certain way of life.
In my case, I practice yoga occasionally and have invested in a yoga block, which allows me, in particular, to be better supported and, in fact, better balanced during my yoga classes near me.
Accessories can be our best allies, but, of course, they don't come for free! So how much does yoga gear cost exactly?
Target Your Expectations in Yoga
Doing yoga is not as bland as one might think, in fact it is quite the opposite! This sportive practice, which is not just a series of asanas, postures, meditation or stretching, turns out to be a more complex and richer activity than one might think.
Just look at the estimated number of one million practitioners in the UK, as they are a relevant illustration that this trendy discipline is gaining more and more popularity. Through this hybrid discipline, many see it as a way to gather together, to build a closer relationship between the body and mind, or to simply engage in a sportive practice and stretch.
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When practised routinely, yoga can be beneficial for everyone, and investing in equipment is a smart first step. But the questions still arise in knowing how and why to get accessories. The answer actually lies within ourselves!
Indeed, before investing, or finding, a yoga mat, a carrying strap, sports clothes, and all the accessories deemed necessary for the proper practice of yoga in the UK, it is absolutely necessary to know one's own capacities, level and develop your objectives and expectations, in a concrete way. Then it will be the time to purchase and adapt our yoga props appropriately!
Once this step is over, the question of budget is also important: what price am I willing to put in a foam or cork mat, yoga mat towel, yoga brick or yoga pants? There are now accessories of all sizes, all materials, and with all pricing, so this part will not be very complicated. However, it still remains the goal to find the best value for your money.
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Set a Budget for Yoga Accessories
Through yoga, everyone can explore their inner being with scientific precision to understand its nature, structure and functioning - Chaitanya
And yes, props are an important subject in itself, but this must stay within each practitioner's chosen price range, budget, and commitment to invest in your yoga practice. Beginners might want to wait before going out and buying all the accessories around, it would be best to start with one and work your way up.
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As the yoga market is currently booming, a multitude of accessories are available for sale. So now it's up to us to know how to choose which ones correspond the most, then make choices between materials and price.
Budget remains and will remain an overarching issue. Indeed, how important is the quality of my material in order to progress as a little yogini? Am I:
- A beginner who wants to start yoga and try the first class?
- A beginner who just wants to do breathing exercises and stretch my spine?
- Someone for whom yoga postures are only a synonym for a good warm-up?
- A real yogi who already has a meditation cushion, an incense holder and a massage table?
- An overpaid employee who needs a dose of anti-stress, abdominal breathing and lumbar relief?
- An average person who just wants to improve in their practice of yoga, and might venture out to discover new disciplines such as kundalini yoga, iyengar yoga, chin mudra, hot yoga, ashtanga, pilates yoga or prenatal yoga?
All of these questions are important because remember that you probably already pay for each class your yoga teacher gives you. A budget established at the onset, that we are sometimes tempted to forget!
However, for example, buying a mat can range from £8 to over £100 for the most expensive. These highest price range mats have all the features you could want in a yoga mat, starting with the non-slip side, or a more hygienic material than foam.
The same principle applies for a yoga brick, intended to help you go further in the positions, and can, meanwhile, cost less than £2 if your use might be occasional or essentially a beginner.
Beyond that, the fact is, some accessories are still a necessity (especially the yoga floor mat), and we must know how to distinguish between the tons of options that now exist online or on the shelves of yoga stores.
Discover the range of yoga clothing available to male yogis...
The Different Types of Yoga Accessories
As you might have seen, there are many, many types of yoga accessories available, with large ranges of prices and materials. From the most expensive to the cheapest options, it's all about getting good value for your money.
Indeed, while a yoga strap can cost £5, it can be as much, or more, resistant than a strap at £25 in a professional store. In this case, it becomes necessary to know how to be attentive and vigilant towards the materials, the guarantees, or the manufacturing of the product in question.
Often, a cheap work-around or little trick is simply to make it yourself (if the material makes it feasible of course). Starting with yoga clothes, your white stretchy tank top that hangs in your closet could make a perfect yoga top!
Same principle for yoga blocks, which you can completely replace with a mini stool or books that you have at home (make sure it's low to the ground and very stable though, watch out for falls!). For this though, it would obviously only work for home yoga, it would be hard to bring a stool to your yoga class in your bag!
All these little tricks can be explored further by perusing the slew of yoga blogs that exist online, and that list, in each of the articles, the benefits of yoga, how to choose your mat, reflexology, best postures for losing weight, or how to opt for small folding equipment. A gold mine for enthusiasts!
We can progress in yoga without spending a fortune, and this is an important and encouraging fact to know!
Nevertheless, it can often be simpler to just buy and bring to class a store-bought material, and the proposed options now correspond to all levels, all types of yoga classes, and all desires.
There is no longer a single range, but a world of yoga options, from organic cotton to recycled bamboo, a washable mat... And yes, yoga is also an industry!
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Change Your Yoga Equipment Material
Yoga is an industry, and so creates for us new needs, like any self-respecting industry. So, while our old yoga mat might have been very good, there is now a new washable, non-slip material mat that is promised to revolutionize our yoga experience!
Asking a costly price tag, of course, but unnecessary in itself unless truly desired. However, keeping this example, changing one's mat is sometimes necessary, once it becomes too dirty, torn, or in poor general condition. It is here that the budget, sometimes minimal, but existing, is added to our yoga practice.
When buying or changing accessories, we will look again at quality. Should we directly opt for a more expensive product, whose quality is more likely assured, or explore the cheaper options, which are not guaranteed to last as long?
Again, this is up for debate, and everyone will find their own answer in relation to their expectations and the way each chooses to practice yoga; solo or in group classes, to combat stress or for sport, regularly or occasionally.
Yoga certainly is a practice that has become commonplace for many of us and continues to see its number of practitioners skyrocketing.
Positive values, linked to a healthy lifestyle, and associated with more efficient and inexpensive accessories, it is perhaps the moment to get on board and give a sun salutation a try!
Discover the different types of yoga clothes for women.