Stuff We Love: A Yoga Teacher's Favorite Gear

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/20/2011 2:36 PM   :  26 comments   :  15,023 Views

I get lots of requests from people who want to know what equipment, clothes, and other gear I prefer. Today I'm going to share with you a range of products that I use both as a yoga practitioner and a yoga teacher.

Confession: January has been "Wear Your Spandex to Work Month" for me. Between marathon training, yoga practice, and teaching, I wear workout clothes at least three weekdays and both weekend days. I feel like I'm always washing workout clothes! For me, it's important to have gear that's durable and attractive.



Manduka Black Mat PRO ($90)

This mat is 1/4" thick with just enough cushioning to keep my wrists, hips and feet comfortable, and it comes in lengths! (I have the 85" one.) The mats have a lifetime guarantee, and they're sturdy enough to use anywhere!



Hugger Mugger Cork Blocks ($19.95)

Next on my list of purchases for my home studio is a new cork block. I love how sturdy and eco-friendly these are!



PB Elite Molded Foam Roller ($29.95)

Yoga is great for keeping my body loose, but even I get knots and achy spots on my body from all the running I do. That's where the foam roller comes in. I love mine, and it's like a mini massage for my body.



Lululemon Cool Racerback ($39)

These tanks are worth every penny (though I do get a 15% discount as a yoga teacher). They keep everything in place, even in down dog and inversions, they're long enough that I never worry about my stomach or back hanging out, and they're tight without feeling too constrictive. I only have one, which I bought two months ago. I wear it at least once a week, and it still looks brand-new.



C9 by Champion Women's Multi Strap Camisole Athletic Top

I love these tanks as well. They're thick enough that I don't need to wear a sports bra with them, and they offer adequate support for yoga. I have a few different Champion tanks, and I use them on days when I won't sweat quite as much (when I'm in for a longer practice, I reach for the Lululemon tank).



Tek Gear Wraparound Capri Leggings ($17.99)

My mom bought me these recently, and I really like them! They don't move around during yoga, and they do a great job of wicking sweat.



Propel Knee Pant ($58)

These are my favorite yoga bottoms, hands down! They wick sweat better than any other pair I own, they're comfortable, and they're quite flattering. I bought them when Lucy was having a sale, and if/when these wear out, I'll buy another pair without hesitation.



Bondi Bands ($8)

I sweat a great deal during yoga, and my hair is prone to flyaways. When you're working on balance and a hair keeps tickling your nose, it can be quite distracting. Bondi Bands are the only headbands I've ever used that both wick sweat and stay in place. I bought two for $5 each at a race expo last year, and I wear them at least four times a week (washing after each wearing, of course)!



Manduka eQua ($40)

Mats are essential for most yoga practitioners, but for those of us who have a sweaty practice, a towel is just as important. My microfiber towel from Manduka is washed three times a week, and it still looks and smells great. It prevents me from slipping on a sweaty mat and forces me to really engage my core in standing poses.



Nike Free XT Quicks ($85)

Super lightweight, stylish, and comfortable (thanks in part to Nike's Flywire technology), these shoes are great for heading to and from the studio. I like to squeeze in a quick walk (or a run!) before class if I arrive early, and these shoes are perfect for all my cross training. (Disclosure: Nike sent these to me to review. I've been wearing them nonstop for six weeks.)

There you have it. I use these products each time I unroll my mat, whether it's to teach, practice, or just meditate.

Do you use any of these products? What are your favorite yoga clothes and equipment?



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Comments

  • 26
    I love my yoga mat. I have three kids and I hardly ever splurge on myself but I felt almost a little guilty when I got a really nice yoga mat, but now I am actually thankful I did. I love yoga and my mat was a great investment. :D - 6/17/2011   9:29:11 PM
  • 25
    sure wish there were some mens yoga clothes that matched the womens lines. shorts just don't cut it. - 2/24/2011   6:57:23 PM
  • KWOOLF
    24
    I'm a huge fan of the lululemon line but not of the costs. I scour ebay to try to get lululemon attire for less $$. I also have discovered Gap's new(ish) "fit" line - a little bit cheaper than Lululemon and fairly durable and nice to sweat in. I wait for them to have their 50% off sales and then stock up! - 2/21/2011   10:19:59 PM
  • 23
    MKIRKLE, have you looked at Pilates mats? They are thicker and another possibility is seeing if you can double mats up. I've never done it so I don't know how feasible it is, but it may be worth looking into. Whenever I do yoga, I have to have a towel for any kneeling positions because my knees bruise up so easy and are extremely sensitive. Could try adding a towel where you need it as well. - 1/21/2011   7:43:15 PM
  • MKIRKLE
    22
    I enjoy doing yoga but have fibromyalgia which means I am sensitive to the touch on much of my body. So I really need more padding than my current mat gives. Anyone know of a really thick mat? - 1/21/2011   3:04:00 PM
  • SUGARSMOM2
    21
    they add silver to a lot of things now and it is supposed to make them less able to get virus or mold . - 1/21/2011   2:48:13 PM
  • 20
    I use rolled up towels, but will look at some of these foam rollers. I do have the bands and use them, when needed. I did have the mat, but I like a thicker mat. My joints hurt too much with the yoga mat. I will say, yoga is my favourite exercise. I enjoy it so much. - 1/21/2011   1:33:18 PM
  • 19
    I just recently got a foam roller, and I definitely love it. I just gotta remember to use it more often! - 1/21/2011   11:12:30 AM
  • 18
    Thanks for the tips and the varied price ranges! I will definately check out the Lululemon brand - liking the bondi bands for running! - 1/21/2011   9:23:55 AM
  • 17
    I started practicing yoga in the '80s, when all you needed was your body and a small floor space. I was really turned off at the commercialization that crept into this 5000-year-old spiritual practice, and I stopped going to yoga classes because I was grossed out by all the props that were suddenly required. However, I admit I do enjoy getting new gear, and new "toys" can keep you motivated. I love my mat and my block. But always remember that all you really need is your body and a bit of floor space-- you can practice yoga anywhere! - 1/21/2011   9:14:21 AM
  • TABITHA219
    16
    I find that all of the Champion C9 products are fabulous; esp the sports bras - 1/21/2011   9:06:31 AM
  • 15
    No, I'm to frugal to pay that much for stuff. I bought a yoga mat at a yard sale for a $1 and washed it. Found work out clothes at the thrift shop, that apparently had never been worn. Guess they didn't know about Sparks and had lots motivation. - 1/21/2011   12:24:47 AM
  • 14
    Great information. Thank you. I would like to learn more about yoga as right now my favourite yoga item is a book titled: Morning Cup of Yoga. The stretches are wonderful. - 1/21/2011   12:10:08 AM
  • 13
    I just love workoutgear. I can give Lululemon Workout gear the A+ rating in quality and fit. I have plenty of C9 since it is more in my price range than Lululemon. I also have some Propel and Tek Gear, no complaints with any of them & I have plenty of wear left in them all. - 1/20/2011   10:24:52 PM
  • PATSYV2222
    12
    I like walking and jogging better. I love nature and the fresh air. - 1/20/2011   9:09:03 PM
  • 11
    I have always been curious about yoga. Thanks for sharing information about necessary items to help make the practice better. - 1/20/2011   6:46:58 PM
  • 10
    I love my yoga mat but when it's come to do my pushup, not enough cushioning. Though, it's quite good to lay down on it while watching tv - a misuse or expanding the potential of an exercise mat? hehe - 1/20/2011   6:42:39 PM
  • 9
    I have never taken yoga but we did do some exercises as part of the warm-up in karate. No special equipment at all -actually a karategi is very good for this as you need to stretch. - 1/20/2011   5:28:11 PM
  • STCINDY
    8
    Thanks for sharing! - 1/20/2011   5:21:41 PM
  • YINETTV
    7
    I just started practicing and its awesome - 1/20/2011   5:13:41 PM
  • DJELIM
    6
    Thank for the information. I have been thinking about yoga for a while. A couple of friends go and they really enjoy it. - 1/20/2011   4:48:57 PM
  • MBMCNEESE
    5
    Manduka mats are GREAT. I love how odor-free they are from the moment you unwrap them. Most new mats knock me over with fumes. - 1/20/2011   4:28:36 PM
  • 4
    I love the Bondi Bands . . .they are agreat. - 1/20/2011   3:56:42 PM
  • 3
    I love my Injinji yoga toe socks. - 1/20/2011   3:46:17 PM
  • KO0000
    2
    I have the Manduka Black Mat and I LOVE it... Be careful using it at home or in a studio that uses in-floor radiant heating, however. The plastic melts off. Otherwise, great.
    PS: I'm itching to try at least a few of these products out. Thanks for posting! - 1/20/2011   3:31:04 PM
  • 1
    I love my Hugger Mugger block. I was spoiled right from the beginning, my friend and yoga instructor had an assortment of blocks some foam and others cork. Of course I tried them out before purchasing my own. I never felt stable with the foam blocks but feel like I could hold some positions for hours with the cork variety. - 1/20/2011   3:01:46 PM

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