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Stuff We Love: A Yoga Teacher's Favorite Gear

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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HFOTWTH 3/26/2017
Isn't $90 for a yoga mat a little steep? It is because it's a professional one? Report
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 Report
sure wish there were some mens yoga clothes that matched the womens lines. shorts just don't cut it. Report
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! Report
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. Report
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? Report
they add silver to a lot of things now and it is supposed to make them less able to get virus or mold . Report
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. Report
I just recently got a foam roller, and I definitely love it. I just gotta remember to use it more often! Report
Thanks for the tips and the varied price ranges! I will definately check out the Lululemon brand - liking the bondi bands for running! Report
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! Report
I find that all of the Champion C9 products are fabulous; esp the sports bras Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
I like walking and jogging better. I love nature and the fresh air. Report
I have always been curious about yoga. Thanks for sharing information about necessary items to help make the practice better. Report
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 Report
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. Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
I just started practicing and its awesome Report
Thank for the information. I have been thinking about yoga for a while. A couple of friends go and they really enjoy it. Report
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. Report
I love the Bondi Bands . . .they are agreat. Report
I love my Injinji yoga toe socks. Report
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! Report
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. Report
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