Updated: Jan 25
Welcome Yogis! Thank you for joining me here today as I hope to help you establish your very own home yoga practice, as good as (or even better) than any studio.
The Covid-19 pandemic, while heartbreaking and serious for many families and business' has fortunately provided us with an opportunity. This opportunity is one in which we are forced to stop and evaluate our lives.
Many of you may have already had an established Yoga practice before the pandemic, and if that practice was in studio, there is no doubt that you had to make some changes, and some may have stopped practicing all together. For others, maybe this opportunity has opened you up to new ideas and you are looking to start your yoga practice for the first time.
Regardless of how long you have been practicing, the yoga studio environment is not currently an option for many people.
I'm here to tell you something that some teachers and studios may not want you to know...
You Can Be Your Own Yoga Teacher!
Meaning, you can create a warm and inviting yoga studio experience, and confidently lead yourself through postures, in the comfort of your own space.
In this post, we will talk about the best props and supplies for your home studio, as well as how to use them. Let's get started!
Here is a short video detailing the props I use for my home practice, and below are links to find them and a detailed written description.
1. Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks are props used mainly to help create space for the practitioner in his/her practice. Blocks can help "lift the floor" for beginner yogis and can help advanced yogis get deeper into poses.
Yoga blocks come in many shapes and brands, but are commonly only found in two widths.
"Skinny Blocks": 2" wide
PROS light weight, great for travel and are less expensive CONS less supportive and stable
"Thick Blocks" 3" wide
PROS stable & supportive
CONS more expensive
My Recommendation: Thick Blocks. They are more versatile and are generally considered an upgrade from the Skinny Blocks. Gaiam offers excellent quality blocks at affordable prices- Shop Here
TIP** TJMAXX almost always has blocks of all varieties at discount prices! woop!
Home Variation: If you do not have blocks available to you, or do not want to invest in them just yet, a couple of books stacked up will do the trick! Just make sure if you are using two books (one on each side for a pose) that they are the same width for balance.
2. Yoga Straps
Yoga straps are versatile props that are mainly used for stretching. They also have the added benefit of being able to carry your yoga mat around!
My Recommendation: Gaiam Yoga Mat Strap
Home Variation: Belts work very well for most poses with straps, as do thin towels rolled up lengthwise!
3. Yoga Blankets
Yoga blankets are just that, blankets! They are warm, wool or other thick fibered material and come in a wide variety of colors. They can be used to support the knees and spine in postures and can be used in restorative classes as an actual blanket for warmth.
My Recommendation: 2 Blankets For Your Home Studio from Gaiam
Home Variation: Any thin blanket you can dedicate to your studio space, that way it's always ready for you to practice with. It also helps if you love it!
Bolsters come in several sizes and densities, because each serves a purpose. Now for your home studio, there are two types we will focus on-
Large Rectangular Bolster: Used for restorative poses, pre-natal yoga and heart-opening postures. A must have for your home studio space!
Crescent or Round Meditation Cushion: Used to support your seat during meditation. I use mine a lot now that I am working from home!
My Recommendation: Gaiam Rectangular Bolster Shop Here
Brentwood Crystal Cover Meditation Cushion Shop Here
Home Variation: Firm bed pillows folded in half can be used as rectangular bolsters (shown in the video above), or you can stack multiple pillows. For the meditation cushion, round decorative pillows work great!
5. Yoga Wheel
Yoga wheels are advanced props used to help stretch the spine and for fun and challenging balancing postures. When purchasing a yoga wheel it's important to inspect the circumference (the larger it is the more gentle for stretching) and the quality of the material around it. The material on the wheel will be pressed against your spine, so you want it to be cushy!
My Recommendation: Gaiam Yoga Wheel Shop Here
Home Variation: None
6. Yoga Mat
Now, if you're wondering why yoga mat is all the way down here at #6, it's because having a yoga mat for your home practice really isn't all that crucial. When first starting out you may just practice in your space on carpet. Now, if your space is hardwood floors you can get away with laying out a blanket or even a large towel. As you progress in your practice you will want to invest in a nice mat- so let's go over those!
There are SO many types of yoga mats. Practical ones, pretty ones, extra thick ones and ones that well... are not very good. I would like to help you avoid picking out a dud and make your home studio the best it can be!
Practical Mats: These mats are affordable, great for beginners and great to be laid over carpet because they are generally a little thinner (4MM or less) and cost anywhere from $9.99-$25.99. These mats also will wear out after a year or two and will need to be replaced. If you have ever had spine issues or knee surgery these types of mats are not recommended. Shop Here
Thick Exercise Mats: These mats are extra thick, shorter than traditional yoga mats and are great for seniors or those with knee problems. Like practical mats they are not super durable and so will need to be replaced after a year of good use or so.
Premium Home Studio Mats: This is my most highly recommended series of mats. They are heavy duty and thick, while providing support. They are so sturdy that you will feel confident balancing on them even over carpet (very important). They are also great for seniors and those with knee vulnerability and are guaranteed to last a lifetime. These mats made by Manduka range from $89.99-$150.99 but ensure you will not need to buy another mat for a very very long time.
7. Essential Oils & Incense
Essential Oils are concentrated plant extracts that retain the natural smell and flavor, or “essence” of their source.. Keep in mind, the way the oils are made is very important, as essential oils can be obtained naturally or through a chemical process. Make sure when purchasing oils, that the bottle says “100% Pure Essential Oil”. Commonly, oils for a diffuser come in “blends”. Same goes for these, make sure pure essential oils are being used in the blend. High quality oils will come in dark glass bottles, so stay away from anything plastic or clear colored glass.
For your home studio, you may want to invest in an aromatherapy diffuser and some high quality oils to go along with! My personal favorite oils are Eucalyptus, Peppermint & Rose.