Here at Green Heart, we’re big fans of yoga. Helen and Andy both worked in the yoga industry so do feel free to ask questions and they may know the answers! Most of us enjoy the wellbeing benefits that come from practising yoga on a regular basis. We’re fortunate to receive a wide range of yoga wear, props and equipment – all slightly imperfect and priced accordingly to make yoga affordable and accessible to all.
If you’re new to yoga, you may wonder what some of the items we sell are used for, so this handy guide should be a help in exploring our range. As I said, if you have a question, just ask!
A Guide to Yoga Equipment: Exploring the Yoga Corner of our High Street Store
A yoga mat is not essential for practising yoga but it does make a massive difference. Most studios will provide mats, but you may still want to take your own. If you go to a class in a community centre, the teacher may expect you to bring your own mat. As you start to get into yoga, you may decide to practise at home sometimes using a video. Developing a home practice can be life changing with wide-ranging benefits for physical and mental health. Rolling out a mat is a way of setting an intention that the next twenty minutes is for yoga and nothing else.
The Yogamatters sticky mats that we have in store are a great first mat. A high grade PVC sticky mat is lightweight and hardwearing, with just the right amount of grip.
Rubber mats are made from sustainably harvested rubber. A rubber mat is heavier and long-lasting with great grip. Some of the rubber mats contain a cotton scrim for extra grip. We stock some of the most well-known brands of yoga mat – Jade Yoga, Yoga Design Lab, EcoYoga, Manduka, OHMat etc – so keep an eye out for your favourite.
The Yogamatters Travel Yoga Mat is also made from rubber. It’s much thinner so more lightweight and can be folded into a suitcase or rucksack. It can be used as an extra layer on top of a studio mat or on the carpet in a hotel room. A great investment that will probably last you all your life!
What makes yoga leggings different to any other leggings? Well, the yoga wear range we predominantly sell is Gossypium, specifically designed with yoga in mind. The organic cotton is great quality, thick enough never to be see through, whatever the pose. The leggings are high waisted with wide waistbands to stay firmly in place. The double layer yoga vests hold everything in place in comfort and style. This yoga wear is soft against the skin and sewn with flat seams to prevent chafing.
A bolster is a popular yoga prop for relaxation and stretching over. A recron bolster is lightweight whereas a buckwheat filled bolster is heavier. Both have removable covers and carrying handles. The standard bolster is cylindrical but you can get rectangular bolsters and smaller bolsters too.
A yoga blanket is used in a restorative practice as a blanket for relaxation at the end of the class or rolled or folded to be used as a prop or for sitting up a little higher for comfort in the hips. These blankets are large and made from organic cotton for a natural soothing. Keep your yoga blanket just for your yoga practice and it will become a prompt for relaxation.
Again, any bag will work but having a yoga bag specifically made to accommodate your mat is great for keeping your yoga items together in one place. The mat bag is for a mat and maybe a strap, the kit bag can accommodate more props. If you don’t want a bag, why not pick up a yoga mat strap for slinging over your shoulder to keep both hands free?
These hardwearing cotton canvas straps come in a variety of lengths. The longer straps are good for stretches and the short straps work well for binds (adding extra length to your arms in certain poses!)
A yoga towel is the same dimensions as a yoga mat and is for rolling out onto your mat for an extra layer. Particularly good for a hot or dynamic yoga practice. Most yoga mat towels have grippy silicone dots on the back for extra grip.
Books on yoga range from manuals that illustrate and explain poses, to works that explore the spiritual side of yoga and texts from various yoga traditions. As you get more into yoga, books will help you find out more about this life-giving tradition.
YOGA BRICKS & BLOCKS
Yoga bricks are the shape of bricks and are usually purchased in pairs to be used in standing poses for ‘bringing the ground up to you’. A block is often used to sit on to help the hips open up more with more ease. You can buy wedges for putting under feet and wrists, half blocks, and other useful props.
Sandbags are strong cotton canvas rectangular bags that are actually filled with small stones rather than sand. You can buy them filled or empty for you to fill yourself. This weighted prop activates a relaxation response in your body allowing you to sink deeper into a yoga pose and find a deep release.
This prop is also known as yoga donuts and was developed by the renowned yoga teacher BKS Iyengar. They’re used in a similar way to blocks and bricks to support the pose and align posture.
You don't need all these items to start a yoga practice. Just get started, see where you may need additional support - and then pay us a visit to find what you need!