My Favorite Yoga Stuff

By Bethany | May 06, 2018 | alo dharma yoga wheel props yoga

Hey guys!  First off...This is not a #ad.

No one has given me anything in exchange for mentioning their brand.  I have, however, used a lot of brands over the years and I've been given A LOT of stuff, so I know what's out there and I know what I like and I know what's good.  People ask me all the time "what type of mat do you recommend?" or "what type of leggings are those?"  This blog is an answer to that.

I also see a ton of "yoga" stuff out there.  We've come a long way from needing just a crappy mat.  We've got everything from yoga mascara (yep, you heard that right!) to really prickly mats that swear relieve sore muscles and it can be overwhelming to decipher what is just hype and what is going to really help your practice.  I have found certain things, along the way, that enhance my practice.  Things worth mentioning.  And here they are:

  1.  Mandukamat.  Everything they say about their product is true.  I've had mine for 7 years and it's the best it's ever  been.  I cannot say enough good things about this mat.  It was my first real yoga purchase after I realized that I would be doing this yoga thing for a while.  So I invested in a good mat and you should to if you practice at least 3 times a week.  A good mat will save you money in the long run and you'll be surprised at the difference it makes in your practice.  I have a Pro mat, which I keep at home because it's freaking heavy!  I carry my Prolite mat with me everywhere.  There are some nice mats out there, I just simply prefer Manduka. Here's why:
  •  The thickness of it.  It's not hard and thin like most cork mats.  It gives you enough firmness to feel solid on your hands and feet but enough cushion so that it's easy on the joints.  It's not as soft and cushiony as the thick aerobic mats you see at gyms but it's thicker than a a regular walmart mat, lululemon and liforme mat.
  • The material.  It's not rubbery and it doesn't smell like someone has smoked a pack of cigarettes on it.  Some brands do.  Just saying.  I do not slide on this mat.  I also don't sweat a lot on my hands and feet.  However, in a 95 degree room, you're bound to sweat some and I still don't slide.  I know people who say they do, but I think it's because they haven't practiced enough on it.  These mats are designed to get better over time.  The more you use it, the better it gets!  Also, they come with a protective film on them now so apparently you have to wash that off with salt water.  I don't recall having to do that 7 years ago.
  • The price.  I realize $80-$100 isn't cheap, but my Manduka has been well worth that.  I'm willing to pay for a good product and from all of the mats I've used, it's better than the cheaper ones and BETTER than the more expensive ones I've tried.

Here are some brands and type of mats I prefer my Manduka over: liforme, jade, alo, lululemon, a cork mat, any and all walmart and target mats.  These are not bad mats.  Just not my favorite.

2.  Infinityblocks and straps.  You're serious about your practice when you start purchasing accessories.  Do NOT fall into consumerism!  You do not need everything you see on Instagram.  I believe a good block and strap are two things that will certainly enhance your practice.  And you'll use them, I swear!  If you don't, you're clearly not practicing.  I combined blocks and straps because Infinity Strap sells both and I really like their products.  I prefer the cotton strap to the stretchy one but I actually have both.  I love the look and feel of their cork blocks, BUT some people prefer the softer foam blocks and that's just personal preference.  Either way, a block and strap are a good investment.

3.  Alo or Lululemon yoga pants.  See picture above.  Need I say more?  There is nothing like a good pair of yoga pants and these two brands are tied for first place in my book.  They are expensive, good quality, high end yoga attire.  Out of all the brands that I have purchased and those who have sent me free clothes, I have yet to find anything comparable.  There are other brands that I will take pictures in, but I would never wear them to a public class.  I feel most confident in Alo and Lulu.  I know they get a bad rap for being a big corporation and blah, blah, blah, but whatever, take all my money, I don't care!  They're amazing.  They hug you in but don't squeeze you out!  They smooth the skin and lift you up.  They don't move so you don't have to worry when you are!  I remember when I bought my first pair of Wonder Unders years ago.  The Heavens opened up and angels sang "aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!"  It happens whenever anyone buys their first pair.  Swear.

I don't spend a lot of money on things.  I own 5 pairs of shoes and that includes flip flops.  I will borrow a dress if I know I'm not going to get my money's worth out of it.  I am in yoga pants every single day.  I teach in them, I practice in them, run errands in them, have brunch in them.  Spending that much on a pair of pants can be a tough pill to swallow, but it's definitely worth the investment if you're in them a lot.  I'm not even recommending their tops/sports bras or anything else.  Even though I do love them, you can get cheaper tops elsewhere.


4. My Dharma Yoga Wheel.  This is NOT a necessity but I have to mention it because this is one of the "hype" items I bought into.  I saw them when they first came out and I just HAD TO HAVE IT!  I loved it for a few weeks and then the hype faded.  I mostly kept it at home and rolled on it every now and then until I got serious about my backbends.  For a while, I used it every day.  I credit the Dharma Wheel + doing an Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose) a day for kick starting my backbend progress.  I may not use it on a daily basis but it's the first thing I go to after a long day of sitting/driving, that's for sure.  So if you wanna splurge on what I consider one of the "yoga toys", then this is the way to go.  There are cheaper replicas of the original Dharma Yoga Wheel that I'm sure work just as well.



And that's it.  I haven't tried anything else that I believe has helped my practice.  If you know of anything else, drop it in the comments!




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