You should wear clothes that are comfortable and allow you to move and breathe freely when practicing yoga. Wearing flexible clothing is the best option, such as a leotard, leggings or bicycle shorts, because your clothing will not move or get in your way. You can also wear a T-shirt and gym shorts if you feel more comfortable. You may want to layer your clothing so you can take layers off as you warm up and put layers back on as you cool down.
Yoga is best practiced barefoot. When you are barefoot, you are better able to feel the floor beneath your feet. Wearing socks may cause you to slip.
A yoga mat, also called a sticky mat, is a thin, rectangular rubber mat that helps keep you from sliding on the floor as you move into various poses. A yoga mat is also made of material that is the appropriate texture. If you practice on a surface that is too soft, such as carpet, you may find it difficult to balance or position yourself correctly. If you try to practice on a hard surface, such as hardwood, some poses may be too uncomfortable for your hands, knees or feet.
Keep a few large wool or cotton blankets nearby when practicing yoga. A folded blanket can protect your knees when kneeling. You can also use folded blankets to provide support for your body, such as placing a blanket under your head in a lying pose.
A yoga strap is a long cotton band, which may or may not have a buckle, and is usually 1½ inches wide and 6 feet long. The yoga strap is a useful aid when you cannot reach a part of your body with your hands. If you do not have a yoga strap, you can use any soft cloth or belt, such as a bathrobe belt.
You may need to use a sturdy chair with a back and a flat seat when performing some standing poses or seated chair poses. You should use an armless chair for seated chair poses.
You can use a wall to help you maintain correct posture, alignment or balance in a yoga pose. Walls are particularly helpful for poses such as standing balancing poses.
Blocks are usually 4 x 6 x 9 inches in size and made of either foam or wood. For your yoga practice, you will most likely find two blocks useful. If you do not have a block, you can create your own block by wrapping a hardcover book with tape. Blocks are helpful when your hands cannot reach down to the floor, such as in a standing twist. You can place any end of the block on the floor to achieve the height you need, but make sure the block is steady. Do not clutch the block, but only rest your hand on it to keep your balance.
Bolsters are cylindrical or rectangular pillows that measure approximately 8 inches high and 26 inches long. They are usually covered with canvas or cotton and stuffed with cotton batting to make them firm. Bolsters are useful if you need a firm surface to prop up or rest your body on. If you do not have a bolster, you can roll up a blanket, stack folded blankets or use a firm sofa or bed pillow.
An eye bag is a small cloth bag usually filled with flax seeds. Covering your eyes with an eye bag during a relaxation pose helps relax your eyes and face and block the light. If you do not have an eye bag, use a folded washcloth or silk scarf as a substitute.