27 Yoga Essentials to Upgrade Your Next Workout

27 Yoga Essentials to Upgrade Your Next Workout


Jasmina007/Getty Images

I consider yoga a pretty accessible workout. First, it's great for all levels. You don't have to be super athletic to give it a whirl. And if you're a seasoned yogi, well, there are definitely some classes, flows, and styles to try. Second, it really doesn't require much—just a mat and some comfy clothes. Other workouts, on the other hand, might call for a lot of extra gear or expensive equipment.

But while you can really go bare-bones with your yoga gear, there are some things that can upgrade your practice. I'm talking gear, accessories, and activewear that help you get into poses and flows more comfortably and with support. Take a look at some yoga essentials below.

Yoga Mats

Of course, a yoga mat is essential. You really can't work out without it. There are so many variations to choose from, so pick one that caters to your specific needs. Do you do a lot of hot yoga? Invest in a non-slip one. Need more cushion for your knees? Get an extra-thick mat.

I have this particular yoga mat at home, and I love that it's oversize. It has just the right amount of cushion, and I never worry about slipping on it.

For those who need more padding, this Gaiam yoga mat is for you. It's extra thick and even comes with a carrier strap.

This natural-rubber yoga mat has a layer grippy texture, so it's especially helpful during hot yoga classes. It also contains an antimicrobial additive to prevent mold and mildew.

Yoga Blocks

Yoga blocks can provide stability and help you get into poses correctly. They're especially great for beginners since they'll help you balance if you're not used to some poses.

Because this block is made of sustainable cork material, it's firmer than its foam counterparts.

I have these affordable yoga blocks at home, and there's literally nothing to complain about. They just get the job done.

Lululemon's yoga block is made of dense and durable foam.

Yoga Straps

Stretching is so important for any workout. A yoga strap will help you with just that plus act as an alignment and posture aid. I even use a yoga strap when I'm not practicing yoga—it provides some sweet relief when I've been sitting at my desk the whole day.

This versatile yoga strap has 12 loops and is eight feet long. It also comes with a stretch guide.

Okay, here's another piece of yoga gear I have at home. It has a super-sturdy construction that makes me feel confident in my stretching routine.

Think of this strap as a two-in-one. It will help you stretch, and it's also designed to function as a mat carrier.

Yoga Towels

If you do hot yoga, a yoga towel will ensure that your sweat is absorbed and you won't slip on your mat. But it's not just for hot yoga sessions—if you find that you get sweaty and fear losing your grip, drape a towel over your mat.

This highly absorbent microfiber towel can be used on your mat or to dry off after your work out. For more grip, spritz some water on it before you start class.

Yoga Mate's towel works with both regular-size yoga mats and oversize ones.

The cool thing about yoga towels is that they're also great for on-the-go activities. You can bring this compact one to the beach, pack it in your suitcase, or stash it in your gym bag.

Yoga Bolsters

A yoga bolster provides comfort and support during restorative yoga sessions. It's basically like a pillow, and you'll probably fall asleep because you'll feel so relaxed during these classes. I'm just speaking from personal experience.

Ajna's bolster pillow is made with vegan suede and is filled with mixed-density layers of recycled foam.

This bolster has an absorbent and plush pillow cover that's also removable so you can wash it easily.

Gaiam's bolster is filled with natural cotton batting and has a sturdy handle so you can easily tote it around.

Yoga Wheels

You can use a yoga wheel to help improve your flexibility and mobility so that you can challenge yourself even more during classes. Outside of yoga, you can also use it for stretching, recovery, and toning.

This yoga wheel has a hybrid TPE foam, which provides so much cushioned support and comfort.

This one is ultra sturdy. It can withstand up to 550 pounds. The thick foam layer cushions and conforms to your body too.

You get a yoga strap and an exercise guide with this yoga wheel, so it's a total deal. At under $30, the price can't be beat.

Sports Bras

While you don't necessarily need a highly supportive sports bra, you still need one during your yoga workout. The best thing about low-impact, yoga sports bras is that a lot of them are so comfy you'll probably want to lounge in them all day long.

Athleta's sports bra has a unique twist design that provides support but doesn't leave you feeling like your squeezing into it.

Alo's bra tank is made with a soft performance jersey, so it feels just so comfy. It lifts and provides coverage with light to medium support.

This sports bra is designed for medium-impact workouts, so it's great for other activities outside of yoga.


Like sports bras, you might not need leggings that are super compressive, but you still want something that provides support and, most of all, doesn't have a waistband that rolls down when you're trying to get into poses.

Made with Lululemon's Nulu fabric, these leggings are buttery soft and designed specifically for yoga. The leggings are breathable and sweat-wicking and have four-way stretch.

For a cropped version, try Zella's high-waisted leggings. They're sweat-wicking and supportive but don't feel restrictive.

These are described as "naked feeling," so you know they're going to be comfortable and so lightweight. They feature a seamless waistband with a hidden pocket.

Tanks and Tees

Some people might prefer a looser fit for their yoga class, while others want a top that's more formfitting so they don't have to worry about extra fabric getting in the way. Whatever the case, pretty much any activewear top works for yoga, so choose based on your personal preference.

For a tee option, this one has an easy, relaxed fit. The shirt is quick-drying, too.

If you want something that's cropped and fitted, this super-soft tank from Lululemonn will fit the bill. This particular one offers light support for C and D cups.

Zella's lightweight and flowy tank is so versatile. And since it's so easy to wear and breathable, it's one of those classic tops that everyone should have their closet.

Next, 13 Yoga Poses to Do When You Wake Up to Jump-Start Your Day