The yoga industry is a $16,000,000 per year industry. That’s a little mind boggling when you consider that all you really need is a mat, a body, and hopefully a teacher. Piles and piles of “stuff” is not necessary, but may be helpful if you are committing to a yoga journey. As a yoga instructor, yoga related gifts seem to be a theme at birthdays and holidays, so I decided to compile a list of the favorites that myself and my colleagues have been given.
This post does contain affiliate links, meaning that I make a small amount from purchases made through the photo links. I never let this impact my integrity, and work hard to be as honest as possible in my business and writing. Thank you!
THE BEGINNER YOGI
Straps and blocks are the most commonly used yoga props. The straps build flexibility and allow for deeper stretches, and blocks can be used for safety and restorative poses. I like that this set comes with 2 blocks and the strap. Most of the time blocks are sold individually, but for many poses, having 2 blocks that are the same size will be helpful.
Current Price: $18.90
Looking for a yoga mat can leave your head spinning. For beginners, I typically recommend a Gaiam mat. They are affordable, decent quality, and comfortable. As you continue on with your yoga, you will likely have a better idea of what you want and need from a mat, but a Gaiam one is a great way to get started without a large investment.
Whichever mat you choose, it is wise to purchase a quality cleaner. Mats can get smelly, fast. I typically suggest cleaning your mat after every practice, if for no other reason than because sweaty foot smell is not the most relaxing during savasana. A lot of antibacterial cleaners out there are not made for yoga mats and will dry them out leading them to crack. Mats are an investment, a worthy one, but one that should be protected.
Current Price: $10.95
THE ON THE GO YOGI
Having a bag to transport your yoga mat is always a great idea. It provides protection from drying UV rays in your vehicle as well as the elements as you head into your studio. I personally prefer tote style bags as I find they fit the widest variety of mats. This bag comes in many patterns and has room to store valuables and a phone.
Current Price: $24.99
This is my preferred bag for when I am running to the studio from work. It’s big enough for a change of clothes, my purse, and shoes. Having a front holder for the yoga mat keeps valuable real estate for everything else I have to carry. Just make sure not to leave your mat in the sun as the UV rays can dry it out.
Current Price: $29.99
THE RELAXING YOGI
Bolsters are my new yoga love. Gentle support during restorative poses is one of the most therapeutic additions to my yoga practice. Pop it under your back during legs up the wall or reclined butterfly. Put it under your chest for thread the needle or sleeping pigeon. Savasana with your feet, knees, or hips raised. There are so many uses for the bolster, and it can really up your savasana game.
Current Price: Both round and rectangular are $37.99
Want to take your savasana to the next level? Introduce a lavender eye pillow. I am new to aromatherapy, and I am on the fence, but this pillow is phenomenal. I purchased mine, but for the craftier yogis this can be a diy project.
Current Price: $16.95
My favorite yoga studio provides these blankets. They can be rolled up and used as a bolster but double at providing warmth during savasana. Being cold during savasana can break the bliss pretty quickly.
Current price: $14.29
THE SWEATY YOGI
If hot yoga or vinyasa yoga is your jam, then you probably sweat. A lot. Having a towel that grips to your mat and absorbs the sweat is not just a comfort issue, it’s also a safety precaution. A wet mat and wet feet can quickly make balancing poses a wipe out hazard. This is my favorite of the yoga towels out there, but it may be wise to own a few if you practice frequently. They absorb all your sweat which protects your mat, but also leaves them smelling like they, well, absorbed a lot of sweat.
Current Price: $19.99
If you will be practicing power yoga, hot yoga, Bikram, vinyasa, or any other style of yoga that works up a sweat, I highly recommend investing in a sticky mat. The surface of the mat is sticky to give your feet traction no matter how sweaty you get. If you use a towel, it will provide extra grip to keep it from bunching and sliding. I use HeathYoga’s mat as I find it comfortable for any style of yoga meaning I don’t have to swap my mat out based on which class I attend.
Current Price: $31.95
For the sweaty yogini or long haired yogi, a sweat band is a life saver. These are moisture wicking meaning they not only keep the hair out of your face, but they also absorb the sweat. I also use them when I teach to keep me from fidgeting with my hair if I get nervous. They are also machine washable, but remember to skip the fabric softener with your moisture wicking gear.
Current Price: 12 pack for $16.99
THE SPIRITUAL YOGI
This is my favorite book for those looking to explore the spiritual aspects of yoga. The yamas and niyamas are broken down very clearly and applied to modern life.
Current Price: $8.99
Less intensive than Living Love, more of an overview, but still a great resource for those exploring all of the yoga philosophies. The topic is complex, but this is a simple and easy to read guide that also has activities designed to deepen your understanding.
Current Price: $8.99
THE PLAYFUL YOGI
Yoga wheels are a popular prop at the moment. I have mixed feelings on them, but they seem to be well loved by many. Pinterest is a treasure trove of ideas for how to use them.
Current Price: $33.97
These are a fun way to shake up (terrible pun intended) your yoga routine. Roll the dice, and you have thousands of new sequences for your home practice.
Current Price: $15.26
THE SORE YOGI
This is my only yoga prop that always ends up missing. My husband uses it to massage his back, my daughter uses it to massage her feet at her desk, but I keep it in my yoga room to massage tight muscles during stretches. If you have tight hamstrings like me, one of the fastest ways to release them is to massage during stretches, and a foam roller is quite helpful.
Current Price: $15.99
Tiger balm is my gooey tingly pain reliever. I have a tendency to push myself too hard and since I’m not 19 anymore, my muscles let me know when I have exceeded my limits. This balm works after yoga when my muscles ache, but I also find I have extra comfort using this before I practice. Learn from my mistake though, wash your hands after applying this. It stays on your fingers and will burn if it gets in your eyes.
Current Price: $7.25
This massage stick is a lifesaver for tight knots and all those aches that need firm pressure. While foam rollers provide gentle, soft support, this one is firm while still having a soft foam layer. This is my favorite for deep knots post-practice, but it is also helpful pre-yoga class. I find if I start class with my muscles loosened up, I can get a wider range of movement.
Current Price: $34.95
THE FUNNY YOGI
The kind of gift that can only be appreciated by a yogi with a sense of humor.
Current Price: $19.99
These were given to me as a gift, and they still crack me up. My son has basically stolen them though.
Current Price: $28.99
THE MINI YOGI
The set comes with 50 cards with sections on breath, balance, standing, forward folds, twists, back bends, partner, game, and time in. Each card has kid-friendly information on the poses as well as positive affirmations to say during the pose. I typically recommend these for the 5+ crowd as some of the poses may be too difficult for tiny yogis.
My son put Meddy Teddy on his birthday list (still months away) and that was the first I had heard of this bendy posable little bear. Absolutely adorable, and he also has a book all about him!
Current Prices: Bear $38.90 Book $12.35
THE MYSTIC YOGI
Harness the power of healing crystals through your water bottle. I do not know a lot about healing crystals, but I have (and love) this water bottle. I was looking for a glass water bottle for health reasons, and this one was given to me by a student. I definitely notice that the taste is very fresh and pure. The pod inside contains Smokey Quartz and Clear Quartz. It also comes with a protective sleeve for the clumsier yogis like me.
Current Price: $49.99
I will be the first to admit that this is one aspect of yoga that I know absolutely nothing about. This recommendation comes from a friend/fellow yoga teacher, but she has had a lot of fun with these. The cards tell stories about the origins and spiritual messages from different poses, and she will often share these stories in her classes.
Current Price: $19.99