Yoga is often recognized as a form of exercise you can do anywhere, requiring little to no equipment. Unlike other forms of exercise, which involve lots of equipment like weights, proper shoes/gear, resistance bands, etc.; it is more focused on internal connection and thus requires less external support. That being said, there are several items you can use to elevate your comfort and relaxation during your practice, helping you to deepen your yoga experience. Here at Midtown Yoga Kitchener-Waterloo, we are proud to have a retail section that boasts all the hot yoga necessities you need to ensure you have your best practice possible! Here are our top recommendations for equipment you can use to have your most enjoyable yoga experience:
A Good Yoga Mat
It’s obvious that you need a yoga mat to practice yoga. But if you are a regular yogi, any old mat will not suffice. There are tons of mats out there that flake, tear, smell, stain, or wear out in a number of other ways. Many factors need to be considered when choosing your “perfect” yoga mat. We have found that the Pur Earth II Ultimate Eco Yoga Mat balances all of the most common needs to provide users with the ultimate yoga mat experience:
One (Or Several!) Hot Yoga Towels
If you have taken a Bikram class, you know how sweaty you can get after just a few minutes of practice. Having a yoga towel is important to absorb this sweat so it doesn’t pool on your mat an make it too slippery to stand and grip on. Additionally, yoga towels are specifically designed to become easier to grip as they get wet, unlike regular towels. Think about how much benefit you will get from a surface that grips your foot and allows you to hold challenging postures like Triangle Pose for much longer. At MYKW, we are big fans of bold prints and bright colours, and that is why we carry the Zenzation Athletics Printed Hot Yoga & Gym towel. These towels are made from microfibre and absorb up to 10 times more liquid than cotton. The beautiful tie-dye colour design is durable for up to 500 washes, so you can use and wash it every day without worry.
Yoga blocks are a great way to make correct alignment more accessible when there are issues with balance & stability, flexibility, or support. Blocks are also frequently used in restorative yoga styles to create more of a sense of support, allowing the body to let go and relax completely. Whether you are a beginner, recovering from an injury, or just looking to deepen your practice, blocks can help you learn more about yourself and almost any yoga pose. Yoga blocks made from cork are firm, sturdy and grippy, providing a great sense of support and stability. A great cork yoga block is the Pur Earth Cork Yoga Blocks, as they are super durable and provide optimal stability. We also love that this product is made of sustainable, eco-friendly cork.
Similar to blocks, yoga straps are another important tool for elevating your practice. Straps can allow more flexibility so you can get into a pose with proper alignment, while reducing the risk of over stretching. A strap allows for a slightly longer reach without inhibiting your posture and the position of your spine. While straps are particularly useful for beginners working on their flexibility and range of motion, they are equally as important for helping with balance and arm binding postures. An 8 foot strap, like the Pur Earth cotton yoga strap, is the perfect length to use for a variety of purposes, whether you use it to work on your balance or flexibility. It is fitted with a metal buckle allowing for length adjustment, and the 100% organic earth-friendly cotton means this is a sustainable and eco-friendly product.
Post-Hot Yoga Nutrition
You probably already know that you need to drink A LOT of water to replace what you sweat out in a Bikram class. But there are also other important minerals and nutrients that need to be rebalanced after your practice. Replenishing your electrolytes after a sweaty class is important, especially if you practice regularly.
Among our multitude of Vega products, our online store carries an electrolyte hydrator beverage mix which has all the essential electrolytes needed by the body during and after a workout.
If you prefer a more natural source for electrolytes, we recommend picking up a can of coconut water, also known as “nature’s gatorade” to help replenish five key electrolytes: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Coconut water is much healthier than traditional sports drinks as it contains no added sugar and delivers more nutrients.
If you are the kind of person who wants something more satiating after a workout, we are excited to now offer grab-and-go salad, smoothie and energy ball options from our Food Shop! You can place your order online through the retail website and pick it up after your class for a tasty pick-me-up after you sweat it out!
All of the products mentioned above (plus more yoga accessories and yoga wear!) are available for purchase now on our new retail site. Click the button below to check it out! The simple system allows you to pay for your order online and pick it up the next time you are in the studio. We can’t wait for you to check it out!
All photographs by Brett Brohman