January 29, 2023

Golden Age Golds

Take Advantages of Your GOLDEN AGE

The Best Yoga Accessories of 2023 – SI Showcase

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed. When you buy something through the retail links on this page, we may earn commission at no cost to you, the reader. The Sports Illustrated editorial team is not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more here.

Yoga combines deep breathing, meditation and poses that stretch and strengthen your body. A consistent yoga practice can be beneficial for your physical and mental health. According to a 2015 meta-analysis, yoga appears to be helpful, but not a standalone, method for reducing anxiety, depression and trauma-related mental health symptoms. The right yoga accessories can help you get excited about your practice and help you reach new depths in your poses.

If your goal is to develop better flexibility throughout your yoga practice, then you may need a yoga block and stretch strap. However, if you’re taking a yoga class, a mat back or yoga blanket might be better options. Regardless, to get the most benefit from your practice, you need the right yoga equipment.

Yoga equipment encompasses a wide range of items, from pants and shirts to blocks and yoga mats. Our list has some of the best yoga equipment in an assortment of categories. Whether you’re new to yoga or already have a daily practice, these items can help get you started—a number of them are also great for other forms of exercise such as pilates! Get ready for your next Downward-Facing Dog with our top picks.

Our Picks for the Best Yoga Equipment:

lululemon the towel

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 26 inches wide x 71 inches long
  • Colors: Seven
  • Price: $38

The grippy, multipurpose design of the Lululemon The Towel made it our top pick for the best yoga towel. This 26 by 71-inch towel can be layered on top of a mat to soak up sweat from a long session or hot yoga class. Want to add even more versatility? Fold the towel, and it easily becomes a yoga bolster for poses where you’re still developing strength and flexibility. The polyester fabric absorbs water well enough to soak up water after a post-class shower, too. It’s machine washable and easily folds to a portable size.

According to reviews on Lululemon.com, it stays in place better with a light spritz of water, but it might shift during big movements.

Pros:

  • Folds down to a compact size
  • Soaks up sweat during long sessions or hot yoga classes
  • Multipurpose design

Cons:

  • May shift during large movements

Purchase Lululemon The Towel


skechers meditation kicks

Key Features:

  • Materials: Jersey, yoga foam
  • Colors: Two
  • Price: $45

Skechers gets you from home to class and back again in complete comfort with the Skechers Meditation Studio Kicks. Lightweight and comfortable, these flip-flop sandals have knit jersey straps and a bed of yoga foam for all-day comfort. As one reviewer on Skechers.com put it, “These are great. They hug my heel comfortably. I often walk out of my sandals but not these. And they look great with shorts, pants, or skirts. I wish they had more colors because I’d buy them all. Highly recommend.” Many people use them well beyond yoga class.

However, they have a couple of caveats. The first is that Studio Kicks only come in whole sizes. The second is that the jersey can stretch out, which can leave you with sandals that are too big. The smaller size is recommended if you are in between sizes.

Pros:

  • Comfortable, soft jersey straps
  • Cushioning yoga mat footbed
  • Can work for everyday wear

Cons:

  • Only comes in whole sizes
  • Jersey can stretch out

Purchase Skechers Meditation Studio Kicks


Key Features:

  • Dimensions: Six feet long x 1.5 inches wide
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Price: $7.98

Yoga straps, like the GAIAM Yoga Strap, come in handy more than you might think. Sure, you can use it to secure and hold your mat, but you can also use a yoga strap as part of your practice to deepen your stretches. This strap comes in two colors and measures six feet long by 1.5 inches wide with two D-rings on one end. Looping the strap through a D-ring helps you adjust and grip while stretching.

The GAIAM strap is made of durable polyester but is hand wash only. Some users might find the length a little shorter than expected, as expressed on Gaiam.com. It might not be long enough for taller users. Overall, it’s got the length, quality and strength to help you safely progress your practice.

Pros:

  • Made of durable polyester
  • Versatile uses
  • Sturdy buckles

Cons:

  • May be too short for some users

Purchase GAIAM Yoga Strap


alo yoga 7_8 hight waist leggings

Key Features:

  • Materials: Four-way stretch airbrush fabric
  • Colors: Nine
  • Price: $98

Alo Yoga’s airbrushed legging are designed to bring incredible comfort to your yoga sessions. The four-way stretch airbrush fabric feels soft against the skin and offers compression to smooth your legs and support movement. The fabric is also designed to wick moisture and resist odor.

There are no side seams and flat-lock seams reduce chafing and pressure points. A reviewer from AloYoga.com says, “thick and compressive fabric, classic design, good length for shorter people! really good for colder climates.” While we love the quality of the thick fabric, the thickness doesn’t make them the best choice for warmer climates. Plus, with that price tag, they’re definitely an investment.

Pros:

  • Comfortable. stretchy fabric that resists odors and wicks moisture
  • Flat-lock seams with no side seams for better comfort
  • Compressive and contouring to flatter the body

Cons:

  • Fabric may be too hot for warmer weather
  • Expensive

Purchase Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging


everyday yoga radiant solid strappy tank

Key Features:

  • Material: Recycled polyester, spandex, mesh
  • Colors: Eight
  • Price: $42

This stretchy, supportive tank moves with your body while staying close and comfortable. You need that close fit when doing inversions and even standard poses like Downward Dog. The tank lets you move but keeps you covered. The Everyday Yoga Radiant Solid Strappy Tank also offers built-in medium support, so many women can skip wearing a sports bra, especially if they’re doing a low-key practice.

The strappy back design offers a touch of style, and the tank comes in eight colors. More than one reviewer liked the slightly longer length of this top, echoing this review from EverydayYoga.com, “Love this tank! Nice material and I like that it’s longer in the torso.” However, the tank runs a little small. There’s a consistent pattern of reviewers suggesting that you buy one size larger than usual.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and stylish
  • Longer torso
  • Offers enough support for some to skip a sports bra

Cons:


Purchase Everyday Yoga Radiant Solid Strappy Tank 


manduka yoga mat

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 4.7mm (.20 inches) thick; 71 inches long x 24 inches wide; 79 inches long x 24 inches wide; 79 inches long x 30 inches wide
  • Colors: 14
  • Price: $99

Whether you’re a yoga instructor or a student, you need a yoga mat. The Manduka Yoga Mat comes in three sizes, including 71 x 24 inches (standard), 79 x 24 inches (extra long) and 79 x 30 inches (extra long and wide), to accommodate users of different heights and yoga practices. It’s 4.7 mm thick and made of PVC that’s OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means it’s free of certain harmful chemicals and less likely to off-gas.

The thin design keeps it lightweight for toting to and from yoga class. The PVC’s dense cushioning protects joints, and a closed-cell design blocks moisture from absorbing into the mat. We like that Manduka includes a lifetime guarantee that applies to the top of the mat. Not many mats come with any guarantee at all—make sure to read through the guarantee to fully understand the fine details. 

A small number of reviewers on Manduka.com report a slippery surface despite the mat’s textured top, stating “It’s just more slippery than I would have expected for a mat so expensive. Definitely not thrilled.” Not everyone has that experience, but there are enough that buyers should be aware that the mat may need breaking in.

Pros:

  • Comes in three sizes and two widths
  • Comes in 14 bright colors
  • Grips the ground well

Cons:

  • Top can be slippery at first

Purchase Manduka Yoga Mat


elenture yoga mat mag

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 26 inches long x 6.5 inch diameter
  • Colors: 11
  • Price: $24.98

The ELENTURE Yoga Mat Bag is made of sturdy canvas and comes in 11 bright prints and colors. An adjustable shoulder strap allows it to fit different users, though the dimensions (26 inches long by 6.5 inches in diameter) are designed for mats that are ¼ to ⅓ inches thick. The zippered closure extends down the long side and one short side, making it easier to slip your mat inside. There’s also a zippered pocket and a pocket with elastic and a flap.

The ELENTURE also offers protection from the random events of life that can happen between home and your yoga class, as expressed by one Amazon reviewer, “This thing is awesome. Game changer for not feeling like a hot mess going to yoga class. I’m a mother of 5 and I teach a BodyFlow class at my local gym. I use a thicker mat and find myself constantly re-rolling it when I have to carry it back and forth from my house to my van to the gym so often. Also, if I ever leave my mat in the back of the van, it’s sure to get stepped on and destroyed by kids.” 

Even if you’re not traveling to class, this mat bag can protect your yoga mat for your home practice. However, fabric thickness and durability vary by color and pattern, with some having thicker, heavier fabrics.

Pros:

  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Full zipper makes it easier to get mats inside
  • Adjustable shoulder strap

Cons:

  • Fabric durability can vary by color and pattern

Purchase ELENTURE Yoga Mat Bag


beyond yoga lift your spirits bra

Key Features:

  • Sizes: Five
  • Colors: Seven
  • Price: $60

The Beyond Yoga Lift Your Spirits Bra has the comfort and support needed for a gentle or intense yoga session. Made of a polyester/spandex blend, this bra wicks away moisture and stretches to move with the body. A light lining with removable pads adds to the overall comfort. The racerback design gives you a wide range of motion through the shoulders, which can help in your daily practice.

However, the Lift Your Spirits Bra is also an option for other types of exercise and daily wear as expressed by reviewers on REI.com, “Softest bra ever! Used for exercising and hiking in the heat. While on the trail I had to wash my shirts every day but this bra took a couple days wearing and stayed fresh. Amazing! I’ll be buying another, highly recommend!” 

Reviews on the REI website suggest that it works better with A/B cups than with D and larger cups.

Pros:

  • Soft comfortable fabric
  • Wicks moisture
  • Attractive fabric and colors

Cons:

  • Not supportive enough for larger cup sizes

Purchase Beyond Yoga Lift Your Spirits Bra


Key Features:

  • Dimensions: Four inches deep x six inches tall x nine inches long
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Price: $22

Yoga blocks can help you develop strength and flexibility as you deepen and progress in your practice. The Athleta Cork Yoga Block, as the name states, is made of sustainable fine-grain cork. Cork gives slightly under the hands and feet, so it’s gentle on your joints as you press into the block and practice poses. It has a slight texture to help the block stay in place and gives you a little extra grip. If you’ve ever used a foam yoga block, you might prefer cork simply because, as one reviewer states on Athleta.gap.com, “Solid blocks. Much sturdier than foam blocks.” The only downside is that the block doesn’t come as a pair, and many people like to have two.

Pros:

  • Cork offers added stability
  • Easy to clean
  • Sustainable materials

Cons:


Purchase Athleta Cork Yoga Block 


benevolence yoga blanket

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 70 inches long x 50 inches wide
  • Materials: Recycled acrylic and cotton
  • Price: $24.99

The Benevolence LA Mexican Yoga Blanket is a great option when you’re traveling and need a multipurpose piece of yoga equipment. This blanket, made of recycled acrylic and cotton, can function as a mat, beach towel or a standard blanket. You can even fold it up and use it as a bolster. This blanket provides some extra yoga space at 70 inches long by 50 inches wide, which is also a standard twin-size blanket. It comes in 14 bright color patterns. 

Many users echo these sentiments from an Amazon reviewer, “Perfect for yoga, beach, hiking, etc. Lightweight, great colors and good size. Not super soft but in my experience not supposed to be and the softness is as expected for this type of blanket.” Overall, it’s a versatile addition to your home or traveling yoga practice.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Comes in bright colors
  • Multipurpose design

Cons:

  • Can be too thin for some users

Purchase Benevolence LA Mexican Yoga Blanket


How to Buy Yoga Equipment

The yoga equipment set you bring into your home and incorporate into your practice will be highly personal. Not everyone needs a stretch strap or yoga mat bag. The location of your yoga practice, the types of yoga you practice and your goals all factor into the best yoga accessories for you.

Consider the class

What kind of classes do you take? Do you have a gym or yoga studio membership? Is hot yoga your style or do you prefer more cardio-centered power yoga? The types of classes you participate in greatly determine the kind of equipment you need. If you’re cranking up the temperature for hot yoga at a local studio, a mat towel and yoga mat bag probably belong on your list.

However, if your practice includes long periods of meditation, a meditation cushion could certainly be a valuable addition to your practice. If you’re mostly working out at home using a fitness app or searching through yoga YouTube videos, a sturdy mat, stretch strap and yoga block could be all you need.

Some practitioners get more specialized with bolsters and yoga props from companies like Hugger Mugger. These accessories are great if they fit into your practice. However, they’re not absolutely necessary unless you’re taking a class or doing a practice that requires them.

Consider the length of the workout

Short workouts, generally, don’t require as much equipment as longer workouts. If you keep things basic, all you really need is a mat or something to keep your hands and feet from slipping like a yoga towel or blanket. That’s it.

However, longer workouts could require more of you and your equipment. A mat is a good idea for longer workouts because you’re putting more stress on your hands, feet and joints for a longer amount of time. Mats offer grip and cushioning that can benefit your practice. If you’re heading into a 60-minute yoga session, then accessories cushioning might be more important for your comfort and recovery.

Longer workouts may also travel through more poses, which could require a stretch/yoga strap, yoga bolsters or blocks to help you through the pose sequence.

Related Post: The Best Foam Rollers for Relieving Stress and Tension

Consider your level

It is more helpful for beginners to use yoga equipment such as blocks and straps when they are just beginning to develop their flexibility and strength. As your strength and flexibility develop, you may only need your mat and comfortable clothing.

More advanced practitioners need specialized equipment or accessories too. For example, an advanced yogi may invest in a more expensive mat, sports bras and leggings than a beginner because they put more demand on their clothing and accessories.

However, sometimes your level isn’t as important as your consistency. Both beginning and advanced practitioners can benefit from a yoga mat bag if they’re both taking yoga classes three days a week. So consider your level, but also the frequency (and consistency) of your practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What yoga equipment do you need for restorative yoga?

Yoga blankets, blocks and other props help you stay in restorative poses for a longer period of time, which is a hallmark of restorative yoga.

How long should a yoga session be?

Yoga sessions can be anywhere from five to 90 minutes long or potentially even longer. The right length for you depends on your goals. You can get a good morning stretch in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re looking to build strength, a 20 to 30-minute power yoga session might be a better option. It all depends on your goals and fitness level.

What essentials do you need for yoga?

At the very least, you need a mat and stretchy clothing that won’t prevent you from getting into standard yoga poses. You might consider keeping a yoga mat cleaner (a spray or solution) to wipe down the mat after each use.

What is the most important piece of yoga gear?

The most important piece of yoga gear is the yoga mat. Without a good mat, you’re in danger of slipping, sliding and potentially hurting your joints as you hold poses. Mats come in different thicknesses, with ¼ to ⅓ inch being the most common. However, if you have sensitive joints, a ½ to one-inch thick mat offers extra protection, though it may be more difficult to use when balancing.

Final Thoughts

The right collection of yoga equipment can make your yoga practice more comfortable and effective. Take into account how often and long you practice, along with your goals and fitness level. Don’t forget to factor in your budget, and look for items that enhance your yoga practice.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.