I’m back from vacation with my family (see you next year, Bald Head Island!), and feeling refreshed. While I definitely over-indulged on both food and booze over the past week, I managed to get in a few yoga practices while I was gone. I love doing yoga at the beach, because it is the ultimate reminder that I am just a small piece of this amazing world. It helps me clear my head in a way unlike any other practice space. While my mantra is always “collect moments, not things, in order to have a good practice any time, I still need a few material things. These are my favorites.
Jade Yoga Mat
When I first started yoga, I had a cheap mat that I was wearing out on me after just a few months of practice. By the time I really got into yoga, the poor thing was smashed thin and not giving me the support I really needed. All of my yoga teachers had these amazing mats that I had never seen before, and after a new friend (hey Meghan!) let me try her Jade mat, I was hooked. No slipping. No knee pain. I had to have one. Lucky for me, my studio sells them, so I got a good deal. I have never had any issues with my Jade, and it makes me happy to unroll it for each practice.
This is for my home practice, but it is a necessity when I’m practicing things I can’t really do yet. It helps bring my hands or hips up higher when I need them to, but my favorite thing to do is use it as a heart opener. If you place a block in the middle of your back between your shoulder blades and then lay back, it feels so amazing. This one has held up well over the years, and I love the purple shade.
Gaiam Mat Strap
I finally bought this after I got sick of trying to carry my mat like a baby back and forth to class, while also carrying my bag or coat or whatever else I had in my hands. This is a strap that you attach to either sides of your rolled up mat and can carry it on your shoulder. I packed this thing on the ferry boat for my vacation traveling, and it was super easy to handle. Yoga mat strap designs vary, but I liked the adjustable rings on this one, because it can double as a stretching strap for certain poses.
lulu lemon towel mat
I bought this when I was doing hot yoga every week in Louisville, because you just can’t survive a hot class without a towel. I still use it for particularly sweaty classes and often bring it along to yoga events, just in case. It is super absorbent and won’t slip on your mat.
Calia Yoga Pants
I am usually really leary of celebrity clothing lines or perfumes, but Carrie Underwood’s line of athletic wear for Dick’s Sporting Goods is seriously some of my favorite pieces. I have these floral capri pants from the line (that I scored on sale) and I absolutely love them. They stay put if I wear them to run, and they aren’t transparent when I’m in Downward Dog, which is fantastic. The fabric is high-quality and there are constantly new designs and prints being released.
C9 Champion Sports Bra from Target
These sports bras are definitely for low impact practices, but I love that they are affordable but nicely made. I have several different colors that go with different outfits, but the black and grey one is my favorite. Also, they are comfortable enough that I can wear them to bed (or you know, under my actual clothes sometimes).
I received this tank top as a gift, and I wear it all the time. It is a little loose, but not so baggy that it flies over my head when I’m in Forward Fold. I have several tank tops that are made like this one, but this one’s sentiment makes me pick it out from the pile every time.
I dedicated an entire blog post to malas, so you could say I really love them. Mine is a sacred art of my practice, and even if I don’t use it or wear it, I know it’s there. I can feel its energy and it makes me happy. If you don’t have a mala and are interested in meditation at all, I would suggest you find one that resonates with you. It will make your practice so much more special.