When you first start doing yoga, whatever age you are, it’s hard to figure out what exactly you need. As a beginner, you won’t need to go overboard with different supplies, but you will still need the basics.
Wear comfortable, breathable clothing for yoga. You’ll probably want to wear a shirt that is a little form-fitting, because in certain yoga positions you will be bending forwards, for example, and your head comes below your hips, (so your shirt can slide down.) Any exercise pants or shorts with a bit of stretch will do. Leggings are popular for women, but looser trousers are okay too. Men seem to prefer shorts, but many wear trousers too. Sports bras are good for women, but if you don’t have one, it doesn’t mean you can’t participate. You can find all these things in a yoga clothing store.
You do not need any kind of ‘professional’ shoes or socks for class. Yoga is usually done barefoot; most yoga studios will often request that you leave your shoes near the entrance.
In gyms and yoga studios, it is essential to use a yoga mat. The mat helps define your personal space, and more importantly, it creates friction so your hands and feet don’t slip, (especially when you start getting sweaty.) The mat also provides a bit of cushioning on a hard, cold floor.
Most gyms will provide you with a mat that you can rent, which is fine for your first few classes, but the disadvantage is that a lot of people use them and you can’t be sure how often they are being cleaned. Premium yoga mats can be expensive, but you can get starter mats for next to nothing.
Straps are particularly useful for bound poses if your hands do not reach each other, and also for poses where you need to hold onto your feet but cannot reach them.
Yoga studios usually have stacks of blankets available for students to use during their session. So get yourself one or two at the beginning of the class.
The folded blankets are props to sit and lie on when necessary. For example, when you sit cross-legged, put a blanket under your bum bones to elevate the hips above the knees. They come in handy for all sorts of things during your class, and if it gets a little cold, you can use them to cover yourself during final relaxation as well.
Similar to blankets, blocks are props to make yourself more comfortable and improve your alignment. Blocks are great for standing poses for when your hands can’t reach the floor.
These things should be all you need as you’re a beginner. As you get more advanced, you may want to upgrade, and purchase other supplies. But for now – you have a the basics to becoming an A Star student.