A great yoga session comes from more than just showing up.
Surprised? A little bit of preparation, and making sure you have all the right tools, can make all the difference. Our friends at Rhone, makers of premium men’s fitness wear, put together a roadmap of everything you need for your next yoga session.
Hydration is the key to any great workout or recovery. Give your body what it needs to keep moving and performing at it’s very best. Depending on where you are practicing, you may want an insulated bottle to keep your water cold through your full session. And If you’re a constant drinker, you’ll want something with a straw or sport lid to make sipping throughout your stretches easier.
The Right Clothing
Comfortable, breathable clothing can make all the difference. With the constant movement, expanding, and sometimes the heat of yoga, you want men’s yoga clothing that moves where you need, every time.
Make sure to get the right sizing. You don’t want to find balance in a new position and have to come out just to tug at your top. Things should be fitted enough to not slide off upside down, but loose enough to stretch with you through every pose. Check out the Method Seamless Short Sleeve, lightweight and perfect for action with its odor-fighting SilverTech threads.
Best for everyone but even better for our sweatier friends, moisture-wicking, breathable materials give your skin the freedom it craves while you push through tough routines. Condition your body to its peak with fitness apparel designed to cooperate.
Standard men’s workout shorts might work for the rest of your active lifestyle, but for yoga, you’ll want something that stays in place a little better. Yoga shorts, made specifically to provide full coverage through all the folding and spiraling your body does, stay where you depend on them too. With a little extra elastic, you are protected from slippage and shifting.
If you’re not really into shorts or are still worried about staying covered, opt for a pair of comfortable joggers. The elastic around the ankle will demand the pants stay in place through all your movements.
Bring in slim pullovers or lightweight, long sleeve shirts for the start and end of your yoga session. Added layers, in the beginning, can help your muscles warm up quicker, and improve your training. As for the cool down, it does just that. Sometimes the cooldown chills your body a little too much, and you’d be more comfortable with extra coverage. Cue your additional layers. Yoga studios tend to be kept at cooler temperatures, so you might even find you want the extra warmth through your entire exercise.
Sport leggings or tights give are another great option for layering. While not as easy to slip on and off, they still give warmth to your legs while providing extra coverage under all the movement of your shorts.
Blankets are useful if you’d like added comfort. You can place them under your knees when you’re lying on the ground to release pressure on your back, use them to help modify postures like pigeon, or even use them as knee pads in postures like frog or lunges to help prevent knee discomfort.
Blocks and similar props can give support throughout your course in various poses and positions. They’re incredibly useful for people who aren’t as flexible as other yogis – especially tight and inflexible men! They aid in keeping your body aligned correctly through the postures, even if your flexibility is working against you.
They are particularly useful for making modifications to specific stretches, like when you bend over to touch the floor, but your hands don’t quite reach. Blocks can be turned to stand at different heights, so you’ll get endless use. They can even be used for added resistance to help you build strength!
I recommend getting yourself 2 cork yoga blocks, as cork is much more stable, and can also provide resistance for an added weight challenge.
My partner company, Body by Yoga, plans on releasing cork yoga blocks in the coming months to accompany our luxury cork yoga mat (the #1 cork yoga mat on Amazon!) – be on the lookout!
Also great for stretching modifications, there may be times when you are supposed to hold your feet, but can’t get your hands all the way there. Wrap a strap or band around your feet and use that to pull yourself forward. They also help with positions needing shoulder flexibility, like ones where you need to connect your hands behind you. Perfect for a beginner, or for those wanting to pull themselves into deeper stretches, straps/bands are an essential prop.
A yoga mat helps define your space in the room and gives you an area to stay within for the course of your yoga experience. It also provides traction to hands and feet so slippery sweat doesn’t get in the way of your progress – as long as you’ve got a good yoga mat!
Most yoga mats are too small for men, and they don’t provide adequate grip or support – that’s why we designed and manufactured our own! The Luxury Cork Yoga Mat has 20% more surface area that traditional yoga mats. It’s 3x as thick, has 6x as much cork as traditional cork yoga mats, and even has optional built-in alignment lines to ensure you’re doing postures correctly. Our cork yoga mat is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.
To keep your mat extra nice, grab a towel and mat cleaner. We recommend using a blend of 1 parts vinegar and 1 parts water to avoid damaging the mat. You can spray a little antibacterial aid on your mat after each workout to keep things fresh and clean. A mat towel can double as a sweat sweeper to keep your mat from getting too slick during your session.
If you’re rocking the long flow, you’ll want to secure it before you dive into yoga. You don’t want hair to fall in your face during strength poses or to block your view. Tie your hair back or up to keep your view clear and your forehead open. Headbands are surprisingly useful, too. You don’t realize how often you wipe sweat away from your forehead until a headband does the work for you.
Focus on technique and doing YOUR best.
The most important concept to keep in mind while practicing yoga is going at YOUR pace. Push yourself based on the best version of yourself and how you’re feeling at that particular moment. Yoga isn’t as hard as you think. Just make sure that you’re paying attention to your technique, following along to the yoga instructor’s cues, and aren’t pushing yourself too hard. Unlike other workouts, one fitness aspect that we focus on in yoga is flexibility, and pushing yourself beyond what is safe for your flexibility levels can lead to muscle strains or tears.
And if you’re not getting the technique-focused instruction you need, just do Man Flow Yoga instead!
Whether you’re just getting into yoga, or getting ready to teach the class, a little prep work in gathering everything you need can make all the difference. Suit up, grab your gear, and get moving, because life is all about the pursuit of progress.