Yoga is a popular fitness option for people who want to benefit from an exercise which combines mental awareness and physical well-being. Although the basic practice of yoga can be done without any props, several accessories are available to make yoga safer, more comfortable, and more challenging. Understanding the benefits that various yoga accessories provide enables buyers to make informed decisions about expanding the tools they use to practice yoga and get the most out of their yoga experience. Fortunately, because of yoga’s popularity, it is easy to find the different styles of yoga accessories at both local stores and at online marketplaces like eBay.
When yoga was first developed in ancient India, early practitioners used mats made from animal skins or grass. Today, yoga practitioners have more modern and eco-friendly options from which to choose when they decide to incorporate a mat into their yoga routines. Yogamats are specially designed to meet the challenges that practicing yoga demands and cannot be easily replaced by general exercise mats which tend to slip on floors.
Yoga Mat Attributes
Because many people practice yoga today, yoga mat manufacturers offer a wide range of mats that can fit anyone’s needs. Mats are made from a variety of materials and have different thicknesses and stickiness (the ability to provide traction). Learning a little about these different yoga mat attributes can make the act of purchasing a mat easier.
Yoga Mat Materials
Yoga mats are manufactured from PVC, rubber, jute, and cotton. PVC and rubber yoga mats provide a great amount of stickiness and give, so it is easy to pivot on these mats while they stay stationary on the floor. Jute and cotton mats are eco-friendly choices compared to PVC and rubber, but might create resistance or slip when changing yoga positions. The eco-friendly aspect of jute and cotton mats might be preferable to the other benefits that rubber and PVC provide, so it’s up to the individual yoga practitioners to decide what is the most important consideration when choosing yoga mat material, and buy their mat accordingly.
Yoga Mat Thickness
When considering what thickness a yoga mat should have, buyers need to balance the comfort larger thicknesses provide versus the stability of thinner mats. This is because thicker mats, although easier on the joints and bones, create a barrier between the feet and floor which might result in the mat shifting while in use. Yoga mats range in thickness from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-fourth of an inch and can have varying levels of stickiness, depending on the materials used to manufacture the mat.
Yogaballs are used to lean on, sit on, and lie across during certain yoga poses to heighten concentration and achieve balance. Because a yoga ball might carry the full weight of a yoga practitioner, it is of utmost importance that a yoga ball be strong and durable. Unfortunately, even the most careful owner might inadvertently puncture a ball, so to have the most protection available, look for yoga balls that are burst-resistant. Burst-resistant balls will deflate slowly, creating a gentle release of air that helps to avoid the risk of injury while using.
Choosing the Correct Size Yoga Ball
Because a yoga ball might be providing the sole support of a body while it is held in a certain yoga pose, it is important to get a ball that is the correct size for the user. A simple check to determine if a ball is the right size is to apply the ninety-degree rule. To test a ball with the ninety-degree rule, fully inflate the ball and place it on the floor. Sit on the ball with feet flat on the floor and check the angle that is made between the torso and the upper thighbone. A ninety-degree angle should be formed at the hips if the ball is the correct size. If the thighbone is not horizontal and slants downward, the ball to too big; if the thighbone slants upward, the ball is too small. After performing the test and receiving an unleveled result, a buyer should check out the next size, appropriately going bigger or smaller, depending on the outcome of the ninety-degree rule.
For those who cannot perform the ninety-degree rule test, there are a range of heights that are typically found to be appropriate for each ball size.
Size of Ball
Height of User
71 inches and up
For buyers who are right in the middle of a height dividing line and are undecided which ball size to buy, it is advisable to choose the larger ball size. This is because users can under-inflate the ball to get the appropriate ninety-degree angle when they sit on the ball, but cannot make an adjustment to a ball that is too small to get the right balance.
Yogastraps are used to provide additional stretch or to retain alignment while performing a yoga pose. These handy tools are useful for yoga beginners who have not yet reached the flexibility required to establish a pose, as well as advanced yoga practitioners who could use the strap to deepen their stretch.
Straps consist of a length of reinforced cotton or hemp and have a plastic or metal buckle which is sometimes used to close the strap to perform certain poses. Strap lengths are generally either six or eight feet long. People who are shorter in height should choose the six foot yoga strap, while taller people should choose the eight foot strap. Like the yoga ball, choosing the larger-sized length is advisable for people of average height because any slack in the strap can be adjusted to accommodate the height of the user.
To help support weight, align the body properly, and extend the reach of hands during yoga poses, yogablocks are useful tools. The most common practice of yoga blocks is to hold them in the hands to create a platform to balance against when bending down to touch the floor, especially for new yoga students who do not have the flexibility to reach to floor. By providing a platform, a yoga pose can still be achieved, and in time will not be needed as flexibility is increased.
Yoga blocks usually come in a standard size of 9 x 6 x 4 inches and are made from cork, wood, foam, and bamboo, which all provide a varying level of support. Wood and bamboo blocks are the most eco-friendly, heavy, and supportive, but can be uncomfortable when used for sitting and lying poses; their weight and strength make them the best candidates from yoga users who would like to support their heels to align the spine or extend their reach. Cork and foam blocks provide an amount of give and have softer surfaces than wood and bamboo. These blocks are great for leaning poses that are started from a sitting position or for providing support in some lying poses.
Yogapillows help relieve pain associated with injuries, pregnancy, and limited flexibility while practicing yoga. Some pillows are round, cylindrical, or flat, and were designed with a particular purpose in mind. Flat yoga pillows are used to sit on squarely while maintaining yoga sitting positions or meditating. Cylindrical pillows are great for offering support to the lower back or knees when lying down. Curved yoga pillows wedge underneath the neck to support the shoulders and head while a yoga student is resting on his or her back. Yoga pillows can be filled with foam or cotton stuffing and are easy to maintain. Before purchasing, buyers should think about any potential problem areas or physical ailments they have and purchase a yoga pillow specifically designed to stop pain from developing.
Buying Yoga Accessories
Because of yoga’s popularity, yoga accessories can be found through a variety of means. Sporting goods shops will generally have an assortment of yoga accessories available. Yoga schools and alternative medicine shops might have access to exclusive yoga accessories that are not readily available elsewhere. Mass retailers and department stores will have yoga accessories available in their Sporting Goods departments both in local stores and online. eBay is also a great place to find yoga accessories from all over the world.
Buying Yoga Accessories on eBay
Visit eBay to find yoga accessories like yogabags, yogakits, yogaclothes, airpumps for yoga balls, and all things related to the practice of yoga, including books and DVDs. To get the best search results, read the "Tipsforbettersearching" page that outlines how to conduct the most effective searches, sort results, and compare items.
Become an eBay Expert
To learn the eBay way, get acquainted with the lingo in the eBayglossary and understand eBay’srulesforbuyers. Become part of the community by sharingwithothereBaymembers who could provide tips and advice related to the use of eBay or any products available. Use MyeBay to create a centralized hub to track buying activity, update an account, or customize the eBay shopping experience.
Yoga practitioners have seemingly unlimited options of yoga accessories to choose from that will complement and add comfort to their routines. Understanding what specific product attributes to look for, and how to choose the most appropriate size for a yoga student’s height helps narrow down the options. Taking a fair assessment of problem areas that might cause discomfort and choosing to buy items that help avoid causing pain increase the probability that a yoga student will continue the yoga practice. Fortunately, sellers have responded to the popular acceptance of yoga and carry an abundant supply of yoga accessories that can make any yoga disciple practice a more fulfilling and beneficial experience.