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My Favorite Yoga Gear Essentials

Laura Finch on June 25, 2020
Laura is a yoga teacher who completed 200 hours of training.

There’s no one-size-fits-all yoga gear. (Unless we’re talking about these awesome Hippie Pants).

Some yogis like it hot and humid. They look for an antibacterial zero-slip yoga mat and as fewer clothes as possible.

Others like it cheap and easy. They don’t want to waste hours searching for yoga gear – so even standard Target yoga mat will do.

I’m a bit pickier about my yoga gear. I’m ready to blow some cash on high-quality ethically-made items that are eco-friendly and built to last. It supports my efforts for sustainable yoga practice and lifestyle.

So if you’re an eco junkie like me, this list of my favorite yoga gear essentials will take some hard work out of picking the yoga equipment that will make all the difference in your daily practice.

Manduka eKOlite Yoga Mat

Manduka is my go-to brand for yoga gear for a good reason. They’ve been on the yoga market for over 20 years, and they are transparent about their environmental practices and support the zero-waste manufacturing process.

On my part, I can say that I’ve been using their EKO yoga mat for over four years, and it doesn’t seem that I’m gonna need another one for years to come.

Manduka mats from the EKO series are more lightweight and thinner than PRO yoga mats. While some prefer a bit more padding, the thinness is actually a huge advantage for me since I normally don’t leave the house without my yoga mat.

The grip is perfect for my needs – not too grippy that you start relying on your mat more than on your muscles and not too slippery that you lose control of your practice.

Besides, Manduka EKO mats are environmentally-friendly and made of sustainably harvested natural tree rubber, which is biodegradable and the most durable eco-material for yoga mats available today.

ridgeback Yoga Rug

The world has been talking about cutting down on microfiber since scientists found it to be a massive ocean pollutant threatening marine life. One research even found that fibers in the Atlantic Ocean comprise 90% of microplastic particles.

Now, think about how often you wash your yoga clothes and yoga towel? Nobody likes to smell stinky, so I’d guess – every single day after a yoga class.

That said, have you ever wondered about the impact your yoga practice and after-yoga laundry put on the environment? If you haven’t, good people from Ridgeback yoga did it for you.

Their ridgeback yoga rug is made of cotton using zero microfiber plastic. And the best thing – you don’t have to wash it after every sweaty yoga flow – it just won’t stink.

Kerry – the founder of ridgeback, does yoga 6 days a week and washes her ridgeback towel every 2 weeks.

I’m not a heavy sweater, so I can go even a month or more without washing the rug.

Yes, really.

Besides, this sustainable yoga towel is ingeniously designed with tiny grippers that keep it in place no matter whether you’re practicing on the sandy beach or grass in the park.

Just try it. You’ll never want to go back to your average yoga towel again.

TREEBORN • Yoga Mat Cleaner

I love DIY, but fragrances are not my thing. No matter how much I tried, my yoga mat cleaning spray is either too smelly or too oily.

Luckily I’ve found a perfect yoga mat cleaner from TREEBORN.

Why perfect?

Well, firstly, it smells absolutely heavenly. The lavender scent is so refreshing and relaxing that I just don’t want to leave my yoga mat.

Secondly, it’s super-duper natural. No fatty oils, soaps, or any chemicals. No long list of ingredients written in the alien language.

Thirdly, it’s eco-friendly (hooray for mama Earth). TREEBORN mat cleaner comes in a sturdy glass bottle that can be easily reused, leaving your consciousness clear.

Yoloha Cork Premium Yoga Mat Bag

This eco-friendly yoga mat bag is truly a great conversation starter. Handmade from sustainably harvested cork, it will raise some eyebrows and drop lots of jaws.

The best thing, though is that Yoloha mat bag performs as good as it looks.

The bag is extremely roomy and fits yoga mats up to 28″ long.

The carrying strap is adjustable and doesn’t dig into the shoulder even if you’re toting the Manduka Pro mat.

Plus, there’s enough space for extras such as a yoga towel, a belt, and a water bottle.

Zenifit Yoga Mat Bag

Made of heavy-duty cotton canvas, this Zenifit yoga mat bag is my companion for life.

That’s right.

The company offers a lifetime warranty for their yoga bags. So if you’re trying to cut down on consumerism and are searching for yoga gear built for life, Zenifit yoga mat bag is the purchase you won’t regret.

This yoga tote is extremely roomy. I call it a “bag that holds everything.”

Here’s what I manage to fit inside: a yoga mat, a skidless towel, a set of yoga clothes, a water bottle, a small wallet, a smartphone, keys, a medium book, and an apple.

Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

Also, check out a detailed review of the Zenifit yoga mat bag here.

Yoloha Water Bottle

I fell in love with this Yoloha water bottle the moment I saw it.

The designs are remarkable, and you instantly feel the high quality of the item once you hold it.

Made of the mix of sustainable bamboo, natural cork, and stainless steel, this environmentally-friendly water bottle contains no paint and zero plastic.

I’ve used the Yoloha bottle only for hot beverages so far, and you can expect your drinks to stay hot up to 5-6 hours.

Manduka Recycled Foam Yoga Block

It’s hard to beat the price-quality ratio of Manduka foam yoga blocks. I’ve been using these yoga bricks for my studio practice for ages and can’t get happier.

Manduka eco-friendly yoga blocks strike the perfect balance in everything. Not too light to wobble, but not too heavy to carry around; soft enough to avoid painful sensations, yet firm to offer adequate support.

What’s more, Manduka makes their yoga blocks from 50% - 75% recycled post-industrial & post-consumer EVA foam – a great environmentally-conscious option for green yogis.

Carolina Morning Designs Yoga Strap

a set of colorful yoga straps

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Carolina Morning Designs is as green as a small business can get.

First, the company uses only the most eco-friendly materials, including recycled cotton, organic cotton, kapok, buckwheat, organic flax, 100% recycled wood.

Secondly, they are trying to buy domestically produced and local/regional materials.

Thirdly, Carolina Morning Designs eliminated all the plastic packaging, and regularly donates all the fabric scraps to local charities for upcycling.

So while it’s hard to see the difference in performance between $5 yoga strap vs. $15, there’s a huge difference in how the production of both impacts the environment.

This organic cotton strap is extremely soft, gentle on the skin and the Earth.

I also love the sleek texture of the strap. And it’s really sturdy, too!

SURIN Black Yoga Wheel

I was dreaming about a yoga wheel for a while but never dared to buy one. Until I got this beauty from Surinworld in 2019.

There’s even a whole post with my honest feedback about this yoga prop. Check it out here.

I love the minimalist design of the yoga wheel. No flashy colors and extravagant construction. Just pure function.

The yoga wheel did help me A LOT with back pain and stiffness. It’s also fun to play around when you’re bored with your usual yoga routine.

The only drawback is that the yoga wheel is made of plastic - not exactly my definition of a “green” choice.

On the bright side, it’s extremely sturdy, and I’m more than convinced that I won’t need another yoga wheel in my lifetime.

Manduka Essential Legging

Some may find black leggings boring, but I think it’s a classic. They go with everything and can be easily styled with oversized T-shirts and chunky sweaters to run errands after a yoga class.

These yoga leggings from Manduka are extremely supportive and have a flattering high-rise waistband. They are made of recycled polyester and elastane that are great at wicking away moisture on a hot workout day.

What’s more, Manduka leggings are bluesign® certified, which means the item was created ethically and with a minimal impact on the environment and people.

Hippie Yoga Pants

The image of brown Hippie Pants

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Lounging at home, doing yoga, or walking in the park – I’m putting on my hippie yoga pants everywhere I go.

Yes, that’s how comfortable they are.

Made all the way in Thailand by local artisans, these boho yoga pants are an affordable alternative to tight yoga leggings. Plus, you don’t have to worry about ordering the right size – thanks to a relaxed cut and elastic waist, these hippie yoga pants fit most sizes.

The downside of unsurpassable comfort is that buttery-soft rayon these yoga pants are made of isn’t the most eco-friendly material.

But, on the plus side, the company follows a fair trade policy, meaning Thai artisans get a fair salary and good working conditions while keeping the local traditions alive.

Soul Flower Organic Cotton Sports Bra

Yoginis, once you try a sports bra made of organic cotton, you won’t want to put any kind of polyester on your body, trust me.

Yes, natural fibers absorb sweat more than technical fabric. But it’s just a bra; it won’t weigh you down as regular heavyweight sweatpants will.

This eco-friendly sports bra from Soul Flower is so far one of my favorites. It’s made from GOTS certified organic cotton, so it’s gentle to your skin and to the mama Earth.

Plus, it’s produced in the US.

This sports bra is so insanely comfy that I wear it all the time, whether I’m doing yoga or day-to-day activities.

Beyond Yoga Latitude Racerback Tank

A solid and sleek tank top is an absolute must-have for days when you want slightly more coverage.

This black top from Beyond Yoga is great for just any physical activity: yoga, gym, or running. It stays put when I’m upside down and moves with me when I’m in the mood for some active cardio.

I love the medium-low scoop neck that hides my lady parts even when I’m bending over.

There are also in-built modesty cups that are supportive enough for moderate-paced yoga or gym. However, if you have a larger bust size, I’d suggest removing the cups and using a high-impact sports bra underneath.

What are your favorite yoga gear essentials you can't live without? Share in the comments!

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