Equipment for Zoom Yoga - What do I need to Practice Online?
Essential Equipment for Zoom Yoga, Online Yoga, Holistic Yoga and Somatics Classes
Having some equipment at some for when you practice zoom yoga online will make your practice more comfortable and safer. Yoga props are a good investment. However, you don’t need to spend lots of money on a fancy yoga mat or fill your space with lots yoga equipment, like I do! Here are three lists of equipment, choose the right list for your budget and type of online yoga practice. Have a look at my YouTube video for two ways to set up a comfortable Savasana (yoga relaxation pose) using ordinary stuff you already have at home.
Bare Basics – Zoom Yoga Kit
Yoga Mat – not strictly necessary for somatics classes but necessary equipment for yoga classes on Zoom. It’s really not essential to spend.a lot on on a mat, but do look for the new eco friendly mats, if you have the budget. Try Ecotex; Yogamatters or even Argos (if you are on a budget). If you’re looking for a high end mat Manduka is a good brand. You’ll want to buy a mat that is a leat 4mm thick. Dimensions: 183cm x 61cm is the standard size, however if you are tall you may want to source an extra long mat. If you have sore joints and back you may like an extra thick yoga mat, see below.
Yoga Belt – choose a simple metal D-ring belt (not classic or plastic buckles as they are trickier). The standard length is 2m long, choose a longer length belt, if you are tall. This belt from Yoga Direct is very reasonably priced and is 2.4m long. Alternatives could be a dressing gown belt, a long sturdy scarf or a long ordinary belt. It is better if you have the metal D-Ring belt though as it is more easily made into an adjustable loop.
Yoga Blocks – choose two half height yoga blocks (available from YogaMatters in chipped foam – more eco; or dense foam) and one standard size block. The Ekotex brand is good but they don’t do half blocks – an Ekotex brick block and standard block is shown to the right). At a pinch, you can use a coffee table books covered with your blanket, or a paper back book of the right thickness to lift your head into the right alignment and lengthen the back of your neck. If you have an achy neck (please do get it checked out by an osteopath if the achiness persists) then use a folded blanket under your head. Blocks are also used to prop up your legs in wide legged resting poses, you can use cushions or bed pillows instead of blocks for this purpose.
Dimensions (check these if buying online):
Half Block: 30cm length x 20cm width x 2.5cm height
Full Block: 30cm length x 20cm width x 5cm height
Blanket – no need to go for a yoga blanket, a cheaper fleece blanket is warm and light. You can use this for keeping you warm at the end of your online yoga class, while relaxing or folded to go under your head or to cushion your knees, when in lunges or kneeling postures.
Chair or Sofa – a chair or sofa can be a great yoga prop for your resting at the end of the practice. Calves up on a sofa/chair may work well for people with back pain. High sofas may not work so well if you have shorter legs.
A Wall or Door – having access to a bit of wall space or door (that won’t be opened) during the class is useful for all, but essential if you are working with back issues.
Tennis Ball or Golf Ball – some classes we roll out our feet, to give them a much needed massage.
Additional Kit and Equipment for Zoom Yoga
Brick Blocks – these are more brick shaped, thicker and smaller than the traditional yoga block/ They are useful if you have short arms, a stiff spine, or trouble reaching the floor in forward bends or lunges. They work well as a pair.
Yoga Bolster – these can really be a lovely treat for restorative practices and help to create a relaxed lower back in Savasana. My favourite is the gold trim bolster from YogaMatters , they do a plain one as well. I prefer the polyester filled one, but the buckwheat filled one may be more eco (they have less give). Dimensions: 63cm length x 23cm diameter
Eye Bag – a little bit of a luxury treat, but ideal if you practice in a room with bright light. Very restful and deeply relaxing.
If you are up for a crafting project, you can make your own linseed and lavender eye pillow. They make nice presents!
A Thicker Yoga Mat (sometime known as a Pilates Mat) – these can be great if you need extra padding for your knees or joints or if the floor where you practice is a bit hard or cold. You could also try putting a large folded blanket over your mat to make it softer. Fitness Mad do a 1cm and a 1.5cm thick mat that would be great for floor work (ideal for Holistic Somatics), but not to great for standing postures in the Holistic Yoga classes.
Additional Kit for Self Massage and Myo-fascial Release
The following equipment is a list of things I use in private classes, sometimes. This equipment is not used so much for the online zoom yoga classes.
Soft Balls for Rolling – my favourite balls for rolling are the Yamuna Black Balls, she also has some good DVDs on her website that you can buy alongside the balls. A cheaper and more easily available alternative is the orange Franklin Balls. Another softer alternative, that comes with a lovely little book are the Miracle Balls. These are very soft, ideal if you are in pain, or sensitive to firm pressure.
Sissel Press Balls: these little balls for rolling hands and feet are ideal if you have stiffness there. Choose the firmer ones for feet, and the soft ones if you have very sensitive hands. A set of instructions for hand rolling is included. Roll your hands and feet regularly to prevent stiffness and pain.
Soft Foam Roller: a soft foam roller is ideal for massaging and hydrating the myo-fascia either side of your spine, good for rolling out legs, hips and flutes too. A harder foam roller is ok if you cover it with something soft like a towel. Don’t use the knobbly hard foam rollers.
Posture Key: this is the ultimate Savasana practice aid. A student introduced me to PosturePro a few years ago and described it to me as Alexander Technique on steroids! For me it works to mimic a basic, short, yet soothing and balancing cranio-sacral therapy session. It was invented by an osteopath to help his clients hold the alignment in their spine in between sessions. If you have pain or severe misalignment with your back, it’s better to see a practitioner before using PosturePro, but for everyday aches and pains it’s great.
I like to use my PostureKey when I’ve spent too long in front of the computer and haven’t managed to hold my head straight so that my neck feels stiff and tight. I also find it good to alleviate tension related headaches. You can read some testimonials on their website here about how other people use Posture Key.
Special Offer for Holistic Yoga Students
For a limited time, if you quote the code: HYCIRCLE at the top left of the Checkout page, you’ll get 20% off your Posture Key.