7 Recommended Props to Support Your Online Yoga Practice

Mar 22, 2024
Recommended Props to Support Your Online Yoga Practice

"What props do we need?"

That moment when you commit to an online yoga practice, you might think you need to run out and buy a bunch of stuff to get ready. Not true. I always suggest household items as alternatives, so don't let the gear stop you from getting started. 

On the other hand, if having the right equipment would help you feel more confident, I get it. I'm sharing my favorites here. I only share props I use and love, and as an affiliate for some of these things, I may receive a commission, while you'll always pay the same. 


Ease Into Your Online Yoga Practice With the Right Props


Yoga Mat

Most yoga students I know have one already. I've got a few from years ago. One for outdoor yoga and one for my home yoga practice and teaching online yoga.

You don't have to have a yoga mat to practice yoga in your own home, unless you want to. When I teach in a studio with a nice clean wood floor, I often don't even bring mine. I try to avoid carpeting, but others love it for their practice. Certain poses, downward dog especially, will be harder on a slippery floor. If you don't like the texture, cleanliness or smell of the floor, your mat can provide a haven that feels familiar and safe. 

I do my part for the planet by reusing my yoga mats... for decades. My outdoor yoga mat is a cheap PVC mat from 2002 when I first started teaching yoga (in Australia) and bought them in bulk. It is full of memories of festivals, conferences, retreat centers, tears of grief, and the bliss of a good Savasana (deep relaxation). 

Are thicker yoga mats better? It depends. 

People with joint pain or sensitivity often think a thick mat is best. It's nice to have cushioning if you're only going to roll around on the floor or sit. The thing is, if you are doing any standing or balancing poses, thick yoga mats will be less stable than the floor or a thinner mat. You do want to be able to feel the ground for yoga. You can get a medium thick mat, and put a cushion under your knees, or get a separate knee pad like this, or these can be placed under any joint and are easy to pack. Or fold your yoga mat under your knees like a pleat. I would not go thicker than 1/4" for a mat unless you have a very good reason. If you do, remember to step off your mat onto the floor before balancing yoga poses. 

Here's a nice budget 1/4" yoga mat.

I don't like the smell or texture of rubber yoga mats. If you like rubber, there are some very nice pricey mats like this Jade oneIf you are allergic to latex, don't get a rubber yoga mat.

But the best yoga mat is the one that inspires you to get on and practice!

These reversible printed Gaiam yoga mats have gorgeous designs! I'm tempted to get the ocean one myself!


Caring for your yoga mat:

  • Beware when buying new yoga mats, they tend to be slippery at first. Keep using them and they will get grippier. You can try a little mist of vinegar and water solution and rub with a towel to remove any slippery factory coating. Leave it out until it's perfectly dry, but not in direct sun.
  • New PVC yoga mats may have a strong odor. If so, unroll your mat and leave it to air out for a few days before using it. Rubber mats have a particular smell too. That won't fade, it is just how rubber smells.
  • If your yoga mat rolls up when you lay it out, roll it the opposite way. 
  • To wash your yoga mat, throw it in the machine or hang it in the shower. Detergent can make them slippery so spray them with a little vinegar and water solution.  


Yoga Blocks

If you can buy two identical yoga blocks, please do. They're helpful in so many ways, and there aren't a lot of great household alternatives for yoga blocks. The alternative depends on the intended purpose:

  • To elevate your hips in a seated position or prop yourself up in a reclined position, use a firm cushion.
  • To bring the floor closer to your hands in standing poses, use a low stool, solid box, coffee can, or stack of books held together with strong rubber bands. 
  • To use for isometric exercises, a firm cushion or stuffed animal may work. 

Get a pair of 4" or 3" thick blocks, because the 2" ones can be too wobbly.

I have been eyeing these cork blocks.

These are the more traditional lightweight but sturdy foam style


Self-Massage Balls

I LOVE rolling around on rubber balls for self-massage. If you want new balls, these are my favorite. Pinky balls also work well and can be found online or at your local 99 cent store. Some benefits of Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls: the little tote they come in has a long drawstring so you can sling it over your shoulder and lean against a wall, and it keeps them together tight. Also, the sueded texture is grippy, they last for years, and soften up the more you use them. 



Yoga Strap

I see my online yoga students using stretchy bands instead of a yoga strap, but stretchy bands serve a different purpose. They are great for pulling strength, but don't really help with static stretching the same way straps do. Straps function to make your arms longer most of the time, and your arms are not stretchy. I encourage yoga students to use something that doesn't stretch, like a scarf, a tie, or a belt to replace a yoga strap.

If you do get a yoga belt or strap, please get one that's 8 feet long.

An 8' strap with a good sturdy buckle will give you enough length to be versatile without a lot of dangling ends. You'll be able to make a loop and do my favorite head hammock release! (Comment below if you'd like me to make a YouTube video showing this pose.) 


Yoga Bolster

A bolster is a nice-to-have, especially for restorative yoga. Firm couch cushions really do work just as well. In a pinch, roll up a yoga mat and wrap it in a blanket or two. That said, I LOVE my yoga bolster and it inspires me to get grounded, sink in, and rest more deeply. 

This is the round one I have from Hugger Mugger.

Flat yoga bolsters are a little more versatile



Eye Pillow

You can use a folded washcloth, small rolled towel, or the sleeve of a hoodie. Still want a scented beanbag to soothe your optic nerves? Make your own, or you can grab one here.


Yoga Blanket

I don't personally think you need to bother with these, unless your practice is primarily restorative, you don't have any other blankets, or you just want to. 

Here's a link to traditional yoga blankets at a reasonable price


Don't Let Your Lack of Yoga Gear Hold You Back From Practicing Online Yoga

You probably already have everything you need, and there's no need to turn your living room into a yoga studio. The important thing is to use what you have to do some gentle movement often - ideally every day. What will inspire you to do that? 

Let's end with a visualization. Close your eyes and breathe. See yourself moving into a gentle yoga pose you love, and ask yourself: 

"What's one prop I can upgrade my collection with today, that would make the most impact on my yoga practice?"


 As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Stop Walking On Eggshells!

Gentle yoga to release your stress and shift your mindset about struggle.

If you get your buttons pushed often by other people's issues, you may be hypervigilant. You might feel it in your body as clenching, tension, or chronic pain.

You'll become more grounded in awareness of your body.

Stop Walking On Eggshells