You love yoga. You want to share it. Or maybe you love yoga, you don’t really want to teach it, but you want to study the practice more deeply than you can in your weekly class. So you decide to embark on yoga teacher training.
No matter what your motivation for starting a teacher training, your intention is to delve deeper. This intention almost always brings with it a greater commitment to your practice.
In most teacher trainings you spend a whole lot of time on your mat, learning the intricacies of poses and coming up with variations. Sometimes you’re called upon to learn unfamiliar yoga styles or philosophies. High-quality yoga props can give you the support and confidence you need to up your commitment to practice.
Yoga Teacher Training Essentials
When you’re investing your time, energy and resources into yoga teacher training, it’s important that your props are up to the task. There are lots of inexpensive yoga props on the market now. But as with pretty much any other type of produce, you get what you pay for. High-quality props are safer, more functional and more durable than cheaper alternatives. Here are some suggestions for some yoga teacher training essentials that will carry you through your training and beyond:
- Yoga Mat: Your yoga mat is arguably the most important tool for practice. Our entire practice takes place on our yoga mats. It’s important that your mat be able to hold up to the many hours you’ll spend on it during your training. The first yama, ahimsa (non-harming), is yoga’s foundation. So why not choose a high-quality mat that’s easy on the environment? We suggest you try our super-grippy, long-lasting Para Rubber Yoga Mat, made from renewable natural rubber. Or if you prefer not to practice on a rubber mat, our TPE-based 5mm (approximately 1/4 inch thick) Earth Elements Yoga Mat is a lightweight, comfy and stable alternative.
- Yoga Towel: Some people sweat a lot. They just do. This is especially true for people who practice fast-paced Vinyasa and/or who practice in a heated room. When your hands and feet are sweaty, all bets are off for even the grippiest of mats. Everyone’s chemistry is different, so some people who perspire a lot will do just fine on one of the mats suggested above. Others may need a yoga towel to provide them with a more absorbent surface. The Yoga Towel is made from absorbent fabric with a nonskid backing. Using a yoga towel can turn struggle into satisfaction on your mat.
- Mexican Yoga Blanket: Blankets are some of the most versatile tools for yoga practice. A well-placed blanket can take the struggle out of your and your students’ practice. Mexican Yoga Blankets can be spread out for Savasana covering, folded and stacked for restorative yoga, or placed over your mat for extra cushioning in seated poses.
- Standard Yoga Bolster: Your teacher training may include segments on restorative yoga. Even if it doesn’t your training will likely be rigorous enough that you need to take some time to regenerate. A Standard Yoga Bolster, a Hugger Mugger specialty (we’re not the only ones who think our bolsters are the absolute best—ask any restorative yoga teacher!), is a great investment in your yoga education and in your own practice. Hugger Mugger’s bolsters are handmade in our Salt Lake City-based facility. They are made with long-lasting upholstery-grade fabric and filled with a solid foam core wrapped in cotton batting.
- Yoga Strap: Yoga straps are one of B.K.S. Iyengar’s great contributions to asana practice. They help students practice poses in a healthy way, and they are a great tool for teachers too. But not all yoga straps are the same. While they may look similar, not all are made from webbing designed for heavy lifting. Hugger Mugger’s straps are made from webbing with high tensile strength; it’s rated to 500 pounds. We recommend the versatile longer lengths, which are best for teacher assists. Here are the choices: 8-Foot D-Ring, 8-Foot Cinch, 10-Foot D-Ring, 10-Foot Cinch.
- Yoga Block: You’ve likely already seen yoga blocks being used in inventive ways to help students maintain structural integrity. Blocks, another B.K.S. Iyengar invention, are used in so many poses, in so many ways. It’s extremely important that they be reliable when we’re trusting them to hold us up. Hugger Mugger’s Cork Blocks are legendary for their stability and support. Our 4-inch foam blocks—recycled, marbled, and regular—are made from the sturdiest foam we could find. They won’t squish down or wobble.
- Eye Pillow: When it comes time for Savasana, an eye pillow can help you relax more deeply. The gentle pressure on your eye sockets helps calm you and sealing off your eyes from the sometimes-harsh lights in a studio or gym can help you settle. We have three choices for regular-sized eye pillows, all with handmade silk covers: beads, flax or herbal (flax and relaxing herbs).
- Mat and Prop Carrier: Now that you’ve gathered all these great yoga teacher training essentials, how do you tote them to and from the studio? We offer three professional-type mat and prop carriers: our ever-popular Journey Bag, Quilted Bag, and the YogaPro Duffel. The Journey Bag will fit everything listed here—plus clothing and small valuables—except for the Standard Bolster, which you can easily carry separately using the handles on each end. The YogaPro Duffel will carry all this and more.