Must Have Equipment for Mind-Body Workouts

Generally, mind-body workouts are relatively inexpensive. Most of the clothing and gear you need is stuff you already may have around your house. To save money, stick to the must-haves for nearly every mind-body method.

You really want something to cushion your body and bones from floors (and, if you sweat a lot, to protect the floor from your perspiration). The kind of mat you need depends on what you do.

Yoga mats are commonly called sticky mats because they’re thin and actually feel like slightly sticky human flypaper. They make it a lot more comfortable, and even easier, to do postures where you use your hands or feet against the floor. They roll up into small, storable bundles.

Regular exercise mats provide cushioning and protection. Some come with double or tri-folds, so they don’t take up a lot of space.

You may eventually want both these kinds of mats, alternating with the type of workout you choose.

  • Towel: Either to toss over you to stay warm at the end of a workout, or to fold up to cushion either your head (like a small pillow) or some other bone, such as a knee or elbow.

    You can also use it to sit on in seated hamstring stretches done in several methods if your hamstrings are very tight and keep you from having the best alignment. You can also fold it and lay it across your eyes to knock out distractions if you want to relax.

  • Water bottle: You may be moving slowly in some cases, but you’re probably still perspiring. Stay hydrated by drinking 1 to 3 cups of water an hour. Remember, as soon as you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

  • CD or cassette player: You may likely want to listen to workout-appropriate music. It keeps you motivated and entertained, and may help you become more meditative or mindful, depending on the music.

  • Strap, belt, or long towel: Many mind-body methods involve some kind of stretching. If you aren’t very flexible, having a strap, belt, or towel to help you reach a foot, ankle, or other body part can help you experience the stretch and work on your flexibility in that position.

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