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A yoga starter kit for beginners is a package that typically include all the essentials you need to get started. Are you curious about trying yoga but don’t want to invest a huge amount of money just yet? Are you short on cash and need something affordable to keep your practice going? In either case, we have suggestions!
Not that long ago, a mat was all you needed to get started in yoga. But these days, most folks like to have at least a couple props, such as foam blocks, straps, towels, and more. This post will give you the heads-up on which of these items are really necessary as you search for the best yoga equipment kit to get yourself started.
NOTE: As of May 2020, most of these starter kits are out of stock on Amazon. That is just temporary, though. Since everyone’s sheltering at home, people have rushed to order starter kits for home use instead of going to the yoga studio. If you can’t find a full kit in stock right now, you may be stuck buying your mat, blocks, and towel separately instead of together as one kit.
Which Items Are Necessary in a Yoga Kit for Beginners?
Yoga mat. While it’s possible to practice yoga without a mat, it’s not ideal – especially for newcomers! You’ll want a reliable and comfortable mat to create a foundation for your poses. These days, yoga mats come in more sizes than ever – see our guide on choosing the proper size yoga mat.
Yoga blocks. Yoga blocks may be the most useful yoga prop. You can find blocks made from cork and even wood, but the majority of starter sets come with yoga blocks made from foam. These tend to be lightweight and flexible, but strong enough to add support and help you establish certain postures that are difficult for beginners to nail.
NOT NECESSARY, BUT VERY USEFUL:
Hand towel. Yoga towels have become an entire industry to themselves, and they come in various lengths, materials, and colors. As a newcomer to yoga, don’t get too caught up in these differences. All you need is a towel to wipe away the sweat. Pretty much any towel in a starter kit will be just fine.
Mat-length towel. While the hand towel is mainly for sweat, a mat-length towel is used to place atop your mat in order to provide to you with better traction. Yoga mats, especially the cheaper ones such as the ones included starter sets, tend to be kinda slippery and that sometimes results in your hands and feet sliding around on the mat. A mat-length towel can prevent this. Mat-length towels are not included in all kits, so read the item lists carefully if you want one.
Yoga strap. Yoga straps are great because they can greatly enhance your stretches. Flexibility and stretching are important in yoga. If you start using straps from the very beginning, you’ll establish good habits that will aid you on your yoga journey.
Carrying case. Some of these beginners’ kits include a carrying case. These aren’t totally necessary, because chances are you’ll be using this equipment at home. But if you do decide to go to a park or a friend’s house, having a case for your mat and props can come in handy.
Knee pad. The latest yoga prop is a flat knee pad that is essentially a mini-mat you can place under your knees to avoid discomfort. This type of pad is useful for newcomers who aren’t used to the wear and tear that this practice can have on your joints. As of this writing, BalanceFrom (scroll down to item #6) is the only brand that has included a knee pad in their starter kit.
The Best Yoga Starter Kit: Our Reviews
We generally don’t recommend most of the ultra-cheap yoga starter kits on Amazon. Look at it this way: A high-quality yoga mat alone costs about $60, so if you’re getting a yoga mat, plus a block, ball, etc, for only $25, what sort of quality can you expect? Probably not very good.
That said, there are a few cheap starter sets that are acceptable for someone just beginning their yoga journey. Perhaps someone who isn’t ready to invest a ton of money, but wants to try out the practice to see if it meets their needs. Or someone just getting back into yoga after years away.
To aid you in that search, we’ve compiled what we believe are the best yoga starter sets for newbies to begin practicing yoga with. These are quality products that won’t bankrupt you and are likely to last a long time, so if you’re serious about committing to yoga practice, you will definitely get your money’s worth.
This kit from Clever Yoga is great because it much more than most starter sets. In addition to the yoga mat, blocks, and strap, it comes with a carrying case and a pair of yoga towels. A full seven-piece set!
As with most beginner sets, the blocks and mat are a bit thinner than the more expensive ones you might purchase individually. This mat is 6 mm thick, about a quarter of an inch. But when it comes to buying a full yoga kit, it’s hard to get more for bang for your buck than this.
This Sivan 6-piece beginner set is among the most complete yoga starter kits you’ll find anywhere online. It includes a mat, a full-length towel, and hand towel, two foam blocks, and a strap. The mat is 1/2 inch thick – that’s quite thick for a yoga mat, which is nice because it provides a lot of cushioning. You’ve got lots of color options – pink, green, teal, purple, and blue.
The price point for this massive set is quite low, so it’s not going to be as durable or high-quality as well-known brands like Manduka. That said, if you’re a newcomer to yoga and you just need the basics to get started, the Sivan kit is a fantastic package to get you on your way.
The golden rule about purchasing yoga products is this: When in doubt about the quality of an item, go with a familiar brand. Gaiam has long been one of the most influential names in yoga. They appear on our lists for everything from yoga mats to straps to blocks to instructional videos.
This Gaiam starter kit comes with a mat, block, and strap, and because they’re from Gaiam, they are going to be well-made. The set appears in purple, sky blue, and “lilly shadows,” which is a patterned purple and blue design. The best part is that it comes with a “beginner’s experience” instructional DVD to introduce poses and techniques to yoga newcomers. (Note: As of 2020, the DVD has been replaced by a set of online instructional videos that customers are given access to.)
This 6-piece set from Reehut is very similar to the one from Sivan. It includes the exact same gear: yoga mat, strap, hand towel, foam blocks, and full-length towel. Reehut’s bigger towel is slightly shorter than the Sivan one (68 inches vs 72 inches), and Reehut’s package only comes in blue or purple.
On the plus side, Reehut’s yoga starter kit is slightly cheaper than the one from Sivan. We give the Sivan package a small edge in quality, but they’re pretty close. Either is a solid choice if you want an affordable beginner’s set. Reehut also makes a pretty cool yoga wheel that is used for enhanced stretching and reducing shoulder and back tension.
Here’s a six-piece set from Live Infinitely that comes with a 6mm non-slip TPE yoga mat, two foam blocks, a yoga towel, a cotton strap, and a carrying case. That’s a lot of yoga gear for a great price!
Both the teal and gray sets really catch the eye. Experienced yogis who demand top of the line materials can definitely find better quality towels and blocks elsewhere. But for newbies who want something affordable and serviceable to get started, this is one of your cheapest options.
We like this BalanceFrom 7-piece kit because it’s one of the few that includes a knee pad. Yoga knee pads are the an emerging prop used by a lot more people these days. They are especially useful for beginners who find that their knees get sore during yoga. The pads reduce discomfort and help you perform your practice without pain.
Besides the knee pad, this kit contains two towels: one mat-length and one hand towel. That’s another cool bonus. This yoga set comes with the choice of a 1/2-inch or 1/4-inch thick mat, so you can decide which one you prefer. The knee pad, bonus towel, and choice of man thickness make the BalanceFrom one of the best yoga kits for beginners available today.
Yoga Starter Sets: Price vs. Quality
You can find some low-quality yoga starter sets on Amazon for very low prices, but we strongly urge you not to go cheap when purchasing your first yoga package.
Why? Well, when it comes to yoga products, you get what you pay for. Many cheap starter sets come with a flimsy, poorly-made yoga mat. Using such a mat will be uncomfortable and unsatisfying, and it could run the risk of turning you off yoga for good.
For that reason, we recommend going for at least mid-grade products when you’re starting out. You don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars for the most expensive items available – just find a nice midpoint with solid products made by reputable companies.
How to Decide Which Kit is Best for You
As noted above, yoga starter sets typically come with a basic yoga mat, a foam yoga block, and a stretching strap. The more deluxe kits will also include a towel and maybe even a carrying case.
These are the questions to answer to determine which package is best for you:
Where will you be practicing yoga? If you’re going to be doing yoga at home, then you may not need a hand towel in your set, because you can simply use a bath towel from the closet. You wouldn’t want to take a bath towel to a yoga studio, but for home use it’s totally fine. In that case, you may not need one of the more deluxe sets that include a towel.
How committed are you to doing yoga? If the answer is “very committed,” then make a smart investment and go for more durable and reliable products. That likely means a higher price tag. But remember this is a long-term investment. You want products that will last a few years. If you go the cheap route, your equipment may start tearing or falling apart within months. Only go for an ultra-cheap kit if you’re totally new to yoga and you’re not sure whether you want to commit to the practice.
Those are the biggest factors to consider when deciding which starter package to purchase. Virtually all of these products use the same foam materials for their mats and blocks, and they’re all about the same size. So there isn’t a ton to distinguish between them, aside from the ones that offer extras like carrying cases or knee pads.
Other Helpful Resources for Newcomers
Those folks just getting started with yoga may be interested in these articles as well. Grabbing an instructional video or a couple books about yoga and meditation is a great way to dive in to this new exercise! Also check out our guide on how to get started with meditation.