Yoga and Pilates are holistic practices that improve overall strength, flexibility and balance. Although they can be done with less equipment than many types of exercise, certain accessories can be helpful for enhancing your yoga or Pilates workout.
For yoga, the most essential piece of equipment is a yoga mat, which provides cushioning and traction. If you'll be carrying your mat with you, you may want to buy a yoga mat bag or look for a mat that comes with a carrying strap.
A stability ball can be used for seated yoga poses to help you develop balance. Choose a larger ball if you're taller and a smaller one if you're shorter.
Beginners often find yoga blocks and straps helpful. Yoga blocks are used for poses that require you to reach the floor. They give you a place to set your hand if you can't reach. Yoga straps are used for poses that require you to reach your feet or link your hands behind your back.
Pilates is also usually performed with a mat, although Pilates mats are traditionally thicker than yoga mats. Pilates rings, or magic circles, offer gentle resistance and provide feedback on your body's position. Exercise balls are often used in Pilates to provide a balance challenge and improve core strength, and resistance bands can be used in many stretching and strength exercises.
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