Yoga accessories can make a yoga practice more pleasant, and make modifications simpler for people who have difficulty doing certain postures. Accessories to make modifications to postures include yoga blocks, straps, and exercise balls to help with balance. To make the yoga mat less slippery, and to absorb sweat, a yoga towel or blanket can be laid down on top of it. In addition, a carrying strap or carry bag can be used to keep the yoga mat rolled up and easy to transport. Though a great deal of gear is not required to do yoga, some yoga accessories can certainly make the practice simpler and more comfortable.
The best place to start when purchasing yoga accessories is probably a yoga mat; for many people, it is the only tool they need for a complete yoga practice. Non-slip, eco-friendly yoga mats that are made with non-toxic materials are some of the most popular, and are available in many different colors. An alternative to a yoga mat is a set of "yoga socks" and "yoga gloves"; these slip over the hands and feet and have sticky strips on the bottom, allowing users to do yoga anywhere without needing to unroll a mat.
For people practicing vigorous Ashtanga yoga or hot Bikram yoga, even a non-slip yoga mat might still get slippery throughout the workout. In this case, a thin yoga towel spread or yoga rug out over the top of the mat can help absorb sweat, and keep the surface from being slippery. Other yoga accessories can be used to make modifications to the yoga practice; foam blocks or bolsters, which can simply be a rolled-up blanket, help with certain hip stretches or to keep the legs in place and engaged during other stretches. A yoga strap helps to extend the reach in deeper stretches, where it may not be possible to bend and lengthen far enough.
Other yoga accessories simply make the workout more pleasant. A matching yoga water bottle often comes in yoga kits that include yoga mats and blocks. A carrying bag or simple carrying strap to wrap around the rolled-up yoga mat can make it much easier to transport to and from a yoga class. For people working out at home, some find that adding an exercise ball to the workout can make it more challenging, although this accessory is not traditionally used in any form of yoga or in standard yoga classes.