Whether you’re new to yoga or enhancing your practice, eco-focused yoga gear is great to know about. In my 20s, yoga changed my life–helping me to understand that strong was more important than skinny. A few years ago, I became a certified yoga teacher, with a specialty in prenatal, which I taught for a while. Today, if I do a few yoga classes a week, my back doesn’t hurt and stress kind of rolls over me, rather than rocking my entire world. And I still get excited about the cool stuff involved—especially when it’s sustainably made, like these yoga gear essentials.
Whether you’re a newbie or enhancing your practice, sustainably-made yoga gear is great to know about. The primary yoga gear essential is a mat. Even if you’re contemplating your first class—bring your own. Studio lenders are usually stinky and slippery, so if it’s your first class you might be tempted to give up on the practice altogether. I love the lightweight Thinksport Yoga Mat, which is free of BPA, PVC, lead, phthalates, dioxins and other baddies. It’s also 50% thicker than most yoga mats, which gives it just the right amount of padding without impeding balance. ($39.99)
Second on the yoga gear list: clothes. Although I have seen people practice in jeans, there is nothing worse than wedging your body into crow only to realize the back of your pants has slipped down in the process and the rest of the class has seen more of your derriere than you intended. If you’re a guy, Yogiiza martial arts-inspired pants are flexible enough for serious movement and chic enough to hit the streets. ($68) For women, Yogiiza’s organic cotton sports bra ($38.50) and skinny leggings ($92) are made of gorgeous organic cotton from Peru with just a touch of Lycra stretch for wicking comfort. And they do great things for said derriere.
Yoga can be a serious workout, so you need to stay hydrated. Liberty Bottles put the plastic to shame: They’re totally recycled and 100% American made. And instead of BPA, these gorgeous bottles are lined with a ceramic-like glaze that keeps water tasting like water—not metal or plastic. These bottles are also free of BPH and phthalates, and the threadless capping system stops bacteria from building up. If you need a drishdi for your bakasana, the Sanskrit Om on their Sweet bottle can provide. ($28)
I always spray or wipe down my mat after class. Especially after a friend told me that she got a skin fungus on her midsection from walking through the studio, stepping on her mat, and practicing where she’d stepped. Ick. I keep a two-ounce bottle of Honest Company’s Hand Sanitizer in my trunk and spritz my mat down when I get out of class. It’s unscented, triclosan-free and provides long-lasting antibacterial protection–without toxic chemicals. ($4)
After class, I’m too spaced out to roll up my mat and fit it into a tidy little holder—I need a bag I can throw everything into quickly and walk out the door. Totes are perfect, and since I’m both an avid reader and an old-school Sir Mix-A-Lot fan, the I Like Big Books canvas tote makes me laugh every time I see it. Laughing yoga—that’s a practice too, right? ($10)
This post originally appeared on Earth911, where you can find this yoga gear, and more!