We're back with another yoga gear guide. This time, we'll be looking at high end yoga gear, the Mercedes Benz of the yoga world. Don't let the irony of "fancy yoga products" escape you! Again, prices are ballpark-ish.
Mat: Manduka Black Mat Pro $95
Why: Um, well, it's widely considered to be the best mat out there. Super sturdy, super sticky, this mat will last you your whole life (and if it doesn't, you get your money back). I bought mine a few weeks ago and am kicking myself for not getting it sooner.
Cons: Very expensive, and pretty heavy to lug around.
Why: Non-slip silicone grippies stick to your mat, towel is super absorbent and can handle a few classes before it gets really raunchy. It stays pretty flat on the mat and doesn't wrinkle like bath towels do. It has two sides (the side with and without the silicone dots) so you can fold it to whatever side you need. I got mine a few weeks after I started practicing and it totally changed my practice, I sweat like a beast and it took my mat from a slip-n-slide to a yoga mat. No regrets.
Cons: Price, and they're a little high maintenance. They bleed in the wash, so you're supposed to wash them separately (but I don't and still love it). If you forget to take it out of the dryer (I often do, so far it hasn't seemed like a big deal), you can power a small town with all that static electricity. Weirdly, it really only works when wet, it doesn't make much difference if you're not seriously sweating.
Blocks: Hugger Mugger Cork Yoga Block $18
Why: First off, I HAVE NOT actually practiced with these, so this is a bit of a wild guess. But, I have felt them in person, and they feel lovely, nice and smooth and grip-able, and they're eco-friendly, and pretty. Purists would say they're more like the "original" blocks (typically made from bamboo or wood). More legitimately, they have 54 5-star reviews on Amazon. But, in terms of functionality, I can't see much difference between them and their foam counterparts.
Cons: Price, and they're really heavy.
Strap: Wai Lana Organic Cotton Yoga Strap $30
Why: Functional, pretty, organic.