Yoga toys (and their home alternatives)

Yoga toys (and their home alternatives)
BY Virgin Active South Africa
Posted On 5 January, 2023

So you’re new to Yoga? At first, you might feel overwhelmed that you need to learn a whole new language of mats, blocks and everything in between. It could seem like there are more gadgets needed to find your flow than you thought possible. Fear not, we’re here to help.  

Here are a few of the basics, and some of the not-so-basic Yoga toys you might need on your journey. Don’t worry about having to go out and stock up just yet either, you’ll have access to all these toys during club classes.  

Yoga mat: The tried and trusted Yoga mat. Chances are that there is a dusty one tucked into a wardrobe somewhere in your home already, but if you don’t have one lying around, there are options. You don’t need a fancy pants mat. You could even start with the carpet in your lounge or a simple beach towel. All you need to do is make sure it doesn’t slip before you start your practice.  

Yoga blocks: The Yoga block is often used as an extension of the arms, but can also support the back, head and hips to help the body settle into a pose. There are a few alternatives you can go for when it comes to a yoga block. A big book or two wrapped in a tea towel, a sturdy plastic container or a ream of A4 paper could be used instead of a block during your practice. As long as it is block-shaped, strong and sturdy, it’s the perfect substitute.  


Meditation cushions: Meditation cushions are often used for calming practices to promote sleep or stress release, but we don’t all have them lying around. Use a chair cushion, continental pillow or anything else that is soft, comfy and gets you feeling zen.  

Yoga straps: These little bad boys will be your new BFF as you get more advanced with poses and practices, but you don’t need to run out and get yourself a set just yet. A regular belt from your dressing gown, a scarf or even a pair of stockings will do the trick too! 

Bolsters: If you’ve been dabbling with our Coach Yoga classes, you’ve probably heard Néna talking about Bolsters in her Calm classes. If you need a bolster for a class, just grab a large pillow, two cushions shoved into a single pillowcase or even a rolled-up sleeping bag. 

The space: We’ve got the space covered in the club, but if you’re practising at home, make sure you have a space that is comfortable for you. Clear enough space for your session, pop your mat in the centre, burn some incense if that’s your vibe and try and find something to keep the kids and pets occupied 😊.  

However, you set up your space, make sure it is as relaxed and comfortable as possible. To really focus on the practice, try using Bluetooth headphones to cancel out the noise around you during online classes. This is also a great way to focus on the instructor’s voice, rather than spending too much time looking at your screen.   

Virgin Active members have free access to all our online workouts. 

🧘Try a few of our Yoga classes now