When I first started doing Pilates, over 12 years ago, I didn’t have a mat…I didn’t even use a towel. I lied on the carpet of my messy living room. And, guess what? It still worked its magic.

Nowadays, I have a few nice mats and a small, very inexpensive, very easy to store, “at-home gym”…a.k.a. corner of a room that I keep the apparatuses shown below.

Fancy? Nope.

Effective? Absolutely.

Sometimes I bring my mat outside. Sometimes I clean up my space, light some candles, and create a beautiful environment in my home for my yoga and Pilates practices. Other times, all I do is move a massive mess out of the way so there’s enough space on the floor for my mat.

Pristine environments can be heavenly for practicing yoga and Pilates, but they’re definitely not required.

My point: if you have a clear area large enough for you to lie down, you have everything you need to get started!

When you decide you’re ready for your first purchase, I’d recommend getting a mat. There are many different types of yoga and Pilates mats. Maybe you start with a $12 one from Target. Cool. When you’re ready to upgrade, here are my top two suggestions:

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Manduka Mat PRO

This mat is awesome for any at-home yogi. It’s heavy, so it won’t bunch up on carpet. It’s not going to slide around on wood floors or tile either. It’s very high quality and therefore, extremely durable. I’ve had mine for over three years and it’s still like new.

Thrive On Wellness Thick Yoga Mat

This mat is great for any Pilates enthusiast or any yogi with joint issues. It provides extra cushioning for added comfort.

Premium Towel Mat

This towel covers any mat easily and stays in place. It works great for yoga classes that cause you to sweat a lot. It’s also a great travel mat…you can throw it in a suitcase if I don’t have room for an actual mat. It’s perfect for covering a slippery mat to offer extra grip. I like to bring my towel to the gym too. There are a lot of dirty mats there. I can cover any of them! This towel washes up easily and is made with safe ingredients.

 

Yoga Socks & Gloves

If you’re having trouble with slipping on your mat, these work great! They also keep your hands and feet warm. The socks help create more space between your toes too (which is always a good thing)!

Stability Ball

A stability ball is an extremely versatile tool! It can be used to make some yoga and Pilates exercises more challenging and others, less challenging. It’s really fun and much easier to learn how to use than you may expect.

 

Foam Roller

A foam roller can be used to amp of the intensity of many Pilates exercises. Additionally, it’s a highly effective self-massage tool. “Rolling” is one of the best ways to loosen up tight muscles and connective tissue.

 

Hand and Ankle Weights

Adding a little extra weight to your yoga and Pilates practices is one of the simplest ways to spice up your normal routine! Start small, with 1-pound weights. I never use hand or ankle weights heavier than 5 pounds.

 

Yoga Block

A block is a really great prop for any yogi to have. In fact, you might want to have two on hand. Blocks add extra support in some poses and an added challenge in others.

 

 

Extra-Large Yoga Block

This extra large yoga block is great for anyone who is brand new to yoga and/or feeling really tight. It will provide even more support than a “regular” block.

 

Strap

A strap is a great tool to add to your yoga practice to maximize the ease of certain stretches.

 

Extra-Long Strap

An extra-long strap will provide extra reach. This can be a great for a newbie or a yogi with a lot of experience who is looking to do more advanced things with their strap.

 

Bolsters

Bolsters help prop your body up in functional ways. They can provide extra support, for added comfort, in savasana or other restorative yoga poses.

YogaToes

The more space you can create between your toes, the better your entire body will feel. This is a great tool to promote exceptional foot health. Throw these on while you’re working at your computer, reading a book, or watching a movie.

Foot Roller

This is another great tool to promote foot health. Specifically, this roller helps prevent and alleviate pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

TheraCane

This is an easy to use, self-massage tool that works magic!