If you’re just starting out with your yoga practice, we always suggest you wait before spending loads of money on yoga clothes, accessories and a yoga bag. The only thing you desperately need to get started is a good-quality yoga mat. Once you’ve been exercising for a while and feel that yoga is for you and you are going to continue, it’s probably time to start looking for a yoga bag.
Travelling to and from the yoga studio, storing everything together at home, and being ready to head out for some yoga on the go are all key factors
Types of Yoga Bags
There are two key differences when it comes to yoga bags. One style of yoga bag is designed to cover and carry your mat completely. These tend to be tubes of fabric and do not leave a lot of space for any clothes, bricks, straps, or bolsters. The other type has space for carrying your yoga mat, but it might not be completely enclosed but instead held in straps at the side or top of the bag. These offer a lot more space for carrying all of your personal possessions, including a water bottle, phone, keys, and anything else you might want to take to class with you.
Choosing the Yoga Bag for You
1.Measure the Mat
A standard-size yoga mat is 64″ x 24″, and therefore most bags designed to totally encapsulate a rolled-up mat caters to this size only. However, some people prefer longer yoga mats, meaning they will stick out the end of the bag. Thicker yoga mats are also popular, and these can roll up to be too fat to fit inside a sleeve-style bag.
However, you can get yoga mat bands and straps to secure it into a roll, making it easier to attach to a different style of bag.
2. Style of Yoga Bag
Whether you think a yoga, mat sleeve, style bag or a bigger bag would suit you better, you will still find that there is a myriad of styles. Rucksacks, sling bags, totes, and oversized carriers, there are certainly plenty to choose from. So the next question you need to ask yourself is which are you going to be most comfortable carrying. If you have experienced any back pain in your life, a backpack-style bag will potentially put less strain on your back than a cross-body or one-shoulder bag. Consider whether you drive, walk or cycle to yoga classes, as this will affect the style of bag you need. Finally, think about what you are going to be carrying. Some people only ever need a Matt, phone and keys, whereas depending on the style of yoga you choose to follow, you may need yoga blocks, a towel, a water bottle, extra clothes, and more.
3. The Material
Another consideration when finding the best bag is the sort of material it is made from. If you use public transport or walk to your yoga class, then it might be important to have water-resistant materials in case it rains. Yoga mats do need to air between sessions, and usually, as soon as we finish, we roll them up and put them in the bag and, in many cases, leave them there until next time. A breathable material will help prevent any growth of bacteria and get rid of any nasty smells. However, you should remember to air your mat once you get home.
There are also environmentally friendly and sustainable fabrics like hemp, jute, and organic cotton that are all great choices and match the roots of yoga.
Yoga Bag FAQs
Do you even need a yoga bag?
In all honesty, the answer here is no, you don’t need a yoga bag, and in a similar vein to yoga clothes, there’s no point buying something just because it’s fashionable or it looks great on the model. Yoga, by nature, is very unmaterialistic, so if you have any other bag that is capable of accommodating everything you need for a class, that may well do for now. On the other hand, if you decide that a dedicated yoga bag is the way to go, just be sure your purchase is based on practicalities over aesthetics!
Do I need a big yoga bag?
To be honest, that kind of depends on you. Extra yoga props are often available to use in the studio, and not all styles of yoga require them. However, if you’d like to have your own yoga blocks and straps, then it is important that your bag is big enough to accommodate them. If you attend a yoga class before heading to the office, do you need your bag to be big enough to cope with your work stuff for the day as well? Think about how your yoga classes pan out, and try and imagine the sort of bag you need. Some people like lots of pockets so they can organise their belongings neatly, whereas others just want a big bag and put everything in together, just be sure you don’t make it too heavy to carry and strain your shoulders and back.
Does a yoga bag need ventilation?
Any bag used for exercise, from gym work to yoga should have good ventilation. Anything you wear or use in your yoga class can get damp from sweat. If the bag is breathable, it helps prevent any stinky smells from building up. Obviously, care should be taken not to leave damp or wet clothes in a bag for an extended period.
How do you wash a yoga bag?
Cleaning is based on the materials used to make the bag. You may want to make this one of your considerations when choosing the perfect yoga bag. Some are machine washable, whereas others will need to be wiped down, perhaps with cleansing wipes, to ensure they remain fresh. Pick a style of find that you know you can easily care for.