The best yoga mats and accessories to stretch your abilities

/ Source: TODAY
By Stephanie Mansour

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September is National Yoga Month, so we’ve compiled a list of must-have equipment, clothing and accessories. No matter what your level, you'll look and feel like an experienced yogi!

Best yoga mat for beginners looking for the basics

If you’re just starting out and looking for a regular yoga mat, look no further than this basic sticky mat. Its non-slip surface ensures you won’t slide out of place in poses, and it’s reversible (that way if you become so experienced that you wear out one side, you can just flip it over!).

Gaiam 2-Color Yoga Mat, $22, Gaiam

(This mat is also available on Amazon but in limited sizes and colors.)

Best yoga mat for beginners or those with injuries

If you experience discomfort when you put pressure on one knee for a low lunge, or even while on your hands and knees for a cat-cow pose, a mat with more padding may help.

Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat, $40, Barefoot Yoga

This mat by Barefoot Yoga is double the thickness of a regular mat, and it’s great for a restorative yoga practice that includes more lying and seated poses.

Best yoga mat to take on the road

If you’re so dedicated that you don't skip your practice even while traveling, check out this mat: It's designed to be folded up into your carry-on.

Clever Yoga Travel Yoga Mat, $63, Amazon

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It’s lightweight, so it won’t cause your suitcase to be too heavy, and it’s machine washable.

Best yoga mat for outside

If your practice takes you outdoors or to your local studio (but not so far that you need carry-on luggage), this may be the mat for you.

Manduka Black Mat Pro, $100, Barefoot Yoga

This mat is designed to last a lifetime, and it remains firm and flat on all floor types.

Best mat carrying cases

If you carry your mat by hand, try going hands-free! This holder is easy to strap around your body like a cross-body bag, or even to sling over your shoulder.

Easy-Cinch Yoga Sling, $10, Gaiam

Best yoga mat cleaner

Whether your mat travels with you in a suitcase or across your body, it’s likely that you’re using it more... and therefore it needs to be cleaned more. This cleaning solution is natural and organic, and can be used on all mats. It smells like citrus and completely disinfects your mat.

Asutra Mat Cleaner, $11, Amazon

As a bonus, it also includes a free microfiber cleaning towel!

Speaking of cleaning, did you know that top layers of mats aren’t just to pick up sweat? Nowadays yoga top covers serve every kind of practitioner, from a germaphobe to a traveler. If you want your own mat but don’t have the time or space to clean or store your own, try this top cover:

The Towel, $42, Lululemon

(If you want something a little cheaper, this Go Sweat hot yoga towel on Amazon has over 1,000 positive reviews and is only $13.)

Complete the look

These leggings by Reflex have over 4,000 reviews on Amazon and are only $20 — TODAY Style editors loved them so much they wrote an entire article about them! If you're thinking about taking up yoga, you'll need a pair (or four) of nice-fitting leggings.

90 Degree by Reflex Women's Power Flex Yoga Pants, $20, Amazon

This sports bra is from Kate Hudson's athletic wear line Fabletics. The regular price is $34, but it's on sale right now for $15 — quite the steal. This bra is chic yet supportive, with moisture-wicking fabric and removable cups. It also has over 2,700 five-star reviews!

Macey Sports Bra, $15, Fabletics

One thing we love about yoga is that lower-intensity classes often don't make you sweat quite as much as you would in a regular workout class. This means yoga sessions can often be followed directly by errands, activities or even (gasp!) brunch. This tank by ARLO is lightweight and easy, making it the perfect workout-to-wear tank.

Air Crop Muscle Tank, $52, Nordstrom

No matter how you practice or where you practice yoga, make a commitment, even if it's just one minute a day or one class a week. Start with incremental goals rather than jumping in to five classes a week right off the bat. See how it makes you feel. Having the right gear will help!

Stephanie Mansour is a lifestyle and weight-loss coach for women. Join her weight-loss challenge (including her favorite yoga poses) here!

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