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Best of 2017: YJ Editor Top Picks in Yoga Pants, Props, Malas + Mats

Yoga Journal picked the best yoga gear of the year—from art-inspired mats, and ultra-comfy leggings, to jewelry and home decor. Here, our top 23 yoga essentials to bolster your yoga practice and lifestyle. (They also make great last-minute gift ideas, hint, hint!)

This year, hundreds of cool products hit the yoga market. So we at YJ sifted through the noise and handpicked the best gear of the year. Below, check out our favorite mats, props, malas, and more. In the spirit of shedding a spotlight on smaller organic-centric, fair-trade companies, many of these products come from brands you’ve probably never heard of. Bonus: several of these are give-back businesses, where a portion of proceeds go to good. Here, our 23 favorite yoga essentials of 2017.

Lotus Garnet Mala, Rana Nader Jewelry

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Given 2017’s mix of natural disasters and political unrest, we had to lead with the Lotus Garnet Mala by Rada Nader. Garnet is a powerful stone that promotes the healing of relationships, comforts the heart chakra, and helps balance the giving and receiving of love. Let’s just say, all appropriate qualities to rehab from the year’s heartaches. Rana, designer of Rachel Brathen, a.k.a @yoga_girl‘s, Island Yoga mala, just launched this collection last week in gold, rose gold, and silver. The guru bead comes in the seven chakra colors, lotus, or black onyx lotus. Best yet? Rana will customize your Lotus mala for you! Message her @rananader on Instagram directly to order your one-of-a-kind mala.

$155, Use code YOGAJOURNAL for 10% off, rananader.com 

See also Rachel Brathen Collects 300+ #MeToo Stories: The Yoga Community Responds

Chaka Yoga Wall Hanging, Ariana Ost

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Need decorative inspiration for your home practice space? This gorgeous handmade Chakra Yoga Wall Hanging, by Ariana Ost, is the perfect accessory. Hang it near a window to catch the sunlight, and inspire energetic alignment in your spiritual body. The chakra charms and colored crystals will bring a sense of harmony to the room, and you can use it as a visual reminder to work through your chakras during meditation. 

$140, arianaost.com

See also Editors’ Picks: Yoga Stuff We Love in 2017

Atia Necklace, Akola

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Akola’s Atia necklace features a gold-tone adjustable chain with hand-rolled Ugandan paper beads and Ghanaian glass—100% made for a good cause, and a piece you can wear proudly. Akola is a nonprofit jewelry brand that empowers underprivileged women in Uganda and Dallas, TX, to create effective change in their communities. The company provides work opportunities and trainings, so these women can reboot their lives, maintain steady incomes to care for children, and help positively impact their families and communities. All proceeds go to Akola’s mission of helping these women redesign their future. Consider this good-karma jewelry! 

$50, akolaproject.org

See also A Yogi’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Mala Beads

White Sea Glass Necklace, Coastal Charms Jewelry

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Coastal Charm’s delicate handmade White Sea Glass Accent on a hammered sterling necklace makes the perfect mindful gift for any yogi you love. Sea glass is battered and tossed by waves and naturally softened—much like ourselves through the storms of life. And we love that it’s nestled between white pearls, which promote total-body healing, nurtures the growth of love, and strengthens your “true self.” Plus, a percentage of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. 

$53, coastalcharmsseaglassjewelry.com

See also 10 Yoga-Inspired Jewelry Pieces to Enhance Your Practice

Limitless Mala Collection, Tiny Devotions

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Love to work with stones and crystals in meditation? Then you know as your intentions evolve, different crystals can amplify your practice. Tiny Devotions’ new Limitless Mala Collection allows you to customize your thread with interchangeable, easy-clasp guru beads. Simply pick your mala (we love the Calm set with amazonite and opalite!) and switch out the guru crystals as your heart’s desires change. Versatile, useful, and adaptive, all in one. 

$108, tinydevotions.com

See also Meet Your Mala: 7 Intention-Setting Strands

Scales Legging, OKIINO

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The OKIINO Scales print legging is a classic, custom designed and hand-drawn print by California artist Amanda Herrin. UPF 50+ quick-dry fabric is perfect for stand up paddleboard or beach yoga, and the light compression feature keeps awkward bunching from hindering your practice. Plus, the proceeds go to good. Dedicate a charity to donate a portion of your purchase from one of OKIINO’s many non-profit partners. From SUP to studio, these leggings have all your practice needs covered.

$118, okiino.com; Save 15% now-12/24 with promo code YOGAJOURNAL

See also 10 Pairs of Head-Turning Leggings

All We Need Is Love Tank, Vibration Apparel

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Bring good vibes to the mat in this cute, ultra-soft ‘All We Need Is Love’ muscle tee by Vibration Apparel. Not only is it a great reminder of life’s most important message (love!), but it’s also super soft, breathable, and perfect to move with you from studio to street. Bonus: for every shirt you purchase, Vibration Apparel donates one to children suffering from poverty in the U.S.

$38, vibrationapparel.com

See also 5 High-Performance, Sweat-Wicking Yoga Essentials

Seamless Fusion Yoga Bra, Coobie

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The super-soft Coobie Seamless Fusion Yoga Bra is practice-perfect and comfortable enough for daily wear. Thick adjustable straps and an extra-wide band around the bottom provides extra support and shape. It also has removable pads for modesty. Comes in two sizes and six colors.

$22, shopcoobie.com

See also 5 Best Sports Bras to Wear to Yoga Class 

The Original Zip Hood, Kozm

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Kozm’s new approach to cozy tops the charts in our books. Its new Ko-Ed (read coed) line of sweatshirts, sweatpants, and shorts are made from an ultra-soft blend of fresh terry fabric that fits both men and women. We love the oversized Original Zip Hood in camo to snuggle up in after your nighttime yoga sesh. Stash your keys or phone in the classic large side pockets, and even though it’s baggy-plush, the waistline is cut to fall right at your hips for a slimming effect. Nothing like a cozy sweatshirt to bring you back to your dorm room days. 

$112, thekozm.com

See also 5 Kundalini-Inspired Ways to Wear White

Heathered Seamless Bra and Warp Knit Tights, Adidas x Wanderlust

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Talk about a power couple: Adidas teamed up with Wanderlust to launch a yoga line in soft, sweat-wicking fabrics that are both perfect for the studio and outdoor adventures. We love the Heathered Seamless Bra and Warp Knit Tights for the ideal comfy, and practice-ready, yoga duo. Sweat-wicking, easy-wash fabric will support the wear-and-tear of your practice without losing color or functionality. Best bang for your buck. 

Bra, $45; Tights, $100; wanderlust.com

See also How to Wear Trendy Yoga Bodysuits Confidently 

Greenpoint Vegan Backpack, Canopy Verde

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From your workplace to studio, the Greenpoint Vegan Convertible Backpack has all your tote-ing needs covered. Keep it as a lightweight backpack, or tuck the straps in the side pouch converting it to an over-the-shoulder bag. It comfortably fits a laptop computer, (but isn’t bulky on the body!) and has inner and outer zip pockets to stash granola bars, keys, and chapstick. Responsibly made with organic cotton, vegan leather, and chemical-free dyes.

$165, canopyverde.com 

See also Kathryn Budig’s Perfect-Posture Secret: Anti-Slouch Yoga Strap Trick

Pehuea Sneaker, OluKai

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If you’re looking for the ultimate shoe solution to take you from life to studio, opt for OluKai’s Pehuea sneaker. Its breathable soft-top mesh outer keeps your feet cool, and the versatile foldable drop-in heel lets you to switch from flat to slip-on. What more could you want in your apres yoga kicks? 

$80, olukai.com

See also 5 Yoga Gear Essentials for Beginning Yogis

eKo + eQua Yoga Mat, Manduka

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Say hello to your new hot yoga partner. With a moisture-activated eQua towel grip fused to the top surface and supportive natural tree rubber cushioning, this hybrid eKO + eQua yoga mat features three beautiful, limited-edition artist designs to inspire the sweatiest (and sweetest!) of practices. You can kiss your towel goodbye.

$92, manduka.com

See also Q&A with Manduka Founder Peter Sterios 

Balance Pad, Clever Yoga

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Take your balance poses to the next level with this simple-but-genius Balance Pad, by Clever Yoga. Practice standing poses on the 2.5-inch thick squishy, lightweight rubber mat to work your core, improve your coordination, and rehab your joints. Better yet? You can use it when you’re not even thinking about it! Work your balance during a conference call at your desk, play with ankle strengthening during a Netflix binge in your living room…a must for any yogi who’s serious about balance. 

$34, cleveryoga.com

See also 15 Poses Proven To Build Better Balance

Asana Travel Pillow, Om the Go

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For yogi travel fiends, Om the Go’s Asana Pillow is both packable yoga mat and neck pillow, and features an ingenious, lightweight, portable design that’s sure to keep up with you, wherever you go. From yoga festivals to the beach, hotel room and beyond, yogis who love to explore the world won’t be able to board a plane without their Asana Pillow. Yoga on the road made easy! 

$80, omthego.com

See also 10 Creative Ways to Use Props in Your Practice

 

Violet Mat, Yellow Willow

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From hatha to hot yoga, Yellow Willow makes the most versatile yoga mat we’ve seen yet. The Violet mat uses X-Grip technology, a high-performance fabric which prevents your hands and feet from slipping, and supports you in your poses. Its eco-friendly rubber bottom keeps the mat grounded, and the soft micro suede surface acts as a towel would—without the headache of practicing on two separate surfaces. No more annoying bunching or readjusting during Down Dog. 

$98, yellowwillowyoga.com

See also 6 Standout Sticky Mats

Temporary Tattoos, Conscious Ink

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Express your deepest desires via temporary art with these mindful stick-on tattoos by Conscious Ink. Indulge your inner child (remember the “lick-and-stick” tattoos?) and bring your intentions forefront to your body. Be it gratitude, peace, or inspiration, Conscious Ink has body art for every yogi. Grab a pack, share them with your friends at your next yoga festival, and practice on.

$16, consciousink.com

See also Design Your Own Temporary Tattoos With These Easy Steps

 

Tree of Life Journal, Soothi

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Put your gratitude practice on paper with the Tree of Life Handmade Leather Journal by Soothi. This 100-page, tree-free paper is encased in genuine leather embossed with mother nature’s tree, and features an extended bookmark flap. Even if it’s five minutes a day, write down what you’re most grateful for in 2018 to help manifest and materialize your gratitude practice in life. 

$40, soothi.com

See also 7 Ways to Start a Gratitude Journaling Practice

Varied Stripe Throw Blanket, Echoview

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Picture this: After your nighttime yoga class you’re cozied up fireside, wrapped in a soft, handmade throw holding a cup of tea and your gratitude journal. Bliss, right? Enter Echoview’s 100% Merino wool Varied Stripe Throw. This ultra-soft, large blanket is the perfect accessory to round out your rest and relaxation routine. (Hint: it’s warm enough for movie night, and thin enough to roll and use as a yoga blanket for restorative poses like Supported Shoulderstand.) 

$240, echoviewnc.com

See also 20-Minute Beginner Sequence to Root + Ground Your Practice

12 Days of Wellness Advent Calendar, Saje

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One of our all-time aromatherapy faves, Saje, hit it out of the park this year with the 12 Days of Wellness Essential Oil Advent Calendar. Use these oils, made with botanicals from around the globe to highlight different cultures, in your home practice area or living space. Simply drip a few drops in your Saje essential oil diffuser (we recommend the limited edition AromaBreeze Black Marble Ultrasonic Diffuser) and sit back, and relax. It’s the perfect inspiration for a renewed New Year’s meditation practice, and an essential tool to set the tone for your home. 

$110, saje.com

See also The Holiday Meditation Gift Guide

Lavender Bliss All Natural Body Butter, Brosily Bath & Body

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Pamper your skin, and your soul, with this collection of vegan body butters by Brosily Bath & Body. Lightly whipped, the moisturizing butter melts on your skin to provide a layer of nourishing hydration. As an addition to your pre-bedtime routine, try Lavender Bliss (our fave!) after a hot bath or shower for an ultra relaxing transition to your Zzz’s.

$22, brosilybathandbody.com

See also 5 Ultra-Hydrating Shea Butter Products

Morning Moisture Conditioning Oil, Kindred Skincare

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Give your skin the right kickstart to the day with Kindred Skincare’s Morning Moisture conditioning oil. While not sunscreen, carrot seed and red raspberry oils diffuse the sun’s harmful rays, and protect, hydrate and nourish your skin. Grape seed, coconut, and arnica oils reduce redness, and petitgrain and palmarosa help regulate your skin’s natural oil production. Plus, Kindred Skincare is founded on the practice of forest bathing, so every flower or plant used is a certified organic botanical, and brings the healing properties of mother nature right to your skin.

$65, kindredskincareco.com

See also Real Beauty: Ayurvedic Skin Care Techniques

The Yoga Collection of Essential Oils, doTERRA

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The Yoga Collection, co-created by doTERRA and yoga teacher Elena Brower, features three blends of essential oils to inspire wellness. Arise, Anchor, and Align offer unique benefits to ground, focus, and energize your body, mind and soul. Incorporate these blends into your daily asana practice or self-care routine, and reap the calming, centering benefits of aromatherapy. 

$70, doterra.com

See also Elena Brower, What’s In Your Yoga Bag?