I’m 99% Sure Patanjali Didn’t Give a List of “Yoga Stuff” We Need to Have.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Jan 17, 2013
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kate yoga bag

I can practice pretty much anywhere.

In warm weather, when I go running near the lake, I usually rip off the sweatiest parts of what I’m wearing, do some sun salutations and jump in. I don’t bring a mat; the ground works just fine. I like the yoga gear I’ve accumulated, but realistically, most of it isn’t necessary.

That said, I thought I’d take a look at my bag and see what I’m lugging around in there (though much of my practice is at home).

1. My mat. I’m not a big fan of labels, but I do love my Manduka eKO Lite. It’s eco-friendly and super comfortable.

2. Water bottle. Of course. Take that everywhere. I’ve beaten this one from last year’s Yoga Journal Conference up pretty badly, but it’s still hanging in there.

3. Biofreeze. This is actually sometimes in here and sometimes in my massage bag. Word to the wise, if you have Biofreeze on your hands, don’t ever ever ever touch your face. Really. Don’t do it.

4. My mat cleaner. I make this a spray that’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades: great to spray on your skin to freshen up or if you have a cold, great eco-alternative to Febreeze or air freshener and also great to clean off my mat.

5. My strap. My block used to be in my bag as well. I had a foster dog from a rescue briefly. She ate half of it. Need a new block.

6. Ten thousand pony tail holders. Or, like, at least 12.

7. Massage oil. Not sure why. Always seem to have some around in most bags. Professional hazard.

8. LARA bar or similar. Because, you know, sometimes after a long class I get a little starvacious. And LARA bars are yummy.

Okay, so to keep this from being my most boring update all month, I do have a point.

All of this is helpful. None of this is necessary.

My three favorite yoga accessories or tools?

1. My hip flexors, especially my psoas. Seriously, today, hip flexors—I salute you. You have outdone yourselves. I applaud you for your cooperation and your flexibility.

2. My breath. If you aren’t breathing, it isn’t yoga. Whatever else is going on, however things are going—I can always return to my breath.

3. My heart. It doesn’t matter what brand of yoga pants I’m wearing, who made my mat or what kind of bag I’m lugging all my junk around in if the only strength and openness I have is physical. I am thankful for my heart. I am thankful that even though sometimes it’s tired and I’ve put it through the ringer, it’s still open.


On an unrelated note, this was awesome:


My mornings are usually busy, so it’s nice to just make something easy sometimes that I won’t be a mess or a hassle while I’m working (yes, sometimes I don’t take my own advice and end up eating whilst I edit).

Lunch Smoothie (leave me a better name idea in the comments!)

1/2 an avocado

some Swiss chard

1 cup So Delicious Vanilla coconut milk

1 Tablespoon-ish of raw cacao

1 Tablespoon-ish of chia seeds

Blend and enjoy.


What was your practice like today?Are you doing #yogaeverydamnday this month? Check back for my updates and follow along on Twitter @kate_bartolotta and Pinterest.

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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


13 Responses to “I’m 99% Sure Patanjali Didn’t Give a List of “Yoga Stuff” We Need to Have.”

  1. Jennie says:

    HI Kate, love your articles! Will you share how to make your own mat cleaner? Thanks!

  2. OleManJake says:

    Yes…love your articles. Please DO share how you make your mat cleaner.

  3. Laurie says:

    “I can always return to my breath”….A yoga instructor once said in a class (years ago) “just breathe, your breath will never fail you” and I hear that still almost daily. Such an important reminder people just don’t understand if they don’t practice.

  4. […] then in the back of the magazine, nestled among ads for yoga mats, clothing, and even, I kid you not, a yoga tub, I saw […]

  5. Jennifer White says:

    Quite frankly, I like "lunch smoothie." 😉 Loved this piece. One of the reasons I fell back in love with yoga was because I was travelling with my husband for his job (this has been a little while back) and there sometimes wasn't even room in the rental vehicle to take my yoga mat (the back was filled with loads of geophysical equipment). I loved that I could use a crappy hotel towel if need be; that my asana practice was not only not hampered, but invigorated by the reality that I need literally nothing but myself. Again, love this! Thanks!

  6. Thaddeus1 says:

    I like "starvacious." On the fire crew, we use to refer to these as the "hangries." Isn't vocabulary fun?

  7. Jennifer White says:


    Here's my favorite way.

  8. Oh I've definitely been hangry. And grungry. Usually starvacious precedes those, and that's what happens if I ignore the starvaciousness.

  9. Then "lunch smoothie" it is! Thanks Jennifer, I agree. The only thing you *need* is yourself.

  10. Yes! If we didn't do anything else, just paying attention to our breath would still help.

  11. Jennifer White says:

    haha! My sister-in-law used to use hangry to describe my daughter as a baby.