Ok, so a while ago I did a post about some tools that have helped me manage my anxiety.

And now, I want to write about the gear that makes those tools possible. I know that seems kind of silly, but living with the dude has given me a new appreciation of good, functional design. So, without further ado…


First up is my mat, the manduka eKO 5mm. Almost every yoga teacher I know uses a manduka, so when I decided to really commit to yoga as a way to manage my anxiety, I bit the bullet and bought one of these. I figured that a financial investment would encourage me to actually DO more yoga, and it’s definitely helped. This mat is generally pretty awesome, and I’m really glad I bought it. PROS include a gorgeous color, way less initial slippage than those cheapy plastic ones, no breathing in plastic because it’s made from sustainable rubber, and it’s a little bit wider and thicker than a standard mat, which is great for my tall frame and stiff hips. CONS include a rubber smell that takes forever to fade and is on your hands and feet every time you practice, needing to give it a sea salt scrub and use it a lot to really break down ALL of the slipping, and, actually, that’s it. If there were one thing I’d recommend to a newly serious yogi, it’s this.

The other thing I’d highly recommend (for yoga or in general) are the francois et mimi bluetooth headphones. THESE. ARE. AWESOME. If I had the applause and praise hands emojis on my computer you’d have to scroll through like 50 lines of them before you got to the next sentence. These are a fucking lifesaver. The dude and I live in a studio (good thing we like each other), and my yoga space is about a foot and a half from his desk. I love to make my own playlists so that I’m not distracted by a particularly grating instructor’s voice or their horrible music taste, and headphones mean that the dude isn’t subjected to the same songs over and over every day. These allow for the best of both worlds, and are low profile enough that you don’t notice them when your biceps are right by your ears. The only downside to these is that they’re kind of cheaply made. I had to buy two sets before I got the them pair with my phone, and the battery life is a little short. Mine also have to be in just the right position to charge, but that might be because I loop the cord around my bun and pin it so that the mic isn’t flopping all around my head. UPDATE: I use Apple AirPods now because, let’s face it, they were made for yoga, but these are still a great cheap/non-Apple option.

In terms of yoga apparel, I feel like I’ve tried it all. The best? Cotton. Always. Low irritant, easy to wash, and it doesn’t smell weird when it’s sweaty like some workout fabrics do. I prefer american apparel’s cycle shorts and gapbody’s seamless racerback pullover bra. Both of these are awesome, super stretchy, non-irritating, and so easy to throw in the wash.

And last but absolutely in no way least, tunes. Tunes are very important. I find it helpful to have several mixes ready to go, depending on my mood for practice that day. Upbeat mixes for when I really, really don’t want to practice, a couple of standard mixes with a nice, steady vibe, and an acoustic mix for when I need an extra calm practice. You’ll notice that there are a few songs on multiple playlists, and this is mostly a timing thing. All of these are around 27 or 28 minutes, but the longer mix is about 36 minutes for when I want to hold the poses longer for an extra challenge.

Upbeat Mix 1

  • “Comptine d’un autre ete: l’apres midi” – Yann Tiersen (from Amelie)
  • “Daydream” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Recover” – CHVRCHES
  • “The Mother We Share” – CHVRCHES
  • “Porcelain” – Moby
  • “July” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Can I Stay” – Ray LaMontagne


Upbeat Mix 2, aka the Lykke Li Mix

  • “Made You Move”
  • “No Rest For the Wicked”
  • “Jerome”
  • “Get Some”
  • “Gunshot”
  • “Love Out of Lust”
  • “Dance Dance Dance”
  • “I Know Places”


Standard Mix 1

  • “Redford (For Yia-Yia and Pappou)” – Sujan Stevens
  • “Ghostwriter” – RJD2
  • “Tear Drop” – Massive Attack
  • “Some Boys” – Death Cab For Cutie
  • “Buzzcut Season” – Lorde
  • “Gravity” – John Mayer
  • “Quiet” – John Mayer


Standard Mix 2

  • “Neon Bible” – Arcade Fire
  • “Ghostwritier” – RJD2
  • “Cheer Up” – Miles Fisher
  • “Honeysuckle (Milwaukee)” – Cannon Blue
  • “Bronte” – Gotye
  • “July” – Youth Lagoon
  • “The Secret Life of Daydreams” – Jean-Yves Thibaudet (From Pride and Prejudice)
  • “Dawn” – Jean-Yves Thibaudet


Acoustic Mix

  • “Heartbeats” – Jose Gonzalez
  • “All My Days” – Alexi Murdoch
  • “Bird Stealing Bread” – Iron & Wine
  • “Stop This Train” – John Mayer
  • “Naked As We Came” – Iron & Wine
  • “Love Vigilantes” – Iron & Wine
  • “Thirteen” – Elliott Smith
  • “(Interlude 2)” – Alt-J


Long Mix

  • “Searching Bird Theme” – Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis
  • “Porcelain” – Moby
  • “Tear Drop” – Massive Attack
  • “Cheer up” – Miles Fisher
  • “Some Boys” – Death Cab For Cutie
  • “Buzzcut Season” – Lorde
  • “Neon Bible” – Arcade Fire
  • “Bronte” – Gotye
  • “July” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Mad World” – Gary Jules


Other awesome tunes to do yoga to, in no particular order:

  • “Where Are U Now” – Justin Bieber (don’t judge me, it’s a rad song)
  • “I Guess I’m Floating” – M83
  • “Intro” – The xx
  • “Sleepyhead (Stripped Down Version)” – Passion Pit
  • “Voodoo” – Oh Land
  • “Daylight” – Matt & Kim
  • “Nothing To Worry About” – Peter Bjorn & John
  • “Rich Kids Blues” – Lykke Li
  • “Mind, Drips” – Neon Indian
  • “Let’s Call It Off (Girl Talk Remix)” – Peter Bjorn & John
  • “All is Full of Love” – Bjork
  • “Walking on a Dream” – Empire of the Sun
  • “Talking Bird” – Death Cab For Cutie
  • “Sun of a Gun” – Oh Land
  • “Cheerleader” – St. Vincent
  • “Aroused” – Tom Vek
  • “Cameras” – Matt & Kim
  • “Passenger Seat” – Death Cab For Cutie
  • “Cannons” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Electric Feel” – MGMT
  • “Goodnight and Go” – Imogen Heap
  • “So Here We Are” – Bloc Party
  • “Heartbeats” – The Knife
  • “Army of Me” – Bjork
  • “What Me Worry?” – St. Vincent
  • “Posters” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Seventeen” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Moth’s Wings (Stripped Down Version)” – Passion Pit
  • “Deadbeat Summer” – Neon Indian
  • “Dilettante” – St. Vincent
  • “Wordless Chorus” – My Morning Jacket
  • “Afternoon” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Hide and Seek” – Imogen Heap
  • “Elastic Heart” – Sia
  • “The Hunt” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Montana” – Youth Lagoon
  • “Pursuit of Happiness” – Kid Cudi
  • “Codex” – Radiohead
  • “Let Down” – Radiohead
  • “A World Alone” – Lorde
  • “We Own The Sky” – M83

One thought on “Gear

  1. Pingback: Down Dog | it's only fear

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