What's in your Gym Bag: Kimberly


Kimberly’s Gym BagI bought a really nice Lululemon gym bag as a reward when I completed Jamie Eason’sLIVEFIT 12-week trainer, a super tough strength training program.  I finally had to admit that it wasn’t the ideal bag for yoga. I needed something new to take to workshops and the classes I teach.

On a daily basis, the large gym bag was overkill for yoga.  It was too big to take into a crowded studio for workshops and I felt uncomfortable leaving it unattended outside the room.  Lots of people carry a fabric bag that holds a yoga mat and some have a zippered pocket for valuables.  That’s what I was looking for when I started shopping.

But then I found the Hot Dog Yoga Rollpack which seemed too good to be true.  When empty, it takes up a small space at the end of the mat similar to a rolled up towel.  Although it is small, it has some wonderful features:

  • Garment space for change of clothes, with opening for a hanger.
  • Adjustable straps to secure any size mat, with additional room for a large towel if you use one.
  • Adjustable pouch that will securely hold even large water bottles.
  • Two large zipper pockets that can hold valuables, a strap, a small towel, or personal items.
  • A smaller, discreet zipper pocket.
  • Carrying strap for convenience.

I ordered this bag knowing that I would soon be taking crowded workshops with Kathryn Budig and Desiree Rumbaugh. It held everything I needed and I didn’t feel weird about keeping it with me in class.  I have enjoyed taking this great bag with me to teach as well, because I can put a change of clothes on a hanger instead of crumpling everything up in a traditional gym bag.  It slings nicely into the passenger seat and I don’t feel like I’m schlepping a huge piece of luggage around.

Kimberly’s Gym Bag

Here’s what I packed for my workshops:

  1. Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat - If you’re going to dabble in yoga a couple of times a week, then you’re probably okay with an inexpensive mat.  If you’re going to spend an hour or more a day on your mat, I suggest upgrading to a premium mat like this one.  It is firm, yet offers cushioning.  It is heavy enough to not move around on you, but light enough to carry to class.  It takes a beating, even if you wear shoes for other fitness activities like burpees.
  2. Lifefactory Glass Beverage Bottle - Even though this glass bottle is a little heavier than other water bottles, I like knowing that I’m drinking from a non-toxic container that keeps my water crisp and tasting fresh.  It’s also good for the mornings when I put warm lemon water in it because I know the glass won’t retain flavors or any odors.  I got the flip top cap which is convenient for drinking, but the top isn’t very secure for schlepping around.  The Hot Dog Rollpack helps remedy the situation by ensuring my water bottle stays upright.
  3. Journal and Pen - I like to take an old-fashioned journal to workshops because I don’t want the instructor to think I’m not paying attention when I’m taking notes on my phone. The journal helps me to remember any special techniques or pertinent information that I can refer to for either my personal practice or for the classes I teach. 
  4. Wallet - My full-size wallet fits in a front zipper pocket. Workshops are a great place to check out new yoga clothes that are in style or equipment that you may have forgotten, so it helps if you have your wallet handy.
  5. Hoodie - I always take a warmer layer for comfort, no matter how warm it is outside. I look for hoodies in neutral colors with a flattering fit that have deep hoods, zipper pockets, and thumb holes.  This one came from Lululemon.
  6. Manduka eQua Yoga Hand Towel - I always take a hand towel with me when I know the practice will be sweaty or when I try out a new teacher.  There’s nothing worse than being drenched in sweat and having nothing to wipe your hands and face.
  7. Smart phone - Taking photos in a workshop is a great way to remember and review what you learned.  Just check with the teacher or workshop organizers to make sure it’s okay and make sure it’s not going to make any noise whatsoever in class.  No dings, buzzes, or ring tones!
  8. iPod Nano- I have an old iPod Nano, which is the size of today’s Shuffle.  I like keeping my playlists for classes I teach on a dedicated device in my gym bag so it is always there and never forgotten. Also it doesn’t take up space on my phone with tons of music.
  9. Keys - I feel a lot better throughout class or a workshop when I know that my keys are tucked safely inside my gym bag by my mat, and not sitting in my shoes outside the studio.

Not pictured - I also keep some personal items like lip balm and lotion in this bag, and there’s enough room for a strap which is always a good idea to take along when you don’t know if there will be one available for you to use.  Even if you don’t typically use one, the teacher might want you to use one for different variations of poses.

What are your yoga must-haves?