Buy yourself a mat bag that makes you happy.

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Sometimes the best workout gear is the bag that helps you get to your workout.Case in point: my Gaiam Tree of Wisdom Cargo Mat Bag, which motivates me to take a yoga class just so I can use it.

In the past, I've tried using slings to carry my yoga mat around, but they'd either pinch me, the mat would fall out, or they'd become all tangled up in my rush to get out the door. Switching to this roomy carryall, which is made of lightweight cotton and has an adjustable strap and easy zip closure, was a great decision.

Most importantly, the bag is big enough to fit a thick yoga mat comfortably.I like to travel light when I go to yoga class, so my favorite feature is the deep side pocket, which can easily accommodate a large wallet, keys, phone, and lip gloss. With all my essentials stashed inside my mat bag, it's not necessary to carry a separate purse if I don't want to. For me, at least, this makes yoga class a lot more manageable; having just a mat bag next to me in a crowded class is preferable to creating a big pile of belongings along with my blocks and other props.

Credit: Gaiam

To buy: $20;

Also good: when walking through crowded streets, it's easy to throw over my shoulder or wear as a cross-body bag. The strap is wide, and doesn't dig into my shoulder as I'm dodging traffic. I have an older model, but the newer version (pictured) has a second smaller side pocket that's perfect for storing keys and a metro card, freeing up even more space in the larger pocket. And it's machine washable, so you can easily clean it after a sweaty hot yoga class.

I've had this mat bag for years now, and it still looks new. In my experience, having reliable gear you're excited to use makes the whole experience of going to a workout class much more enjoyable. Plus, you deserve to buy yourself a mat bag that makes you happy.