Students have asked me for my recommendations for a couple of products, so I’m gathering them here.
The most important thing is to have a mat that isn’t slippery. If your hands and feet slide around, yoga becomes way more difficult than it should be.
Hugger Mugger makes great mats at a good price point. The Tapas mat is a classic.
The thicker Ultra is nice if you have joint issues, but the tradeoff is that balancing is a little more difficult.
You can absolutely belly dance barefoot; shoes aren’t necessary. But a little cushioning under the heel and a good surface for turns can save a lot of wear and tear on your knees.
Capezio Freeform is by far my favorite dance shoe. It’s like wearing nothing at all, but I can turn easily and my knees have a little protection from impact.
Order two full sizes up from your street size.
A dance sneaker will give you full support and cushioning for problem feet, but still offer a suede sole for turns. I wore these when I was recovering from plantar fasciitis.
Be sure to check the size guide — dance shoes are sized weird.