A mat gives your feet traction as you practice your yoga exercise and provides some cushion between you and the floor. Without one, you can slide on the floor and risk injury. Use a mat made from natural material such as rubber. Take a moment before you purchase a mat to find out how it's made. Mats made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can contain harmful chemicals that manufacturers add to make them pliable. Also consider thickness and color. If you want more cushioning, pick a thicker mat. Pick a calming color that appeals to you to make it easier to release stress during your yoga practice.
Straps allow you to move into poses more easily, hold them longer and avoid injuries. Manufacturers produce straps with D-rings so you can create a loop at the end of the strap or create one large loop. They usually use woven materials for strength since this prop will be supporting your weight at times, so it's important that it doesn't break. Even so, you can use any long piece of soft material you like. The belt from a bathrobe will work just as well because it is flexible, strong and soft.
Blocks can help you support weaker parts of your body during a pose or make it easier to complete a pose. Choose a block that is firm enough to support you but has no sharp edges and isn't too hard. Pain is not part of a good yoga experience. To test whether a block would be useful for your practice, roll up a towel and secure it with masking tape. Use it during one of your sessions to see whether investing in a block would aid your practice.
Music, candles, bells and flowers can enhance your yoga experience. None of these items should be so overpowering as to distract you from a meditative state. Your goal in yoga should be to take a break from all the things that demand your attention.