Are you ready to take your exercise program seriously?
If you are, then practicing Yoga is an exceptional starting place.
The question is, what basic yoga equipment do you need to get started?
Let’s get some help to get our questions answered.
“When I consider the deeper meaning of yoga, I realize it’s about a lot more than simply performing a variety of postures on a mat.”…. Carre Otis
The very informative industry site yoga.about.com provides a nice foundation. “Comfortable, breathable clothes are recommended for yoga. You probably want to wear a shirt that is a little bit form-fitting, since in many yoga poses, your head comes below your hips and your shirt can slide down. Any exercise pants or shorts will do, although it’s best not to have super slick lycra-type pants since this may cause you to slip in some poses.”
They go on to explain that the basics should include shoes, mats and blankets.
Some optional but important equipment includes blocks. Like blankets, blocks are props to make yourself more comfortable and improve your alignment. Blocks are great for standing poses in which your hands don’t reach the floor.
Please don’t forget Straps. Your straps are particularly useful for bound poses if your hands do not reach each other, and for poses where you need to hold onto your feet but cannot reach them.
Another wonderful exercise group yogaoutlet.com lends some more ideas. “For hundreds or even thousands of years, there was no “yoga equipment.” Practicing yoga required only your body, mind, and spirit. And while that’s still all you need, most modern yoga practitioners feel more comfortable with a few basic items that are easy to obtain.”
They suggest a few additional items not previously mentioned. A water bottle and a mat blanket should be helpful as well.
“I always think I look better after a yoga class. It’s the same as a massage. We look so amazing after a massage because we’re relaxed.”…… Andie MacDowell
Well, well. Why didn’t we think of that?
Now it’s time to turn our attention to a guest writer who will capsulize the above information for us.
Yoga Equipment – What Do You Need To Get Started?
by: Clare Swindlehurst
Yoga isn’t an expensive exercise to take up but you will need some basic equipment to get you started. The five main items are clothing, a yoga mat, a blanket, a block and a yoga strap. In this article we’ll cover each of the items, what they are and whether you should buy them before you get started.
1. Start with comfortable clothing
To get the most out of your yoga practice you will need to wear light, comfortable clothing. Shorts or lose fitting bottoms work well, but avoid lycra as this could cause you to slip. Choose a top that is loose but form fitting as some of the poses are inverted, which means that your head will come down below your hips and could cause your top to ride up.
You don’t need to worry about expensive footwear as yoga is practiced barefoot, in fact many studios ask that you leave your shoes at the door to protect the floor area and keep it clean.
2. Add a yoga mat
Yoga mats, or sticky mats as they are often called define your personal space in the studio. They also provide traction for your hands and feet so that you don’t slip during the poses.
You can usually rent a mat from your studio, but they will be used by lots of other students and you don’t know how often they are washed; it’s surprising how sweaty hands and feet become during yoga practice.
“Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.”…. Indra Devi
You can buy a yoga mat for as little as $20 from a sports store or an online yoga specialist. Beware of cheap yoga mats as often they can be slippery which can lead to injuries. Most studios will happily store your mat for you if you become a regular which saves you carrying it to class each time.
When you start out you will probably not be too flexible so a folded blanket is useful as a prop for seated postures. They also come in handy in the relaxation time at the end of class if it is chilly in the studio. You don’t need to buy your own mat unless you wish to practice at home as most studios will have a supply for you to borrow during class.
Blocks are also useful for beginners, especially for the bending poses where you have trouble touching the floor with your hands. Again these should be available for you to borrow during class, but if you want to practice at home can be purchased from the yoga specialist store.
A yoga strap will help you to reach your feet in seated postures. Like blocks they are inexpensive and can be purchased for practice at home or borrowed during class if required.
You don’t need to buy expensive equipment to start practicing yoga, just some comfortable clothes and a sticky mat will set you on your way. Items like blankets, blocks and straps are useful for beginners and can be either purchased or borrowed from the yoga studio.
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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.