The Basic Equipment for Your Yoga Practice
If you are just starting out in Yoga practice, you may want to know what is needed for a Yoga class. First, you will want to wear comfortable clothes that will breathe. Your shirt should not be loose and flowing but formfitting because you will be doing poses with your head drops below your hips. If you are wearing a more formfitting top, you won't have the problem of your top sliding down. A regular pair of exercise shorts or pants will do fine. It's best not to wear anything slick because some poses you do could make you slip.
Shoes are not a necessity for Yoga classes. Now that is good news! If you are going to class after work, you won't have to carry heavy athletic shoes with you. In most classes, the instructor will ask you to leave your shoes at the door. Yoga is practiced barefoot.
Mats are great both in gyms and in Yoga studios. It is normal to use a mat but if you are just starting, you may want to wait to buy your own. Most studios will rent mats; the downside is they can get smelly between washing because many people use them. Mats can be bought for as little as $20 and if you are a regular at a studio, they may allow you to store it for your use when you are there.
You can buy some optional equipment. If you are following Lyengar Style Yoga, props are usually used to help keep the correct pose. They help keep your body in alignment and help you get the most out of your workout. Blankets are often used in certain poses and can be used while practicing the sitting positions. They also come in handy when you are in the cool down, relaxation period at the end of your practice.
Blocks are like blankets and used as props to improve your alignment and make it more comfortable for your body. They are great for the standing practices when your fingers are supposed to touch the floor and they don't quite make it.
Straps are also useful for poses when your hands need to meet, and for poses that you need to hold on to your feet.
These items are just props and you shouldn't have to buy them unless you find you need them for your at-home workouts. Most Yoga classes provide props.
Starting Yoga can be done on a small budget, whether you go to a studio or gym, or get a video to work with at home. Just remember, you need comfortable, breathable clothes, a top that is formfitting, regular exercise shorts, and no shoes!
You might want to try your Yoga routine with just a folded blanket in place of a mat if you are practicing your routine at home. If you will be going regularly to a class, buying your own mat and either carrying it with you or storing it there is your best option.
Therefore, you have no more excuses! Get busy practicing your Yoga poses today.
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