There are three things I would recommend that all individuals who are exploring the practice of Yoga have to make their practice a success.
1st, A Body to Practice Yoga with
It doesn’t matter if your body is tall, short, round, thin, old, young, growing a baby, missing limbs, or handicapped in any other way, ALL BODIES CAN PRACTICE YOGA!!! So the first thing you need to start down the path of Yoga is a body inhabited by a soul.
2nd, A Yoga Mat
If you have found yoga and want to make it a regular part of your lifestyle, I recommend having a Yoga Mat. A yoga mat encourages a place of mindfulness. It cushions the body when practicing on hard surfaces. (If you’re practicing on carpet, you can get away with using a towel or no mat at all.) Yoga mats keep you from slip-sliding around if you get sweaty. And finally, the purpose of a yoga mat is to represent boundaries.
3rd, A Teacher of Yoga
This can be a book, a website, a video, a certified yoga teacher, a friend who regularly practices yoga, a podcast, etc. Basically, you want someone who can guide you, teach you, and help you learn what yoga is and how to apply it practically to your daily life.
(If you want to know more about my current understanding and belief about what yoga is click here. This link will take you to a past blog post called, “What is Yoga?”)
There are a few other things you’ll probably want as you get into the practice of yoga.
- Stretchy clothing (Be mindful that the clothing you choose can be moved in easily without ripping or over-stretching and becoming see through. You may also want tighter clothing if you plan to be upside down in inverted yoga poses like head stand.)
- A Yoga Towel (This is great to protect your mat from wear and tear, and you can throw it in the wash to clean it.)
- Blocks, Straps, and Bolsters (These props come in handy by providing support in difficult poses, allowing more range of motion, inviting the body to go deeper into a stretch, and encouraging deeper relaxation.)
- A Water Bottle (Yoga Asana classes are movement based and some are practiced in hot temperatures, push you to follow the breath at a quick moving pace, and others challenge you with difficult poses and adding hand weights. All of these instances generate heat within the body triggering the bodies cool down mechanism aka SWEAT, so a water bottle is handy to keep you hydrated.)
The most important thing to remember is to be authentic to yourself. You don’t need the best and most expensive items to practice yoga. To practice yoga, you only need YOU, where you are right now, with whatever you can afford to use. You can then upgrade as you continue through your journey.