Yoga Gear for Beginners to Get You Started
I know, I know, I’m a yoga junkie.
Yoga offers more than increased flexibility and muscle strength. Practitioners quickly discover that it clears the mind, strengthens the lungs, improves posture and promotes deeper calm and an inner sense of centeredness.
When you choose to begin practicing yoga, finding the right gear will help you commit to this healthy lifestyle for the long haul.
But let me make it clear. You do not need ANYTHING to participate in yoga. The most important thing you need is commitment. Anyone can do yoga, from rich to poor. You absolutely do not need to buy any special gear or anything like that. You can do it outside or inside. That being said, having some gear is a good way to make the experience a lot more fun and fulfilling. Luxuries are always nice, there’s no need to deny ourselves if we have the means to purchase them.
So lets take a look at some of the essential yoga gear that a beginner might want to get
The yoga mat provides some cushioning from hard yoga studio floors and gives you some traction during poses so you can more easily avoid embarrassing falls.
Everyone slips or fumbles at first whether they have a great mat or not, so if you do fall, understand it is normal. It is easy to watch advanced practitioners go into the poses gracefully, and assume you can do the same on your very first try.
If you end up feeling like an ox among gazelles, take heart. With practice, you will achieve the grace shown by your instructor, but in the meantime, a good yoga mat will help cushion your ego. Mats come in many colors and different degrees of thickness.
Standard yoga mats are designed more for traction in mind than for cushioning, so in the beginning you may wish to choose a thicker mat. However, you should also note that eventually you should graduate down to the standard 1/8 inch thick mat to help you more firmly feel the floor beneath your feet. This will help you feel more rooted.
Speaking of traction and falling, for even more grip you might consider getting a pair of yoga no-slip, toeless socks.
Unless you are practicing yoga naked – which is a thing – then you will need to buy some clothing to wear during yoga. Many people choose clothing marketed as yoga clothing, but you do not have to confine yourself to that if you do not feel comfortable with it.
The most important aspects to consider when buying yoga clothing include breathability, modesty and comfort.
When practicing yoga, you will work up a sweat, and the fabrics you choose should be moisture wicking to allow fast evaporation. Because you will be twisting your body in many positions, you need clothing that moves with you and does not expose parts you do not want exposed.
This is why most yoga clothing is form fitting. If standard tight yoga pants aren’t your thing, you can find pants that are form fitting around the hips but looser around the legs.
Don’t forget to invest in some headbands to keep the sweat out of your eyes. A small yoga towel made of soft microfiber is also a good idea, especially if you are doing hot yoga.
Yoga Blocks and Straps
Yoga blocks and straps are important accessories used by both beginners and pros to aid stability and alignment. If you are attending classes at a yoga studio, this yoga gear should be available for you to use there, but if you plan to practice yoga at home, it is a good idea to purchase both blocks and straps for home use.
They allow you to more easily, and correctly, hold some yoga poses with less strain. As with many fitness forms, it is always best to take things as slowly as you need to so your body learns the correct alignment, rather than rush through poses.
After you get your gear, you will be ready to hit the yoga mat and be on the road to deeper peace and much better health. Don’t forget to keep the mat clean with yoga mat cleaner specified by the manufacturer. It is formulated to clean without damaging the special materials.
Blocks and Straps: Not Just for Beginners http://www.wsj.com/articles/blocks-and-straps-not-just-for-yoga-beginners-1415642392
From the Ground Up http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/from-the-ground-up/