by Eirik Yven
Article by Sarah Russell
One of the great things about yoga is that you can practice anywhere, without any equipment at all. It’s also possible for just about anyone to do yoga, no matter what their age or fitness level, although adjustments may need to be made to the exercises. When you perform yoga, you should be sure to wear comfortable, loose clothing made from natural, breathable fibers.
Traditionally, this type of exercise is done barefoot. However, it you’re in an environment where that’s not convenient, or you’re not comfortable with it, you can also wear socks, or soft slippers. It’s best to practice on an empty stomach. This means avoiding large meals shortly before attending class, although it’s okay to have fruit, energy bars, or granola an hour or so before class. You may want to drink some water before you begin, as well, so that you don’t become dehydrated or light-headed while practicing. Be sure that your stomach isn’t full enough to be uncomfortable when moving, and clear your head and throat before beginning.
However, just because you can do yoga with no equipment doesn’t mean that a few items can’t make practice easier. Some equipment can help you achieve postures more easily, or help you balance. Proper alignment is also easier to achieve with the aid of yoga equipment, particularly for beginners. This is because it helps support the muscles, and removes a lot of the strain that some poses cause. For advanced practitioners, this kind of equipment isn’t necessary, as the muscles and connective tissues have been trained to support the body. However, if you’re just getting started, you can hurt yourself doing an overly difficult pose.
Yoga has been helping people around the world get into shape and feel at peace for a long time, although it’s new in the Western world. Originating in India, it’s been around for thousands of years in different forms. The most popular type in the US and Europe is Hatha Yoga, although you may encounter other types as well. Yoga can help you feel more rela xed and energized, less tense, and help you get a fitter, healthier body. Remember that doing yoga isn’t just about the postures. You should also allow it to affect your mind and emotions, removing tension and anxiety. All yoga is easier with the right equipment. Here are some basics that you might encounter in class:
Yoga mats provide more cushioning if you’re practicing on a hard floor, like poured concrete or hardwood. They also help you get traction, preventing slipping of the hands or feet, which can spoil a yoga position or even cause injury.
Yoga bolsters are a specialized type of pillow that gives support for the abdomen, spine and legs.
Yoga blankets add more softness and warmth to yoga mats, which are often made of plastic or foam. They can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed, helping you get into the right mood for yoga.
Yoga straps are made from nylon or cotton, and can help you if you need to grab a certain body part for a pose, but can’t stretch far enough. They add greater flexibility to poses, and allow you to hold them a little bit longer than you would be able to unassisted.
While yoga equipment isn’t vital for yoga practice, it can be helpful, particularly if you have a disability, injury, or are just getting started. Remember that it’s okay not to be an expert when you begin learning yoga, and that modifying poses or using yoga equipment to help you isn’t cheating. This equipment is made to help you perform yoga more easily and get the most out of your workout.
About the Author
Want to learn more about how yoga can change your life? Check out Sarah Russell’s new book – The Beginner’s Guide to Yoga and Meditation – at:
Sonia Doubell Yoga Eternal Youth Sequence
Sonia Doubell Yoga “Eternal Youth Sequence” 5 minute yoga series to wake up your spine. Keep your spine flexible and young with simple yoga moves. It also keeps all the juices flowing and the way you move, walk etc will change. You will feel free and fluid. Have fun
Video Rating: 4 / 5