Article by Joshua Killingsworth
The basic prop for beginning any kind of yoga regimen is the yoga mat. It should be chief among your yoga supplies. Both the novice and the experienced yoga practitioner can benefit from many of the other yoga accessories on the market, but the yoga mat is the instrument that will help you begin properly. Once you have a properly cushioned mat, you will need to find a carrying case for it. Of course, the mat does not require a case, but having a storage place for your mat will make sure it is not always exposed and will not get as dirty.
For the novice who might have a bit of difficulty maintaining positions, there is yoga equipment like ropes, blocks, sandbags and straps to assist with balance and movements. If you are not very flexible, in a later stage of your pregnancy, or recovering from physical injuries, the yoga block might be a good accessory for you. It helps you to stretch and form those yoga poses that might seem a bit out of your range. If alignment is the area where you need help, yoga ropes are ideal for giving you the flexibility to do deeper, longer poses. Ropes also come to the rescue when the poses are just too much of a physical challenge. If you need to monitor your endurance levels and see how much they change with each session, yoga sandbags are a good supplement.
The experienced yoga practitioner might have a need for more advanced equipment. The inversion sling, for example, allows you to hang upside down from the ceiling, strengthen your lower back and give you spinal traction. The concept of the inversion sling is based on our knowledge about gravity, which tends to drag on the body, soft tissue and organs over time and pull everything down. If you spend a good amount of time hanging upside down in the inversion sling, you can begin to reverse the effects of gravity on your organs. In similar fashion, yoga head standers can reverse the effects of gravity. Composed of two flat boards and a padded shoulder stand, headstanders allow you to place 90 percent of y our body weight through your shoulders and 10 percent in your palms. People who suffer from chronic muscle tension in the neck, skull and shoulders might find relief with the headstander, which also helps to relieve headaches brought on by neck and muscle spasms.
If one of your challenge areas is balance in yoga, the yoga board can help you. Some yoga practitioners need this simple, but effective piece of equipment to balance when standing on one foot or when pushing up during positions like the downward dog. If you were just to look at the yoga board, you might not believe it to be very sophisticated, but it certainly helps you perform sophisticated moves during yoga. The backbending bench, which looks like an apostrophe turned on its side, also looks simple. It helps to get rid of back pain by opening up the heart and chest area when the body bends back over it. Some fitness gurus even say the bench can help relieve menstrual cramps. If you are using it for yoga moves, the bridge and fish poses are best supported by the bench.
Once you have decided which equipment works for you, it is time to think about yoga clothes. Because you do yoga in your home and at your own comfort level, you should know there are no special clothes required for you to perform yoga. You simply need to find what works to make you safe and comfortable. In general, clothing should not be too loose or too tight. You are searching for a right-sized form fit. Tank tops, t-shirts that fit the torso, headbands (or wristbands), and close-fitting pants are good choices. Jeans, baggy sweatshirts, loose skirts and any kind of shoes are not ideal. You want something that is not so loose that it prohibits your yoga moves, but also not so tight that your body cannot breathe. Here is a tip about materials: choose sweat absorbent clothes like spandex and avoid cotton, which gets too heavy and sticks to you when you sweat.
If you truly want to be comfortable while you do yoga, it will become your priority to find the right yoga suppli es. You can find them many retailer stores that offer casual wear. The key is to find the tools that help you as an individual stay focus and begin your journey to ultimate relaxation.
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