What Yoga Items You Need To Become A True Yogi
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Long before becoming a parent, starting a podcast or working in radio, I was teaching yoga and a lot of it.
For the past seven years I've taught an array of workshops and classes covering everything from beginners to advance practitioners, arm balances and kid's classes.
I've learned a thing or two about your yoga needs and am particularly passionate about newbies.
You might be like most people and assume that you don't belong in a yoga class because you aren't flexible enough, you're unsure about all the spandex, OMing and annoyingly-healthy people.
Here's the thing, saying you aren't flexible enough for yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a shower. If you go to yoga you will gain flexibility; it should be noted however that a consistent practice is key to reaching your goals. There's all kinds of yoga classes and teachers out there and if you didn't enjoy your first class, its either the class or the teacher that isn't for you, not the yoga.
Here's the gear you'll need for a home practice; most studios will provide blocks and straps.
YOGA BLOCK: Invented by B.K.S. Iyengar props were designed to work as an extension of the body, not as a crutch for pansies. I always say, the true yogi knows when not take the fullest expression of a pose. Use your dang yoga block.
This foam Gaiam block is ideal for beginners but it doesn't stand the test of time as it gets nicked and banged up pretty easily. I should also note that small children like to leave teeth marks in them.
Go for the cork block if you are fancy, they are much heavier and last longer than the foam block.
Don't waste your money on a fancy yoga strap, just get this one. Its organic cotton and 8.2 feet long, good stuff.
YOGA MAT : When people are new to yoga they often think they need the "extra cushion" mat for their bad knees. Think again, this is basically a pilates mat and will make your practice much harder. Imagine trying to move from pose to pose when your yoga mat is basically a temper-pedic carpet, its difficult to balance and just plain counter productive. Don't buy the dang cushioned mat.
Try these instead:
This is the most basic, cheap mat you can get and its usually what gyms will buy for their "studio" and its a reasonable mat those on a tight budget.
Manduka is one of the most well-known brands out there and it is a major leap on quality from the Gaiam mat. While this mat claims to be "thick" its really not and will totally work for anyone in any type of yoga class.
This is my exact mat and the one I always recommend for students. Its sticky enough to take to a hot class without needing a towel for your mat; its light enough for regular travel but heavy enough to work as a high-quality mat. I just love it.
YOGA MAT CARRIER: For years I went without one of these and just awkwardly carried around a half rolled mat, I don't recommend that.
There are a lot of carriers out there and I've tried just about every style they make. I don't recommend the super cheap sling because they are very short and awkward to put the mat into. For the average yogi, I recommend like this Gaiam sling with a pocket.
What does my real-life yoga mat get carried in? A full on sleeve because I bring my mat with me everywhere and I want to keep it clean. I love this sleeve by HeathYoga.
Just want to be quick about it? Try one of these bungees to keep your mat form unrolling in your back seat.