Yoga is a type of fitness activity that is great not only for the body but also for the mind and soul. Yoga opens doorways to building strength, achieving mindfulness, and getting in touch with yourself and your body. There are unlimited ways to practice yoga, and there is no such thing as a right or wrong way to practice- do what feels right for you. There are many variables that influence the way you practice yoga; from the gear you use, to the setting in which you practice, to the poses and flows you accomplish.
Our favorite gear:
- Block- this helps with poses that would otherwise require a deeper stretch than you feel comfortable with. Use a block for support and to help ease into those difficult poses. We use this one from lululemon.
- Strap- this also helps with easing yourself into those deeper poses that require a little more flexibility. Remember to know your limits so you do not hurt yourself! We also grabbed ours at lululemon.
- Mat- these are self-explanatory! You can get mats that are pretty inexpensive (I claimed a free one from a cereal box once!) and they work just fine. If you want something a little more durable, though, try one of these Prana mats available for purchase at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
- Towels- why would you need a towel for yoga? If you do hot yoga, you will know why. A larger towel that extends to the length of your yoga mat catches sweat and keeps your feet from sliding off the mat (yeah, you get that sweaty!). A smaller towel to wipe your face throughout class is handy too. You can get these straight from Prana.
- Clothing– yoga pants are everywhere these days, and they aren’t being worn just for yoga! Although you can find yoga clothes in pretty much any clothing store, The Elephant Pants are my favorites because they are made sustainably in a non-exploitive work environment, and they help save elephants!
Our favorite settings:
- In class. Moksha Hot Yoga is our favorite yoga studios to attend, as they are super friendly and offer great classes for all skill levels. Haven’t tried it before? Karma classes are only $5 on Friday nights for beginners- what’s the karma? Your $5 goes to a local charity!
- At home. Picture this: gross weather, broke student, no time. Ten minutes in your bedroom or living room is all you need for a successful practice. Make sure to sufficiently clear the space so you don’t hurt yourself!
- Outdoors. We love yoga on the beach, where you can enjoy the sounds of crashing waves and seabirds. Or in a grassy area in your local park, so if you lose your balance your fall is soft. We love Instagram user @taigenandreayoga- she is so creative in the locations she chooses for her practice!
Our favorite poses/flows:
When I practice alone, I typically follow a YouTube video (I love this one!) or I just do the poses that I like and feel comfortable with from memory. This can be tricky- it is hard to remember poses and the safe way to accomplish them, but this comes with time.
When I practice in class, my favorite is Moksha Flow.
Favorite pose? Definitely vrksasana, a.k.a. tree pose. It makes me feel so rooted (pardon the pun!) and balanced.
What poses are your favorite? What gear do you recommend? Let us know if you try anything from this article, we really love reading your responses! Or tag us on twitter, instagram, or facebook @twowildtides
Have a great week!