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Yoga is one of the only forms of exercise which I actively enjoy. I’m not one for running, or group sports, or anything like that. But yoga is so different.
You can enjoy it alone, or will friends. And there is no pressure to be any better than how you are. You can push yourself as much as you want.
Also, if you’re someone like me who works in an office environment, it is perfect for strengthening your back muscles and improving your posture. Being sat down all day is literally terrible for you health.
Only a few months ago my lower back completed seized and I had shooting pains down one of my legs. I thought I was going to be suffering forever. But then I read up about yoga, and started following some pretty gentle routines catered specifically for back pain. And within days the pain had almost disappeared. I still suffer occasionally but yoga always helps.
Now, if you’re just starting your yoga journey there are a few things which you should invest in.
You need something loose yet not baggy to wear. You need to be able to move freely without getting caught up in your own trousers. My favourite way to practice is naked, but I’ve been told that’s frowned upon if you go to classes. Who knew?!
I have some of these shorts here. They are completely boho and match my hippy soul! The cute elephant pattern always makes me dream of doing a bit of yoga on a beach in Thailand. And they’re comfortable which is the most important thing. Not too long, not too short, and the waistband doesn’t dig in when you’re lying down. They’re pretty much perfect for me.
You. Need. A. Yoga. Mat. When I first started practicing I would do it on our rug. This isn’t good for your joints, your back, your muscles. Pretty much anything you can think of. Yoga mats have enough give in them for you to press in and get grip, but also give support to the different parts of your body.
I’ve seen some really pretty patterned ones, but they tend to cost a fortune. Which is great, but for the mat I don’t mind accepting function over looks. I have one of these mats here which is perfect for my needs. It has enough grip to never slip, and also enough padding to feel comfortable without being caught up in it. The strap also makes it handy to take from place to place.
Yoga blocks are foamy bricks which you can use to lean on, or give support to parts of your body. Like your head. You can scrimp on this and use whatever you have handy but I can guarantee they won’t be as comfortable.
I have these ones here. They come in a range of colours and are perfectly functional for what you will need them for. It really does make the difference for certain poses too, having something to give you more support. As a newbie I find some of the poses a bit too tricky, so the blocks elevate the ground up to a much more comfortable level. Well worth the investment.
A pretty water bottle.
Now, this isn’t essential, but I find having a water bottle to hand reminds me to drink more. When you’re practicing your yoga routine you need to make sure you stay hydrated. Nothing worse than having a dry mouth and having to run off to grab a drink.
I have a few water bottles but particularly like this one here. It is both pretty and functional, and holds enough water for someone like me to guzzle through during a 30 minute routine. I prefer clear bottles as well because it is easier to keep an eye on how much you are drinking.
Honestly, I’d say that’s it. You really don’t need a lot of equipment to start practicing yoga. Get these essentials and either find a class to join or check out Youtube for some really nifty routines to follow. I’m currently in the process of compiling a list of my favourite online routines, but you can easily find something for yourself. Especially if you have a particular area you want to work on, like balance or back pain.
I’d love to hear how you get on in the comments!