Taking up a new sport or activity can be expensive, and sometimes this can be enough for an impulse to get healthy or fit to be pruned before it can take root. But there are also many activities that allow for minimal expense and little to no preparation so that those anxious to begin their new regimen can get started straight away.
Yoga is one of these – you can spend a fortune kitting yourself out with the latest mod cons or you can start right now. Or as soon as you have changed into comfortable clothes!
Let us take a look at the absolute basics needed for yoga.
Depending on what you go to work in, most people will need to change for their yoga class. You should wear comfortable, loose but not baggy clothing in which you can bend, stretch and contort your body.
Anything too tightly fitted might rip, so leggings or yoga pants and a T-shirt or work-out top are probably going to suit most people the best. Anything revealing should maybe be avoided to prevent unwanted wardrobe malfunctions and embarrassment on both your part and those who get to see a little more of you than they had planned to!
Despite being second on this list, a good quality yoga mat is probably the most important item in your yoga equipment. This is because yoga involves a fair amount of getting down on the ground, either on your knees or lying fully prone, and if this causes discomfort you are unlikely to enjoy your workout or get the most out of it.
Choose a mat that suits your needs – you can get thicker, denser, and longer mats for bigger bodies to workout in comfort – and give it a quick wipe down after each use to keep it in good condition for longer.
Cushions and blocks
Once you move into the more strenuous poses and stretches, you might find your workout is enhanced by having blocks and cushions that can help you hold poses while you work on your flexibility and strength.
Sometimes a folded towel or blanket will do just as well, but having professional quality non-slip blocks to lean on, and firm, shaped cushions to lift the weight can really improve your yoga experience.
Resistance bands are used in a number of sports and exercise activities, as well as yoga, but they can be invaluable for the latter. Just as blocks can give you a couple of inches wiggle-room in the harder stretches, so too can using a resistance band help you to achieve positions that your body is not quite prepared for.
For example, bending forward to hold your foot means that you must be very flexible in the back, hips and legs, as it works the whole ham-string and the full length of your back.
Holding onto a resistance band slipped around the foot gives you the same stretching benefit without demanding that you actually have that level of fitness and flexibility – and it helps you to become more flexible so you can ultimately achieve these positions without extra help!
If you have all of these items, you have a comprehensive range of yoga equipment that will help you get started and maintain your journey to good health, better flexibility and a superbly strong core!
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post