This article is written for Evolving Wellness by guest author Lexi Yoga.
If you are a beginner to yoga, and just starting out, then it is valuable to know the basics. All you really need to practice yoga is yourself, but being comfortable and safe is important to enjoy your yoga practice.
Where to Practice?
When practicing outside, make sure that the ground is dry and free of rocks. If you are indoors, have a clear space that is free of furniture.
Practice on a non-slip surface. A yoga mat is a good investment, but not absolutely necessary. A folded blanket will also work, but it does tend to slip a bit.
If you are a bit stiff and lack flexibility, then you may need some cushions, a yoga strap and/or hard foam yoga blocks. Proper use of yoga props are best learned from a teacher, who can adapt the practice to your particular needs.
What to Wear?
There is no need to buy expensive yoga clothing. Wearing loose comfortable clothes, preferably cotton or other natural fibers is all you need. The more your skin is free to breathe the better. Be sure that your clothing allows you the maximum range of movement – and that it doesn’t bind you at the waist or crotch. Jeans are not advisable; loose or stretchy shorts are great! Don’t forget to take off your belt if you wear one too.
Practice yoga in bare feet. Being grounded to the Earth bare foot gives your feet room to breathe and gives you more stability in the postures. Leave your shoes and socks outside the room or away from your practice area. Avoid wearing socks, as you can slip and fall.
Take off your watch and jewelry. It is best to remove your glasses, as you want to avoid the chance of breaking them. If you have long hair, then tie it back. Have a zip-up or jumper handy, in case you feel cold – and a light blanket for the relaxation and meditation periods.
Do not practice yoga near furniture or any sharp objects, as you may lose your balance during some postures, fall and hurt yourself. Be sure to have enough space around you to be able to move around comfortably.
Move slowly. If you experience pain, stop, come out of the position, take a few breaths and then resume your practice. Pain is your body’s way of warning you that something might not be good for you. However, don’t let the fear of pain stop you from practicing gently. Remember to always let your reach slightly exceed your grasp.
If you are pregnant, then you should consider consulting a book on pregnancy yoga or working with a teacher who specializes in this field. This is to avoid any harm to the baby.
If you suffer from any medical conditions or have any doubts as to the safety of some practices, then it’s best to consult your physician or holistic healthcare professional. Remember that yoga is not meant to be used as a medical prescription for any condition. Yoga is a wonderful complimentary treatment to heal your body and make you feel good on a mind, body and spirit level.
About the Author
Lexi Yoga is a yoga enthusiast who took her 200 hour Teacher’s Training Course in Toronto, and 30 hour Yin Yoga Certification Course in Ottawa. She is quite the health nut, who lives a healthy lifestyle mainly consisting of – eat, sleep & yoga. She enjoys making instructional yoga videos on her successful YouTube channel. You can visit her website - LexiYoga.com and follow her daily life on Twitter, and Facebook.