If you decide to take up Yoga, you will need a few things. I am going to give you my list of places and items which have helped me and I hope they will be useful to you, too.
1) Clothes: You don’t have to get fancy here, and as a matter of fact I have found that the more expensive the yoga togs, the less authentic the practice tends to be. If you are in a studio where people wear sweat pants and old tee shirts to Yoga, you are most likely in the right place. So, old tee shirts for tops. I get my pants on sale at Target (Champion brand which is frequently on sale and very sturdy), or at Sam’s Club (cheap and sometimes fancy pants with hidden pockets and printed upper parts). The shirt is either an old tee (I prefer babydoll tees as they are close fitting). If I want to spurge, try http://www.athleta.com and shop their sales…those are fancy shirts which usually cost as much as Lululemon but the sales are worth waiting for.
2) Mats, Blocks, and More: I got my Yoga mat from Target, it was a plain brown extra long “sticky” mat and it’s thick enough to offer some knee protection. I also bought a mat sling which is just a piece of ribbon with two circles at either end that close with velcro. I love that mat sling because it doubles as a Yoga Strap when you do large hip openers. I hate carrying around more stuff and appreciate a piece of equipment which will do double duty. I got my own set of blocks at Target as well. Somehow, I really don’t want to have to use someone else’s sweaty blocks. Actually, I don’t want to use anyone else’s equipment at all. So, for a sling, blocks, and a mat you need about $60 and that is the special equipment you need.
3) Things Not To Bother With: Fancy carriers for your blocks and mat are usually expensive and ungainly. I was given a nice well made “Metro” bag with a space for blocks and elastic to put my matt underneath my bag. Once I put my blocks in the space there was no room left over for anything. The pockets on the sides were useless, and the elastic on the bottom let my mat jounce up and down and I walked making a real unproductive counter rhythm to walk to. I got rid of that. Fancy socks get to be a nuiscance in a short time as does any heart rate monitor or timing device. Yoga isn’t about measuring at all, so leave the electronics at home. Expensive cut-out blocks won’t be used more than the solid kind. And any of the cutsey jackets, coats, and dresses which are real expen$ive are not made for practicing Yoga but they are made for being pretty. Just don’t get the two mixed up.
4) Hot Yoga Togs-Nothing really radically different here, just wear shorts if you have them, the light drawstring ones work well. Lost shirt (a tee is sublime with heat) and a towel you can launder (one of the new “thirsty” towels is a good choice). Don’t forget a water bottle, too!
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