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Traditionally, yoga is an ancient, thousands-of-years-old practice that centers on spirituality and meditation. In the Western world, however, yoga has developed more into a practice of fitness and flexibility.
There’s disagreement over whether or not “modern yoga” is disrespectful to traditional yoga, but regardless of opinions, there’s no doubt that what we call “modern yoga” has both physical and mental benefits, even if those aren’t in line with the intentions of the original Yogis.
If you’re looking to start practicing yoga for its wellness benefits, then you might want to stock up on some supplies to help you begin.
Below is a list of things that might provide useful as you begin your yoga journey.
1. Yoga Mat
One of the great things about yoga — both the traditional and modern forms — is that it can be practiced nearly anywhere: at home, outside, or in a classroom.
If you’re planning on practicing yoga outside of the home, you might find a yoga mat to be particularly helpful. Although yoga classes often have mats on hand for students to use, you might feel better using your own for sanitary purposes. After all, some yoga poses can really work up a sweat!
A yoga mat can also be helpful at home if you find yourself lacking soft surfaces to practice on.
2. Pillows And/Or Blocks
Especially as a beginner, you might find that a pillow or a set of blocks can help you try out positions that are beyond your skill set.
On top of that, pillows and blocks are particularly helpful if you suffer from pain and certain yoga poses are too dangerous for you to fully attempt. Blocks provide support and stability for anyone who needs it.
Pillows are also great if you are completing restorative yoga poses and might need a little extra cushioning.
Luckily, you have many options here. Of course, there are many yoga blocks and bolsters available for sale. Or, if you’re practicing from home, you can DIY it. Use a comfy throw pillow, roll up a towel, or stuck up some books, and voila!
3. A Yoga Strap or Exercise Ball
If you’re ready to take things to the next level, consider adding in a yoga strap or an exercise ball, both of which can help you try out new positions. You can also use them to increase the intensity of poses you’ve already mastered for an extra challenge.
4. A Guide
For true beginners, you’ll want to find a guided yoga session to help you navigate the practice. This can come in the form of classes, videos on YouTube, or even apps.
Netflix is even partnering with Nike for an upcoming Yoga series that could prove useful! Just make sure you find an instructor and class that speaks to your needs and skill level.
5. A Cute Yoga Set
This might sound frivolous to some, especially those who use Yoga for spiritual purposes, but studies have shown that those who have cute workout outfits are more likely to actually follow through on their plans to be active. An outfit — like a crop top tank top and matching leggings — can also make you feel more confident in yourself and your abilities, which is nothing to sneeze at.