Yoga Equipment Dos And Don’ts
As you are learning how to get the most out of each of these pieces of yoga equipment, we encourage you to keep the following in mind.
- Be kind and put all items back where you found them.
- Wipe down the equipment you can, and especially wipe down any mats you borrow.
- Help others put their equipment away so everyone can leave more quickly and make way for the next class.
Now that you’re in the know, we challenge you to try at least one new piece of yoga equipment the next time you’re in the studio. You’ll be amazed how they serve an important purpose to your flow and practice. Whether it’s the different ways our bodies move and work, or pieces of equipment that serve to aid us in our practice development, they are provided in classes for a reason – don’t be afraid to take advantage!
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Yoga
The power of yoga in the West isn’t totally diminished, though. In fact, yogis keep coming back to their mats because of the practice’s many benefits. Studies show that yoga can improve physical health by lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, and aiding digestion. It may also help practitioners sleep better and manage stress. Not to mention, recent research indicates the mind-body practice supports mental health, specifically; one study found regular yoga may help ease depressive symptoms.
Dianne Bondy, yoga teacher and author of Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body, has seen yoga’s positive impact firsthand. Thanks to the practice, her students are able to excel under pressure. Yoga teaches that “when there’s chaos going on around us, we can focus on something singular and bring a sense of peace to ourselves,” Bondy says. “The practice of concentration helps students to be more successful at whatever they do.”
Is Yoga Right For You
Yoga is accessible for just about everyone.
If you have a medical condition or a recent injury, it can be challenging or dangerous to do certain types of yoga, specific poses, or breathing techniques. Usually, there are alternatives or modifications that can allow you to practice safely, and many common complaints have specific yoga therapy remedies. If you are recovering from an injury or are in poor health, we recommended consulting with a physician or other qualified health care professional before beginning yoga.
While you may feel some intensity in the belly of your muscles while in a yoga pose, you should never feel pain, especially in the joints. A sharp or intense pain is your body’s signal to tell you to stop, back off, and take it easy.
Yoga Gear And Clothing
The essentials are a flat, comfortable space , water for hydration and a mat. You might also decide you want a few simple yoga props to enhance your home practice, although that can wait until after you’ve talked to your instructor about recommendations and class needs.
Most types of fitness clothing work just fine for yoga, especially when you’re getting started, but you may find you prefer certain styles—especially those that offer ample stretch. Look also for clothing with few seams, no pockets and minimal bulk.
The Benefits Of Opening A Yoga Studio
The average yogi is willing to spend $40 on a single, unique yoga experience and will spend about $62,640 on yoga over their lifetime. The yoga market presents a massive opportunity to enter into an industry that’s in demand and growing in popularity. Roughly 1 in 3 Americans have tried yoga classes in the last year, and the number of over 50s practicing yoga has almost quadrupled in the last four years. Although it’s a very competitive space, it gives you the chance to build a community and brand from the ground up in a business that you love.
You have a passion for yoga, and you’re a certified yoga teacher from a recognized body of yoga, like the Yoga Alliance. The natural next step is to open your yoga studio. Of course, it takes more than just one step; it takes several tough steps to start a yoga business. Many people want to make the leap from yoga teacher to the business owner but don’t know where to start.
Learn Basic Yoga Poses
Once you feel ready for the physical side of your yoga practice, you can start to mindfully experiment with yoga poses for beginners.
There is no need to try to jump into the more complex poses or to try to be as bendy as the person next to you.
In fact, you can begin your practice right at home with free yoga videos.
Wherever you begin, whether in a local yoga studio or with an online yoga video, there are a few basics to start with.
Start with postures, or yoga asanas, such as downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and savasana.
In each pose, focus on pressing your hands or feet into the floor, lengthening your spine, and relaxing your hips. If you keep this in mind as you practice, you will be working with each pose exactly as even the most devoted practitioners do.
What Is The Best Type Of Yoga For Beginners
There are many styles of yoga, like fast-paced vinyasa flow classes, slower practices, and even quirky options like goat yoga. But don’t let all of the choices overwhelm you. According to Bondy, the right class is about the level, not the type. “It doesn’t matter what the style is,” she advises newbies. “Taking a beginner class in whatever yoga you’re interested in is where to start.”
Breathing Exercises Or Pranayama
Controlling your breath is an integral part of yoga. The formal name for this practice is pranayama. “Prana” can be explained as life force, energy, or qi, while “ayama” is the Sanskrit word for extension.
Here are some of the basic pranayama practices to start you off in your yoga journey:
Ujjayi pranayama is most commonly used in Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. An ocean sound is created with this breathing technique by contracting the epiglottis, the leaf-shaped flap of cartilage located behind the tongue at the top of the voice box. This sound aims to anchor the mind during your practice.
Nadi Shodhanam pranayama
Nadi Shodhanam refers to alternate nostril breathing to slow down inhalation and the exhalation. This technique balances the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system to cultivate a state of internal tranquility, stability, and peace of mind, while balancing and regulating energy through the left and right side of the body.
Nadi Shodhanam technique:
Understand The Core Of Yoga
Yoga is not about extreme flexibility or contorting your muscles and spine into fancy shapes.
It’s about breathing, finding inner strength through meditation, and creating freedom in the body with basic yoga poses.
It’s truly that simple.
So don’t worry about losing weight or bending over backwards . Instead, understand that yoga is a process and a lifestyle. The physical practice is only one of the eight limbs of yoga.
What Class Is Right For Me
There are many styles of yoga classes taught today. Some are very physically challenging and will leave you sweating; others are gentle and restorative. Some teachers play music in class; others don’t. Some classes include references to yoga philosophy and spirituality; others don’t.
Here are a few types of classes your yoga studio or gym may offer:
Hatha: Most yoga styles being taught in America today are a form of hatha yoga, which is a general term that refers to the physical part of yoga, rather than yoga philosophy or meditation. A Hatha yoga class is likely to be a combination of poses and breathing exercises, but it’s hard to know whether it will be challenging or gentle. Check with the school or the teacher to find more about the level of classes that are described only as Hatha yoga.
Ashtanga Yoga: This is a challenging style of yoga that is centered around a progressive series of yoga sequences that, traditionally, students practice on their own under the guidance of a teacher. If you think that yoga is not a workout, you haven’t tried an Ashtanga class. Classes include advanced poses such as arm balances and inversions including headstands and shoulder stands. Beginner students are strongly advised to study with an experienced teacher. Ashtanga classes will also often include teachings in yoga philosophy.
Note: It’s a good idea to try several yoga classes. How much you enjoy any class will come down to how much you like the teacher, not how it’s labeled.
How To Start Yoga: A Beginners Guide
Do you remember how nerve-wracking your first day of school was? Every year for 12 or 13 years you probably walked through the doors of your school in new clothes, with a backpack full of crisp notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils.
No matter what grade you were in, that first day was always nerve-wracking. I don’t know about you, but at almost 30, I still have nightmares about my first day of school.
When I walked into my first yoga class, I felt like it was my first day of high school.
The beginning of class reminded me of the dreaded lunch time experience, where your friends were nowhere to be found and you had to start eating alone.
Not knowing any of the poses was akin to having no idea where my classes were, and not remembering the yoga sequence brought pangs of panic, similar to when I forgot my locker combination in between classes.?
If you’re avoiding yoga because you’re nervous about attending a class or you can’t shake that “first day of school” feeling, hopefully this guide can help you get your booty into a yoga class with confidence and enthusiasm.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Opening A Yoga Studio
Before you open your yoga studio, it’s crucial to avoid the mistakes that previous business owners have made already. Learn from someone else’s mistakes and avoid them on your journey to a thriving business. A genuine love for yoga is a great place to start when launching a business. But you will also need to steer clear of typical errors when developing your dream yoga studio.
Top Yoga Routines For Yoga At Home
Have you ever thought “hey, I want to watch a movie” and then spent three hours on Netflix scrolling through films so bad you wouldn’t watch them if you were bedridden for the rest of your life, ultimately picking a movie you’ve already seen and falling asleep eight minutes into it?
We’ve all been there.
These days, trying to find a yoga video on YouTube can be just as frustrating and fruitless.
So we’ve done the work for you. Because we think that everyone deserves to experience health and well-being.
We’ve rounded up the best free yoga videos for beginners that will teach you how to start yoga at home. Learn how long to hold yoga poses, complete an easy yoga workout, and gain some much-needed balance.
The best part about learning yoga poses for beginners at home with a video or yoga DVD?
You can practise yoga anytime, anywhere. Gain strength, flexibility, and a clear mind from these beginner classes that fit seamlessly into your busy schedule.
At-home yoga for complete beginners, coming right up!
#2 Find A Local Studio
Finding a studio where you feel connected and confident is much more meaningful than finding one that seems elite or especially yogic.
Another thing you should think about is whether or not you should attend a yoga studio instead of sticking to a home practice.? There are several benefits to joining a class at your local yoga studio over practicing by yourself.
a) Learn How to Prevent Injuries?
The number one reason to find a studio as a beginner is to avoid injury. On average, every 3.5/10,000 yoga students report injuries that occur from a yoga practice.
Surgeons agree you’re far more likely to experience an injury, particularly in the shoulder and hip joints, if you don’t know the mechanics of yoga poses. ?
You can’t truly understand the basic dynamics of a pose if you’re a newbie, which is why having a teacher in the room greatly reduces your chances of getting injured, because they’re trained to notice if you’re putting yourself at risk for significant injury.?
b) Learn Different Variations of Poses?
?Not every pose has to be advanced, because every yoga pose is truly accessible to every student, regardless of how long you’ve been practicing.
However, if you’re simply going off of books or printouts from the internet, you can’t possibly know of the best ways to safely modify your poses for your current ability.
If you’re injured, safe modifications are especially important, and an experienced teacher in a class is the best way to prevent injuring yourself further.?
How To Get Started With Yoga
It isn’t every day you get to be a beginner. Practicing yoga can be initially frustrating because you don’t know all of the poses.
Or maybe you’re not strong enough to hold an arm balance, but this period passes because of the excitement that comes with learning new poses.
Enjoy the challenge of working on new sequences and improving with every yoga practice you do!
Why You Should Practice Yoga
We live in a culture where our minds and nervous systems are stimulated constantly. Yoga offers the space to slow your mind down and restore a sense of balance. In 2016, Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance conducted a study called Yoga in America. They found that 36.7 million people were practicing yoga. That’s a 50 percent increase from 2012!
It’s unclear what the direct cause is for this booming growth and rise in the popularity of yoga, but such interest may be attributed to the promising benefits that yoga and mindful practices offer.
What Is An Online Yoga Studio
Online yoga studios are online “membership sites” where you can offer premium yoga content to your followers for a recurring fee.
You create a video streaming service that works as an online studio. It’s a website where you can upload all of your yoga flows, tutorials, and ideas.
This video hub will let you:
- Provide easy-to-follow courses
- Build an online yoga community
- Connect directly with your students
Because everything lives online, you can scale this type of business model infinitely. You connect with and motive with any number of students, from anywhere in the world.
Adriene, the YouTuber I mentioned earlier, used Uscreen to launch her own online yoga studio called Find What Feels Good:
Since launching, she has built a community of 20,000 paying members! All of which can access all of their favorite content, anytime, anywhere:
You’d struggle to find a local studio that can cater to that many students.
It’s safe to say that teaching yoga online provides the most profitable way to grow, help, and motivate your community.
Let’s take a look at how you can launch your own yoga studio…
Get To Know Your Teachers
As I mentioned in #2, support is key and that support system largely revolves around your yoga teachers. Introduce yourself to your teacher before class. Let them know that you are new to the practice and ask if they have any yoga tips for beginners or advice about how to start yoga or about yoga for beginners in general.
If you have a specific condition, injury, or need, let your teacher know. Not only do teachers request this to keep you safe, but they can also provide you with modifications, variations, and other guidance to help you get the most out of your practice safely.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you didn’t quite understand the cueing or specifics of a certain pose during class, make a mental note and ask your teacher about it after class.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
As a yoga instructor, one of my favorite aspects of teaching is when students approach me about a particular pose or ask about alignment, etc. To me, this shows dedication and for the student, it helps them deepen their practice safely.
If you’re practicing online, comment on the videos with questions you have, or message the teacher directly. Help and support can still be present in the online yoga realm.
Yoga Helps Your Physical Body
The most obvious benefit is, of course, physical. Yoga postures can help increase:
are also why athletes practice yoga as part of .
During yoga, your body goes through a full range and variety of motion that can counteract aches and pains associated with tension or poor postural habits. Not only does yoga help you — and many athletes — become more aware of your body, it also allows you to fix these imbalances and improve overall athleticism.
What Kind Of Gear Do You Need
It’s not necessary to buy anything to start a yoga practice. “Early yogis practiced on kusha grass and in nature,” Barkataki says. “You don’t need certain props, clothes, mats, or a certain body type to practice yoga,” she adds. “These are misunderstandings that can be a distraction from yoga’s true aims.”
While you can practice in the grass or on a carpet, a quality yoga mat is a good investment if you’re practicing on a hard surface, plus it’s required at many studios.
Harding says that two cork yoga blocks, like these from Manduka, can be helpful to find more stability and proper alignment. But if you don’t have blocks, no worries, you can always use books as a stand-in.
C Beware And Be Aware
These are a few points of caution. Be clear and transparent about any issues at the outset. Only if your instructor knows your issues ahead of time, they will be able to help and guide you.
12. Let Your Teacher Know
Inform your instructor of your injuries and ailments to make sure you have a safe practice. If you have high blood pressure, heart conditions, or dizziness, your teacher must know. These ailments may be contraindicated, and your guide might modify a certain asana if it is not meant for you.
Also, as you are new to the practice, the stretching might cause your body to react in certain ways. Notice how your body feels. If anything feels very off to you, let your instructor know. Otherwise, you may gently notice your body opening in areas that haven’t been open before!
13. Yoga During Menstruation And Pregnancy
During your menstrual cycle, it is recommended to avoid inversions.
Also, if you are pregnant and want to start yoga, consult your doctor first. Consider prenatal classes. If you have been practicing yoga already, let your instructor know once your pregnancy is confirmed. She/he might modify some postures to make your practice comfortable. Meditation and relaxation techniques are highly recommended for the benefit of both mother and child.
What You Need To Buy To Start Practicing Yoga
What you wear is really important. You’ll need comfortable clothing that you can move in, whether it’s yoga pants or running shorts. You may already own something, or you may need to buy new clothes. New clothes can range from $5 to $100 or more, so choose an option that fits into your budget and that you feel most comfortable in.
Yoga mat: Many people choose to purchase their own mat rather than borrow or rent at a local studio, which can range from $2 to $10. Prices for your own mat can range from $15 to $200. And you get what you pay for, so we suggest aiming for a quality mat that’s in the $40 to $60 range.
Props and other gear: Most yoga studios will supply all of the other props you may need, like yoga blocks, straps, and blankets. Some may even provide bolsters, sandbags, and eye pillows. If you’re practicing at home, you don’t have to buy these props, either. Owning a mat, a set of blocks, and a strap can help support and ease you into your practice, but you can use the carpet as your mat, household items as blocks, and towels as straps, too.
Essential And Optional Materials To Buy
When you first start doing yoga, it’s hard to know what you really need to buy. The yoga industry continues to develop so much clothing and equipment that you might feel you need to spend hundreds of dollars before ever stepping foot in a studio.
The good news is, you actually need very little to get started. That said, if you’re starting a home practice, or you’d feel better purchasing yoga-specific apparel and equipment prior to your first class, here’s what you need to know.
#4 Get The Right Gear
Sure, technically you don’t need anything to do yoga. Ancient yogis used nothing more than a cotton rug to practice, but times are changing!?
Honestly, sometimes the best part of a new hobby is the new stuff you get to buy. I’m not the only one who feels that way, right? Moving on…
The number one thing you need as a yoga student is a good mat. Not only does your mat provide cushioning for your joints, it provides grip and stability, both of which are integral in preventing injury and helping maintain your balance.
There’s a ton of yoga mats on the market to match all budgets, and in the end it really depends on what you’re looking for.
As for clothes, you should wear what you want, but keep these things in mind:
- Skip bulky, heavy clothes like sweatpants and sweatshirts.?
- You’ll be more comfortable if your shirt fits snugly enough to keep it from riding up in the down dog position.
- If you’re taking heated classes, opt for clothes that wick sweat and moisture .
- Make sure your pants fit well, because if they’re too big you’re going to spend a lot of time yanking your drawers up.
There’s no need to drop hundreds of dollars on expensive clothes. Cute clothes are fun, but no one in your yoga class is going to judge you if you aren’t decked out head-to-toe in Lululemon.
Organic Essential Oil Candles Or Diffuser
When creating a yoga space, helping the mind and body relaxthrough smell is important. Certain essential oils such as Lavender are usedcommonly for relaxation.
If you are prone to stress or anxiety, try diffusing relaxing scents using an aromatherapy diffuser or scented candles. You can use to help you destress, for sleep, or for immunity.
Do note that these are some of the essential oils that I useregularly. There are many other types of oils you can explore or event blendtogether for different purposes.
Essential Oil Diffusers
Once you have selected your essential oil, you can fill up your yoga space with the scent using diffusers. The best way to retain all the health benefits of essential oils is to use rather than essential oil burners.
Instead of using heat, ultrasonic diffusers use electronicfrequencies to vibrate quickly and create an effect like boiling water withoutthe heat. This vibration helps to break down the essential oils intomicroparticles which are then diffused into the air as mist.
These are easy to clean, do not break, and have manyvarieties that suit different budgets. Finally, ultrasonic diffusers usuallycome with light functions and can also double up as a night light.
Fill your yoga space with your favourite scents using one ofthese three five star essential oil diffusers