9.04.2014

Basic Yoga Gear for Newbies

My freshman year of college, yoga was one of my required classes for my theatre program. I rolled out of bed around 7:30am three days a week to throw on some comfy clothes, down a cup of coffee, and head out the door with a few of my dorm mates on our way to class. It was my first ever experience with yoga and eighteen-year old Stephanie totally didn't get it. Some of my classmates took to yoga like a fish to water. They stretched and breathed their way through intermediate and advanced poses with skill and ease while I tried my best to just stay upright in downward dog, never mind remembering to "breathe" my way through anything. I never practiced outside of class (except for the occasional head stand because I was just that impressed I was even able to do it) and I focused far too much of my energy on what I couldn't do each class rather than on how I was improving over time. The whole intent and purpose of yoga was totally lost on me and once the two required semesters were over, so was my experience as a yogi.

Fast-forward fourteen years later and I now finally realize what a wasted opportunity that was. Having yoga pre-scheduled into my life three days a week and the cost of class already paid for with tuition was an amazing gift that went right over my head. For the last few months, though, I've been feeling the pull to do yoga again not just as a means of exercise, but as part of an overall shift toward a more balanced lifestyle that focuses on building strength and flexibility -both physical and internal- in addition to mindful meditation and relaxation. Lucky for me there's a pretty great yoga studio walking-distance from my apartment with surprisingly affordable rates. I've started off with the goal of two classes per week but eventually I'd like to work my way up to practicing five days a week.

I think of myself as a newbie considering it's been fourteen years since even attempting a yoga pose and my gear is just as lacking as my experience. With the exception of a decade-old mat and the faded yoga pants that have become my "work from home" uniform, I don't really have that much gear to speak of. I'm lacking quite a few basics, especially if I intend to practice at home some days, so I definitely see some yoga-related purchases in my near future. Maybe I'll start with a pretty little yoga mat.



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Have you ever tried yoga? Any tips or advice to share with a newbie like me?

PS - Linking up with Nicole today!

xo

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4 comments

  1. I have an on-again, off-again affair with yoga. I would say find the type that works best for you and don't be afraid to try different kinds (and different instructors) until you hit upon the one you like and enjoy

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  2. I've been trying to consistently do yoga (I do Bikram yoga) for almost 3 years now! It never ceases to amuse me how 'mental' of a thing yoga is - focusing on poses, convincing myself to go consistently, and (in the case of Bikram/hot yoga), fighting against my inner voice to stay in the room despite the heat. Best of luck with starting yoga again - I think it's the best gift we can give to ourselves.

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  3. I've been experimenting and trying out different classes and, so far, I've enjoyed them all in different ways. I'm really happy with the yoga studio I found in our neighborhood so I'm planning to just continue trying different the types/teachers available there until I find the one I just can't live without.

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  4. You are so right - yoga is just as much mental as it is physical. I think that's part of what drew me back to it again!

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