It’s the time of year where everyone tries to turn over a new leaf. In my early twenties, I loved setting new goals and resolutions for myself. Now, I like to take the new year as a time to reflect about where I’m at and think about where I’d like to go. From there, I see what new habits, hobbies, or experiences I want to add to my life. Keep the pressure low – especially this new year, with so many other things going on around us.
Yoga became a part of my life during college where my performing arts school offered daily morning yoga classes for students. I grew up in the south and in the late nineties and early aughts – yoga had not really broken through there. I never considered myself athletic and thought the practice would be too difficult for me. A week into practicing I was hooked. I loved the focus on breath, the chance to be still in postures, and challenging myself to see fitness, my body and the world in new ways.
At-home workouts are thriving now more than ever and there are lots of ways to begin an at-home yoga practice. My favorite standby for years has been Adriene Mishler of Austin, Texas who created Yoga with Adriene on YouTube several years ago. She’s blown up in the past year and was featured in the New York Times. Start there! She offers lots of free full-length classes on her page and even has 30-day yoga challenges appropriate for any level.
Yoga originated in the east with predominantly male leaders, teachers, and influencers. In 1947, Indra Devi became the first female to study with Indian yoga master T. Krishnamacharya. Today in Western culture, it feels like the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and yoga is heavily populated by women but men have a lot to gain from yoga too.
All you need for yoga is yourself and a mat but sometimes accessories and clothing can help boost your confidence. Here are five of my favorite yoga accessories to enhance your practice.
- Manduka Pro Yoga Mat, Starting at $68
It’s always hard to decide on a yoga mat – you can’t go wrong with anything from Manduka! They have a line of yoga mats ranging in style from entry level, naturally sourced to super grip. The Manduka Pro Yoga Mat is extremely comfortable and great to practice on.
- Gaiam Essentials Yoga Blocks, $14.98
Yoga blocks are the first accessory you’ll need in your practice. They can help you deepen postures without hurting yourself and can be configured in limitless ways to assist you. Gaiam has a great set of yoga blocks at an affordable price!
- Astura Yoga Mat Detox, $12.99
Astura’s natural and organic Yoga Mat Detox is the perfect cleaner for your yoga mat. It’s made of all natural ingredients and is good for your mat and other yoga accessories. The lavender scent is subtle and also helps to create a more soothing practice.
- Shandali Hot Yoga Towel, $19.99
Yoga towels are designed to help to aid in practice by absorbing sweat and adding more grip to your mat. Place it at the top of your mat while your practice. Like everything in yoga – it’s there to help you. Use it to wipe sweat from your hands and face or leave it down on your mat to press into.
- FeetUp Trainer, $134.10
The FeetUp Trainer is a great tool to help you begin inversions. It’s kind of like the Peloton for yoga in that FeetUp offers training to help you begin your headstand journey and other inventive ways to use their product. A very fun tool to play around with during your practice!
You don’t need these things to start your practice but I know that these products have helped me deepen my practice on the mat and they could assist you as well. Dive into the world of yoga and allow yourself to be surprised at what you can learn on your mat about yourself and the world around you.
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