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A quick tutorial to introduce you to all the stuff you'll need to get started. Using props in your practice is really beneficial and will help you progress more quickly by providing you with the necessary support.
Traditionally, Yoga asana was not practised on a mat or with any sort of props or help. A Yogi-in-training would sit at the feet of his Guru and conscientiously learn the teachings of Yoga.
In the West, we have taken Yoga to mean the physical practice and have done everything in our power to make that physical practice more comfortable.
Using a good quality mat, appropriate props and comfortable, stretchy clothes helps to take us deeper into the physical practice and makes more difficult poses a bit more accessible to us all.
Why are props so beneficial?
Props are so beneficial because they help you take the shape of the poses correctly, even if you have limitations in your body in that pose. Props are super helpful to either bring the floor up closer to where you can reach or extend your reach down to where it’s needed. They give you support where needed and help to restrict certain actions that may compromise your body. Using props is not a sign that you can’t do the pose or that you’re a newbie, it means you’re brave enough to ask for help when you need it. After 15 years of practising Yoga, I still use props in every class.
My mat is sticky/slippery. How do I get rid of that?
If you’ve just bought yourself a brand new mat and your first practice was a disaster because you were sliding all over the place, fear not! I have a solution for you. When you open your first mat up and feel that slipperiness, pop it in the bath with a teaspoon of Sunlight dishwashing liquid and stomp around on it. Make sure the water is not too hot and when you dry your mat don’t leave it in direct sunlight. It should be smooth sailing from there.
Do I have to wear yoga pants?
You don’t have to wear Yoga pants but they are super comfy and give you the ability to get into all the poses without restriction. As long as you’re wearing comfortable, breathable and stretchy clothes, you should be fine. Try not to practice in anything that restricts your movement or makes it difficult to focus on the physical poses. I also recommend wearing quite a snug, stretchy top as t-shirts tend to fall down or ride up and you spend half the class readjusting your clothes.
What kind of strap is the best?
Make sure you use a solid strap, not one that can stretch. It also helps if your strap has two d-rings on the end so you can use it in certain poses like chaturanga and dancer’s pose to make a loop. I use a karate belt that I sewed the d-rings onto and it works a charm.