“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
One of the best things about yoga is that it is so accessible to everyone and you don’t really need all that much to start your own practice. While I love fancy leggings as much as the next yogi, they certainly aren’t necessary. Yoga doesn’t care how much your pants cost, or where you bought your mat. The most important thing is just showing up! Unrolling your mat, day after day, and moving with your breath.
That being said, with all this snow in Boston right now, it can be hard to get to the yoga studio. What’s a New England yogi to do? One thing is for sure, don’t let the snow stop your Vinyasa flow! I’m here today to share some of my favorite pieces for starting a home yoga practice.
Let’s just say that the radiators in my apartment don’t always keep the temperatures toasty. At the beginning of my daily practice I’m usually bundled up, and I love to wear this Namaste beanie while I warm up with some Sun Salutations.
Rock your warrior in these relaxed drawstring pants. They move easily from Hatha to hangouts on the couch, while the snow keeps you indoors. The material is moisture wicking, so you will stay dry during even the sweatiest practice. These babies can also be worn in salt-water for all those SUP yoga fans out there! How cool is that? Plus, the graphic arrowhead pattern is fun, without being too crazy. Move fast and you can score these pants on sale at Without Walls (Urban Outfitters) in Cambridge.
When you take a yoga class in a studio, generally props are available for your use. While yoga props aren’t essential for a home practice, they are certainly nice to have around. Straps are great for opening up tight hips and shoulders, and can give you that extra oomph you need when trying to move deeper into asana (like dancer’s pose). Blocks are awesome props that have a variety of uses as well. The aid with balance and backbends, are useful in restorative poses, can be used as neck rests in savasana, and offer you any extra height you may need. These two props are inexpensive and can be really beneficial to your practice.
Keep your mat clean and smelling fresh with a mat spray. This one is made with water, white vinegar and organic essential oils (lemongrass + sage). I got Manduka’s Mat Restore Spray, because it was free with the purchase of my mat, but you could easily DIY your own! Think of all the essential oil possibilities… mmm… lavender.
Keeping hydrated is SO important, so why not do it in style? I really appreciate well-designed products, and this bottle is a great example. It’s made of glass, so your water always tastes great, and you can feel good about being environmentally responsible. The drinking spout is the perfect size, so you never have to worry about spilling while working out. The silicon sleeve also comes in an array of colors, so there is a shade for everyone. Plus, bkr donates to the world water crisis with the purchase of every bottle.
Whether it’s for running yoga apps to take classes (I like Yogify, YogaGlo, and Yoga Studio), reading and learning (currently devouring “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart Tolle), or seeking inspiration from the yogis of Instagram (check out @yoga_girl, @coffeeandrainbows, @summerperez, @heidiwilliams89 + @abbywebster – just to name a few), technology can be a great tool in your home practice. Just make sure to stay focused, and eliminate distractions when you are actually on your mat!
I like to create an ambience similar to that of a studio in my yoga space at home. I light soy candles with calming scents to create a relaxing environment in which to practice. You can try incense or essential oils too!
Looking to take your meditation practice to the next level? How about starting to use a mala? To give you a brief explanation, you repeat your mantra 108 times – once for each of the beads on the mala strand. Dig deep and find out exactly what you want to meditate on, and what energies you want to bring to your life. Different stones have different meanings, and there is a combination for whatever it is you are trying to manifest. My mala is made of sodalite, which is known to balance emotional states, and to promote calmness, peace, intuition + harmony.
I have a love affair with graphic print racerbacks. Seriously, my collection has gotten a little out of hand. They are perfect for layering, and serve multiple functions in my wardrobe. This one was screen-printed by Toronto printshop, CryWolf Clothing. If I was attending a hot yoga class, I might add a moisture wicking tank underneath to keep me dry. For an at-home-flow, throw this racerback over a strappy sports bra, and you’re ready for everything from downward dog to handstand.
Cue the strappy sports bra! I’m a sucker for details, and love the straps on this piece. Worn on it’s own, or with a racerback, this bra top offers the ultimate in style, comfort and support. Show off those chaturanga shoulders (it’s hard work), even if it’s just to your dog.
Keep those flyaways tamed, and keep yourself cool as you work on your arm balances and inversions. There’s nothing worse than getting sweaty hair all over your face.
I love my Manduka ProLite for practicing at home. But really, any mat you have will do! If you are planning on investing a little more time and money on your mat, do your research! What will you be using it for? Hot yoga? Make sure your mat has great grip so you won’t slip. Traveling? Try and find a mat that is light, and folds for easy packing and storage. Have bad knees? Maybe a mat with some extra padding will do you some good.
I hope I have given you some ideas and insight into starting your own home practice. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to give me a shout! Practice on, friends.
Until next time,