When I first started practicing yoga, I wasn’t sure what to bring to each class. There were a handful of times when a teacher would say to me, “Oh, you don’t have our own mat?” or “You’re not going to drink any water”? It can be embarrassing and intimidating to be underprepared. Over the years I have accumulated bits and pieces of the yoga puzzle. As I am finishing up my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, I think I’ve finally got it down. Here is my list of necessities for a yoga practice.
A Yoga Mat
This may not seem obvious at first, but having your own mat is invaluable. No longer will you feel bound to going to a yoga studio in order to practice. Practice at home. At a park. On vacation! Not to mention, you will no longer have to share a mat with strangers. Who was using that studio mat last? Are they recovering from a cold? Did they sneeze on the mat!?
Cleaning Tip: Admit it, you sweat on your yoga mat. To keep it sanitized and fresh to the touch, wipe your mat down using a clean damp rag with a few drops of Lemon essential oil. When your friends borrow your mat they will absolutely comment on how great it smells.
Taking notes before and after a yoga practice is extremely beneficial. It will give insight to what does and does not work for you. Your inner awareness will grow exponentially. What to take notes on:
There are times during a yoga class where you just can’t resist the urge to gulp down a bunch of water. You’re dizzy. You’re sweating. It’s necessary, but not the best timing. Drinking lots of water in the middle of a practice can deplete the agni (inner fire) that you’ve been building. Work on hydrating regularly throughout the day, especially a few hours before your next yoga practice. I carry around a 64 ounce stainless steel water bottle that helps me get through the day. By all means bring a water bottle to yoga class, but refrain from gulping. If you’re dizzy, take a seat and drink in small sips.
Boost Your Water: Add 2-5 drops of Citrus Bliss essential oil blend to your water. It’s uplifting, cleansing and tastes like a dreamcicle (Remember those? They were delicious!).
There is no shame in using props. Be honest with yourself and realize when a prop would help you stretch deeper or more safely. There are positions I cannot get in to without the use of props. Every human body is different: just because the person practicing next to you can easily get into a posture doesn’t mean you should or that you are inadequate if you get nowhere near. Be kind to yourself. Get a couple of yoga blocks and a strap. These will help your practice truly deepen in a healthy, safe way.
There are a few go-to essential oils that I use during every yoga practice. They are invaluable tools to bring to a class, not to mention a quick way to make new friends.
I hope you can learn from my experiences in order to bring confidence, safety and health to your yoga practice. If you want to purchase any of the six essential oils I mentioned, please visit MY STORE. Be sure to use only Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils when consuming, such as the Citrus Bliss mentioned above.