By Kimaya Singh
Yoga is one of the safest forms of exercise and can be practiced by people of all ages with relatively low risks. As a result, doing yoga at home can be a smart health investment, as long as careful preparations and a few minor investments are made.
Preparing your body, knowledge base, and space are necessary for practicing yoga at home. Becoming accustomed to proper yoga poses and creating an appropriate place to practice will get you ready to start.
Take a Class First
It is always a good idea to attend classes under the supervision of a certified yoga instructor before performing the exercises in an at-home session. Doing so will ensure you receive proper beginner instruction as well as knowledge of several techniques appropriate to your level of skill and health. Although yoga is a relatively low-risk form of exercise, certain poses and pranayama techniques, when done incorrectly or too soon, can present a much higher risk of injury than others. Therefore, proper instruction about and pose sequence are necessary to avoid injury.
Prepare your Yoga Space
Physical forms of yoga should be, if possible, practiced on a hardwood floor to provide the optimum surface for balancing and pose posture. Be sure to clear a wide space free of furniture, toys, books, or other distractions or potential safety hazards. Keeping the space clean and free of clutter is an important factor in removing all possible mental distractions from the area so that you can be as relaxed and stress-free as possible. Cuing your iPod or music library with peaceful instrumental music can also soothe and relax your mind.
Investing in the right equipment is important to doing at-home yoga safely and properly. DVDs and online yoga forums can complement an array of inexpensive but indispensable yoga equipment to get you ready for your at-home yoga practice.
Choose your Yoga Tutor
Online yoga forums, practice blogs, yoga teacher blogs, DVDs or online yoga tutorials all exist to offer what you’d miss in a yoga class – community and instruction. You can invest in several DVDs designed for your personalized yoga training sessions, or you can join an online forum for helpful tips and answers to questions.
The Right Equipment
There is a wide array of hatha yoga equipment available for purchase, but the basics include comfortable clothing, a yoga sticky mat, a yoga blanket, a bolster or two, and inexpensive blocks and straps. Make sure your clothing isn’t too big as that can get in the way of the poses, and remember that most healthy beginners need only a sticky mat and a blanket or bolster to achieve proper alignment. As you move into more advanced poses, or if you start out with strength or flexibility limitations, you will find the straps and blocks more helpful.
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