A few years ago, I decided I wanted to start yoga. So I bought an old paperback from the 1970s, called Richard Hittlemans Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan.
It…is definitely from a bygone era. As in, entire chapters devoted to the housewife and her daily chores. But it was a great self-paced introduction, and I spent about 30 minutes every day doing the routines. For an entire month!
The next logical step for me seemed to be yoga videos, but I absolutely hated them, and so I gave up. I need accountability, but I hate other people being near me when I exercise* (*sweat and groan). After about a 3-year hiatus, I did it. I worked up the courage. I bought a pair of yoga pants and a new t-shirt, and I went. To. A class.
Going to class was amazing! You guys! It was (third) eye opening! It was hip opening! It was like a runner’s high without losing my breath. I felt empowered to test out multiple studios in town, and found one that I really connected with.
Now practicing yoga is a daily habit, even if it’s only 2 minutes of measured breathing and stretching a day. I have a yoga mat next to my bed, so when I wake up I can do a few quick poses to get my blood flowing. That is, if it’s not covered in laundry…
I can’t help but feel like a character from Portlandia, espousing the benefits of yoga, when in reality, one of my absolute favorite parts is the gear it added to my life. Blankets for restorative meditation! Candles for restorative meditation! Mala beads for restorative mediation!
Hmmm…come to think of it…maybe I’m not practicing yoga…but just napping instead. Either way, here are a few of my tools:
Mexican Falsa Blankets , so ideal for adding height to the floor, extra support under your knees or neck, and to keep warm during restorative yoga. The studio I attend has a stack of about 8 per student. Goals.
Prayer Candles. There’s nothing quite as magical as doing yoga completely by candlelight. The idea came from one of my favorite studios, Sangha, where they offer candlelight yoga, well past my kiddos’ bedtime. I couldn’t make it as often as I liked, so I stocked up on prayer candles and now my bedroom looks like a scene from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet.
Scented Eye Pillows. – I’m not a germaphobe, but I draw the line at sharing eye pillows with other yoga students. Most studios sell them, or you can make them with dried lavender and flax seed for weight. (Future blog post?). Between a little girl who loves stealing my things, and a golden retriever who loves eating my things, I go through these fairly quickly.
Do you practice yoga? Are you looking to start? I’m still new in my journey but am enjoying it immensely. We’d love to hear about how you are able to practice best.