There's really only one thing you need to be successful with Yoga, and I will share that with you first because it's really all you need to know. I'll still tell you all the things that I have found essential after a year of practice, but if you start with number 1 and only number 1 - you'll be just fine.
And that magical thing is....
The Right Instructor
Shocked you, right? ;) I know it's obvious, but it is the truest thing I have to say in this entire post. I would not be as dedicated to and invested in Yoga without the exact instructor I have. I swear that I manifested her into my life - I know I did. I needed exactly her to get me into Yoga the way she has, and she even practices in my neck of the woods (which I don't like to adventure too far out of). She inspires, motivates, coaches, assists, comforts, and lifts. Not only that, she travels with most of the essentials I'm about to share with you, so quite literally - she is all I actually need.
Bust seriously: find the instructor YOU need. Attempt a workshop, and then follow the instructor if you liked them. Ask to try out a single class. Look around until the vibes are right - you'll know. It's absolutely essential!
Once you've done that (or if you're attempting it on your own at home), here's everything I use to get the most out of yoga:
1. Yoga mat
I have this pink one, and it's gloriously thick and comfy. It's a little annoying to travel around with (it doesn't roll up as tight as most), but it's really cozy for savasana!
2. Yoga Bricks
These are most helpful for beginners and/or if you have limited flexibility. They'll help you achieve poses you wouldn't otherwise, and learn to grow within them. I have this set of pink ones, and my favorite thing to do with them is relax in a supported bridge - ahh, so comfy.
3. Mat Spray
I LOVE Mat spray. I spray down my mat with lavender in the mornings when I'm easing myself into being awake, but other times I really like Chill Pill or an invigorating grapefruit one. I'm big on smells, and mat spray always helps me focus and set the right tone.
4. Pandora App
I use this when I'm practicing at home - there are a few different Yoga channels to choose from (I always go with the more nature-based one), and I put this on for soft background noise - it's incredibly relaxing.
5. Leggings, leggings, leggings
I like leggings more than actual yoga pants for yoga - mostly because they stay put. Some really good ones are the Andersen Sandy Pants by Matilda Jane. (If you need some, I know a girl - wink wink.)
6. Simple Tanks
Really get whatever you're comfortable in, but I tend to like layers. I usually wear something fitting that I know will stay put, and then something more loose on top of that. (Savasana Tank is found here.)
7. Lavender Essential Oil
Other Oils: Orange, Sandalwood, Grapefruit
Lavender is great for savasana and meditation, and I don't feel complete doing either without it (thank my yoga instructor for that one!), but depending on your mood and needs, other oils might be great, too. Grapefruit, Orange, and Lemon are all great for a lift in the winter. Sandalwood is a great meditation oil.
8. Water Bottle
Yoga isn't all that strenuous, but I still sometimes find that all that deep breathing makes me thirsty! I always keep a water bottle of some kind with me. Tervis is where it's at. (PS, I can score you a Matilda Jane one! wink wink wink wink)
9. Pranayama Bolster
I don't actually own one of these, I only use them in the studio, but I love them. I kind of despise reclined bound butterfly (supta buddah konasana), but when I have a bolster under my knees, it becomes one of my favorites for clearing chakras. They're also comfy to sit on during meditation, though you can also just use a brick or pillow.
10. Yoga Blanket
I actually run a little hot, so I don't normally use a blanket - many people like them during savasana, though - if only for the comforting weight. If you run cold, though, or just love the feel of that comfort, you can get a traditional mexican yoga blanket if it makes you happy! I usually grab a folded up one to use as a pillow in the studio.
My version of yoga (the way my instructor shares it with me) is very calm, peaceful, and relaxing. It's incredibly soft. Candles are usually a part of the equation, and I sometimes use them at home, too. My favorites are the Mrs. Meyer's Lavender (I have a thing for lavender) and Target's Aromatherapy line (Grateful is maybe my favorite, but I love every single one of them - Happiness is a really bright one for winter!)
12. Pretty Nail Polish
I know, what? But I'm telling you this one girl to girl. Do you know how many times I've been ready to head to yoga and realized my toenail polish was a hot mess? In summer I'm aware of this sort of thing since I rarely wear socks May-Sept, but it's easy to forget about in winter until you'll be barefoot on your mat. I consider it an indulgence to get a new bottle of Essie every season and keep my toes mat-ready. This season's shade is called "guilty pleasures" - it's actually a little pinker in person, totally gorgeous.
There you go...all set for a cozy, relaxing, pretty yoga experience.
Anything else you'd add?
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