Starting yoga at home is easy and you only need a few basics to get started.
After that, the most important thing you’ll need is comfortable clothes – not too tight, not too baggy. You want to be able to move freely without your clothes getting in the way.
Once you have a routine in mind and are dressed to go, there are some pieces of equipment that can help. You don’t need all of these and it is best to start with the minimum then buy more as needed to suit your yoga practice.
This is probably the one piece of equipment you can safely purchase before getting started. A good non-skid yoga mat can be used anywhere to allow you to practice your yoga safely.
Whether your floor is carpet, tiles or timber, a yoga mat will protect you and the floor, making it more comfortable. If you have arthritis or joint issues, it is a good idea to use a thicker mat. Always lay your mat flat on a level surface to avoid tripping or rolling an ankle.
It’s not necessary to turn yourself inside out with every yoga pose, but sometimes props can help. They support you in certain poses and deepen others.
Yoga props that can help include:
Yoga Strap – This is looped around the bottom of your feet to help deepen bends. A strap can also support your leg during leg raises.
To do a stretch behind your back, grip the ends of the strap and stretch your arms backwards.
Yoga Blocks – These offer stability and support. Use them to make certain postures more challenging or easier. They can also be used if you need to sit and hold a pose for long periods of time.
Yoga Bolster – Used to support the body in a number of ways, a yoga bolster helps with form and comfort. They are available for different uses and in a wide variety of styles e.g. leg or back support.
One way a bolster is used is to make your Corpse pose more comfortable. In this pose it can be used as either a support behind your knees or a neck pillow.
There are other popular styles including crescent-shaped cushions for supporting your back and protecting the knees. Wedge-shaped cushions for under your bum are also good. These stop you from slouching when doing seated yoga poses and meditations.
Yoga Blanket – When doing the Corpse pose, some people like to cover themselves. This can promote deep relaxation. It is a good idea if you don’t use a blanket, to put a tracksuit over your yoga clothes before going into Corpse pose.
Blankets are also used by some people instead of a mat. Blankets are ideal if you have any musculoskeletal issues as it will keep your muscles warm. Cold muscles can tense up and therefore be more prone to injury.
Other Helpful Yoga Props
In addition to the props listed above, some of the following might be useful:
Folding Yoga Chair – Metal or timber, a folding chair can help with balance and holding certain poses when starting out. The seat of the chair should have a fitted cushion or be upholstered to prevent any slipping. The chair should also be placed on your mat so it doesn’t move or slip.
Another time that a chair is useful is if you can’t stand up for very long or wish to try certain upright poses in a seated position without going down onto the floor.
Walls – No need to buy these! Use the walls to steady yourself in different poses, either standing or inverted poses such as shoulder stands. For extra steadiness, use a corner of the room.
How to Start Yoga at Home
When you are first starting yoga at home, begin slowly and only do what feels comfortable. Warm up and cool down with some stretches at the start and end of each routine. Find a safe yoga routine to enjoy at home, start with the basics and go from there.
You won’t need all props above, particularly at the start. But as your skill and confidence grows, try those you think might help.