Yoga can be practiced anywhere. It is offered in many gyms and studios, or if you desire structure to your practice or want to learn a specific form, you can check out yoga videos from the library or purchase materials online. Many studios have new-student specials, and a simple on-line search can show you the closest studio to you.
Before you attempt poses on your own, make sure to attend classes at a studio to receive proper instruction and training. Once you're familiar with the poses and correct alignments, yoga DVDs enable you to take your practice wherever you go. If you are familiar with your practice, all you need is a towel or mat or whatever else you want to practice on.
When practicing yoga, wear comfortable clothing that you can easily stretch in. Because of the variety of poses, it is best to wear pants or shorts that provide a lining or are made of spandex material. Bring a mat and a water bottle to all classes and if you are to a class where you know you will sweat (such as Bikram or power yoga), bring a towel. It is important to stay hydrated throughout your practice. To avoid injury, try not to work the same muscles each day. If you do have any health problems (such as heart disease or bad knees), let your instructor know. Finally, remember to breathe and smile!
- Drink plenty of water before and after practicing. (Classes such as Bikram yoga are held in heated rooms.) This helps replenish your body with the fluids lost by sweating.
- Listen to your body. If something hurts, feels wrong, or puts undesirable strain/tension on your body, stop and take a break. You might need to build up your strength in order to master a move, or you might not be holding the pose correctly. That is one of the benefits of yoga — it puts you in-tune with your body. Don't ignore what it's telling you!
- Don't judge yourself (or others) during a practice. Instead, appreciate yourself for taking the time out of your day to do something good for your body!
Reviewed by Nancy L. Brown, Ph.D.
Written by Jenny McElaney, College Writer
Special thanks to Cindy Stack-Keer for reviewing this content
The Eight Main Yogas, YogaWorld.com
Yoga for Individuals with Disabilities, The National Center on Physical Activity and Disabilities