What Do I Need to Begin Yoga?

Here’s what you need in order to begin practicing yoga: absolutely nothing. You just need yourself. That being said, many people find having some yoga equipment helps their practice and makes it more comfortable to perform certain poses. The right yoga equipment can even improve your practice by easing your body into difficult poses or modifying them until you can do them fully.

So what are the best tools for beginner yoga practitioners? Here’s what I suggest.

Yoga mat

If you’re going to purchase anything for yoga, a yoga mat is a top priority. The mat keeps your feet from slipping and provides some cushioning for your joints. It’s also easy to roll up and take with you so you can practice anywhere.

Comfortable clothes

Yoga pants can be found at many stores in a variety of sizes and styles. But you don’t specifically have to buy them to perform yoga. Any clothing that is stretchy and allows you to move fully will do.

Form-fitting clothes that allow flexible range of motion are probably better than loose clothes because loose pieces of fabric can get in your way during poses. If yoga clothes aren’t your thing, you can check out other types of athletic clothing too.

Relaxing music

A lot of people like to listen to music while doing yoga, as with other types of workouts. But unlike intense cardio or weightlifting sessions, you probably want something calmer to listen to during your yoga routine. You can also find instructional CDs, DVDs, or online videos that walk you through a yoga routine while playing calm music in the background.

Yoga classes or memberships

Speaking of instruction, you’ll do yourself a whole lot of good by finding an instructor to work with, especially as a beginner. Working with someone who already knows what they’re doing will ensure that you are practicing yoga safely and doing the poses properly. You don’t want to be performing yoga for years, only to discover you’ve been doing some basic thing wrong the whole time!

Many areas offer in-person classes at studios, gyms, or community centers. But if you can’t attend a class or just prefer not to, you’ll also find lots of good beginner yoga instruction online. In fact, many online instructors are people who also teach in-person classes.

An open mind

Yoga will challenge your body and mind. So one of the best things you can bring with you as a beginner is a willingness to explore what you are capable of. Don’t discount a particular pose as something you could never do. Start at the beginning and work your way up to more complicated poses. Allow your mind to embrace the experience of yoga.

In the end, you don’t need to stress out about yoga equipment. As long as you breathe through the movements and listen to your body, you’ll benefit from your yoga practice. A mat and comfortable clothes will help you get into the right mindset when you begin your routine. And the knowledge of an expert instructor will provide you with a better yoga experience. Enjoy the process of beginning to learn yoga!