Do not think about what you can do or what you can not do. Just let yourself be here and let your heart be willing.
Although I have been buying yoga clothes steadily since I started earlier this year, this past month I purchased a non-slip yoga mat, a yoga block and a strap to facilitate my self-practices at home. I see it as a milestone in my yoga journey because now I can’t deny that I practice yoga. It’s a part of my daily life now and when I am away on holiday, I always take time to find a yoga class or to practice on my own.
I purchased all my new yoga gear from a company called Hatha Yoga. I was looking for a non-slip mat but I also didn’t want a very thick one. The yoga studio that I go to provides yoga mats by Manduka so there’s no need for me to bring a mat to class each day. I wanted one that I could use at home, but that I could also fold up and travel with easily. I stumbled upon Hatha Yoga online and I really loved their products and the deep, cool colors their products come in. My mat is plum and about 3mm thick. It has a non-stick surface on one side that keeps it from slipping around the floor and a wave-like design on the top side that keeps me from sliding around. It cleans easily and is absolutely non-slip, even when I’m pouring sweat. It fits perfectly on top of the Manduka mat although it’s a little slimmer in width. It’s fine for me because I’m not that big, but I imagine if you have much broader shoulders, the mat might feel a little small width wise. It’s 100% pure rubber and exactly what I was looking for in a yoga mat.
The yoga block I got is made from pure cork. It’s heavier than the traditional foam blocks, but it’s very solid and the extra weight helps ground it, especially when I’m leaning on it in postures like rotating trikonasana or half moon pose. It’s the same size as standard yoga blocks and I’m a stickler for appearances so I really like that it looks good with my yoga mat.
Same with the strap. Made of 100% cotton, it’s quite comfortable to use. The end is wrapped in leather for a finished feel and the buckle is plastic with ridges so that the strap never slips from place. I love the colors and how it complements my mat and block and the quality is great.
My practice has gotten stronger and there are a lot of asanas that are available to me now that weren’t there when I began a few months ago. In fact, there are asanas I can do now that I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be able to do within the year. From variations on backbends to inversions to deep hip openers to arm balances, I see little bits of improvement each time I go. I am confident in practicing on my own because I’ve learned how to correct myself in the postures and how to practice safely. And I know the value os using yoga props to assist ones yoga practice. I used to think props were a crutch and I’ve realized that props can be a stepping stone, helping us to move into deeper postures and giving us strength or flexibility where we might not have it yet on our own. I know how to use props like the strap and block to help my yoga practice and I’m thrilled that yoga has become such an important part of my life.