What You Need for Yoga Class - dummies

By Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein

When you choose a Yoga class you think can work for you, you may be nervous about actually taking the plunge and heading to your first session. Here are some tips that will answer your questions about what to wear and take, as well as how to stay safe (and in the good graces of your classmates) as you begin your group Yoga journey.

Deciding what to wear

Yoga practitioners wear a wide variety of exercise clothing. When selecting your own Yoga wardrobe, your most important consideration needs to be whether the clothing allows you to move and breathe freely. Another practical matter is dressing for the temperature of the room. It’s wise to have an extra layer that you can wear until you warm up and that you can put back on as you cool down.

Packing your Yoga class kit

If you’re serious about your Yoga practice, it’s a good idea to invest in your own personal mat and possibly other practice items. Although many Yoga centers furnish mats, as well as blocks, straps, blankets, and bolsters, consider bringing your own. They can be sweaty and smelly after they’ve been used frequently.

Not every teacher uses props to the same extent, and the need for these various Yoga helpers varies with the style of the class and the teacher’s lineage and preferences.

Before attending a class, find out what kind of floor it practices on. If the floor is carpeted, a towel or a sticky mat works. A hardwood floor may require more padding, especially if your knees are sensitive. In that case, bring along a thick Yoga mat or a rug remnant that’s a little longer than your height and a little wider than your shoulders.

A folded blanket is also helpful if you need a pad under your head when you’re lying down. If you tend to get cold, bring along a blanket to cover yourself during final relaxation. You want to make this item your own because you use it not just for support, but also to cover your body.

As your teacher becomes familiar with your unique needs, she may suggest some other personalized props for you to bring to class:

  • Your own Yoga mat or rug.

  • A towel.

  • A blanket.

  • Extra clothing to layer on if the room is too cool or to take off if you’re too warm.

  • A bottle of water to satisfy your thirst and keep you well hydrated. A Green Yoga approach is recommended: Use a steel flask or a glass bottle to bring your own water instead of toting commercial water in a plastic bottle.

  • Enthusiasm, motivation, and good humor.