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You basically do not need anything to practice Yoga.

The important thing is the attitude - a big heart and a small ego. Some loose fitting clothes or no clothes at all, and a small secluded spot in your house will be enough for you to start with.

A balanced diet (sattwik) also aids a great deal in Yoga Practice. A four hour interval between meals is advised. Practicing with a mat, a blanket and a pillow is recommended. Wear a stretch suit or something similar.
Where and What to Wear for Yoga

One of the advantages of Yoga is that it can be practiced almost anywhere, without special equipment, and by people of all ages.

In looking for a studio, choose a place that is relatively free from distractions, the place should be quiet, clean and well ventilated. Using a mat, a blanket, or towel will provide support and added comfort when you do lying or sitting positions.

It's best to wear loose or stretch clothing, such as shorts, sweat clothes, or leotards. Yoga is traditionally practiced barefoot, however, socks or soft-shoes can be put on. It is also best to practice Yoga on an empty stomach or about one or two hours after a full meal. Empty your stomach, clean your nostril and throat, and consume a glass of warm water 15 minutes before you start.

You may eat fruit, energy bar, drink a glass of juice or water an hour before class to avoid getting really hungry during practice.

When and How Long should you do Yoga

Practicing first thing in the morning is an excellent way to revitalize the mind and body, while practicing Yoga Breathing and Meditation Exercises at night helps induce a deep, restful sleep.

Like in regular exercise, you always start with easy poses to condition your body for the more difficult exercises that follows. Do not strain yourself. Pause when you feel pain or fatigue. Relaxing in between difficult exercises is also beneficial. Yoga Sessions need not be lengthy, but should be done daily. As little as 15 minutes of exercises and 15 minutes of Breathing and Meditation each day can yield benefits.

Yoga Props

As mentioned earlier, you basically do not need anything in order to Practice Yoga. All you need is the attitude - the desire to expand your self awareness. But this does not completely eliminate the need for the different Yoga Props.

These props help you achieve the proper alignment, balance and make the pose a bit easier. The use of props also minimizes the strain and supports your muscles, thus allowing you to save your energy by exerting less effort on a pose. Yoga props help people with Medical Ailments and the Elderly to cross their limitations. The props provide support, enabling them to do the poses that their ailments or old age prevent them from doing.

Here are some Yoga Props to start with:


non-slip mat
strap or belt
cotton or wool blanket
chair with arm rests
wooden or foam block or a phone book
Basic Yoga Session


A Basic Yoga Session need not take too long. A basic session usually follows this order:


Warm-up Exercises - conditions your body for safe transition into asana practice. For beginners, you may just use the warm-up poses as your entire practice. Warm-up exercises open the shoulder muscles, the spine, the hips, the lower back, and the groin.

Standing Poses - for alignment of the feet and the body. Opens the hips, stretches the legs, add strength to your back and increases your range of movement. Standing poses facilitates digestion, blood circulation and is good for those who want to lose weight.

Sitting Poses - sitting poses allows you to infuse with the breath and prana, and to revitalize from a pose by giving you a calm and quiet feeling. These poses greatly contribute in shaping your buttocks and legs, and in adding vitality and suppleness to the spine.

Twists - twist exercises releases the tension in your spines, relieves backaches and makes your shoulders more flexible. It also facilitates in the circulation of blood and nutrients in the body making it necessary for the health of the inter-vertebral discs.

Supine and Prone Poses - these poses releases tension in your abdomen and increase the mobility of your spine. It restores strength in your back, arms and legs, and releases your hips and groins.

Inverted and Balance Poses - inverted and balance poses defies gravity and develops coordination, increase stamina and strength, and improves grace, agility and poise. It also improves you concentration and focus since being quiet is necessary to be able to do these poses.

Backbends - backbends are the poses that benefit the adrenal glands and the kidney. It also releases tension in the front body and in your shoulders and pelvic girdle, and improves the flexibility of your spine.

Finishing Poses - these are the cooling-down exercises for Yoga.


Yoga Practices and Cautions

When performing the asanas, try to concentrate on each movement - the process of moving is just as important as attaining a given position.

Remember that you should not strain or continue holding any Yoga posture if it causes pain. Yoga isn't a competitive sport, and the extent of the stretch is less important than the technique. Each asana may be repeated up to three times, but it is better to perform a posture once correctly than repeating it three times quickly and sloppily.

Try to perform the poses in the prescribed order, since the routine is meant to help balance the different muscle groups.
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