I’ve been a little light on posting lately, I know. There are several reasons: it’s finally nice outside, so I’ve been spending time in my garden, harvesting spring yummies and tending to the future summer noms; and I’ve also been trying to let go of some stress like this guy. I let myself get burned out on trying to maintain a full-time job, a full-time blog and part-time life. The best therapy for me for burn out has been to get out from in front a computer screen. Hence the less frequent posts…
The garden has it’s own therapies: being outside, working with my hands and growing my own food. I’ve also rediscovered hot yoga. I’ve been practicing off and on for years, but I finally decided to make it a habit. It’s honestly changed my life. Among many other benefits, I have WAY more energy, even though I get up at 5:00AM every day! I’m also starting to relax more and I’m stronger. It’s been a major combat to my creative writing block.
One of the reasons it took me so long to get serious about yoga is because I didn’t have the right equipment, which made for a frustrating experience. Yoga is just like any other hobby – the right tools make a HUGE difference. Here’s what I’ve learned about what to bring to hot yoga, hopefully this will help some of you on your yoga journey!
Small hand towel
I love the Gaiam Thirsty Yoga Hand Towel for wiping sweat off during practice. I keep it within reach because I really hate getting sweat into my eyes. It makes my contacts blurry and distracts me from what I should be focusing on – my breathing. Yes, you could just use a small towel you already have, but this one is really compact and dries really quickly, which I found easier to deal with.
This one was difficult for me to find, and then even more difficult to figure out the best way to use it that fit my practice. Both of these are decent options: The Rat Towel and the Shandali Yoga Towel, but I have yet to find the perfect towel. Both claim to be non-slip after a little water or sweat. Without moisture, THEY ARE NOT NONSLIP. I go without one for the first half of my practice. When we start doing abs/back strengthening, I pull out my towel.
Great Yoga Mat
I love my lululemon The Mat, and I use it every single day. It’s held up well, and is very padded. I remember my first days in yoga, using a cheapo mat (like this one), and how uncomfortable and slippery it got. If you live close to a Lululemon store, they will let you try it out for free, and the color selection is much better than online. A great alternative if you’re just starting out is the manduka mat that comes with a carrier – a fantastic buy: Manduka Black Mat Pro Yoga Package. Expect to invest$70++ on a high quality mat. Another great option (and eco-friendly) is Manduka eKO Lite Natural Rubber Wet-Grip Yoga Mat.
Pants that move with you
I love leggings, especially capris. These in particular are my all time fave: Under Armour Women’s UA Studio Tight Capri. They move really well, fit perfectly snug, and don’t stretch out when they get wet. I have other pairs of capris and leggings, but I find myself washing these more often so I can wear them again.
I prefer tops that have a built in bra and are snug to my body. I really hate to be distracted by clothes that bunch up or need to be adjusted constantly. Even worse are the ones that don’t wick moisture. The fabric is key in the here. A few of my favorites:
prAna Women’s Sabin Chakara Top – cute and simple, I’ve found sales as low as $28.
Lucy Women’s Feel The Beat Singlet – an adorable top that will keep you cool and won’t slow you down.
Icebreaker Women’s Spirit Tank – made from Merino wool, one of my favorite fabrics! I nabbed mine on sale for $27 on Amazon.
Prana Top – I love the stripes and the back is so cute!
Yoga takes some time and dedication to get used to. It took me several months before the movement with breathing finally clicked. Give it time, but it will grow on you and you’ll become an addict (like me).
What’s your favorite way of reducing tension and stress in your life? Are you a fellow yogi?
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