Yoga is a group of ancient spiritual and physical practices that originated in India. In modern European and North American practice, the physical aspect of yoga is emphasized over the spiritual. Most modern Western yoga is based on a group of postures, called asanas, associated with Hatha Yoga, and is utilized as a form of exercise.
Yoga is very effective at providing physical exercise without impact, and can be used by many groups of people, including those with injuries and disabilities. Of course, if you're going to practice yoga and you have a prior condition, you should talk to your doctor first.
Some reported benefits of yoga include greater strength and flexibility, stress and anxiety relief, and regulation of health problems. It can help people who have heart disease, high blood pressure, back problems, and even asthma. Yoga has also said to help people who are suffering harmful effects of self-objectification.
If you would like to practice yoga, and experience the health benefits of this practice, it can help to use the right equipment. Using the best yoga equipment possible will make your yoga practice easier and help you get a better workout.
Remember to wear comfortable clothing to practice yoga. Natural fibers are ideal, since they breathe well and will prevent our bodies from over heating. Restrictive clothing can make it a lot harder to perform the necessary yoga positions. You won't need shoes to practice yoga - generally, it's done barefoot on a mat. A good yoga mat helps you define the space in which you're going to practice. It also helps you get traction, preventing slipping in difficult yoga positions.
While you can rent a yoga mat from the studio, there's some risk of contracting fungi or other conditions from it. Buying your own is not expensive, and means that you won't be exposed to the danger of other people's contagious conditions. Avoid cheap mats, however. The foam out of which they're made may not hold up as well, and can contain pthalates.
Other optional yoga equipment includes blankets and blocks, which can assist you in assuming difficult positions. If you'd like to practice yoga, having the right equipment can make it a lot easier.
Practicing with low quality equipment, or in clothing that restricts your movement can make yoga more difficult. So, if you're thinking of starting a yoga class, take a few moments to make sure that you have the right clothes and a high quality mat.