By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor
I do not consider myself a yogi, but I do practice yoga and also teach it. I feel I have a good understanding of asanas (poses) and their Sanskrit names. I understand the different styles of hatha yoga; Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga and Anusara to name a few. I understand what pranayama is. I have studied the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Eights Limbs of Yoga. I have read the Bhagavad Gītā (the condensed version!) and the Autobiography of a Yogi. I have been in the presence of great yogis and I have been humbled by their dedication. I love the yoga community and some of my dearest friends are either teachers or students of yoga.
Yoga is important to me. I like that it is non-completive. Plus, it simply makes me feel good. It has been 16 years since I took my first yoga class and I still remember the class and the teacher who taught it. Quite honestly it was a life altering experience. The friend who came with me did not get the same transformational experience, however she continued to investigate the practice until she found a teacher and style of yoga that she liked. I feel that everyone should experience yoga. I tell everyone that because yoga is so diverse, with the different styles and a myriad of teachers, there will be a class that will be for you. You just need to be willing to give it a try until you find the right fit.
In the meanwhile, here are some of my favorite finds of the moment, or “yoga complements” as I call them, aka yoga accessories to enhance your enjoyment of the practice:
|The founder of Sanuk Sandals, Jeff Kelley started making sandals out of inner tubes and indoor-outdoor carpet. They now have a line of Sandals made from recycled yoga mats. They feel like you are walking on your own mat without going to a class. And they come in ten different colors. Talk about meditation in motion!|
Finally an environmentally friendly yoga mat by Dream Yoga. Dream Yoga mats are made of Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE), a newly developed and patented material that contains no latex, PVC, rubber or toxins and is hypoallergenic. These mats weigh only 2 ½ pounds so they are great for travel. They come in four different colors: brown, pink, slate blue, and bright orange and five design options including a tree of life, peace sign, om symbol, lotus flower and skull and crossbones. I find the embroidered symbol helps me get centered and focused during my asana practice.
If you like to sweat in a yoga class and like to put a towel over your mat, Yogamatic has a towel for you. Choose from one of their 259 designs or upload your own picture for the personal touch. They also can put the same designs on yoga mats.
|In a previous article I mentioned the holographic technology bands from EFX and Power Balance. I wear mine faithfully and feel that I have more stamina and my balance is much better when I wear it. I have noticed other students wearing them in class also.|
|If you are not ready to go to a class or you just feel you do not have the time, check out Gaia.com. For a monthly ($9.95) or annual ($95.40) fee you can have a teacher teach you – virtually- from your home. This is a perfect solution to find the right style of yoga for you. Plus it not only introduces you to the basics, it also connects you to like minded people through the online community. If you are not interested in paying the fee, you can still get access to valuable articles and the blog. Love, love this site!|
And speaking of blogs here are a few that I like:
I would love to hear from you on anything yoga.