So now you’re interested in trying Yoga. Learning a new sport or trying a new form of exercise like yoga can be a bit daunting! Two big challenges are finding the time to workout or a class to attend and having the right equipment to maximize a yoga workout. Here are a few tips and tricks to overcome both of these obstacles.
Working Out Anywhere, Anytime . . .
It’s great to take a class or two to get started in yoga especially to help learn a few poses and breathing techniques. If you’re able to fit these into your routine, fantastic! Many classes though are offered on limited schedules and a late night at work can totally throw off any best intentions.
With schedules like Chris and I keep, there is not enough room in a suitcase to bring equipment with us when we travel so we often get creative and look around us for things to use in our hotel rooms or any location we find ourselves in.
Don’t let a gym’s schedule, a missed class or being away from home sabotage your routine. With a few simple tools, you can get a yoga workout in anywhere, anytime.
Mats, Blocks, Straps and more . . .
In an ideal world, we’d all be able to run down to the local sporting goods store, drop a few hundred dollars and have the top of the line yoga equipment to try this new sport. In reality, most people are in survival mode and even splurging on a gym membership or yoga class can be a big sacrifice.
Believe it or not, Chris knows what it’s like to feel the “financial pinch” (Chris lived out of his car at one point, and I…well, I won’t even get into it in this blog). We always try to be prudent with our finances and we do invest in quality equipment as we can. But even more importantly, we’ve gotten really resourceful in finding things around us to use as workout equipment so we can maximize any workout time we can get in our crazy schedules.
While a gym or yoga class typically provide the equipment to use during a class, we discovered these yoga essentials that can actually be created from household items, allowing you to make up a missed class after a late night at work, workout from home at anytime, or workout when traveling.
1. Yoga Mat: We have a couple of options here. You can use a folded up blanket or a beach towel, or if you’re on a hard slick surface—like tile or hard wood flooring—you can pick up a rubber mat intended to go under your rugs to keep them from slipping. It offers a little bit of padding for your back and bottom as well as a non-slick surface.
2. Support Blocks: Blocks can help you get into poses and maintain appropriate posture when you can’t quite reach the floor. If you’re just starting out you can use a chair or the back of your sofa as a support. As your flexibility increases, try using good sturdy books (like that unused dusty hotel room phone book that the internet has made obsolete) or shoe boxes. You can even pick up a few old paperbacks and duct tape them together for the perfect size.
3. Yoga Strap: The use of a yoga straps help lend artificial length to your arms or legs to bring you into a full pose. For example, you would wrap the strap around the feet if you can’t touch your toes in standing forward bend or hold the strap in both hands behind the back for certain shoulder stretches. Once again, you don’t need anything special to enjoy the benefits of a yoga strap. Use a jump rope, the belt from an old bath robe or coat, panty hose, or any sturdy fabric cut into strips. I use Chris’ t-shirts. 🙂
4. Meditation Pillow: Funky pillows with peace signs and flowers might be your style, but for this frugal mama, I use a good ol’ sleeping pillow for bottom-resting and meditation. To incorporate your own style, buy a fun pillowcase!
5. Yoga DVD: While there are some incredible exercise DVDs out there, you don’t have to buy one of these to get proper in-home yoga training. Get online and check out the loads of instructional videos on YouTube. Not only are these videos free, but this also allows you to find an instructor that fits you best. This is also a great solution if you find yourself stuck in a hotel room!
By getting creative and looking for inexpensive solutions to use in working out, you can eliminate excuses and also be ready to overcome any challenges to your schedule so that you can stay on track. Yoga is a great form of exercise that can be done virtually anywhere with a little ingenuity and desire!