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Outdoor yoga class

Meditation and Mindfulness

An introduction to Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice dating back thousands of years. First originating in India, yoga has become immensely popular in modern times and is now widely practised across the globe.

There are many different yoga schools, philosophies and approaches, but most modern forms outside of India focus on a ‘yoga as exercise’ approach.

Although approaches vary between different yoga schools and yogis (teachers), broadly speaking yoga is a holistic practice that encompasses both physical and mental health. Most yoga schools will incorporate the meditative aspects of yoga alongside the physical movements.

Yoga is accessible to people of all ages and physical capabilities. There are many different movement or pose (asana) options, ranging from easy to advanced. Classes will often be categorised according to their level of physical challenge or intensity, including labels such as ‘introduction’, ‘gentle’, ‘beginner’ or ‘advanced’. Specialty yoga classes are also widely available, such as ‘prenatal’ or ‘meditation’ classes.

Research has shown that yoga offers many benefits, including increased strength, flexibility and balance. Many people also find that yoga has a positive influence on their mental health.

What will I need for yoga classes?

There are a couple of items that will be very useful for attending most yoga classes, depending on the style of yoga and whether the yoga school provides any equipment for students.

As these items are inexpensive and will also allow you to practice at home, we do suggest that you get your own equipment, even if your yoga school provides some equipment for students.

Yoga mat

We highly recommend the PTP Ecomat. It’s comfortable, free from any nasty chemicals and fully biodegradable and recyclable.

Yoga block/brick

We recommend the PTP Yoga Brick.

Other items to consider

Wear comfortable clothing for the class. You’ll probably be taking off your shoes, so keep that in mind when selecting your socks (because we’ve all got some daggy pairs with holes in them!).

For cooler areas and times of the year, you may also like to take a small blanket to keep warm during meditation.

Find a local yoga school in your area

To find a local yoga school in your area, check out the Yoga Australia directory of Registered Yoga Teachers.

Article image credit: dacadoo, Flickr.

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