What do you need for yoga practice?

Actually you need very little to practice hatha yoga. One of the factors that allow practicing is a flat surface. How big is this surface supposed to be? There are poses supposed to be done lying on your back, in some poses you have to put your legs back over your head, so you need more space. It can be 2 meters long (or 2 meters and a half to be comfortable), 60-70 cm across the width, and the height of the room should be appropriate so that your head wouldn’t bear against the ceiling. The surface should be plain so that you wouldn’t roll down one side or another.

Yoga mat

You also need a yoga mat. First of all it should be comfortable. It can be a sport mat, a thinner mat, a woolen blanket or a good coco mat. The ancient manuscripts say that it would be great if you could use a coco mat made of special kind of cane. According to the manuscripts lots of useful things can be made of this material. Technically they could not make a sport mat several thousands of years ago. That is why they used materials that they had from nature. You can prepare the cane, make a mat and start doing exercises. The ancient manuscripts of a later period say a tiger fell could be used. Nowadays tigers are on the verge of extinction, so practicing on the animal fur means contributing to poaching. That’s why a yoga mat should simply be convenient. Some yoga adepts do not need anything but a plain surface. They don’t need any special mat. There was a custom in the ancient India when you had to pilgrimage from time to time. You had to walk for 1500 km, you wouldn’t take lots of things, so you learnt to practice on any surface.


What clothes should it be? The ancient manuscripts say it could be a hip cloth. You could practice even nude. Now there is an industry specializing in yoga wear. It is all very comfortable. It’s a product of the modern civilization. In the ancient times nobody thought there would be special clothes to do yoga. It’s important that the mat and the clothes fit you and the surface should be plain, otherwise you won’t be able to do exercises.

Auxiliary things necessary to do hatha yoga

They are called auxiliary because you still can continue practicing if they are not fulfilled by 100%. One of these conditions is the following: it is desirable that there should not be anybody else when you practice at home. If you practice in a group of people it is desirable that all the members should be involved. If there is a possibility for you to practice alone you’d better do this. If there are your likeminded people nearby that’s ok.


If there is no possibility to seclude it is recommended that you keep silence. In other words you should mark the practice time and it is only force majeure circumstances that can make you break the silence. This should be a rule. Or you can prepare a sheet of paper and a pen. If somebody annoys you write on this piece of paper when you will be able to answer. In yoga it is the most important thing: there should be harmony inside. It is important to immerse in feelings, feelings of the pose you’re doing. If somebody asks you something you immediately begin to answer. Your attention goes away from your feelings and skips over external things. It sums up. Then you need additional time again to calm down. A talk during a practice is like a whole in a barrel in which you’re trying to fill the life elixir. Doing hatha yoga is like pouring the elixir of life, power and vigour into your body to feel good. Any talk is like a whole in a barrel that you’re trying to fill with the elixir. You pour – it leaks. You pour – it leaks. This is an analogy. That is why you should inform your home-folks and friends: “Guys, I’m busy at the moment”. It is very important indeed.

One more thing – don’t work for anyone else except you (in yoga)

Next point. It’s of minor importance but still it should be mentioned. You shouldn’t care about your look, you should forget about those close to you, just forget. Never work on public when you do yoga. As if there was nobody nearby. Even if there are millions of people in front of you and everybody’s looking at you and pointing, just close your eyes and imagine there is nobody close to you. Otherwise you will concentrate more on these people and not on the inner harmony and there is a bigger risk not to get all the benefits that you could get doing yoga. So you’d better work on yourself, not on audience. If it turns out to be beautiful, let them see.

Some people think it is beautiful when you do it this way, other people think it is beautiful when you do it that way. Some people think it is beautiful when you put your leg over your head and all the rest is there. It is all disputable. In any case it is important not to think about how we look. As if there was nobody to report to. The most important thing is silence. When people talk when they shouldn’t do it they interfere. If they do that means they don’t know what harmony is. And if they are unfamiliar with harmony all other talks about karma, chakras, prana, etc are mere husk. Just don’t listen!


Another factor is sound. The most unpleasant sound is when somebody begins to speak on the phone. You unwittingly tune on his/her wave while you don’t hear the talker’s wave, and there starts a process of adding on in your head. Sound is one of the most painful moments in yoga, especially in more subtle types of yoga. Other people may say: “How can it be? You’re a yogi. You’re not supposed to notice anything”. But the body is so cunningly made that the sound effect is even stronger than visual images. That is why you’d better make sure that silence is kept or at least make sure it is as silent as it could be or buy earplugs. Sometimes you can listen to music but silence’s still the best option.

Silence is more difficult to realize if compared with a harmonic music which functions as a background and a man – while practicing – does not even take notice of it. The person gets involved in the inner processes, that is why music – if you practice alone – can be of any type. It can even be a drum music if you find it harmonic. It is important to remember that the more a person is involved in something intellectually the more sensitive he/she becomes. The same process takes place in yoga. You’re trying to penetrate into the depth of yourself and the noise disturbs.


Next factor is absence of an unpleasant smell. This is a subconscious factor. It’s like a tooth pain, when it hurts and you react in a pessimistic way. The same happens in case of unpleasant smell, and there is a trap on the way when you try to cope with it. Incense sticks are gaining ground now which are supposedly make away with unpleasant smell but it is all chemistry.

There’s a simple explanation: 1 kilogram of natural sandal oil costs 3 times more than 1 kilo of a synthetic one. What is more, there’s less chemical substance in synthetic oil, so it’s easier to obtain a quality certificate to use the oil in perfumery, and you won’t have to check every lot of natural oil to know whether there’s some radioactive substance or not. But synthetic material sometimes works as a strong allergy-causing agent. You can see it everywhere – in public transport, for example. You should be very careful when using incense sticks. You’d better get rid of the cause of an unpleasant smell than try to suppress it with incense. Especially if you practice yoga as all your structures become more subtle with the practice and time.

Desirable factors for doing yoga

It is very desirable to do yoga outdoors; especially it concerns those who just begin practicing, if possible. The important factor is the air temperature and the absence of drafts. If it is too hot it will be difficult for you to practice although there is a certain zest in it – your muscles are warmed up. If it is too cold it is difficult to practice as well. The temperature should as balanced as possible. In any case if there is an opportunity to do yoga outside – in the park, in the garden – and not at home you’d better prefer this option even if you will have to put on some warm clothes. You will see by your own practice that the classes are much more effective.

Last modified: Sunday, 25 December 2016, 9:40 PM