Before you Begin & What you Need
Be sure to check with your doctor to determine the suitability of these (or any) physical activities. The practices provided are intended to compliment, not act as a replacement for, advice & service from qualified medical professionals.
Do not force yourself into poses or positions. Modify with props or pose variations that make the practice accessible to you or choose another practice and come back to it another time. You will get farther, faster, by listening to the signals your body and mind are giving you than recovering from overdoing and starting fresh again & again. If you experience emotional discomfort during any phase of the practice, stop and come back later (or bypass the class in question). If you experience dizziness, nausea, tingling, numbness, burning or pins & needles while practicing, stop your practice immediately. Remember - or not is always a modification available to you.
Now for what you need. It's best to have a mat for every practice to keep you and your props from slipping on the floor. Some other helpful tools are:
- Blankets - these can be folded up to replace blocks & bolsters or used as cushioning during kneeling or supine poses
- Foam yoga blocks (or thick books - if using multiples, make sure they're about the same size)
- Yoga bolster - if you don't have one, try using 2-3 bed pillows, a narrow (around 14"-18" wide) couch cushion or a couple of folded blankets make good substitutes.
- Yoga strap - this is a cloth strap 4ft - 8ft long with a buckle at one end. The cloth belt from a robe, a scarf or a yoga mat sling (if not too stretchy) are good substitutes.
- Meditation pillow or bench (or several pillows to sit on, or sit in a chair)
Many of these items are needed for Restorative and Yoga Nidra practices and are frequently used in Gentle practices. For the most part, they're optional for other styles. I would recommend at least having a blanket or a thin pillow to place behind your head or knees or under your hips during rest at the end.