When I first starting dipping into Yoga, I had no idea how freaking deep the yoga ocean was, and by “deep” I’m not talking philosophical, I’m talking THERE IS A LOT OF YOGA CRAP OUT THERE. Books, DVDs, clothing, music, accessories, props, and on and on. Just to give you an example, I did a few searches on Amazon. Here are my results.
191,343,885 in All Departments
22, 794 clothing
25, 559 books
6, 201 DVDs
4, 005 music
Holy Batcrap, Batman! Even taking into consideration that sometimes Amazon thinks an e-reader is related to yoga, and some possible duplications, that’s a lot of stuff for a discipline that is supposed to simplify your life! Also, I find it highly amusing to note that there is more clothing than anything else. Because screw the books and DVDs if you don’t look good while doing Yoga, am I right?
I actually bought some workout clothes back when I was trying various kinds of workouts. Sure I could workout in old sweats, but I like the way some of the clothes hold in areas of your body that otherwise do not stay where you want them to stay. It’s important to have, say, your boobs compressed if you’re a female (and possibly if you’re a male, I’m not judging here) if you do anything physical. Also, in yoga, you really need something that fits fairly well on top unless you want it falling in your face when you are invariably told to turn upside down. Yoga likes people upside down.
I don’t just have clothes, of course. Since I’m a librarian, I admit to having a book problem. I love books. I don’t have nearly the number of books my librarian mother has, but I do have some that I keep for various reasons. Sometimes it’s because they are funny (I have almost everything Dave Barry has ever written) or because they’re pretty or because I swear I’m going to read it someday. The last category is the biggest one. Periodically, I weed out books, donate some, and sell a few to Hastings – at which point I immediately buy more books. As I often say, working in a library for me is like an alcoholic working in a liquor store. Not very healthy. Especially since it’s free, so you can take out as many items as you want and Holy Batcrap in a Hat you want them all, of course.
Libraries are not the free entities they appear, though, my friend. That is a ruse. Suuuure, check out as much stuff as you want, they say. Oh, but you will have to pay fines when you forget to return the books on time. And you will forget to return the books on time. Because you’ve lost them, haven’t you? And now you have to buy the books from us. Thank you for supporting your public library!
Since I am guilty of this very thing, I figured I’d just buy some books, especially if they were on the bargain rack (discount liquor, guys!) So now I have several books. But I haven’t even scratched the surface. I’ve figured something out. If I want to get published, I should write a book on yoga. There are so many, probably no one would notice that I don’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about. And I know the title. Yoga Twilight Sexy Times. Bestseller for sure.
Then there are the DVDs. Oh, so many. I love comparing instructors. The boring ones, the hyperactive insane ones (see the spooky Kundalini chic), the evil ones (yoga meltdown, noooo) the zen ones, the athletic ones, the scarily skinny ones, and the ones who stepped out of a Richard Simmons video. Just looking at the beginner DVDs alone is astounding, especially what they consider to be “beginner.” I’ve started with some only to stop and just watch the instructor continue to bounce from one position to the next, down dog, salute the sun, down dog, salute the sun, down dog, I’m not saluting the freaking sun again so stop it!
And finally, let’s not forget the props! Sure, technically you could do yoga without this crap, but where’s the fun in that? You’ll need a mat, of course, that’s a given. Try to make it an actual yoga mat, and not a fruity sixties bathmat. Then there’s yoga blocks (don’t tell me to use my yoga books as blocks those are for sitting on my bookshelf and looking pretty!), yoga blankets (really), yoga bolsters, yoga beads (like the rosary without the Catholic), yoga straps (a belt, but way cooler, cause it’s, um, yoga). It’s outrageous what you can pay for some of this stuff, all so that you can relax already. But I’ll admit, I bought some of it. Bolsters are overpriced, but worth it, because they are really supportive of your body. I have one that I was going to take a picture of, but I lost my camera. Anyway, my yoga teacher made it, it is beautiful, and I call it my preciousssss. There is nothing wrong with me.
So anyway, with all this stuff, you can start to get slightly overwhelmed, yes? I know I have! But I like to throw myself into learning new things head first (I have gotten a few head injuries this way). If you want some real details with pictures and links and stuff, go see this post at braith an’ lithe’s blog. There’s some cool stuff here. Okay, so it’s stuff from the U.K., but it gives you an idea of what’s out there. Have fun, and remember – a yoga bolster can act as a floatation device if you are afraid of drowning in yoga metaphors. Good luck and Namaste and all that.