If you made it to this article then more than likely you are gearing up for your first Kripalu Yoga Class, or you may be thinking about attending a class. Either way, this is very exciting! In this article, we will let you in on anything and everything you could possibly want to bring with you to your yoga class so you can truly have the best possible experience during your short time on the mat.
If you find yourself reading this article and have no idea what Kripalu Yoga is, let us give you a brief rundown of this type of class.
Simply put, Kripalu Yoga is a very popular style of yoga that focuses equally on mind, body, and spirit. It is known as a gentle hatha yoga practice. For teachers and students alike, Kripalu Yoga can extend past the mat and can help people transform spiritually and mentally and can even improve physical health. Kripalu pays close attention to the transitions throughout the practice, not just as postures, but as transitions in life. These transitions can be the places where it is important to access creativity, patience, and presence. This practice puts emphasis on moving at your own individual pace and self-acceptance as well as adaptability. In a typical class, a teacher will begin with pranayama followed by asana practice and end with savasana. Each pose is built from the ground up, with a focus on synchronizing the breath with the movement while making time for sustaining and integrating postures. Some people who are especially interested in Kripalu Yoga are:
Although Kripula Yoga is typically associated with its slow-paced nature, there are actually three levels including gentle, intermediate, and vigorous. Each level incorporates mindful movement that can be slower (however, it is important to note that slower does not always have to mean easier). There is something for everyone in a Kripula Yoga class. If you are still not sure if Kripalu Yoga is right for you, it never hurts to try one class out and see how you feel afterward. Even following a YouTube video may give you a better idea of what this practice truly is.
Now that you have decided to extend your foot into the door of Kripalu Yoga, it is time to make sure you are properly prepared for class. Many yoga studios will have various forms of equipment all ready for you to use however it can be helpful to have your own items for at-home yoga practices. It may be helpful to call ahead to your studio and ask what they have available unless you would rather use your equipment (which is understandable, especially in pandemic times).
Clothing is going to be the most important decision you make when preparing for your yoga class. Even if you leave your home with nothing else, hopefully, you will be dressed in something! The main thing to remember when you are searching through your closet is comfortability & breathability.
For tops, you will want to (again) aim for comfort. You do not have to feel pressured to wear what other people who practice yoga are wearing but whatever would be best for you. It is worth mentioning to avoid items that are too big, revealing, or may drape extra low. Some top options may include:
For men, not wearing a shirt at all may be what you are most comfortable with as long as your studio allows it. Sometimes the feeling of your skin directly on the mat is not comfortable for some people, so it is always a good idea to bring layers. Bring a long-sleeved shirt or a hoodie to throw on / take-off when the practice goes at a different pace and your body temperature may change.
For pants, make sure they are comfortable yet not too tight or restrictive so you can move freely through all the poses during your practice. Yoga pants (as you can tell by the name) are what most people prefer to wear. However, there are several options for bottoms including:
Because Kripalu Yoga is more slow-paced, you can wear sweatpants without being worried about getting too overheated.
Footwear is the easiest decision when it comes to yoga because most people do not wear any shoes at all! Yoga is primarily done on a yoga mat barefoot. However, if you are uncomfortable with going barefoot you may wear socks. The only difficulty with wearing socks is that some poses (like downward dog) are a bit harder if your feet are sliding around. Luckily for the sock-wearers of the world, there are non-slip socks you can purchase that are perfect for yoga.
When it comes to your hairstyle and headwear, you’re going to want to keep the hair out of your face while making sure you are still comfortable. Some people with short hair prefer to wear their hair down and people with longer hair may prefer to tie theirs up in a bun or a loose ponytail. It is not recommended to wear a hat, and you may wear a headband as long as it is not too tight and bothers you throughout the practice.
Apart from what you choose to wear, your yoga mat will be the most important thing you bring with you to your practice. If nothing else, make sure you have a mat! However, if you do not have a mat, most studios will be able to supply you with one although you may want to make sure you bring disinfecting wipes to clean it before you use it. If you are currently searching for a yoga mat to purchase, consider important factors such as length, thickness, and texture. You do not need to spend a lot of money on an extremely expensive yoga mat, but it may be beneficial for you and motivate you to continue practicing if you enjoy being on your mat. When looking at the different lengths, make sure your yoga mat is long enough for you but also not too long as to not fit in places that you would like to practice. Extra-long mats tend to run from 72 to 84 inches. The thickness will depend on personal factors. If your mat is too thin, this may be uncomfortable for you when you’re spending a lot of time on the ground. However, if your mat is too thick it may be harder to balance.
Although this may be a more obvious one, it is important enough to mention! You will not enjoy your experience on the mat as much if you are dehydrated. Drink up.
There are a few other items that you have the option to bring to your practice. They are not required but may make the practice more beneficial for the student.
We put the blanket first because more than likely, in a regular Kripalu class, they will end with a savasana that includes wrapping up comfortably in a light blanket or even a towel. This blanket can also be padded to help act as a bolster.
If you would like to pad your sit bones while simultaneously wrapping up with your blanket then it may be beneficial for you to invest in a bolster. A bolster will help you to sit up a bit straighter and take some of the pressure out of your lower back when you are seated in a crossed-leg position for a long period of time. We highly recommend it! However, a blanket will suffice.
Yoga straps are especially beneficial for beginners or people who do not have a wide range of flexibility. You can use straps to deepen postures and make different positions more comfortable for yourself. They may sound intimidating, but during practice, your yoga instructor will tell you exactly how to use the straps appropriately during practice. Once you get more comfortable with using the yoga straps, you can use them however you would like.
A mat towel will help if you find yourself breaking a sweat during your yoga classes. Just use your towel to wipe off your mat so you don’t slip and slide around your mat.
After reading this article, hopefully, you feel better prepared to have an amazing yoga class and not fret about forgetting anything. Although buying yoga gear and making sure you are prepared can seem overwhelming, remember that showing up to your yoga practice is the most important. Approaching yoga with an open mind will be your best option. Yoga is all about the transformation of your mind, body, and spirit, and at the end of the day, material objects do not matter all that much. But many of these items can make your practice more enjoyable and help you leave your Kripalu Yoga Class feeling amazing!
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below in the comments.