When you go to Youtube to watch any instructional video, immediately you see the trainer, usually a woman, wearing her colorful and cute clothes, standing on an equally vibrant colored mat.So if you decide to start practicing, it’s understandable to want to buy new equipment to get you going. However, if you really think about it, isn’t it contrary to yoga beliefs to subscribe to commercialist propaganda? That you limiting your exercise to your mat is a bit restraining? Maybe, maybe not. But wouldn’t it be freeing to try without it?
Is it possible to practice without a mat? Of course. Some yogis have been doing so for years, alternating between using the bare floor and the earth. Those who always did it with one have their mind set that it can only be done that way. Replicating the environment inside of a studio isn’t as great as the real thing. Trying it outside, in an environment where you feel relaxed and connected to the elements of the earth will definitely change your mind.
Working with whatever you have at the moment is a practical option for you. Some people have set routines on their exercise, but what if the mood strikes you and you don’t have your equipment? It will take a few tries, but you have the option to do so with:
Though there are a few instances they do use a mat, Acroyoga is normally done between two people, a base and a flyer, while another, a spotter improves the form of the partners. It blends yoga, acrobatics and healing arts to form techniques that promote trust, playfulness and community.
FURNITURE (BED, DESK, CHAIR)
Modifications to yoga poses have been made for those who lack mobility and are not able to move easily from one position to another. In this case, furniture such as the bed, desk and chair are also options to do it with. More and more people have started practicing with chairs, which is also suited for people whose jobs require them to sit at their desks for long time periods.
CARPET / RUG / TOWEL/ BLANKET
If placed on a non-slip surface, fabrics of different kinds may be used for yoga too. These cloths can be put on any surface to serve as a barrier between you and the floor. Thinner, they make you feel the floor better, whether it’s wood, gravel, or grass.If you don’t want to use PVC-made mats, you may opt to choose naturally made from plant materials. Those made from bamboo, jute or hemp are perfectly acceptable and non-irritating to the skin as well.
These are wearable, to be put on the hands and feet to keep you from slipping. These gloves and socks serve as alternatives that don’t take up much space in your bag. You can carry anywhere and you can exercise anywhere!
AeroYoga practitioners use a swing, which is a fabric hanging from a ceiling. The system uses a combination of different techniques designed to enhance health, consciousness and one’s well-being. It’s a relatively new method of yoga, slowly spreading out internationally. Just look it up online – it’s an experience you’ll want to try.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Possibly one of the best reasons not to use the mat is to connect to Mother Earth. Outdoor classes give yogis a different point of view, reinstating that yoga is a practice that requires nothing but the body. Feeling one with nature and the universe is great by itself, but there are also physical rewards of strengthening muscles in uneven surfaces.
What works on the mat works off it as well. The practice of yoga isn’t just about a series of poses. It’ s about how one lives his life, every aspect of it. Even without participating in class, you may still live your life in accordance to yogic beliefs. By being honest to yourself and others and being kind to everyone. By not comparing your life to others, and being happy with what you have. By helping others without expecting anything in return.
We learn to breathe deeply, which we can use in stressful situations, to calmly think before making a decision. The way we relax in class reminds us to relax amidst the tension we experience in life. As we watch ourselves in the middle of a challenging pose, we have the ability to watch ourselves as we undergo difficult experiences without judgment.
CHOOSE TO BE FREE
There’s a certain comfort provided by a mat – the additional cushion, added traction, hygiene, as well as the space marking your ‘territory’ in a group. Balancing headstands is one thing, and yet balancing the aspects of your life is another. Yoga is not just limited to the studio, and the mat. As true yogis, the rectangular pad should not limit us. Instead it should only serve as a guide to the larger picture we do in our life.