Yoga Mats provide the best foundation for you and your practice. These mats have an integrated anti-tearing net and high-quality material. These mats allow for you to practice different poses and exercise activities.
The design of these yoga mats is to be super easy to clean. These yoga mats are made with moisture-resistant technology and high-quality materials. These mats wipe clean if you spill liquid on it, if you use it on a beach, or if you use it at home while sweating. The texture of these mats allows for an easy cleaning. Just wipe clean with a cloth, soap, and water.
Both sides of the mat have the same materials providing the mat with non-slip material on either side. Having a non-slip mat prevents possible injuries that could occur while practicing.
Each and every yoga mat is unique in their way, much like the people who practice yoga. Yoga has levels to it, and there is no telling where most people should be because it is more of a sense of what an individual likes. Do you like to relax and have an ‘aahhhhhhh’ moment or would you rather have a towel next to you for when you pour sweat?
It’s a common mistake to assume that a Level 1 class is just for ‘stiffies’ or ‘newbies’ and a Level 2 for the more physically adaptable. It’s so much more complicated than that because some people can and do attend Level 1 classes for many years, or even their whole life, whether or not they are considered ‘bendy.’ There is a lot of value to be gained working on foundational postures. Likewise, someone with a background in gymnastics or dance should always start with Level one classes. It is not about your flexibility; it’s about your knowledge and experience of doing yoga. Just because you can put your leg behind your head doesn’t mean you don’t need to learn the essential points of alignment in a pose like Downward Dog or connectedness to the body.
All classes, no matter the level you’re in, should place emphasis on using the breath and working mindfully with the body to tap into working with the subtleties of the mind.
Newbies are always welcome in a Level one class, but it’s best to take a Beginners Course if you are totally new to yoga. You will likely feel more comfortable in a group that doesn’t know their Warrior 1 from their Trikonasana! A beginner’s course assumes no previous knowledge of yoga, where a Level 1 class assumes basic understanding.
Some advanced students like to take a Beginner’s Course as they recognize their practice improves after going back to the basics.
Here is a short breakdown of what is to be expected, and what not to expect from Level one, two and three yoga classes:
Level 1 Yoga Class – Beginner
Level 1 classes will guide you slowly through so many basic yoga asanas. While it is suitable for beginners, it is also for those working with an injury (tell the teacher first!) and more seasoned practitioners. Many advanced students return again and again to a Level 1 class to work on the finer points of alignment in basic postures – for often the more advanced asanas (Sanskrit for postures) are rooted in the basic ones. The focus will be on safety and alignment and make the beginner more comfortable and familiar with the standard yoga poses.
What to expect:
Your teacher will most likely demonstrate the position, Sanskrit name but also give the English translation so as not to overwhelm any beginners. You can expect a well-rounded class of forwarding bends, gentle back bends, and twists. Modifications will be given like when bend your knees in a seated forward bend, and use props like sit bones on a block in Sukhasana while sitting with crossed legs and then tilt the pelvis forward.
You may also be introduced to postures that could prepare you for more standard poses, for example; you could work on Dolphin Pose to strengthen and develop your shoulders for headstands taught in Level two or three classes. If the class is not so busy like in some daytime classes, and the teacher says it’s safe to do so, then you could try a full headstand it might be taught in stages.
Commonly taught asanas to include:
Downward Dog, Virabhadrasana 1 also known as the Warrior 1 pose, Sphinx Pose, Paschimottanasana or the Seated forward bend, Vrksasana or the Tree Pose, and Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose.)
What not to expect:
Anything might compromise the integrity of the main joints in the body like your knees, your neck, and your lower back. You are more unlikely to be practicing asanas like Urdhva Danurasana also known as the Full Wheel, and Padmasana commonly known as the Lotus. Some teachers might not teach full Surya Namaskar as each pose within the Sun Salutation is more likely to be separately shown.
Are you ready to try to advance to Level two?
It might be a bit tricky to provide benchmarks to know if you are willing to move to a Level two class. At the very least you must have a solid understanding of key points of alignment in Level 1 asanas as it’s upon these that the deeper backbends, arm balances and inversions taught in a Level 2 class are built.
Another prerequisite is to know at least how to bend forward, how to twist, as well as to understand the basic mechanics of breathing and linking asana to breathe.
The following benchmarks are not meant to serve as absolutes, especially if someone needs to modify for their permanent structural imbalances within their body. But you can consider them as general guidelines: Navasana also was known as the boat pose, with straight knees for five breaths, ability to sit comfortably in Baddha Konasana commonly known as the Bound Angle Pose, with or without support under the thighs, and holding Downward Dog comfortably for ten breaths.
Level 2 Yoga Class – Mid Range Ability
Level two class is to assume a person teaching has a knowledge of yoga. A teacher might instruct people to do a Downward Dog as a transitional pose, and expect the student to understand and follow the essential points of alignment, even if modifications, such as slightly bent knees, are taken in it. The class might be a little bit quicker than a Level one class but time will still be spent on working on each pose unless in more rapid Vinyasa Flow class. More advanced Pranayama might be taught, like Kumbhaka (breath retention) wherein a seated position, you bring your awareness to each breath while pausing between inhales and exhales.
What to usually expect:
Your postures are often instructed in Sanskrit, and not always with an English meaning. A teacher will most likely demonstrate a little less, and walk around the room offering some hands-on adjustments. You will explore inversions you will go upside-down in shoulder stand or Headstand. Your stamina, as well as your flexibility, will be tested as you hold balancing postures like Ardha Chandrasana or also known as the Half Moon Pose, which requires sustained muscle support as well as concentration.
At a level two, the class might be characterized by more sophisticated techniques, as well as work with mudras, or hand gestures, and the application of bandhas also known as the Uddiyana, Mula, and Jalandhara, which are energy seals created internally.
Being super patient in a Level two class, and listen to your teacher. The body takes some time to change, and you don’t want to risk injury by expecting too much, too soon. You will likely encounter all sorts of internal dialogue bouncing around in your head. Like ‘How does that bloke next to me float up in handstand when I struggle kicking one foot up at a time?’ This is completely normal. Try not to become attached to what you expect your practice to look like, and instead accept it for what it is.
Are you ready to advance to Level three?
Your headstands and handstands should be more fluent. And more subtly, you should have an ability to feel the workings of your body, adapting and responding to its relative tightness and openness.
An advanced practitioner, crucially, understands when not to push it. Each day on the mat is different, and a Level 3 practitioner listens, responds and adapts to their internal energy.
In a General Yoga class, you should be able to hold a headstand comfortably away from the wall. In an Ashtanga class, you should be able to come up to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) from Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose). In a Vinyasa Flow class, hips should be open enough to work into Hanumanasa or Monkey Pose with or without a bolster for support.
Level 3 Yoga Class – Expert Level
If you think you have arrived at your yoga practice with a Level three class, sorry to say that you’re going to be very disappointed! Humility is one of the greatest lessons a Level three practitioner learns.
What to expect:
You will have to be entirely concerned what is happening with your body and your mind. A Level three class will be likely chock full of arm balances and deep back bends, peppered with Level 1 and two transition postures.