The First Class is a series of posts that discuss what to bring, what to wear and what to expect when you go to class. While this is aimed mostly at newbies, this is certainly applicable for people looking for tips on how to improve their yoga experience.
Bling It Down a Notch
It’s probably already understood that when you’re doing any kind of physical activity, you’re better off leaving your dangly jewelry at home so it doesn’t get in the way of movement or get caught on anything. Take out the big earrings and the necklace and the stack of chunky bracelets you wore to work. (By the way, photo above is from my friend Amanda’s way chic style blog. I could never pull off her look, so I think I’ll stick to sweat-wicking materials.)
Besides potentially ruining your jewelry with sweat and the distracting sounds of clinking metal, yoga really isn’t accommodating for even some small accessories. The two main common ones I see: engagement rings and wristwatches.
An engagement ring
The pointy prongs and any flanking stones are meant for beauty and not for comfort. Any posture that requires clasping of the hands can leave your fingers feeling crushed against the band. Seated forward folds, marichiyasanas and even the clasped hand position to set up sirsasana (headstand) can leave indentations from your ring between your knuckles. There’s a posture called Pada Hastasana in ashtanga where you slide your hands under your feet in a forward fold. Ouch! Prongs are definitely not your friend then.
My recommendation: Bling down your fingerwear to a “workout” ring – simple smooth band so your finger doesn’t feel naked and to also let the single people in class know you’re taken. 🙂
I’ve seen people come to class with a sports watch on – one that has multiple functions like a timer, an alarm and heartrate monitor. Even the smallest watches have a bit of bulk to them near the face, which can get uncomfortable for postures where you keep your hands, wrist and forearms to the ground. Asanas like dolphin and pincha mayurasana will be more comfortable without the band in the way.
Additionally, there’s a lot of wrist bending in yoga for vinyasas, plank, wheel and arm balances in general that need the full range of motion. A watch will easily become irritating as it chafes along your wrist.
My recommendation: Leave the watch at home. The teacher is keeping an eye on the time for you, and there’s usually a clock in the room anyway.
What about toe rings? Anklets? Small chains?
Those don’t get in the way nearly as much as accessories on or near your hands. However, I’d probably still skip out. There are quite a few postures that have you grasping your big toe with your peace fingers where a toe ring might be uncomfortable. Anklets could hurt if you’re working on lotus and other cross-legged positions where the ankle is pressed against the thigh. And then a chain around your neck – to me – sounds like a strangle hazard with inversions and supine postures potentially pulling it all around.