[email protected]: First Things, First. Non-PVC Mat, Cushion, Close Door, Turn off Phone…

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 15, 2008
get elephant's newsletter


Want to practice yoga at home? Here’s how to get started, along with some basics.

THE POINT>> Help yourself so you can help others. 

PROPS>> Meditation cushion, biodegradable/non-P.V.C. yoga mat. 

CLOSE THE DOOR>> Turn off that cell phone. Forget about coffee or laundry or work or girls or he said, she said or breakfast or children. Just give yourself these 10 minutes. 

MEDITATE>> With eyes open to the world around you, take an uplifted yet relaxed posture—Indian-style if possible (use a cushion if knees are higher than hips, or a chair if need be). Bring attention to outbreath as it goes out. When you find yourself wandering off in thought, come back gently by silently intoning “thinking” and returning attention to the breath for five minutes. End by dedicating actions
to the benefit of others, then bowing
(a traditional sign of appreciation). 

UJJAYI BREATH>> In Sanskrit, ujjayi means “victorious”—and is designed to build and maintain our internal heat, or tapas. (We don’t need no externally-heated yoga). Open your mouth and make a “haaaa” sound. Now, close mouth and make same sound. This is ujjayi breath. Keep it steady and rhythmic throughout your practice—it will help guide and open your movements.

Want to get started? Search [email protected] Here’s one, for mommas-to-be.




About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


2 Responses to “[email protected]: First Things, First. Non-PVC Mat, Cushion, Close Door, Turn off Phone…”

  1. Blake says:

    I have a question. I was wondering if you cannot afford to get a non pvc yoga mat(50$ at gaiam for the premium eco yoga mat) is it ok to do yoga without a mat?

  2. admin says:

    Hi Blake,

    I think it depends on what poses you’re doing. Each morning, I do a few poses on my rug (mostly because I’m too lazy to roll out the mat), mostly sitting and floor poses, with some standing foreward bends. But for poses like downward dog, or bow pose or warrior or triangle, I don’t think it’s safe to do them without a sticky substance below your feet. You could pull something or get seriously banged-up by slipping out.

    But you raise an important point—that often, eco seems more expensive, and that doesn’t seem very fair. I’d reccomend looking for an eco mat on http://www.craigslist.com , and try researching a few different brands. If you do yoga only once each week, a $50 yoga mat is really only $1 each time for the whole year. And considering the health costs of cancer and other PVC-related problems, the investment is well worth it.