Everyone needs a little extra support sometimes – even that low-key contortionist on the mat next to yours. We’re loving this simple guide to essential yoga props by bff lifestyle bloggers and Our Body Book contributors, The Resource Girls. Regardless of your level of yoga-ing, props aide in nailing the nuances of a pose and help train our bodies to push past a comfort zone. Here you’ll find four tools and techniques for using them to take your practice to the next level…
“The yoga pose is not the goal. Becoming flexible is not the goal. The goal is to create space where you were once stuck. To unveil the layers of protection you’ve built around your heart. To appreciate your body and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates. To make peace with who you are. The goal is to love, well… you. Come to your yoga mat to feel; not to accomplish. Shift your focus and your heart will grow.”
– Rachel Brathen, author of Yoga Girl
Yoga can be very intimidating for those just starting, or just returning to their practice. For those with an injury, inflexibility or those living in larger bodies, a regular yoga practice can seem like something that exists only in your dreams. Fear not, a great yoga practice is just the opposite of fear and doubt; it only involves one thing – showing up on your mat.
With that being said, it can be hard to know how to modify certain poses or account for injury or inflexibility. We have listed some ideas here to get you started, but would also encourage you to truly own your practice, use your voice and ask for help. Props and modifications offer countless options to mold your practice into an amazing experience. Do what feels right for your body and never compare yourself to your neighbor. We’re all on our own journey…
4 Essential Yoga Props
The use of blocks offers a non-slip surface that provides support and stability. They can help you deepen your stretch or pose and ensure proper alignment. They’re lightweight and small yet very stable. Here are a couple of examples:
Eagle Wrap | Use block as kickstand. The point is to hug your midline and product “productive action,” this is not a lazy pose!
Pigeon | Use block under hip for leg that is forward, can also use for resting your forehead.
Lunge | Use blocks under your hands if you need help reaching the ground.
Child’s Pose | Try a block under your breast bone for support.
If you have a large or tight chest, you can use a strap just under your armpits and above your breast tissue to hold things down while you’re upside down. It creates more breathing room!
This can be substituted with a towel or folded yoga mat. Use under the heels of the hands to change the angle. Wrists and palm of hand should be at a higher angle than fingertips.
We love the idea of using a blanket or a towel to take pressure off of knees. Fold into a ring or simply use flat to act as a little pad.