Yoga props can be intimidating, but including them in your practice can help in a lot of ways. Not only do they help you find stability in harder poses, but they can enable you to gently ease your body into deeper stretches and more difficult poses. No matter how long you’re been practicing or your ability or age, you are sure to reap the benefits of using props during your practice. If you’re not sure how to use props read on for some tips.
Straps can be used to loosen hamstrings and shoulders as well as other areas. In a seated forward fold, wrapping the strap around the feet and using it to pull forward is a great way to achieve a deep stretch. They’re also helpful in cow face pose. Instead of linking your hands you can simply use a strap to bridge the gap between them. You’ll still be able to reap the benefits of the pose without being frustrated at not being able to hold your hands.
The bolster is great for seated and reclined poses. They will cushion your body and help you relax into a pose without straining your muscles. Using a body on your legs during child’s pose gives you something to rest on, while putting one under your spine and head during reclined hero’s pose will protect your back from a painful position.
Blocks are great to help you align your body and give you extra reach when you have tight muscles. In triangle pose, a block can be placed on the floor by your foot for your hand to rest on. Instead of straining for the floor, resting your hand on the block will give you the same benefit during this pose. Placing a block under your sacrum during supported bridge will help if your back is not very flexible.
Blankets are perfect for padding or giving you a little extra height. You can easily pad your shoulders during a shoulder stand, or your head during a headstand. In poses on your knees, you can keep them from aching by kneeling on a blanket, and at the end of your practice, a blanket on your body during savasana is very relaxing.
No matter your skill level, consider adding some props to your next yoga practice. You’ll love how your body doesn’t strain during some poses and the comfort that you feel when using them.