Essential Yoga Props

Seated Forward Bend Pose / Paschimottanasana

Essential Yoga Props

Have you ever been offered a foam square or long thick piece of rope in your yoga class and been encouraged to use it to “help” you, but you were not really sure how to use it or why? Well I’m here to show you how these yoga props can help you to get the most out of your practice!

I have been practising yoga for over 10 years and I still love to use yoga props to help me to get the most from a yoga pose. The biggest misconception I have found in yoga classes is that people think yoga props are for people who can’t do a pose and therefore need a prop to help them. This is not the case AT ALL.

Try to think of your yoga practice as a play time – a time to explore how your body feels in a pose and to try different variations to see which feels better and how you can open your body up more to create length and space. Remember – your yoga class is not a test.

Read on to find out what the main yoga props are, why they are used and some suggested poses for each prop.

Using props in Yoga

Essential Props:

 Yoga Block 

yoga blocks

Yoga blocks come in all shapes and sizes and are great for those times when your fingers just aren’t long enough to reach the mat. Even if they do, blocks are great for enabling you to have a firm foundation to place your hand on and allows you to be higher up which in turn encourages more space and openess within the body.

 

Three poses to try with a block:

Trikonasana

Triangle / Trikonasana with a block

Extended Side Angle Pose

Extended side angle / Utthita Parsvakonasana with a block

Half Moon Pose

Half Moon / Ardha Chandrasana with a block

 

 

Yoga Strap

Yogs Strap

Yoga straps help you to increase the comfort in a stretch, particularly if you cannot reach your feet, a strap helps you to grip onto something and still allow you to maintain good posture. Straps also act as extendable arms in twists. If you can’t join your hand together in a bind, then the strap provides you with a little extra length and gives you something to hold on to.

Three poses to try with a strap:

Seated Forward Bend Pose / Paschimottanasana

Seated Forward Bend / Paschimottanasana with strap

Cow Face Arms / Gomukasana

Cow Face Arms / Gomukasana arms with a strap

Reclining Leg Stretch

Reclining Leg Stretch / Supta Padangusthhasana with a strap

Bolster

bolster

 

Bolsters are long large cushions which provide a firm basis for you to lay on. They are usually placed under then knees to support them and keep them bent or place along the back to help to open the chest when laying on the floor, creating a gentle back bend. Bolsters are generally used in more restorative yoga or during the more relaxing part of a yoga class.

Three poses to try with a bolster (or yoga mat if you don’t own a bolster):

Using a bolster

Place a bolster under the lower back.

Using a bolster

Place the bolster under the knees.

Using a bolster

Place the bolster down the length of your spine.

Don’t own these props?

Although you can purchase all of these props quite cheaply from various online stores, there are lots of options that you can use instead of the actual props:

No Block?

No problem! Use a book, or a box of some kind that is strong enough to support you weight.

No strap?

Easy, just grab a belt or  tie. A dressing gown tie works really well!

No bolster?

No sweat! Use a rolled up mat as I have done in the pictures or a cushion. A rolled up blanket works really well also!

 

I challenge you to give these poses a go using the prop and see how much further you can stretch in the pose, or how much easier it becomes! x