Do I need props for my yoga class?
Essentially no. I don’t think we *need* props. Yoga, movement and flow are ways for our body to express itself and for us to explore being in our body.
It’s not about fancy leggings, expensive yoga mats (sometimes no mat feels much better!) or a whole lot of paraphernalia.
But… I really do love using props in my yoga. And I love teaching yoga classes using props.
Yoga props can include; yoga blocks, belts and bolsters. There are a whole lot of other things that can be useful and we can improvise too. Using a chair, a table and the wall for example.
Props can support us in going deeper. Into deeper exploration, sensation and awareness. Not necessarily deeper in the “posture” only. Although I think it can be extremely useful when we consider physical alignment and technique.
Blocks and belts can “lengthen” the arms so it’s easier to feel the connection to the ground or the toes. Or to bind such as grabbing hold of the fingers/hands behind a leg in a twist or extended side angle pose.
They are wonderful in more restorative poses to allow the body (and the mind) to release and relax. To explore different variations of softening into a specific shape or pose. Sometimes less (of a stretch) is actually more…
These are the props I love:
- Cork brick blocks. Two preferably. Cork is lighter and softer than wood and sturdier than foam. They are excellent for supported poses such as bridge pose or under the thighs in reclined cobblers pose. They are fabulous in triangle and extended side-angle to create more space and connection to the earth. Even for the hands in lunges and lunge variations of twists.
- Belt. One is usually enough although there are variations where 2 would be great such as when lying on the back with one leg extended into the air using a belt – here the other leg extended on the floor could also be supported as well as supporting the other leg. Belts are just fantastic for so many things. Not just to reach the feet in various forward bends but also to loosen up and mobilise the upper back, shoulders and arms.
- Bolster. Bolsters might seem more of a luxury item but once you have one you’ll use it all the time. Just to recline on, to hang out on or sit on – outside of yoga. For restorative poses, bolsters can be used much like the blocks – and they are softer. Yet they have other uses too. In a forward bend, you can rest over the bolster. Even in a child’s pose. It’s softer for use in for supported bridge pose. And they are wonderful for a supported backbend.
I also love using the wall and a stool/chair/table. They are great feedback and support.
I usually use a yoga mat too. But sometimes not… The ones I use for the live zoom classes are beautiful and colourful from Liforme. But I also like the manduka mats – that’s where I got my super thin travel mat from too.
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