At the start of a class, I often say something like: "Make sure that you have a block, belt or stretchy band" depending on what we are going to do during the practice.
So, blocks, belts, stretchy bands are 'props' but we could also use a cushion, book or scarf. However, props could be a chair and a wall - yes, you read it correctly, a wall! The main function is the same: for comfort, support and accessibility. Using props in the yoga practice can offer several benefits.
Why we use props - Benefits
Props help to improve alignment by providing support and stability. They assist in achieving proper postures, preventing strain or injury, and ensuring that you are practicing asanas (poses) correctly. Props make yoga and exercise more accessible to everyone, regardless of age, flexibility, or physical condition. They help individuals with limited mobility, injuries, or chronic conditions to modify poses and participate in the exercise comfortably, taking modifications as appropriate.
Using props such as blocks, straps, and bolsters can help deepen stretches and strengthen muscles. They allow practitioners to reach further or go deeper into a pose, facilitating a more effective stretch or muscle engagement. Balancing poses can be challenging especially for someone new to yoga. Using a chair or wall provides stability, allowing the practitioner to focus on balance and alignment without the fear of falling. This builds confidence while improving balance and coordination.
By providing support in challenging poses, props enable you to hold stretches for longer periods, allowing muscles and connective tissues to safely lengthen and release tension and therefore gradually increase flexibility. Supports, such as chairs, play a crucial role in injury prevention by reducing the risk of strain or overexertion, and weight can be distributed more evenly, and minimize impact on joints.
Providing feedback and support, they help you understand the body alignment, limitations, and areas of tension, and the opportunity to develop a deeper sense of body awareness that allows you to make adjustments and modifications that promote a safer and more effective practice. Props offer countless variations and progressions for poses, making your practice more dynamic and challenging. They allow you to explore poses from different angles, depths, or intensity and personalize your practice, adapting it to your unique needs and preferences. They provide comfort and support, making your practice more enjoyable and sustainable over time.
Props, such as blankets, bolsters and eye pillows can be used to promote relaxation and stress relief during yoga and exercise and create a comfortable and supportive environment for restorative poses and meditation, promoting deep relaxation and rejuvenation.
With props we can practice safely and mindfully, focusing on what matters and gaining confidence to progress more, grow and develop the practice.
In Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga, bolsters, blankets and eye pillows are almost a must, to tune in with the sensations in the body, without tension, turning the experience into a luxurious treat, as the body and mind surrender and rejuvenate!
For Winter Solstice I am holding a Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra Workshop - 9 December 3pm-5pm - Woodmansterne Village Hall - Early Bird Discount available until 30 October 2023
Come to experience the blissful surrender of supported yoga postures, intentionally designed to release physical and mental tension. Using props such as bolsters, blankets, and blocks, you'll effortlessly melt into each pose, allowing your body to rejuvenate and heal.
Book your place at https://bookwhen.com/merakiyoga-surrey