Treat Yourself to Some Yoga Props

instruction thoughts on yoga Jan 08, 2021
Image from https://www.yogamatters.com/
I'm going to do a video on this subject sometime soon, but I wanted to do a post in the meantime. I guess it goes without saying that a yoga mat is very useful, unless you're only doing chair yoga.

I haven't been using too many props in my yoga lessons (yet) because I know most don't have them. They can be incredibly useful for anyone doing yoga, but maybe even more so if you're new to yoga. I use my props all the time in my own practice and classes that I take. So I'll list them in order of importance (imho):

Yoga Blocks (and/or bricks): These are the best--if you are going to get just one yoga prop, get yourself a set of these (buy 2 block not just 1). In effect they bring the ground closer to you. You can use them to support yourself in some longer meditative, restorative poses. You can use them to help you reach the ground in poses like anjaneyasana. Then can be great to sit to help you in seated yoga postures. So grab yourself a pair of yoga blocks. They will really come in handy--I've done a few lessons with them and will be doing many more. They can be found in cork, foam (or recycled foam) and wood. The foam ones are a bit softer and more forgiving. 
 
Yoga Strap: Yoga straps come are useful in a number of poses. I've been using one for some of the shoulder opening exercises and lessons... but in those cases you can use a belt instead. I haven't started posting lessons yet where a belt won't work.  A strap can be great for other types of shoulder opening exercises (coming soon) as well as wonderful for stretching your hamstrings in poses like supta padangusthasana and many other poses (also coming soon).

Zafu: If you're interested in meditation, and you're looking to meditate in a seated position on the ground, this is a must have. It can also come in handy as a yoga cushion or something to sit on to give you a bit of height for seated poses on the ground.

Yoga Bolster: Much like a zafu, this is a cushion, but bigger and designed to be torso length. For some restorative yoga poses (long supported meditative poses), bolsters are great. You can lay them underneath the length of you back to give you support in simple things like check and shoulder openers. I'll be adding some restorative lessons as well. I haven't yet because most restorative poses do require some props. I recommend the rectangular bolsters and not the round ones as I'll be using a rectangular one for lessons.

Yoga Chair: For the most part, a dining chair with a flat seat and no arms can work for almost all chair yoga practices. If you don't have one of those or want an additional chair for chair yoga practice you might want to get one of these. A yoga chair isn't very different from a typical folding chair, but there is just a bar along the back instead of the back support. This can help for some things, but it's not really necessary for the most part. 
 
NOTE: Overview image from https://www.yogamatters.com/. A good place to buy props if you're in the UK. 

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