Yoga keeps you moving and lets you get in touch with your breath while calming your mind. But, some of the movements can be pretty challenging, whether as a beginner or a pro.
So, having yoga props to help you move through the different yoga poses is essential. It will allow you to softly ease into an exercise as your body gets to adapt slowly. Here are some essential yoga props to invest in and how you can use them.
Yoga blocks come in handy in different poses to help you maintain balance and enhance your stability. In addition, these yoga blocks will help support you to ensure the poses are easier to hold.
Yoga blocks come in different types, some made from wood, bamboo, foam, and cork. They are designed to form a brick shape, allowing you to attain alignment in different yoga poses.
You can also use a stack of books in place of yoga blocks paying attention to the height that feels right for each movement.
How to Use Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks will provide excellent support in poses like the triangle pose and half forward fold. Also, if some poses make it challenging to reach the ground comfortably with your hands, help from your yoga blocks will come in handy.
Granted, you can modify some poses and place your hand on your leg for support. But, having blocks will make your yoga sessions easier, safer, and more efficient. With blocks, you can progressively work on reaching the ground with your hands.
Start with the block at its tallest height, graduate to a middle height, and finally get to its lowest height. Your body will have adapted to allow you to reach the ground with the bottom of your hand comfortably.
Other poses that you can add your yoga blocks to include;
Bridge pose under the scrum to help hold your body up and relieve pressure from your arms and upper body.
Upward-facing dog under each hand to help alleviate the stress on your wrist.
Eagle pose under your crossed leg to act as a stand to provide balance and stability.
Pillows and Bolsters
Pillows and bolsters will be helpful in lying down and seated poses to enhance your comfort and allow you to sink deeper into the relaxation of a pose. These two are usually used in restorative yoga, which requires you to hold poses for a more extended period.
Pillows are a bit fluffier and softer compared to bolsters designed to be firm to prevent them from changing their shape in a movement. So, these two props will come in handy when you need more support for your body while lying down or sitting.
How to Use Pillows and Bolsters
A pillow under your head is an excellent idea for poses like Savasana. It will add to the comfort of the pose. In addition, the pigeon pose and hero pose are great instances where a pillow would help make things easier. Just place your pillow under your leg and ensure it’s a soft, comfortable option.
Bolsters are great for Savasana to help give your lower back a deeper stretch and enhance your relaxation. You can also use a bolster in reclined poses to help provide your back with more support and allow for more stretching.
Yoga Knee Pads and Socks
Knee pads can help relieve your knees from pressure when moving through kneeling poses. In addition, knee pads could be a great option if you feel your knees are struggling and wish you had something cozier underneath.
Yoga knee pads are different from regular knee pads since you won’t have to wear them. Instead, you can easily add it to your yoga mat and enjoy your yoga sessions free of knee pain and strain.
Regarding socks, some people prefer to do their yoga without them on, but some would like to have them on. You can invest in different types of socks, including functional compression socks for women and socks with grips on the bottom.
Such options allow you to stay comfortable in your movements, enhance your blood circulation in the legs, and enhance your stability when holding poses.
Yoga is meant to be an exercise that helps you get in touch with your body while being mindful of its limits and finding ways to move without compromising your safety. Yoga straps come in to help during poses where you feel some parts of your body are too tight.
In addition, these straps help you execute a yoga pose while maintaining proper alignment to avoid back and shoulder problems. For yoga practices like yin yoga that take longer to move into other poses, these straps can provide great support.
The straps are made from non-elastic cotton or polyester and come in different sizes with others that feature adjustable buckles.
You can use alternatives like a tie or a belt as your straps to help you get deeper stretches and enjoy the poses. But, as you progress, you’ll need better straps for other poses requiring longer straps.
How to Use Yoga Straps
When attempting seated forward folds, you may find that your hamstring feels too tight, limiting how far you can fold. But, wrapping straps around your feet and gently pulling yourself forward to meet your feet will help.
You’ll maintain the proper alignment to avoid hunching over while softly allowing your hamstrings to loosen up. King pigeon pose is another famous pose that many people struggle with.
Using a yoga strap to slowly allow your leg to go as far into the pose will help ensure there are no injuries. In time, you’ll get to hold these poses easily without using the straps.
Using a blanket in your yoga session can easily replace a few other props. For example, you can fold your blanket and use it in seated poses, place it under your knees or use it as a block to relieve strain on your wrist.
You can use folded blankets in different poses like upward facing dog, cat-cow, low lunge, and downward facing dog. If you need support, try using a folded blanket to help make the movement easier.
Lastly, you can use your blanket to provide a comfortable and warm yoga session, especially when winding down with Savasana. You can cover yourself with it and take a few minutes to enjoy the pose and reflect on your yoga practice.
Visit us at any of our upstate NY The Hot Yoga Spot studios and see for yourself how to integrate props into your yoga practice.