Well, maybe not how to use them coz there are so many ways! But at least some general tips for you on their uses. Before we get into this though, allow me first to give a little backgrounder.
The use of yoga props began extensively with Guruji Sri BKS Iyengar. The reason why I am doing a blog post on this is because I see a lot of people purchase yoga props but never use them. In fact, when I suggest to use them and how to use them, they’re still discarded, notwithstanding that their use is safer for you and also good utility of your purchase!
So here’s the lowdown on some yoga props:
Regular face towel
This key “prop” is so important! Firstly, to wipe up your sweat and also your yoga mat (important consideration during these COVID-19 times). Secondly, a towel can be used for reach which isn’t extensive. For example, let’s say you’re supposed to fold forward, and you really want to reach your feet – but can’t. Then use the towel to help you get that reach.
Yoga straps are not only important for reach (see Regular face towel on the left column), but also for further reach (e.g. arms behind the head backbends to feet).
More importantly, straps can be used to help soften or open you up into a pose even more, for e.g. in badhakonasana.
Straps are super handy, so use them!
Okay, this is the prop I see people carrying about but never using, and I’m not sure why.
Yoga blocks also help with reach, especially in poses such as trikonasana and parsvakonasana for the lower hand.
Blocks also help with seated poses where the glutes or quads are tight, such as triang mukha ekapada paschimottanasana. Use them so the pose is more accessible and safer for you!
Yoga bolsters can replace the blocks in some instances, but usually are used for restorative poses.
The yoga bolster is especially good for some inaccessible poses for me, like supta virasana; and also very good for opening the front body in recline poses.
Don’t be fooled though, the bolster can be used for some strength work, including core work, so it’s not 100% a rest or yin kinda prop.
The skidless towel are for those who sweat a lot, like me!
Skidless towels also can be used for core work, if you have the slippery kind (I have one of those (not depicted in photo above).
Of course, aside from getting a branded skidless towel, you can also get a Mysore rug, of which I have one.
A sturdy chair with no handles is the yoga prop that makes standing yoga poses the most accessible.
From utkatasana, to virabhadrasana I and II, even III, to even surya namaskar, the chair helps to support you.
Below is my 78-year old client, using the chair for a restorative ustrasana.
There are loads of other yoga props all around you: from the wall to foot stools!
Not depicted here are ropes that are usually anchored into walls. These are usually used in yoga schools or Iyengar schools for inversions and other useful yoga movements and poses.
How about you? How do you use your yoga props?
I love yoga props and inviting practitioners to use them, so stay tuned for more! If you have questions, comment below!