Today I want to share with you some ideas about yoga props. You will certainly know that a mat is quite essential but what about the other props? Why should you have them and how can they help? I will try to explain the advantages and hope you enjoy this article.
Why yoga props?
Yoga props can help to deepen your postures or will enable you to manage some poses which are still difficult for you. They also help with the correct alignment which will enhance the benefits of your yoga session.
Even if you are not very flexible, props can help you to do
alternative variations so you are able to have the experience as good as your body allows.
Props can make difficult poses easier and let you learn the exact mechanics and sequences of the pose.
And last but not least props can enhance calming postures, support your head or knees and keep you warm in the final relaxation of corpse pose.
What type of yoga props can I buy?
The first thing you should have is a good quality yoga mat. There is a huge variety of mats available – you can check out my post on yoga mats and I am sure you can find the best deal for you.
The example below has an alignment marker system which helps to be correctly positioned during your exercise.
Blocks can be used to develop and even deepen dimensions of asana practices. The normal yoga block, for example, can be used for practice variations and let us see our normal poses in a different way.
There are 3 main types of yoga blocks:
Cork yoga blocks
Foam yoga blocks
Wood yoga blocks
You can buy bolsters in all shapes and sizes. They provide comfort, support poses and increase stretching during restorative postures and deep breathing exercises.
A bolster is very useful if you do yoga during pregnancy or if you have injuries or specific conditions – basically, a bolster offers support to any part of the body that requires more support.
If buying a yoga bolster, you need to think which size, shape, weight, filling and colour or pattern you want.
Using a yoga strap is a good way to get some self-help into your yoga practice. No matter what your level of experience is with yoga, a strap can provide useful help on support, alignment, and posture.
Remember not to get too excited and pull your way into postures with force! Always listen to your body, and let your body open up in its own time.
Just a few insights in why you should include meditation in your yoga practice:
Mindful meditation is not only good for your physical body but also good for your spirit.
Meditiation with a meditation cushion helps to sit more comfortable during your meditation and not let your mind wander on keeping your spine straight and holding a good posture. The cushion helps raise your hips and bring them forward allowing to put less stress on your lower back. Once your spine is aligned, the rest of your body follows naturally.
Using a cushion gets your mind to recognize that now it is time for mediation and relaxation.
Yoga Wedges can support you in poses when your ankles and wrists are too stiff and prevent you from getting your hands or feet flat on the floor. They also help to improve stability within the pose. Yoga wedges can also help in forward folds to lift the sit bones and so reach forward more easily.
This is a relatively new yoga prop but it has a lot of advantages:
- It stretches the entire front of your body
- It brings you deeper into your postures, like backbends
- It counter-balances the forward positioning which most of us have to stay in during the day in the office
- It can massage the entire length of your spine
A yoga ball helps with your postures and gives more flexibility in difficult poses. It helps with balance in various poses and let you try new poses with extra support. It also increases overall core strenght.
Yoga blankets are often used to support the body during asanas. Just like a yoga brick, the prop can be placed under the back, bottom, or head to give your body an extra lift. Using a blanket will also help to tilt your pelvis forward and prevent bad posture during your workout.
Cotton is the best material so the blanket can retain its shape and density as well as being malleable enough to be used in many different ways.
Where to buy?
Here are some of my favourite brands:
Liforme Love Yoga Mat – 4.2 mm with the original unique alignment marker system
This mat is truly planet friendly – made using the most ‘body kind’ and eco-friendly materials and processes, PVC
free, biodegradable in 1-5 years in normal landfill conditions and made
using high quality non-toxic materials that keep the mat clean and
hygienic. The unique and original “AlignForMe” system that has been
intelligently designed to guide and align Yogis of all shapes and sizes.
Dimensions 185 cm x 68 cm
Yoga Block Cork Supra Grip
Ecologically manufactured from natural cork
Yoga-Mad Cotton Buckwheat Rectangular Bolster
Perfect for meditation and relaxation, 100 % cotton fabric with zips for inner and outer covers,
100% eco-friendly buckwheat hull filling.
REEHUT D-Ring Buckle Yoga Strap
1.8M, 2.4M, 3M – Durable Polyester Cotton Adjustable Belts
ZAFU Meditation Cushion Classic
Ecological and bio-certified, organic cotton, individual seat height, organic spelt filling, cotton cover.
Yoga Studio Yoga Cork Wedge
Top and bottom surfaces slanted and correctly angled, sustainable source for cork harvesting, antimicrobial and water-resistant.
Euopat Yoga Wheel Cork Yoga
Natural cork, cork exterior provides extra layer, antimicrobial, extra strong.
Trideer Yoga Ball (Multiple Colours), 45-85cm, Anti-Burst & Extra Thick
Foot pump included, anti-burst and durable, eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic material, easy to inflate.
Lotuscrafts Yoga Blanket Savasana [200 x 150 cm]
Robust & Durable – made of 100% Organic Cotton, optimum underlayer for final relaxation in corpse pose, high quality cotton fabric, manufactured and dyed under ecological and fair working conditions.
Yoga props come in all shapes and varieties and you certainly do not need all of them but you might try out one or another and see for yourself how it can help your postures.
Let me know your experiences and I am more than happy to help with all of your questions.