There are a wide variety of yoga props available to enhance any yoga practice.
The most popular to use are blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters which come in a variety of shapes ranging from circular to square, rectangular to triangle. These are available in every yoga studio, gym, and fitness center.
They are also available for purchase online and at many nationally known stores, such as Target.
So, the question is – do you use yoga props in your classes as well as your personal practice?
It appears most yoga practitioners don’t.
I personally did not start using yoga blocks until I had been taking yoga classes for 5 years because I erroneously thought they were only useful in Iyengar Yoga, which is a healing form of yoga founded in India by B.K.S Iyengar.
Over the years, I have learned that yoga props are beneficial in all forms of yoga, for all ages, all abilities, and offer a variety of benefits to relieve tension, go deeper into a pose, encourage greater relaxation, and play with self-made limits.
Let’s take a moment to explore all of the benefits of yoga props and how you can incorporate them into your classes.
The Benefits of Yoga Props
Whether we admit it or not, cost is a factor with every activity we embark on, so being able to find low-cost products to add to your yoga business and practice is vital.
Having a variety of yoga props to fit the needs of your students helps them go deeper into their practice without the need to bring their own bag of goodies.
The average cost for yoga props is between $5 and $90.00 for each individual prop, depending on the type of prop, brand, and what it is made of, so here is a breakdown to get a better idea.
- Yoga straps – $5-18
- Yoga blocks – $7-34
- Yoga bolsters – $20-100
- Yoga blankets – $13-50
Most companies also offer discounts for buying in bulk, so whether you are updating your business supply or buying gifts for others, it may be the most economical to take this option.
Adding props to yoga can be extremely fun!
By adding blocks and bolsters to any yoga class, students are encouraged to play with them and experiment with how they enhance their practice.
Learning that a strap can help to go deeper into seated and supine leg extensions as well as shoulder stretches is life changing!
Through playing with the props, any mental barriers to them start to fade away.
For example, the idea that they are only for those who need help to go all the way into a pose disappears.
Some students also have a fear of how to use the various props, so bringing them out for all to use in an open and fun setting educates them while helping dissolve the fear.
Cow-Face Pose is one of the top poses that comes to mind when I think of a strap allowing a sense of playfulness and deeper understanding of the body and the pose.
Holding the strap in one hand behind the head and one hand at the lower back, allows a playfulness and freedom when feeling the resistance from pulling both ends of the strap!
Modifications are not always needed, however, when they are, blocks, straps, and bolsters allow a full feeling of the poses as well as a deeper understanding of the body and each individual students’ limitations.
Not only can it be fun to play with modifications, it also provides a foundation for your students to know that yoga props are not just for getting in and out of a pose, but also for going deeper into the stretch, into their breath, and into a sense of relaxation.
This can be the hardest concept to share with your students as so many people have their own limitations set as to what props are used for, what their body can do, and what their body can’t do.
Triangle pose is a wonderful way to share the beauty of blocks!
By placing the block at the inside of the foot at the top of the mat it becomes a helper to rest the hand on and feel the full stretch through the arm, allowing a deeper opening through the chest and shoulder.
It also allows the ability to breathe into the pose and allow additional release as a result.
Encourages Deeper Relaxation
The use of all these props we have previously mentioned can allow a deeper release of tightness in the body and draw in deeper relaxation in the mind when doing Restorative and Yin yoga poses by supporting one area that holds tightness and letting another area open deeper.
One of the best examples of this is folding over a bolster in Child’s Pose.
This allows a deep release in the neck and spine by supporting the head and chest on the bolster.
It is also important to know that the enjoyment of deeper relaxation can be found in all yoga classes through the use of props as each prop offers a bridge to connect the body and breath by the supportive nature of simply using them.
As you can see there are so many benefits to using props in your yoga classes!
A prop used mindfully can take your students into new experiences of the poses that they may not have previously explored.
It is so exciting to see people feel the poses on a deeper level, tune into their body and find what feels right for them in each pose in a playful, exploratory way and continue to guide them on this path through the help of supporting props.
Each prop has such a unique ability to help each yogi and yogini on their individual path feel the healing, stress releasing, and connective power of yoga.
As B.K.S. Iyengar, the father of Iyengar Yoga states, “The body is the prop for the soul, so why not let the body be propped by a wall or a block?”