What is a yoga prop? A yoga prop is any object helps you stretch, strengthen, balance, relax, or improve your body alignment. Props include yoga mats, which are sticky, non skid mats essential for providing stability and preventing your hands and feet from slipping, blankets that provide padding and support, long yoga straps and belts that are used in dozens of innovative ways to help you stretch further and prevent muscle and joint strain, bolsters, blocks, chairs and benches that support the body in various ways, wall ropes, sandbags, back benders, and many other objects designed to help students experience the various yoga poses more profoundly and safely.
Many common features of our homes or work place can also serve as props: floors, walls, doors, doorways, stairs, ledges, tables, desks, chairs, windowsills and kitchen counters. When I teach people at home, I show them how to use these common household objects to improve their posture, maintain balance and stretch, strengthen and relax.
By providing support, props help you to extend beyond habitual limitations and teach you that your body is capable of doing much more than you think it can.
Props can be used to make postures more challenging; to safely stretch farther; to work in a deeper, stronger way; and to expand, open, and blossom in a pose. In yoga we are asking the body to “work against the grain.” We are asking the body to let go of the death grip that habit and conditioning have on us. Props help us to accept this revolutionary (and evolutionary) process.
Using yoga props makes postures safer and more accessible. Most older people are quite stiff by the time they start yoga, and props allow them to practice poses they would not ordinarily be able to do. Older students also frequently come to yoga with problems, ranging from back and neck pain to knee problems to old injuries. The more problems a student has, the more useful yoga props are.
Props allow you to hold poses longer, so you can experience their healing effects. By supporting the body in the yoga posture, muscles can lengthen in a passive, non strenuous way. By opening the body, the use of props also helps to improve blood circulation and breathing capacity.
One of the greatest benefits of yoga as we grow older is that it offers exercise without exhaustion. Yoga replenishes our precious energy reserves. Supporting the body with props opens the door to what is known as “Restorative Yoga”, which not only allows you to exercise without exerting any effort but simultaneously relaxes and re-energizes you. This is critical during times when we find ourselves feeling too tired to exercise and then feeling even more tired because we are not exercising.
Moreover, yoga props are adapted to each student’s body type and flexibility. They are especially helpful to anyone who may avoid certain poses because of fear, problems with balance due to loss of hearing and eyesight, pain, or other limitations. Browse yoga props at buy-yoga.com.