Yoga has appeared for a long time. While early yogi’s did not utilize props to perform their poses, but that does not mean we can’t make use of any and all tools available to us. Props are wonderful since they allow us to express ourselves more deeply in a posture while also allowing us to align our bodies better. For example, fitness yoga wheel can open up your body well. If flexibility is a consideration, the use of a prop can make it possible to “get there” in the pose, and eventually work up to not needing the prop at all. While recovering from injury or dealing with chronic pain, a prop can very well be a life saver.
Here’s a few guidelines to help you get the most benefit from your yoga prop.
The sticky mat
Yoga can be done anywhere and does not require a mat. The purpose of the mat’s “stickiness” is simply to prevent your hands and feet from sliding. It can be somewhat daunting to be in a downward dog pose and feel your hands sliding out and away from you! Yoga mats can be purchased almost anywhere and range in price from approximately $20.00 and go up to $60.00 or more. With mats you really do get what you pay for and it is advisable to get a higher quality printed PVC yoga mat, especially if your hands and feet tend to sweat easily. The greater the mat quality, the greater the grip.
Yoga mitts and socks
These create grip without needing a mat, although many people use them in addition to using a mat simply because they add even more grip.
These are absolutely wonderful props. They can be used in a variety of postures, both in adding support and aiding flexibility. For example, if when performing a forward fold you cannot reach the ground the foam yoga brick gives you the extra “reach” as well as support. Blocks can also be used under the hands when performing upward dog pose and under the hips/lower back for support when doing a back bend. In fact, many people who have aching backs and cannot normally perform a back bend, are able to do so with the assistance of a foam block.
The use of straps are a tremendous aid in increasing flexibility. For example, while performing a seated forward fold wrapping the strap around the bottoms of the feet and using the ends to pull yourself more forward allows a much deeper stretch to the back of the legs as well as the lower back.
The counter top in your kitchen can actually be a valuable prop. When performing Warrior III, many people find balance to be a struggle. Using the support of the counter allows you to maintain this position much longer. Simply fold forward, extending the arms, staying close enough to the counter that you can reach it with your hands. This will allow you to straighten out in this pose and build your balance as you practice more.
It is fun and useful to use props. Play with them and experiment to find the ones that work best for you. The main thing to remember is that anything that helps you feel more comfortable and secure in a pose is a good thing because it allows you to stay in the pose longer. The longer you can hold a posture and breathe through it, the more effective and beneficial it is. Of course the best yoga prop is your own open mind.
Fuqing Shengde Plastic & Rubber Products Co., Ltd specializes in manufacturing yoga props, please visit our website at buy-yoga.