Practicing yoga at home is a great way to work out and reduce stress. The poses tone your body and calm your mind.
If you had been going to your local studio, you may miss the shelves and closets full of props. If youâre a beginner, you may be unsure about how to use props because many videos and books leave this topic out.
Unlike training wheels that you remove once you learn to ride a bike, yoga props are beneficial at any stage in your practice. They make many poses safer and more accessible.
Props are convenient too. You can use many objects you already have lying around your house, and the rest are usually inexpensive to buy online.
Learn more about what accessories are appropriate for you. Study this quick guide to yoga props.
- Prevent injuries. Easing into poses gradually helps you to avoid overstretching your muscles or putting too much pressure on your joints. Let props do some of the work for you, especially if youâre older or disabled.
- Enjoy greater comfort. Yoga is meant to feel good. Giving your body a little extra support allows you to relax and focus on your breath.
- Advance your practice. Props help you to accomplish more. You can hold poses longer and work your way up to mastering more challenging movements.
- Extend your range. Do you find yourself struggling to touch the floor or clasp your hand around your foot? Blocks and straps shorten the distance you need to travel while you work on becoming more flexible.
- Adjust as needed. While you may have to replace your running shoes after 6 months, most yoga props last for years. As you progress, you can use a single block instead of two or switch the angle from vertical to horizontal to make it lower. Similarly, straps can be used in a variety of ways.
- Substitute books and belts. Repurposing household items saves you money and reduces your environmental impact. Books and belts may be adequate for your purposes.
- Take your seat. Using a chair tightens your hips and knees but sitting correctly on the floor loosens you up. Adding a little support under your tailbone and knees may help you get started with many sitting poses.
- Support your neck. Simple precautions will lower your risk for hyperextending your neck. Ask a certified instructor to show you how to use blankets and correct alignment in shoulder stands and similar movements.
- Warm up. The final moments of a yoga session when youâre lying on the floor are an essential part of your practice. Covering yourself with a blanket slows down the cooling off process so you can enjoy the changes that yoga makes in your body and mind.
- Straighten up. An easy way to check your alignment in many poses is to press your back against a wall. Youâll feel what itâs like to target the correct muscles, and youâll protect your lower back from injury.
- Add resistance. Pressing your hand or foot against a wall creates pressure that makes stretches more effective. Pulling against a strap works too.
- Increase your balance. If youâre a little unsteady on your feet, use a wall to keep you safe. Leaning against a wall is one way to keep from falling down.
Enrich your home yoga practice by making props a regular part of your routine. Blocks, straps, and other accessories help you to perform poses safely and more completely so you can enjoy the full benefits.