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The Benefits of Props

 

Props, props, props. I feel like props don’t get enough respect so I’m going to give them a shoutout on behalf of everyone... mad props to props! But seriously though, props can do so much good for your practice - you can use them to create space in the body, intensify a posture or experience the yumminess of a supported practice.

 

I think props sometimes get a bad rap because people think that if they use them, it means that they’re beginners. But realistically, props can be useful in asana practice no matter what level of experience you have. You only outgrow props when you fail to be creative and use them to their fullest potential.

 

These days, there are so many varieties of props to use. I’ll list some of the basic props below and my favorite uses of them, but you should always feel free to search around for what works best for you!

Blocks

 

Blocks are a go-to prop for me. They're perfect for providing support in postures so I can focus on my alignment. Blocks are also great for learning how to take flight in arm balances.

 

My favorite uses:

  • Putting a block under the supporting hand in ardha chandrasana (half moon pose), trikonasana (triangle pose), and utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)

  • Placing both feet on one block before taking flight for bakasana (crow pose)

 

 

 Straps

 

Straps are an awesome prop for creating space in the body, finding length through the limbs, and warming up the joints. I like to use both stiff and stretchy straps in my practice depending on what I'm working on.

 

My favorite uses:

  • Holding both ends of a stretchy strap and taking the arms back and forth between the front and back sides of the body

  • Attached to the foot if the toes aren't accessible in supta padangusthasana (reclined hand-to-big-toe pose)

 

 Blankets

 

Blankets are a must-have prop for me. They're great for meditation seats, cushioning for joints and keeping me cozy during savasana (corpse pose).

 

My favorite uses:

  • Under the knees for cushioning during marjaryasana-bitilasana (cat-cow pose) and anjaneyasana (low lunge)

  • Under the heel of the palm to address wrist sensitivities during adho mukha dandasana (high plank) and adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog)

 

Wheels

 

Wheels are amazing for massaging the spine, opening the front side of the body and shoulders, practicing inversions, intensifying stretches, doing core work and challenging balance. 

 

My favorite uses:

  • Preparing for kapotasana (pigeon pose)

  • Stretching the hamstrings and hip flexors for hanumanasana (monkey pose aka splits)

  • Passing the wheel between the hands and feet for core work in navasana (boat pose)

  • Balancing during malasana (yogi squat)

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Hi, I'm Vanessa! I am a yogi who believes in the power of delicious food made with lots of love. This blog is a place for me to share my love for yoga and tasty, wholesome vegan food.

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