Props may be one of the most effective ways to make yoga accessible.
It is in fact very hard to imagine my yoga practice without props. This is not just because I may find myself unable to do a particular pose but also because over the years I have been practising yoga I have also discovered that props make yoga better.
It was when I completed my restorative yoga TT that I realised how essential a bolster can be, but at the same time it did make me wonder if my students had the inclination or space for such a bulky item.
Very quickly I resorted to “slimmed-down” versions of the yoga poses using household items.
Similarly in 2020, when we all started teaching online we had to be a bit more inventive about household items we can use to effectively practice yoga.
Below you will find my top 5 that truly make yoga better … though I must mention that firm sofa cushions were a close second to the judo belts… 😉
THE HUMBLE BLANKET
The humble blanket is in fact my favourite prop.
The kind that holds its shape when folded. It can provide support, padding and it can be the perfect companion for Savasana.
Lightweight and available in everyone’s home a blanket can even make restorative yoga available without the elaborate use of other props.
THE MIGHTY CHAIR
The mighty chair is the most versatile prop in the practice of yoga. Elevating the floor to us the chair can be the centre of an entire yoga class, also known as Chair Based Yoga.
Whether you can’t or won’t get to the floor, there is very little one cannot do while using the chair. In addition it is an excellent yoga prop that can perfectly bring together groups of various abilities, making yoga inclusive.
THE TALL WALL
Similarly creating space for the practice of yoga by the wall can create a myriad of variations for standing or even prone poses.
I will never forget practising floating moon by the wall. Many of the benefits of the practice of yoga have to do with how it feels. Many call this feeling energy, prana. The support of the wall removed the need to focus on balancing allowing me to direct energy on expanding and making space in my body.
It is hard to forget how the wall can provide safety to enjoy arm balances I may not have otherwise even tried.
A footstool is the perfect alternative to a yoga block. it can raise the floor and support limbs in numerous ways. This enables the practice of yoga for those less able but also allows one to release and let go without utilising their full range of motion.
A FABRIC BELT
May it be a judo belt, or a bathrobe belt, it is the perfect alternative to a yoga strap. Like a yoga strap it enables to reach for limbs that seem to far and release unnecessary strain.
Props have over the years have not-only enabled me to practice yoga in nourishing ways, but they have also been the gateway to yoga for many of my students.
Only when yoga is adapted it can be safe & accessible.
Adapted yoga also provides a myriad of opportunities to make its practice engaging, effective and inclusive. Adapting yoga is in fact our job as yoga teachers, it allows us to guide students through the practice safely AND effectively.
Yoga poses are tools not just shapes. They can help students get stronger, more mobile, increase physical and mental awareness, create comfort in their body & mind.
It would not only be wrong to make assumptions that everyone can do something, but also it would not be in the spirit of yoga either. This is why props are essential. Through the use of props you can make yoga accessible, help students engage and participate fully in your yoga sessions and ultimately help them benefit from the practice of yoga, like intended.
Learn how to use yoga props in useful and innovative ways.
Include, support and enable your students in your classes using yoga props
Strive to make yoga a positive intervention.
CHAIR BLOCKS AND YOGA PROPS
Deepen your knowledge of yoga props placement.
Support your students fully in your yoga classes
A Yoga Alliance Accredited CE workshop
Get the insights of how props can become tools in the practice of yoga.
Deepen your understanding of the purpose, function and placement of yoga props.
Become confident and efficient in the use of props for your students.
Fully integrate the chair in your mat-based yoga classes.
Create ease, comfort and make yoga accessible.
A welcoming space to ask questions
With expert advice from the author of best selling book The Chair Yoga Handbook.