Using props in yoga

blocks

One of my classmates showed this set up to help get into Salamba Sirsasana (supported  headstand).

Years ago I was in a yoga class and at the beginning of class the teacher told us what props we needed for class that day.

Someone walked into class after the prop instructions were given. I overheard a fellow student tell the other what props the teacher had requested. She looked at the helpful student and said, I don’t use props.

I almost laughed out loud.

(I typically grab two blocks, a strap and a blanket or two.)

There has been some talk about the use of props as cheating, which I personally find ridiculous. Use of a prop is not cheating.

Last night we discussed props in teacher training.

The assignment for last night was to present a use for a particular prop.

People showed uses with straps, blocks, blankets, sand bags, chairs and a few other non-typcial props, which proved to be fun.

I learned a lot of new uses of various props. Some were eye openers. Others were cool. And some I was aware of but appreciated the reminder.

Props can help you get into a pose you wouldn’t normally be able to or give you a different experience in a pose. Props can help you get deeper into a pose and also help to protect your body. Props have so many purposes.

For my own home practice I have straps, blocks, eye pillows, sand bags, bolsters, wool blankets.

My prop presentation was with blocks and I showed the class how to work to prevent hyperextension in the knees in one pose and how to help prevent hyperextension in the elbows in another pose.

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