Thursday, February 12, 2009

Using Props for a Better Yoga Practice

What are Yoga Props? Well, it is anything that can help you achieve better alignment and expand your practice. It can be a yoga block, a strap, the wall or the sofa. During our class yesterday, Lila put it as using your environment, which we did when we made use of the swimming pool ledge as support for some of the poses.

Props can assist you in your practice, especially if you're feeling awkward, inflexible and unstable with a posture. A wall, a firm table or a chair make great supports for balancers. Practicing the Triangle Pose with the support of a wall and chair helps lengthen the spine and open the chest.

Props can also be used to make postures more challenging; to safely stretch farther; to work in a deeper, stronger way; and to expand, open, and blossom in a pose. Placing a block beyond your reach can help you stretch your muscles even further, increasing flexibility. If you're having trouble completing some of the poses, consider using props to help you reach the correct position. Using yoga props helps support the muscles and minimize strain so that you can continue practicing without injuring yourself.

Some good props are bolsters, ideal for forward bends and lying back-bends. In the latter, they can support your neck or back, so that you do not strain too much against the drag of gravity initially. Similarly, you may use a small stool for standing forward bends, reaching to touch it instead of the floor, if your spine is stiff. In seated forward bends, a bolster or a cushion plays the same role. A belt, scarf or a tie are all good props for leg raises and bound poses.

A good prop for your yoga practice is to begin by using a thick telephone book to give you the needed extra height. Day by day, tear one page out of the phone book so that you can very gradually adjust your body to handling the alignment of the yoga pose all on your own.

Click here to learn more about Yoga Props and how to use them.

1 comment:

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