Yoga Mats, Straps, Bolsters, and Other Props to Aid Your Practice


When yoga began, tens of thousands of years back, the only”equipment” required was that the body and the floor. But that started to change approximately 50 decades back, when B.K.S. Iyengar, programmer of this kind of yoga called Iyengar, introduced a number of the props we use now, states Carol Krucoff, a teacher certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists and from Yoga Alliance, the world’s largest nonprofit yoga institution that certifies schools and teachers.

“Utilizing props might help approximate the aim of this pose in a secure way so that you don’t need to force your body to a shape.”

Aadil Palkhivala, the creator of Purna Yoga College, who’s taught Iyengar yoga for at least three decades, recollects practicing yoga on a tough floor with no mat when he initially started, based on a 2017 Yoga Journal article.

Props are tools offering aid. When and if a prop functions such a function, it can be an integral part of a yoga practice, Krucoff states. Props are not only for beginners or for men and women who can not do certain poses; they’re helpful tools if you are a newcomer or a veteran yogi, she states.

The yoga mat is so omnipresent in the current yoga planet, you might not even think about it a brace. It might appear surprising, however mats (which provide cushioning between you and the ground and help stop slipping in a variety of postures) are now comparatively new to the clinic, if you think about that yoga started approximately 5,000 decades back.

The yoga mat has been the brainchild of Angela Farmer, a renowned yoga instructor, says Krucoff. (Farmer supposedly started using an early version of a yoga mat himself in the late 1960s, and has been advertising them from the 1980s.)

“Farmer desired something to place on the ground once she practiced so she would not slide or slip, so that she had the thought to use a rug pad — the sticky rubbery kind that you set under a rug — and also the very first yoga mat had been born,” says Krucoff.

For specific positions, such as Downward-Facing Dog, a pad can be quite beneficial to assist you maintain the pose, Krucoff states.

Ordinarily, you do not need to devote a great deal of cash on props — you can frequently use something that you may have around the house instead of buying a distinctive strap or a blanket, but obtaining a wonderful yoga mat is a great investment if you are thinking about continuing your clinic, Krucoff states. Poorer quality mats may continue to scents and degrade fast, ” she states. “You can anticipate a fantastic yoga mat to endure 20 decades or more,” she states.

Yoga straps (also known as”straps”) are utilized to assist you expand your reach. The reality is, the majority of us can not reach our feet when we completely straighten our legs,” states Krucoff. “This might be due to tight hamstrings, shorter arms, longer limbs, or a blend of all three,” she says — although the strap is able to help you do this, and it will be able to help you pull yourself farther to the pose to find a wider stretch.


Another example: If you are lying down on your back and you lift up one leg that you would like to elongate, by holding the end of the strap in each hand and then looping the strap round the base of your foot, then you can keep a straight leg by maintaining pressure on the ring, states Krucoff.

In certain restorative classes you may use the strap to softly tie your legs together in certain poses, like when you’re lying on the ground and have your legs up the walls, to assist you completely unwind, says Krucoff. “The strap will allow you to access and maintain poses which you may not otherwise be able to perform,” she states.


Chairs may be applied as props in many different ways, ” says Krucoff. Older individuals or people with restricted mobility because of health conditions might have a simpler time performing some seated yoga poses in a seat instead of sitting on the floor, she says.

Sitting on the ground regularly may result in bad posture since the majority of people just are not utilized to it, ” says Krucoff. “Sitting on the edge of a seat is able to help you sit tight up as you do different poses and will help build strength at the center of the human body.”

Some kinds of yoga utilize specially designed yoga seats that seem like a normal metal folding seat with no backrest, states Krucoff. “These may be utilised in standing poses and backbends,” she states.

There are various applications for a block in yoga, and frequently two cubes are used at the same time, says Krucoff.

“A single block may be used for strengthening or retaining you at a posture,” she states. By way of instance, you can maintain a cube between your thighs for a few poses (like seat present ) to keep your knees from splaying out, she states. In cases like this, you ought to keep your thighs in appropriate alignment to maintain the cube from fallingout.

Blocks may also be utilized to assist you get into a present by bringing the ground”nearer to you,” says Krucoff. By way of instance, at a lunge, my palms do not comfortably reach the ground, she states. “My spine would need to be curved, which isn’t what you would like in this particular pose,” she states.

By putting a block beneath every hand, she is able to maintain a very long spine and also do the pose correctly, ” says Krucoff.

By propping up different portions of your body, blocks also can help you get to a fuller stretch in your chest or buttocks. Employing a block can permit you to undergo a present in a brand new, deeper, or more extreme manner.

A bolster is a narrow and long pillow or pillow with company support. When utilized as a prop in yoga, a reinforce will help provide comfort and proper posture for specific poses. It is frequently utilized in healing yoga courses in which it can be set beneath the backbone or the knees, ” says Krucoff.

A restorative course is intended to help individuals find ease and calm; it is not an energetic exercise, ” says Krucoff. “It is more of a resting clinic to help people let go of anxiety. Enrolling over a bolster at a backbend or a side bend can be quite relaxing,” she states.

A bolster may also help your own alignment, states Krucoff. “Often if you are doing sitting poses on the ground, sitting on a reinforce can allow you to sit tall and nice, along with your knees fall down,” she states. Generally, to attain decent posture in a seated posture your knees must be under your buttocks, states Krucoff.

The blanket is used as a brace in yoga to aid with your alignment and also keep you warm in restorative poses. Blankets may also be used for firming and firming up regions of the human body, Krucoff states. “When I move on to hands and knees, my elbows are sort of bony, also it will help to place the blanket beneath them so that it does not hurt when I really do different poses,” she states.

“For a lot of individuals, their hips aren’t likely to be on the floor for that particular pose,” says Krucoff. By folding up the blanket and placing it beneath one of their hips for assistance, the body is able to settle to a pose with no pressure or fight,” she states.


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