Back to Yoga Basics: How to Use Yoga Props + a Free Yoga Prop Guide
Welcome to the guide that all beginner yogis need, and truthfully, all yogis who don’t use yoga props need. Whether you are the most flexible, strong badass yogi or the person whose never done a downward dog in your life, yoga props serve a purpose in your practice and deserve to be included too.
…. did you read that my overachieving yogis, this one’s for you too.
And now, let me explain why and my personal story with yoga props.
Let’s rewind five years, picture a brand new yogi in a hot as hell yoga studio, overtaxing her body to simply “make the shape”. At this point in my yoga journey, I was very concerned with how I looked, how well I could do a pose, and how much I didn’t need the help of a prop.
My thoughts went something like this….
Props are for beginners. Props are for people who can’t touch their toes. Props are for older people (like my mom). Props are for people who weren’t gymnasts, cheerleaders and/or ballerinas in their lifetime. Props are unnecessary.
But in reality, I needed a damn prop, and a I needed one bad.
And here’s where a yoga teacher should’ve stepped in and didn’t. And if you’re a yoga teacher reading this, I hope to the yoga gods that you are using, recommending, and demoing with props. And if not, now is an epic time to start.
I was a byproduct of the common statement – “we don’t know, what we don’t know”. For three years, I practiced intense, advanced asana and never considered using props. My yoga teacher wasn’t recommending it. They weren’t readily available. No one in the class was using them. And I wasn’t aware that I needed it.
Fast forward to year four of my yoga journey and I’m now in an Iyengar/Hatha yoga teacher training and ALL THE PROPS are being used – blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, wedges, chairs, the wall, eye pillows. You name it, we were using it.
At first, I wanted to continue with my propless attitude and rise above the prop. I wanted to be better than a prop. But the reality was and still is, I’m not above it. No one is above needing a prop, we all need support, we all need that extra length, we all need a little help from our friends (both on and off the yoga mat).
Fast forward one more time, to the present moment, and I’m a fervent believer in props ALL THE TIME, whenever your body needs it (not necessarily wants it). I’ve also been blessed with a local yoga studio that highly encourages the use of props, offers a well of different props to use, teaches with props, and demos with them too.
I credit my love + use of props to the teachers who taught and still teach me, so to them, I raise a block and cheers their example.
Now, why do I tell you all of this and how does it relate to you.
Well, first and foremost and before we dive any deeper, don’t forget to download the free yoga prop guide to help start or deepen your yoga journey. Click that big, beautiful button below, complete the form, and boom – the prop guide is coming at ya!
And now, back to the show!
If you’re a beginner at this whole yoga thing, here’s why props are important + the role they play:
- Props allow almost any posture to become accessible, regardless of your current “yoga level”
- Create support for special populations like pregnant women, the disabled, the much older and/or the injured
- Bring the floor to you in postures like half moon, triangle, side angle, pigeon, splits and many more.
- Aid in relaxation postures like supported fish, supta baddha konasana, supported bridge, and many more.
- Help build strength + promote alignment in postures like wheel, bridge, dolphin, forearm balance, and many more.
- Alleviate discomfort for the wrists in postures like downward dog, plank pose and/or an entire sun salutation sequence.
- They FEEL GOOD (my favorite reason).
And if you’re not a beginner and want to start using props, below are some of the many reasons why:
- Props promote integration + alignment (which is the one of the end goals in our asana practice)
- Aid in building strength + length, versus hyper mobility
- Aid in advanced asanas like headstand, handstand, arm balances and deeper hip opening postures
- Brings more awareness to your body and what it needs on that day + in that moment
- Offers support, because no matter how advanced you are, we all need it. Period.
Okay yoga tribe.
If my personal story + the many reasons above haven’t convinced you to click that download button yet, then I encourage you to click it now. The guide is an easy to follow format that breaks down the most common props + provides different ways to use each one. I promise, it’s good stuff.
And if you already use props, download it anyway, and find a new way to use a prop! Or if you’re a yoga teacher, send this blog post + the free guide to your students and help continue their personal yoga journey!
Basically, just download the damn thing, okkkuurrrr!
Let’s Talk – Do you regularly use yoga props in your practice? Did your yoga prop journey start out similar to mine? How do props help support your yoga practice? What are your favorite ways to use yoga props?
As always – drop your questions, comments, suggestions and general yoga prop love down below.
Until next time, xoxo.