Six fun ways to use different yoga props

4 min read

For the first couple of years of my practice, I would arrive at a yoga class, roll out my mat, and prepare to get started. But after persisting through a couple of injuries and deepening my understanding of anatomy in yoga teacher training and workshops, I now begin every class with my beloved blocks, strap, blanket, and bolster by my side.

Props can be a great way to enjoy your yoga practice, explore the benefits of certain postures, and care for your body. Here are some creative ways to use yoga props.

Create a new seat.

Many students find that a deep chair posture is challenging. However, it can also be one where we become complacent and lose our connection with our center line.

Want to refresh your Chair? Start with your feet hip-width away. Bring a block between your thighs before you lower your bottom. You will feel a strong engagement in your inner thighs and the pelvic floor. It is important to be able to maintain this engagement even without the block. Try adding and removing blocks in any position where engagement with the center line is important, such as the Plank or Chair pose.

Go Fishing

After I had taught the modified fish pose to a group of students, one student said to me, “I cannot believe I have never done this before.” This posture is also called a heart-bench. This combination will give you a wonderful combination of heart opening and back bending.

Start with two blocks at low heights, one in the middle of your spine and the other under your head. As you get more comfortable, you can adjust the height of the blocks. Breathe deeply and stay in this position for 1-3 minutes.

Dance it Out

Dancer’s Pose is a pose that many of us find beautiful and feminine. It’s traditionally done by reaching the opposite arm back towards the raised leg. Start in Mountain Pose, and bend your right leg.

Wrap the strap around your right foot, then raise both arms with bent elbows. Keep your focus and balance throughout. Play with the tension of the strap to feel supported but engaged. Repeat the process on the other side.

Create a Rainbow

Bring the strap in both hands with your arms spread wide. The strap is raised overhead, then lowered backward. Open the heart and breathe. Keep your hands wide on the belt, and bring your arms forward and back.

Imagine you are painting two different rainbows around you. Continue moving the strap forward, backward, up, and over several times, matching your movements to your breath. This pose is great for strengthening and toning the shoulders.

Draw Your Bow

Bow Pose opens up the shoulders and heart. Have you ever tried it on a cushion?

Bring a large bolster underneath your belly. You can grab your ankles with your hands behind you by lowering your midsection gently on the bolster. Bring your attention to your second chakra located under your belly button. Inhale deeply.

Connect it All

This amazing Restorative Yoga pose uses a strap and bolsters to finish off your prop exploration. Bring a blanket or bolster behind your back. Make a loop in your belt, and then bring it over your head.

Bring your knees together in a bound angle position. Make sure that the strap is wide enough. Adjust as necessary. Bring the strap around the outside of your feet.

Bring bolsters under your knees, and recline backward for suptabaddha konasana. Enjoy this opening energy for 5-10 mins.

You can use different props, such as straps, blocks, and bolsters, to enhance your yoga practice. What are your favorite ways of incorporating props onto the mat?

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