There are so many benefits to using props such as blocks, bolsters and belts. They can completely transform your practice making poses that may not have been accessible to you before feel more spacious and stable. Using props isn’t just for beginners but for seasoned yogis too.
It wasn’t until I started using props that I really began to feel the true magic of yoga. I remember the first time a bolster was placed under my knees in Savasana, it was like my whole world had been transformed. Everything in my body softened as the bolster took away the pressure from my lower back. My body felt supported and I was able to go into deeper relaxation.
Often we see the use of props as a sign of weakness, when in fact, the opposite is true! I often see clients looking despondent when I suggest a block or a look of judgement that they’re not flexible enough, but that’s one of the reasons we’re practising yoga. Blocks and belts can bring you closer to the floor and your toes too! When used correctly, they can help you avoid injury as well as allow you to go deeper into your practice safely and with stability.
Props can also help you breathe properly in a pose. It’s often the first thing that goes when we struggle, it’s easy to forget to breathe deeply when you’re focusing so hard on maintaining your body position. Using props helps you breathe a fuller, deeper breath which relaxes the nervous system and allows a sense of calm that helps improve flexibility.
Getting rid of the stigma that props are a sign of weakness is where the practice of yoga really begins. Withdrawing from one’s ego and accepting yourself exactly where you are, without judgement is where it can be a challenge. I often use a block in Trikonasana (triangle pose) and in half moon. Placing a block under my lower hand can really allow me to create space and improve my alignment allowing me to feel the benefits without over stretching and straining. In more restorative poses, such as using a bolster in childs pose or a block for supported bridge, you become fully supported and the magic of a deeper practice comes into play. So next time you come to the mat, why not take a block or a belt and see where your practice takes you. A few props with the right approach will make all the difference!
All props are provided in class :0)