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To prop or not to prop

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Let’s talk about Yoga Props – or should we call them Yoga Accessories

Does the thought of using a ‘yoga prop’ in yoga practice invite a judgement around ‘not being enough’ for example not bendy enough, not fit enough, not strong enough ? If yes – then stop right there, these perceptions are totally false and may just be a catalyst towards exacerbating a niggle towards a full blown injury – or they might be preventing you from giving yoga a try.

Props are commonly used to tailor yoga practice to the specific shape and structure of a person’s body. The use of props can include a chair, block, strap, cushions, or rolling your mat up to raise your hips whilst seated on the floor - thus opening up a whole new story around ‘who can do yoga’ - Refer to my last blog – Yoga practice is not just for the young, fully mobile and bendy. (Why should they have all the fun) !

Using props provide comfort and allows participants to focus on ‘their yoga’ – props provide the opportunity to tune in without an annoying voice saying ‘ this is feeling weird, I’m not comfortable, but I need to do what the instructor is doing’ – ‘ I suck at this’ or worse still – ‘crack, snap what just happened?’.

We come in different shapes and sizes, different limb dimensions, with limbs, without limbs - different levels of strength and mobility – so why do so many feel we all need to look the same in a yoga posture?

There is no one size fit’s all – props allow us to practice safely without discomfort, they are not a sign of weakness, in fact I admire the people who understand their own body and take an interest in how props can be used to assist their practice. Props empower us to receive the benefits of yoga by allowing us the opportunity to ‘learn and listen’ to our body, quieten the mind and move toward the true purpose of yoga described in the Sutras of Patanjali – sutra 1.2 ‘Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind’….to help with alleviating mental chatter that draws us away from the present moment, that keeps us distracted, often draining our energy – I could go on – it’s another much longer topic!

Give yoga props or ‘accessories’ a try !


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