It's difficult to enjoy your yoga practice if you don't have the right yoga supplies or props to help support your body in achieving postures your body cannot do on its own. The right props not only keep you safe, but help you maintain proper form so you still reap the benefits of poses you might otherwise have to pass on.
A prop is any piece of equipment that helps you reach a yoga posture. Most yogis use the following props during their practice:
A yoga mat is a slightly sticky, nonskid pad that will anchor you to the floor and prevent you from sliding or slipping. The mat should be thin and light enough to easily roll up and carry, but should also be cushy enough to protect you from the hard floor.
These blankets provide padding and support. They can be folded up and inserted under the sits bones or under the forehead to support you as you attempt a position. They can be tucked under your lower back to support you as you attempt positions from a supine position (lying on your back, face up).
Blocks are firm rectangular boxes or cubes that allow you to reach poses you otherwise could not reach safely. The use of a block is referred to as "bringing the floor up to you." By using the different sides of the block, you can act as though you have indeed reached the floor, allowing you to lean on the block as you would the floor, if you could reach it in the desired asana.
Like blocks, bolsters are used to support your body as you move from one position to another, but bolsters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are shaped cushions used to support your back, neck, knees or ankles.
A strap is used to bring parts of your body to one another and to deepen a stretch. A strap is normally looped around your ankle or foot, while the other end of the strap is held in your hand so you can pull your foot or ankle into your body or stretch better without overextending anything.
Wall straps are looped pieces of fabric used to provide balance while performing a posture.
By using props, you will be able to rest in the yoga positions longer and feel the healing effects longer while avoiding injury. You can fashion homemade props from all kinds of materials if you do not wish to invest in ready-made props.
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