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10 Tips for using yoga props

Yoga props can support your poses and help you to move in the right direction as your body adjusts to learning new postures.

Common props include blankets to give height and cushioning; blocks to create stability; straps to provide extra length*; and bolsters to support the body.

yogi using blocks to provide height in an arm balance
Image credit: GMB fitnees (Unsplash)

10 Tips – How to Use Props in Yoga

  1. Have your props nearby in every class. You don't want to interrupt your practice to grab one mid practice.

  2. Use the prop to help you find your edge. For example, use the block on all its different levels to see which level feels the best in poses such as bridge. Blocks also offer great support in poses like triangle and half moon allowing you to reach the floor to stabalise the pose.

  3. Use props like blankets, and blocks to make sure your spine stays straight. If you are rounding through your back while sitting in butterfly pose or any seated pose, sit on a folded blanket, or the edge of a block to sit taller and give your hips more room to open.

  4. Use props when you are recovering from an injury, or have niggling tightness or tension. (Consult a medical professional, and your yoga class teacher here). For example, kneel on a folded blanket.

  5. Use a blanket to take the pressure off the neck in shoulder stand. Make sure there is a gap between the neck and the floor. Just lie on a folded blanket, so the shoulders line up with the edge of the blanket and the head is on the floor. The blanket needs to be folded about three times to make sure its height is perfect for this.

  6. Use props like a wall to do legs up the wall, or hold on to it for balance help during tree pose or dancer’s pose. In dancer’s pose, you can face the wall, and walk a hand up the wall to make sure the heart stays open.

  7. Use a strap to make sure you don’t overstretch/injure your back in a seated forward fold, or head-to-knee pose. The strap here can make sure you still have some ease in the pose. Soften the shoulders and soften the face!

  8. Use a strap to see if you can grab hold of your fingers in cow-face arms. Use the strap to make sure the neck stays straight and you can draw the elbows away from each other.

  9. If you are practising at home and don’t have yoga props, use hardback books, cushions, a doona, blankets or a scarf.

  10. Remember, if a pose feels like too much, even while using props, don’t do the pose.

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