Think yoga accessories are over-rated? Think again about these useful yoga props to have handy to make you progress safely in your practice”, says Diana Azavedo, E-RYT 500 yoga teacher in Dubai.
Most of us remember our first Yoga class, where we tread upon the mat nervous, yet excited. We see objects at the corner of the room including bolsters, blocks, straps and only pray that we don’t have to use those suspicious looking objects. Yoga Props are part of every good yoga studio. And here we’ll go through some of the most important props necessary for you to progress through your practice safely and for give you more length and space in the body.
1. Yoga Mat
I guess this is an obvious one, but let’s explore it anyway. A good yoga mat is one of the best investments you can make. With so many options now, from colors to patterns to textures, I would say pick one that has a great grip for those down dog moments, has a good enough thickness for the knee and of course pick a color that you love. Your yoga mat will be a reminder of what a great support system Yoga is to you. Each time you unroll your mat, you set a conscious intention to heal yourself and grow stronger and healthier.
Pick a durable one, even if it is more expensive. The cheaper ones tend to wear out quickly causing the hands to slide after a couple of sun salutations.
2. Yoga Block
I always ask all my yoga practitioners in class to have at least one block by their mat. The block is such a useful prop to have around. It can be used if you have tight hamstrings and cannot reach the floor with your fingers. You can use them in some balances, standing as well as arm balances. In my home practice, I always use the block to create space and length in my back.
There are different types of blocks you can buy – foam, cork and wooden. The cork and foam ones are my favorite since I’m not particularly fond of the heavy and hard wooden ones. The foam ones are light and easy to carry around, whereas the cork ones can provide good stability. Choose your pick.
3. Yoga Strap
This is yet another handy item to have. The yoga strap helps particularly if your hamstrings ae not as co-operative as you’d like them to be. In seated forward folds, the strap comes handy when the fingers are desperately trying to reach the toes and simply don’t. The length the strap provides also keep the back fairly straight and keep you from rounding. The strap can be used in creative ways to loop around the shoulders to keep them back and down. Also around the hips in the somehow opener poses. I suggest a strong sturdy long strap with a buckle to be able to loop the strap around if needed.
4. Yoga bolster
If you don’t recollect what a bolster is, it’s a big side body cushiony pillow to enhance comfort in classes like Yin, restorative, prenatal and meditation. So if these are amongst your favorites practices, then a bolster can be a delicious investment for your home practice.
A bolster comes in either a circular or a rectangle shape, firmer than a cushion, its main purpose to provide ultimate comfort. The best use of a bolster in my practice has been to use it underneath my knees in savasana (the final relaxation pose) to flatten my lower back. Sometimes the natural curve in the lower back tends to be uncomfortable when you lie on the floor for a long period of time. Bolster to the rescue.
5. Yoga Mat bag and Mat cleaner
I would call these accessories more than defining them as props. To maintain the longevity of your mat and to keep it clean and fresh, having a nice mat clean mat spray comes handy. Most of the yoga studios have mat sprays. Some mats have cleaning guidelines so be sure to check them before you purchase your may spray. And last but not the least, a yogi has got to have a cool ethnic trendy vibrant bag to properly carry their yoga mat in.
By: Diana Azavedo.
Diana Azavedo is a Yoga enthusiast and expert, offering RYT 200 hour yoga teacher training in Dubai and yoga retreats worldwide.
For more information visit: www.radianceofyoga.com