Developing a regular yoga practice can bring health and well-being for your body and mind. Yoga is a proven stress reducer. It aids in weight control and builds strength. I discovered yoga a few years ago when someone gave me a Rodney Yee tape and I began to develop a home practice. Yee says, “The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.” I agree, but I find in some yoga sequences and positions it is good to incorporate yoga props too. Props for yoga include mats, straps, blankets, bolsters, blocks, chairs and walls.
The benefit of using yoga props include:
• Props help conserve and replenish energy.
• Props make difficult poses more accessible and safe.
• Props help prevent injuries.
• Props aid stretches and strengthen muscles.
• Props can make it easier to stay in poses long enough to release tension.
• Props help create space in the spine and joint.
• Props can assist inverted and weight-bearing poses.
• Props help improve balance.
• Props help improve body alignment.
Here are some DIY prop ideas:
• Use a blanket or thick towel as a bolster or temporary yoga mat.
• Cut a small tennis ball in half to use as wrist support.
• Stack small throw pillows under your head, chest, or back as a wedge. I like the inexpensive foam pillows from IKEA.
• Tie two neckties together for a strap or use strong cloth belts.
• Use books of varying thickness as blocks. Tie them together with rope if needed.
• Use a sturdy chair for balancing poses.
DIY Yoga Blocks
What you need:
Wood (cut to 3-by-5.5-by-9 inches)
What to do:
1. Cut the blocks so that they are 5 1/2 inches wide, 9 inches long and 3 inches tall.
2. With sandpaper, soften the wood. Sand the corner proportionately.
Yoga mats break down and wear out. Gaiam has some great tips for recycling and repurposing old yoga mats. Interested in making your own fashion-forward yoga clothes? Here is an article that includes yoga props and clothing patterns.
Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.