If you’re struggling with what to get or ask for this Christmas, why not give the gift of Yoga to a loved one this year? Yoga is such a vast practice, from asanas and the physical practice, to breath work and mantras. Through lockdown, I’ve noticed yoga becoming more well known, with more and more people practicing at home then recent years… Whilst you can definitely practice with no equipment, just yourself and your attention; its always a bonus to have that equipment there to increase the efficiency and benefits of practice to our body and mental health.
Todays post, i’ll talk you through the general props and equipment used in yoga, as well as some of my favourites!
1 – The obvious gift or piece of equipment for yoga, is your Mat! Providing you the stable comfy base for your practice whilst also enabling you to stay balanced and grounded; comfortable – therefore more likely to remain at it! There are so many mats out there, from only around £5 you can get a decent mat for your practice. The price can definitely range depending on the style and brand, for example lululemon have amazing reversible mats or Liforme mats, which are more expensive but include the spacing on the design for hand/foot placement.
2 – Another prop you may have used or seen people utilising, are yoga blocks, or yoga bricks/straps. These can be amazing for beginners, are anyone who likes to use props to assist and intensify or ease any asanas practiced. For example, in seated positions; blocks can be used to help lengthen the spine and drop the hips lower to the ground. (This can be extremely useful for most men, due to the alignment of the pelvis and hips.). Or, you can use blocks to bring the ground up in forward folds, to keep the back lengthened and prevent you ‘just hanging there’. An advanced use of blocks, would be in inversions – to practice balanced on the blocks. You can get blocks on amazon, cork blocks are my favourite! But any will be just as useful. Straps are used for the same idea, but to lengthen the arms as such. Wrap round your foot in hand to foot, to ensure you can reach.
3 – My Favourite prop; (I would say also the least used) is a Yoga Wheel. Although these do take up more space, and are more specific when it comes to use during asanas; once mastered a wheel can make your practice so much fun, and also more intense/challenging. the main use for my wheel in my personal practice, is back flexibility as shown. However, you can also use this for much more e.g. shoulder openers or balance practice.
4 – A Bolster can be used to heighten relaxation, whilst also providing extra comfort and openers which will increase flexibility and joint mobilisation. If you find these hard to store, too expensive or want to try; a pillow tied up can be a great alternative to lie on in svassana. This will open up your shoulders, spine, heart chakra and allow you to really ground and melt into the ground.
I hope this has given you a little bit more of an insight into some of the props used in yoga! If you use any, be sure to let me know what you liked or didn’t like/ If you would like a full post and flow using one of these props.
Merry Christmas & Best Wishes!