Written by Catherine – Yoga Physio
As both a physio and a yoga teacher I can honestly say one of the best things you can do for your yoga practice is to use props! It’s a legitimate game changer. It’s common for teachers to make suggestions of using a block or bolster throughout a yoga class, but often it’s a bit more difficult to work out exactly how or why you should be using them, especially as we have more and more access to online classes!
The best things about using props is that they change your environment to suit your body and your yoga pose, rather than contorting your body to suit the environment. We already know that all bodies look and move differently, why should we then expect everyone to be able to come into the same position in a yoga class? As we do more and more in our homes, it’s important to listen to your body. You’ll get much more out of your practice (in all facets) if you’re not constantly fighting against your body!
A couple of examples (with home prop variations included):
Downface Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Roll up the back of your mat or have a rolled towel to tuck under the heels so that you can soften the calf stretch/ankle dorsiflexion plus make it a bit easier to soften the knees out of a full hamstring stretch.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): Use a block or a study shoe box under the front hand, either on the inside or the outside of the leg. This helps to support the torso while also changing the amount of trunk rotation, hip flexion/rotation/abduction required and decrease the likelihood that you just sink into the front knee/shin.
Warrior 3 (Tuladandasana): Use blocks, or shoeboxes, or a sturdy stack of textbooks under the hands for a bit of extra support and height for the torso before starting to hover or lift the hands. It also means if you over balance you won’t fully fall out of the pose. You can also try a standing variation where hands can rest of the wall, or edge of the couch. Nail the glute and core activation with a bit of extra support.
If you have specific niggles going on in your practice that adjustments and props still don’t cut it give us a call at the clinic on 1300 842 850 or Click here to book an appointment.