A Checklist Of Props to help with your Yoga Practice
The most important thing is safety first. And if only every pose were as easy as Mountain, pictured above, you would not need props. But as you learn more, you will find some poses challenging. There are a number of yoga props that can help you when you are just getting started with yoga, and which can also deepen your practice as you progress and try to improve your postures for better results.
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A good non-skid yoga mat will allow you to practice your yoga safely almost anywhere, including at the park or beach and on a wooden floor. A bag or strap to carry it is also useful. The mats come in a range of attractive colors and thicknesses. Choose a thick one if you have any joint issues or arthritis.
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A yoga strap can support you to hold a posture or deepen it. You can loop it around the sole of your foot, for example, when you are sitting, so you can bend closer to your toes, or raise your leg up in the air for a good stretch and extra support. You can also use them behind your back to try to get your hands closer together for more flexibility in the shoulders and back. A sock can also help with this.
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These provide support and stability. They can also be used with certain postures to make them either easier or more challenging, and some people use them to sit on for long periods of time.
They come in a range of colors, sizes and thicknesses. They can be used in conjunction with a strap to hold it in place if you are supporting your back, for instance.
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A yoga bolster can be used to support the body in a number of ways, sitting or lying down, to help with form and comfort. They come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles depending on what you wish to use them for, such as to make it more comfortable for sitting, leg or back poses on the floor. You can also use them to make your Corpse pose more comfortable by using it as a neck pillow.
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The most popular cushion is the classic Zafu or medication cushion that looks like a powder puff. Others styles include the crescent that protects the butt and knees, knee cushions, and wedge-shaped cushions that you put under your butt to stop you from slouching during your seated yoga and mediations.
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Some people like to cover themselves when they are doing deep relaxation. Others use the blanket to practice on instead of a mat. They come in a range of colors, styles and fabrics.
Blankets are a good idea for anyone who has musculoskeletal issues, because cold muscles are more tense and prone to injury. If you are not going to use a blanket for your deep relaxation, have a long-sleeved jacket or sweatshirt, and some long sweat pants handy to stay snug and warm.
Tools of Yoga Practice Video
Other options for props:
A metal folding chair
These are used for balance and certain poses. The chair seat should be upholstered and the chair placed on your mat so you do not get injured by anything slipping around during your practice. A chair is also useful for those who can’t stand up for very long or who wish to try certain poses in a seated position.
You can use your walls to steady yourself with your hand. It is also idea for inverted poses such as shoulder, head and handstands if you get very ambitious with your yoga practice. For extra steadiness, use a corner of the room. A wall is also useful for certain poses, such as the Legs Up the Wall pose.
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These bands are used in rehabilitation to strengthen muscles and stabilize joints. Adding a bit more pressure to a movement can lead to faster muscle development. The bands usually come in rolls you can cut to the correct length you need for your practice. The color can sometimes determine the amount of resistance being applied.
Note: Since these can snap and cause injury because they are made of elastic, and can also slip from your grip compared with a cotton yoga strap, cut the bands long enough to wrap around your hands rather than just grip them with your thumbs and the sides of your hands.
They can be used like a strap to steady legs in different poses, or extend your range of motion such as getting your hands to touch behind your back.
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Resistance bands can be used during many yoga poses, or attached to the wall or door frame to make the poses more challenging.
These bands are light weight but are flexible and easy to carry and use almost anywhere. The treated rubber is designed to offer a certain number of pounds of resistance similar to if you were lifting weights. You can use a 3 to 5 pound band, for example, up to about 75 pounds, to build long, lean muscle quickly. Long; lean muscle is the key to a faster metabolism and weight control or weight loss.
The bands are stackable, that is, you can put more than on onto your handles to increase the resistance. Most bands come in sets that allow you to stack them in different combinations to get the weight you want, or use all of them at the same time for maximum resistance.
Most kits will have a couple of extra pieces of equipment that are very useful in the context of yoga. The first is an anchor. The second is a leg strap made of Velcro.
The anchor allows you to attach your bands to a door frame to so you can use them in different positions, for example, adding resistance to any arm movements you might be doing standing up or sitting on the floor.
The leg strap can be used with the anchor to attach the resistance bands to one of your legs at a time. In this way you can give each leg an even better workout. Just be sure to avoid overextending the legs or stepping out too far, since this might cause you to trip or fall.
Also be sure to use your resistance bands as intended, gripping the handles firmly. To avoid serious injury, you might also wish to use safety goggles.
Always put safety first and see what a difference yoga can make to your health and fitness.
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The right yoga tools can enhance your yoga practice.