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Using Yoga Straps, Yoga Blocks, Yoga Blankets, Yoga Props in General

Using yoga props like yoga straps, yoga blocks and yoga blankets

Fitness classes are interesting environments. There can be some level of competition between participants, which can work well to push you to work a bit harder than you might otherwise. But in some cases, particularly yoga, where the focus is on looking inward, the competition element is a bit out of place. It can also make students reluctant to use yoga props as they might need to. But I find that once students understand a few uses for yoga straps, yoga blocks and yoga blankets, they’re much more likely to grab them and use them through class on their own.

Common Yoga Props & How to Use Them

Yoga Blocks

Yoga blocks are probably the most common prop you’ll find in a yoga studio, and easy to find at Target or other retailers. Blocks are versatile and serve a variety of uses throughout class. Most commonly, blocks are nice to have to “bring the floor closer.” Basic anatomical differences might mean that one student can easily reach the floor in pyramid pose, and others, with shorter arms, cannot. Using a block on either side of the foot allows the T Rex arm student (of which I am one) to plant their hands, microstraighten their knee and keep their spine from rounding. Basically, the block allows them reach the floor more easily. This is handy in any pose where reaching to the floor is cued. Extended side angle, triangle, pyramid, etc.

Here are other favorite uses of blocks for me as an instructor and a student:

I even keep a block under my desk at work to help with low back pain in my office chair!

Yoga Straps

Yoga straps are also generally available in studios and retail locations, but any belt or strap will work. Straps provide firm resistance – these aren’t exercise bands or something that bends and stretches – and assist with form and alignment. They’re particularly helpful for those with tight shoulders, hips and hamstrings, or any tight area.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use a yoga strap in my practice.

Yoga Blankets

To be completely honestly, blankets puzzled me as a yoga student for a while. It wasn’t until my own teacher training that I started to understand how they could be used, and not until I took a restorative yoga course with Judith Lasater that I really understood the amazing benefits that just a blanket or two can have in a yoga class.

Using Yoga Props in Every Yoga Practice

Some studios may only have one or two of the yoga props mentioned above. Try to grab them for every practice – prompted or not – and see how they enhance your experience from class to class.

What are your favorite ways to use yoga props in yoga classes?

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