Offering Registered Massage Therapy & Yoga Therapy in Courtenay BC

2 Props I Wish I Chose Differently

Yoga props...

There is a misconception that yoga props are ‘cheating’. But this simply isn’t true. 

In fact, yoga props can deepen your practice!

They allow you to move within your body’s true abilities, find ease through the journey in and out of positions, or feel better supported in the shape of a posture.

They provide stability, external support, a little more reach… You get the idea.

They allow you to experience a full practice without placing unnecessary strain on your body and can help prevent injury – which I’m all about! 

Many props can be substituted with things around your home

Purchasing props CAN be a bit of an investment…

You definitely want a good mat if you are struggling to find a slightly cushy but not slippery surface to practice on – but a towel or a blanket could do the trick!

A strap can be substituted with a belt, a piece of rope, or a housecoat waist strap. 

A block – depending on what you’re using it for – can be replaced with a book or two, a pillow, or a folded blanket. 

A bolster could be a big thick blanket, a cushion, or some pillows…

But if you use them enough and want the ease of a prop simply being there to grab, some are worth investing in - and they're not too expensive either!

2 blocks and a strap ARE props that I do strongly recommend people eventually invest in if they’re going to pursue a regular practice. 

They’re relatively cheap, compared to high quality mats and and proper yoga bolsters, and you can find them in many local stores. 

Straps can lend length to your arms while blocks can bring the ground up to meet you.

I use straps and blocks ALL the time! 

And, while I love the ones I have, I do wish I could go back in time and make slightly different selections…

Yoga Straps

How I would choose differently today:

When I purchased the yoga straps for my space, I went with the standard 6′ strap. 

They are great for most situations. 100%. 

But there are SOME things I now like to use straps for that require a little more length…

If I could go back, I would purchase at least 8′ straps. 

When you don’t need that extra length, that’s ok… it’s just going to dangle. 

But when you DO need that extra length – it’s there. 

A work around would be having two 6′ straps and attaching them to each other to create one long one.

Here is a video where I get into straps and give you some examples of how I use them:

Yoga Blocks

How I would choose differently today:

I find the blocks you most commonly see in most studios (including mine) are the 3″ blocks. 

Once again, these will get the job done in most instances. 

But today, if I could order all over again, I would splurge for the 4″ blocks. 

You see, blocks can be used in 3 settings. Low, medium, and high. 

The high setting makes the block the tallest off the floor, but that also means it’s resting on its smallest surface. 

Since most blocks are made out of foam, that small surface suddenly becomes much more succeptible to squishing a little under pressure. 

In many scenarios, this isn’t an issue… 

But if you’re using the block on it’s highest setting to help you reach the ‘floor’ while you’re in some kind of balancing pose? Well… You’re probably going to be putting some weight into that hand and relying on the block to be a very stable surface. 

One workaround would be purchasing 3″ wooden or cork blocks. These will be less likely to ‘squish’ slightly, however, in other postures where they are supporting your knees or back, these may feel a little harsh against your body.

Here is a video where I demonstrate different ways you might use a block in your practice, and why a slightly softer foam block may be desirable most of the time, but a 4″ block (or harder 3″ one) may be necessary in other instances. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen resonate with, and work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence.

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