How To Use Yoga Props To Enhance Your Practice?
Some poses might seem impossibly distant to you now, and the best way to practice them would be to do easier variations. Yoga props, such as blocks, pillows, straps, and walls, can aid you by modifying the postures. Once you are more confident, you may opt to remove the props and try doing the poses by yourself. Realistically, this is considered as the most natural way to advance in a pose. Without some sort of help, it is very likely that you would practice the posture with the wrong alignment; thus, it will not benefit you well and may also be a more significant risk to injury. For example, in a pigeon or straddle pose, you can first put elbows on a vertical block. Then, lower the block horizontally; and in the end, eradicate the block.
Props can also help us get rid of fear and build our confidence in some of the advanced poses. A great example of this would be arm balances which are best learned with the help of the wall. The best way to practice a posture is to do it; doing a headstand at the wall beats any plank or downward dog practice. Strengthening and conditioning can help with strength; but for alignment, nothing beats trying the actual pose. Also, specifically for arm balances, confidence is often the most significant bridge to pass; commonly the strength is not an issue at all.
It is proven that higher flexibility is easier to reach with the help of a partner. In the same way, some things could never be achieved without some resistance. If you don’t have a partner, some straps or a wall could do this work for you. Some of the common uses of props for flexibility are to slide your legs on the wall in the split position or to use a strap to pull your leg closer in a standing split or dancer pose. Another good example is shoulder dislocation stretch with a strap. In this exercise, you should hold the strap with both hands, and they should be at about hip distance apart. Then rotate your arms towards your back with controlled movement.
Props can also help you to be more creative and add more fun with your poses; and therefore, avoid monotony and practice with ease. Furthermore, they can allow you to play like a child when actually doing some serious work with your body. A great example of this is Aerial yoga, a recent trend which uses silk swings for assistance in poses. Since it is getting popular, you could easily find a class like this near you; or if you are really into it, invest in your own yoga swing to be able to practice aerial whenever you feel like it.
All in all, props are a very powerful tool that we can and should make use of.