In some styles of Yoga, the only piece of equipment you need is a mat. In other styles, Yoga props may be used to help students perform postures well and experience Yoga’s benefits more fully.
Even within a given style, different teachers may vary in the degree to which they use props.
When you register for a Yoga class, find out if props will be used and if so, whether they are available for students to borrow in the studio.
Are the studio’s props clean, in good repair and easily accessible during the class?
Does the Yoga studio have enough props for all participating students?
Using Props to Deepen Your Yoga Experience
The most popular Yoga props include bolster cushions, straps, blocks and blankets.
They have a variety of purposes: to improve alignment, to increase stability, to enable deeper stretches, to provide support, and to encourage relaxation and release.
Yoga props are used most extensively in Iyengar and Iyengar-influenced Yoga classes, but teachers of other styles often like to employ them as well.
If you want to experience the full relaxation potential of Yoga props, try a Restorative Yoga class — you’ll be surprised by how mellow and renewed you feel!
When to Buy Your Own Yoga Props
If you’re new to Yoga and feel inclined to buy an array of Yoga props, resist the temptation until you get to know what Yoga styles you prefer and how your body naturally aligns in various postures.
Once you own a mat and a few props, see if you can find a dedicated spot at home for your Yoga practice. This area should have an uncluttered floor and a free wall space for learning inverted postures.
If you’re not attracted to the idea of using props, don’t worry; you’ll find plenty of Yoga classes that don’t use them. If you think props may enhance your Yoga experience, feel free to explore their potential and discover their benefits for yourself.