Have you ever been to a yoga class? Then maybe you have already used “yoga props” to support your practice. But do you really need any of these props for your yoga practice?
Which yoga props are there?
In this article I will only give you some insights to the yoga material & props that I am familiar with, i.e. that I am using in my own practice. Before we start with the props I want to share some thoughts about basic items needed for yoga…
Your most important tool when practicing yoga will be your yoga mat. There are different kinds of mats: From thick to thin, “normal” size to extra large, white to black, plastic to natural materials. Whichever you prefer is totally up to each yoga practicioner. I own several mats and I prefer a yoga mat that is thin (less than 5 mm) and made of natural rubber.
When it comes to the price of your yoga mat I cannot suggest anything in particular… Some of my mats were rather cheap (less than 10 USD, bought at Walmart) and I really like them, while I don’t necessarily like the more expensive one I own.
Make sure you buy a yoga mat with good grip. Your hands and feet should not slip away on the mat, this would be dangerous and can affect your practice. I suggest trying out a pose like downward facing dog when buying a new mat – at least put your hands on the mat to see if you have the grip you need.
The grip on the mat leads me to another yoga material not necessarily considered a prop. If you sweat a lot, for example during practice in the summer, you can get a yoga towel and put it on the mat. It will absorb all the sweat dripping down and will protect you from slippinng off the mat. Plus you can wash it so you always have a clean cover for your yoga mat. I bought mine on a Chinese website, you can find them on Amazon as well.
A (regular) towel
If you are looking for better grip especially for your hands it might already be sufficient to put a (microfiber) towel at the front end of your mat. Whenever you go from forward fold to plank you will put your hands on the towel instead of the mat. You can also use the towel as a little bolster to sit on in the beginning and end of class.
Mat cleaning spray
Every once in a while you will want to clean your yoga mat and at least make it smell nicely again. There are sprays from several brands that you can buy in order to clean your mat. Here is one article with the guide how to make a DIY mat refreshing spray 🙂
A yoga belt is a long strap that can help you deepen your stretches in several postures. For example, you can use it as a prolongation of your arm, when your hands cannot yet touch your feet in seated forward bend. Kaisa Kapanen from “DoYouYoga” put together some exercises for you to try with the yoga belt, find them here. I bought my yoga belts from Decathlon in China/Germany.
Yoga blocks are used to support you in various postures. They help you further open the hip in butterfly pose and they help you find & keep your balance in halfmoon pose. You can use them to works on your splits and to deepen your backbends. Yes, you can practice yoga without yoga blocks, but it’s so much better with them!
You can get yoga blocks in different sizes, colors and made of different materials. I personally recommend wooden yoga blocks. They are a little heavier than others and that’s exactly what makes them perfect for practice. They give you the support you need and add some weights here and there if you want to challenge yourself. I am currently making my own yoga blocks out of wood and will post the “how” on the blog.
Last but not least, the bolster. It is especially widely used in Yin Yoga, when postures are held for a long time. The bolster can be used for any other yoga style as well. You can sit on it during pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation, or you can, for example, rest your lower back on the bolster in bridge pose. Bolsters come in different sizes, depending on what you want to do with it. My yoga school in India, Rishikesh Yogpeeth, had rather think bolsters. (What you see in the picture above is not considered a bolster, it’s more like a cushion for pranayama and meditation.)
There are several other yoga props that I have not tried yet. I don’t think all of them are necessary, but some can definitely support your practice. The yoga industry is growing, and so is the number of props. There is always something new to try out. The next thing I want to get is a yoga wheel 🙂
Which yoga props do you usually include in your practice? Namaste ♥