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A lot of us practice Yoga for years but rarely use props. They might feel unnecessary considering the benefits of Yoga but they can help in many ways. Some of us feel like it is un-yogi like to use props but many yoga teachers suggest using props and not only to beginners who cannot touch their toes or perform the mountain pose properly but seasoned practitioners as well. Using Yoga props is not a sign of weakness in any way.
Many people think that props make asanas easier but actually they simply allow you to do them the way they’re supposed to be done. Actually, they greatly enhance the way you practice Yoga and take you to an advanced level. However, if you’re a beginner, you should take yoga classes before you start your own practice. Activate FITPASS to attend yoga classes across India at your preferred time of the day. You can also get FITCOACH – your smart fitness coach – that offers customized workouts based on your needs and preferences.
Props have been used for many decades but it’s only these days that they are seen as accessories. What they do is enable you to tailor your practice that befits the shape, structure, and ability of your body. They help you achieve good alignment instead of having to exert extra force to look like you’re doing it right when in reality you might be straining a body part. Plus a yoga block, for example, can help you prevent injuries, achieve the right alignment and get the best of a pose irrespective of whether it opens, stretches, strengthens, or all of those together.
Yoga classes these days are quite intense. Some misguided individuals seek the benefits of other workout regimes with Yoga, which it can provide but only partially. One of the key aspects to focus on while doing Yoga is breathing. When we struggle with a pose, it’s our breathing that alters. Yoga is all about breathing correctly while doing the asanas for their benefits. Using a prop allows your body to maintain the pose and breathe accordingly. Using deep diaphragmatic breath activates the nervous system and makes you calmer. This benefit of yoga props should be welcome to all of us whose lives are full of stress.
Some yoga poses are such that you can benefit from them only if you use a prop. Take bridge or camel pose for example; squeeze a block between your legs and your adductor muscles get the benefit of the exercise, which otherwise they wouldn’t. Likewise, props can help make progressions easier for you. The Jump Through exercise in Ashtanga Yoga is an advanced one, which is difficult to master. But if you place yoga blocks under your hands, you will be able to do it quicker than without them. And learning the exercise with props and transitioning to doing them without them is better than getting injured.
The practice of slow and controlled breathing, which is essential to yoga, can help you achieve mindfulness and yet calm your racing mind. When it comes to that, props can assist you to achieve steadiness to be present in the moment and be aware of your body. They can help you tune out the chatter and other internal distractions. Yoga instructors affirm that props allow us to experience peaceful moments by helping us maintain a pose. Without them, we might keep worrying about falling or not doing it right. If a prop allows you to perfectly do the half-moon pose and clams your mind, why not use it? What would be the point of wobbling and trying much too hard to hold the pose and injuring yourself in the process?
Do you ever think about how the block feels under your hand? Or how you feel when you use a bolster or a strap? When you realize how you feel in these moments, that is the feedback that allows you to understand how your body moves in space thereby increasing awareness of your muscles and their imbalances. You get to know about the compensations you make subconsciously and how it affects your entire body. Basically, you can learn how your body is interconnected and how it works in unison. This knowledge ultimately allows you to work on the issues and lead a happy, more efficient life even when you’re not doing yoga.
Still, you do not always need to use a prop. Consult an instructor to determine when to use them and when not.