Are Yoga Props Just for the Beginners?
When you first venture into the world of yoga classes and online tutorials, you likely discovered that you needed a variety of props to move your body into position. Purple foam blocks, rubbery straps, and bolsters may have lined your yoga space. It was nearly impossible to consider practicing without these essential items while your body adjusted to a new asana.
Somewhere along the way, many yogis attempt to leave these props behind them. They believe that the props are the hallmark of a beginner and have no place in a seasoned practice. What once felt foreign and uncomfortable now becomes second nature. They may mistakenly believe that they don’t need these props to help them move deeper into their practice.
Props shouldn’t be just for the beginner yogi though. These aids are amazing tools to help prevent accidental injury from misalignment in a particular asana. Over time, your focus may shift onto moving deeper into the posture instead of on your alignment. Your body may not be quite prepared to stretch or bend that way.
The truth is that your body may never be able to move in a certain way.
As yogis, we must learn to accept our body’s limitations and embrace our unique form. This means that we will inherently have limits imposed on our practice by the shape, size, and construction of our bodies. This isn’t something that you should be ashamed of during a yoga class. Instead, you need to learn to embrace your shortcomings in the ultimate form of self-love.
Instead of forcing your body into the asana, a yoga prop can help you to challenge the limits gracefully. You can focus more on proper alignment and breathing in a much safer practice using these props.
Sometimes, your body may simply be feeling tired during your yoga practice. It may be unwise to push the bounds of your physical limits. Listen to what your body is saying to you and choose to use the yoga props available to you instead. This is a great way to nourish your physical body and honor yourself through the sacred practice of yoga.
They can also be excellent tools to assist you in learning a new posture. Consider how difficult it can be to try a new arm balance or inversion for the first time. Yogis are sometimes tempted to try difficult poses without the props to demonstrate their natural ability or flexibility. This sets them up to form bad habits when it comes to their alignment in the posture.
It is far better to use the props and become accustomed to the yoga pose properly. This can prevent long-term problems that can cause serious damages to your body over time.
In the end, yoga props should be made accessible for yogis of all levels and experiences. They can help you to develop a safer practice that honors your physical body to a much greater degree. You may want to consider adding a few yoga props into your routine this week.