Yoga props are objects of support usually used in performing asanas. Many people use props to assist in moves that might be too difficult or if they can only hold the move for a short time.
Using a yoga prop is a great way to practice poses that a beginner may find difficult to perform or for those with less flexibility or balance. A yoga prop can be used to stay in a pose for a longer length of time.
Where Did Props Come From?
Yoga props were first used by B.K.S. Iyengar, founder of Iyengar yoga. Iyengar knew from his own experience the dangers of forcing oneself into poses prematurely, so he set out to develop a slower, more anatomically precise type of yoga. He used props like blocks and blankets to help students find correct alignment, this was around 1950.
These yoga props help the yogi achieve optimum benefits from a pose regardless of age, flexibility level or experience. As we have said the main reason for using yoga props is to address a need for support, it is supportive and helpful when facing obstacles on the mat.
Props help practitioners at all levels gain the sensitivity of a pose while receiving the benefits over time without overextending themselves. They allow students to practice asanas (poses) and pranayama (breath control) with greater effectiveness, ease, and stability.
Most people that use a prop can benefit from it. It can assist both physically and spiritually as an aid to the practice.
Several benefits of yoga props include improving alignment, helping you realize an effective range of motion, and helping one to understand a posture thoroughly.
The most commonly used yoga props include yoga blocks, blankets and yoga straps.
What Are The Different Props?
Yoga blocks are a prop to assist you with your practice. They can help you get into difficult poses and deepen your flexibility or simply provide the support you need.
If you’re looking to begin or deepen your yoga practice, these blocks can be a great asset.
Yoga blocks help you find perfect alignment and can be used to deepen your flexibility, venture into new poses or if you are trying to go easy on your joints and muscles.
They help extend and lengthen your alignment when your flexibility doesn’t quite reach the floor or if you can’t quite touch your toes. Also they are great helpers when you’re not quite ready for a full pose.
These lightweight-but-firm props provide reliable support under your hands, feet, torso, or head.
For general use, 4-inch Yoga Blocks are the standard. The dimensions (4″ x 6″ x 9″) have been found to be the most universally useful for average practitioners.
There are several different types of Yoga Blocks:
Foam Blocks – These blocks are usually 4-inch width and are made with environmentally-friendly EVA foam. They feel great to the touch and are well-loved by the yoga community for their size, durability, and comfort.
- Dense, strong foam which provides reliable support
- Beveled edges are comfortable for supported poses
- 4″ width provides extra stability
- Long-lasting, durable, and recyclable
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Usually Latex-free
4 in. Foam Yoga Block
Cork Yoga Blocks – These blocks are made with fast-growing, renewable cork, an incredibly comfortable and innovative block material. Their natural texture provides traction, and they usually have rounded edges making it comfortable for supported poses.
This is a great choice for eco-minded people and has been a yogi favorite for years!
Like all blocks these help you achieve eco-friendly alignment and add sturdy, grippy support to your practice.
Cork Yoga Block
Recycled Blocks – This is a lightweight prop which can be a wonderful addition to your practice, and it’s made from eco-friendly recycled foam.
These recycled blocks are slightly firmer than the regular foam yoga blocks but have many of the same characteristics.
Wood Blocks – These blocks are one of the original props designed for Iyengar yoga in India and are a very sturdy block. They usually feature a hollow construction to reduce weight, have rounded edges for comfort and are often hand-polished with eco-friendly beeswax.
Bamboo Yoga Blocks – Bamboo Blocks are made with a material you can feel great about using — some species of bamboo grow more than three feet each day! These blocks usually feature a hollow construction to reduce weight, have rounded edges for comfort, and are often topped off with a beautiful satiny finish.
Yoga Straps are an aid which can prevent unwanted movement and provide support for those with tightness in areas such as the shoulders and hamstrings.
They are also called Belts and it is said Iyengar created a belt specifically for yoga in the early ’70s.
Straps can stabilize joints and encourage flexibility. They can also be used to support inflexible parts of the body, and help to create better traction. For some people a strap or belt can provide alot of relief since it helps to relieve compression.
Yoga Straps are often made of Cotton and there are a few different types of Yoga Straps like Cotton D-Ring Yoga Strap and Cotton Cinch Strap. Both types can be locked for security so you can hold yourself in poses safely.
The common length for a Strap is 6, 8 or 10-feet and they are usually rated to 500 pounds of tensile strength.
Cotton Yoga Strap – D-Ring or Cinch
Size: 6 ft. 8 ft. 10 ft.
Price: $10.95 – $12.95
Yoga Blankets are used to provide extra padding. They are called Mexican Blankets or Yoga Blankets and these props come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They are a very useful tool and can be used to bring the floor to you, to cushion hard areas, and to weigh down an area of the body to help it release.
There are many uses for a blanket like roll it up into a mini bolster or to feel the warmth during savasana. You can use it as a thick strap for leg stretches or as a pillow in meditation.
Blankets are used in asanas such as shoulder stand pose and headstand. You can place the blanket under the knees for extra support and comfort or folded, they provide excellent support for chest-openers, twists, and forward bends.
Yoga Blankets are made of several different materials. They are usually made from Cotton, Wool or Acrylic and of these three we think the Acrylic is good.
Blankets that are strictly wool generate a funky smell after continued use and care plus the Acrylic is a great choice for yogis with wool allergies.
The cotton blankets can collect dirt and soil easily, can start to smell and they generally don’t last as long.
- Easy to care for, machine washable
- Long lasting and durable
- Usually Hand loomed
- Good for people with wool allergies
- Good to use for Restorative yoga practice
Mexican Yoga Blanket
Hand loomed Acrylic
Color and pattern will vary.
Specific colors cannot be guaranteed.
These props listed are some of the main props used by yogis and can be a great aid to your practice. They give reassurance for the difficult poses and can calm your mind during the moves that are too hard or you just can’t reach.
Some types of yoga use the props more than others but as we said most people who have used them have gotten some benefit from them, some people find them indispensable. Whether it’s a block to help you find your balance in Standing Pose or a Blanket to use during Savasana there really are many uses for the props!
See All Yoga Props >>> HERE <<<
Please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion down below. We love to hear from you!
Note: I’m an affiliate for this product so if you buy this product through one of the links on this page, I’ll get a commission. I only recommend the good stuff and this has no effect on the price you pay. But it does help me keep the content flowing on this website.
To see the full Affiliate Disclosure >> CLICK HERE <<