By Sangeetha Saran
Chances are you learned plenty about the use of props during your Yoga teacher training, but some of your students might have objections. You’ve tried to explain the value of good alignment, but many of those same students just don’t seem to get it. Let’s go over why props are essential and more than a mere marketing gimmick.
Although Yoga is known to improve flexibility and balance, some students could use help especially when they are first getting started with their practice. Props can be helpful tools for people. When used correctly, they can help the student attain the correct form of a pose or a vinyasa, as well as keep them from overextending him or herself. Tools such as bolsters, blocks, and straps are all commonly used. Students who use certain props will often aspire to improve their practice to the point where they don’t necessarily need them anymore, so they can actually serve as an inspiration.
Many people are drawn to Yoga due to its calming properties. It is certainly a good choice for almost anyone who has a stressful and hectic life – and these days, who doesn’t? However, sometimes people can be afraid to try it because they feel they won’t do well at it due to all of the stretching and balancing poses. Props are a sensible way to show people how to modify poses so that they can still get the benefit from their practice without having to push themselves into possible injury or feeling uncomfortable. Many beginners may not be able to bend over and touch their toes during a deep stretch, which can be discouraging to some people. Placing a Yoga block at their feet, especially standing it vertically at first can guide them through the stretch and give them encouragement.
Bolsters are also common props. They can help to alleviate back pain during certain reclining poses by placing them underneath the knees. This can help take pressure off the lower back. After all, if students experience pain during their practice, they might not want to continue. Showing people the correct way to use props can make a huge difference in the way they view Yoga. They can be used to build confidence and educate people.
Yoga training is a healthy way to strengthen minds and bodies. The fact is, everyone has to start somewhere. Props can also be useful to people who might be recovering from some type of injury and might not have full range of motion. They can be especially useful for pregnant women or older clientele who have limited flexibility. The bottom line is they are a way to enhance the practice of Yoga and make it even more accessible.
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