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Must Have Yoga Props and Tools to Improve Your Practice

Must Have Yoga Props and Tools to Improve Your Practice

Adding the use of yoga props to your practice can make a huge difference when it comes to elevating your yoga practice. When I began my yoga practice, yoga props were a bit intimidating as I never really knew how and where to use them. As my practice has grown, I’ve found that using props can create a world of difference in how poses feel to my body, while creating more space, length and freedom in yoga poses. Using yoga props is a great way to explore movements, asanas and to find ways to challenge yourself in your personal yoga practice.

Aside from making yoga more accessible for all levels and bodies, the addition of yoga props can provide stability and give you more space to explore different asanas, or poses, in your practice. The use of yoga props can be a game-changer when it comes to alignment, deepening a pose or for giving you that little bit extra space to find more space for flexibility and lengthening of muscles. Props (such as bolsters) are especially essential in restorative yoga practices to allow you to relax, release tension and fully explore and settle into poses while offering the important support that you need to stay safe and injury-free.

Often many believe that props are a cheat, or a way to make a practice easier. I disagree. Yoga props can give you additional support that allows you to discover how your body really feels in a pose and ways in which you can facilitate more movement leading to fine-tuned alignments or adjustments for your body. Likewise, adding the use of props, such as a block in between your thighs while in chair pose or working on core movements, can definitely increase your focus and make movements much more challenging.

Below are some of my favorite yoga props and tools to improve your practice. The list includes a few bonus yoga props and tools that aren’t a must, but that can still be incredibly useful, helpful and fun to add to your yoga prop collection.

 

Must Have Yoga Props and Tools to Improve Your Practice

Yoga Mat

A good yoga mat can make a world of difference in your practice. While you can just use the floor or a towel, a yoga mat elevates your practice in several ways. A mat gives you a strong, grippy surface to practice on which will lead to a smoother flow and less frustration (nothing is worse than a mat or towel bunching under you as your flow). Also, a yoga mat offers support and cushioning, which can make your practice more comfortable, especially for those with sensitive knees. A yoga mat can be folded or rolled up to offer more cushioning or support as needed.

Blocks

Aside from a yoga mat, yoga blocks are a must for any practice. Yoga blocks can vary and there are so many options when it comes to the material that they are made out of, height/size and weight. For most, the traditional yoga block size is perfect for all of your yoga needs.

Yoga blocks are wonderful for adding length by bringing the ground closer to you to give you extra length in your arms or legs, for improving alignment in poses, and can be wonderful for building strength by squeezing in poses (such as between hands or legs) and for offering support in inversions and arm balances. The opportunities are truly endless when it comes to using yoga blocks.

 

Bolsters and Cushions

Bolsters and cushions are an amazing addition to your practice, especially for restorative poses and prenatal yoga. They offer soft support in poses to allow you to settle into a pose comfortably while still offering important support. It can transcend a simple stretch into something much more soothing and lead to tension reduction. When practicing meditation for a longer period of time, a cushion under your bottom can add comfortable support to allow you to focus more on your meditation and less on discomfort in your body. 

Blanket 

A blanket can be super useful to add your yoga practice. They can be folded and placed under the knees to add comfort and support for sensitive joints. In restorative and yoga nidra practices, a blanket draped over the body can help lure you into a deeper and more sensual practice as well. Blankets can be used for sliding movements which can be a wonderful way to really activate and engage muscles in different ways.  

Strap 

Yoga straps are a wonderful addition to your at home or studio practice. They can be used to create more space in poses (for example, if you can’t touch your toes then a strap is a great way to add more space) and work on flexibility. Straps are wonderful, especially for bound poses as it gives you the added length needed to work on poses safely that may not have been accessible to you.  

Comfortable and Supportive Activewear 

When practicing yoga, comfortable clothes that move with you is a must. Feeling the need to constantly adjust your clothing takes away from your practice so finding supportive and well-fitting activewear can really allow you to focus on your yoga practice. There are so many options for every type of yoga practice and body type. For super sweaty practices, I love sweat-wicking materials. You know your body and what you feel comfortable in so find some pieces that make you feel supported and can easily move in. Plus, having a super cute outfit to wear can be a confidence booster and motivation in itself!

Wall

If you can find a space to practice in that has a wall accessible, use it! I love utilizing the wall in my practice. The wall is great for support in meditative poses, for inversion practices and one of my favorites: legs up the wall in savasana.

Below are a few bonus yoga props and tools that aren’t a necessity, but can add some fun and variety to your practice.

Yoga Wheel

Yoga wheels are fun tools to challenge your balance and use for added flexibility and stretching (great for stretching out your back). There are lots of different sizes and styles to choose from. I recommend finding one that is incredibly stable and offers a wider base for additional support.

Chair

There are specific yoga chairs that are backless, but a regular folding chair works too. Chairs can be used in a yoga practice for inversions and to offer support, especially for inversions to allow you to get into a deeper pose and offer support.

 

Yoga Trapeze

A yoga trapeze is totally a bonus yoga prop, but so fun for practicing with! Yoga trapezes are great for offering support and space for assisting deeper backbends. They also can be used for many different types of movements that focus on the upper body and the core as well and allow you to safely and easily get upside which is great for a quick boost of energy.

Books

There are so many wonderful yoga books available to help inspire and grow your yoga practice. I love keeping them around to thumb through, find inspiration for new asanas and poses, as well as diving deeper into the philosophical and historical tenets of yoga.

About The Author

Amber Battishill

Amber Battishill is a mom of 2, wife and creator of Mommy Gone Healthy, a healthy living and lifestyle blog for the modern mom. Her blogs focuses on healthy living, family-friendly recipes, and helping moms find balance in the chaos of motherhood. She’s also a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and finds joy sharing her passion with others. When she’s not playing with her active kiddos, you can find Amber diving into a book, practicing yoga, hiking, or getting creative in the kitchen.

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