For some people, practicing yoga makes them feel good about their bodies. For others, it’s a spiritual practice. For all of them – it’s a way of life. Regardless of how you perceive it, practicing yoga has a wide array of benefits. It acts as a foundation for creating good habits such as self-inquiry, discipline, and non-attachment. This kind of exercise is also a great way to empower you to make conscious choices to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
There are numerous ways to learn how to practice yoga: from gyms, studios, community centers, schools, and outdoor venues to online videos and social media channels. Another great thing about yoga is that it doesn’t require any specialized equipment or tools for you to be able to practice it. In fact, sometimes you won’t even need a mat at all. All that you actually need is the will to do it, a quiet room, and enough time to focus mentally while going through the motions.
However, there are various yoga accessories that can make your experience much more enjoyable, especially if you’re just starting out. It is common for yoga beginners not to know how to properly maintain certain postures, reach their toes, or sometimes they are just afraid that they will hurt their back. Yoga accessories, such as a yoga strap, a yoga meditation pillow, a yoga block, and others, are designed to help individuals enhance their performance. Even the most advanced or flexible yoga practitioners can improve their sessions with the assistance of yoga accessories. Let’s take a look at the most common yoga props and how to use them.
Yoga Meditation Pillow
Also called a ‘yoga cushion’, this accessory is typically used during prenatal yoga, but it can also provide extra support during restorative yoga poses or meditation. The yoga meditation pillow is firm and comes in a variety of sizes, styles, and shapes, so it’s easy to find one that suits your needs. Rectangular yoga meditation pillows are perfect for those who need more support during their meditations. V-shaped yoga cushions offer support for both the knees and the neck during the seated yoga poses or floor work. Many new yogis find that sitting on the floor or maintaining certain positions for long periods of time can be exhausting. With the support of yoga bolsters, yoga practitioners can stay in the same position longer and can keep the proper form to prevent injury.
The purpose of yoga blocks is to bring the floor closer to the practitioner and add more height and length to the poses. Available in different shapes, sizes and textures, cork blocks tend to be more durable while foam blocks tend to be more lightweight and provide more cushioning. Depending on the posture, the block can be used on different heights. For example, the block can be laid flat at the lowest height, placed on the edge at the middle height or stood on its end at the tallest height.
Straps are used by practitioners as a way to add length to their limbs, allowing them to safely enter the correct alignment for poses that would otherwise be inaccessible for them if they’re still working on their flexibility. Straps are generally made of cotton or hemp with a variety of cinches (metal, plastic, or quick release). They are also available in different sizes, the standard size generally being around 170cm.
A yoga towel is a towel that you place on top of your yoga mat to absorb your sweat. This prop can be very handy, especially during the more physically demanding postures. It will prevent your yoga mat from being a slippery slide, which could compromise your balance or posture and result in a nasty injury. You should definitely consider getting a yoga towel, especially if you are a beginner or you tend to sweat a lot.
This is one of the hottest yoga props at the moment. It is an incredibly fun way to not only learn new poses but to also improve your creativity. Its shape and style are unique to every person and are always adaptable in terms of what works best for the user. It involves exploring yourself and ultimately finding new ways to express yourself through movement.
Proper Yoga Clothes
While you can do yoga wearing mostly anything, performing certain poses can get quite uncomfortable with the wrong clothes. You need pieces that are light and airy, while still having enough fabric strength to not rip, especially for postures that require more flexibility. With that being said, I suggest you buy clothes that are specifically designed for yoga.