I’ve been practicing yoga for a while, since I was thirteen years old really, which means I have now been doing yoga for 30 years!!! Holy crap time flies when you’re having fun. In that time I’ve fallen in and out of love with yoga, you could say we’ve had an on off relationship. This year however has been the year of yoga. I decided in November last year to become a registered yoga instructor (I had a basic yoga certificate but never did the full 200 hour certification) which meant fully immersing myself in all aspects of yoga. One big thing that changed for me was removing my ego from the poses. I tend to be an overachiever (yes really!) and so wanted to do the ‘full’ versions of poses. Props are for sissies right? No! No they are not. Smart people use props. people that honor yoga and their bodies use props, I use props.
Disclosure: It’s always my policy to make you aware that links in this post may be affiliate links meaning I earn a small commision from sales made through those links. Also some of the products below were provided free for a fair and honest review, all opinions are my own.
5 Yoga Props to Improve Your Yoga Practice
Ok so first things first, don’t go crazy! If you look up yoga props, equipment, tools, etc on Amazon a TON of stuff comes up. And if you’re like me you’ll want it all. But if you are new to yoga there are only a few things you NEED so let’s get down to the five basic Yoga Props to Improve Your Yoga Practice…
1 – A Yoga Mat
If you are embarking on a regular yoga practice I’d advise getting your own mat. If you’ve take a class using gym/studio mats before you know it feels kinda ‘icky’ right? A mat is Yoga Props to Improve Your Yoga Practice because it puts your mind at rest, your mat, your yoga, your sweat. Yoga is about being present which is hard to do when you’re thinking if that damp patch is your doing or from the class beforehand. The Veda Yoga mat is a nice yoga mat I’ve been using recently. Nice and long, a little more cushioned than my other yoga mats and honestly it’s just so comfortable. If like me you practice in multiple locations spend the money and get a mat for each location. I have one in the living room, home gym. rv and I keep one in the trunk for classes/clients.
2 – Yoga Blocks
Blocks are a MUST for yoga practice. Heck even gyms have blocks. They may not have straps, blankets, bolsters, sand bags or other fancy studio stuff but blocks… they are a basic. Blocks are usually around 9″x6″x4″ and so can be used at three different heights. Never be afraid to use a block, and put your ego aside. Yoga is about listening to your body, and honoring it. If it’s screaming in a posture then USE A BLOCK. In some postures they just bring the floor up to meet your hand.
It’s always good to get two blocks so that you aren’t messing around moving blocks from one side to another. Plus for some poses you may need one under each hand, or maybe they need to be stacked together for a jenga effect. Blocks can also be used for strength work between the thighs. That really fires up a sun salutation!
In other postures they can add MORE to a pose, yep they aren’t just for beginners! Blocks placed behind the foot can add length to your legs for seated folds really increasing the intensity in the poses.Plus it really makes you focus on keeping the toes UP!
3 – A Yoga Strap
If blocks bridge the gap from floor to hand, then straps bridge the foot to hand gap. There are a couple of types on the market with either plastic clasps or metal clasp, or no clasp at all. I prefer the metal loop kind like this one from Veda Yoga. I love that the strap and 2 blocks come as a set!
For me I love the strap for hamstrings and hips. Always have. Having something to push into, or against just really helps fire up the muscles so they can fully release when relaxed. It’s also one of the things I would say has opened up my hamstrings over the last few years. The back side of my legs is tight, always. My massage balls have helped but straps are the bomb for getting good length!
4 – Yoga Bolster
I will admit that the whole 10 months I’ve been going to Yoga Nook I’ve been coveting a yoga bolster for my home practice. However they were just so expensive, then one day I’m browsing Amazon and in the side bar is this steal of deal for the Yoga Direct Bolster. It was an Amazon Prime one -off daily deal. I got this amazing bolster for just $25! It’s from yoga direct and 24″ long x 6″ high x 12″ wide and I got purple to match my products from Veda Yoga.
My favorite is using it as support for savasana. I used to just lie on the floor but in yoga training they had us use the bolster under the knees and it’s just delicious. If you can get a hold of a bolster for your home practice definitely do! My practice has been so much more relaxing with the bolster.
I also use my bolster for meditation. I don’t sit cross legged as it’s just not comfortable for me. Instead I straddle the bolster. Not only is it comfortable but it’s made my meditation easier as I can just grab the bolster, and sit anywhere. There is a handle on the end which means it’s very easy to transport.
5 – Yoga Blanket or Towel
Really you have lots of options for blankets. The one I have (not shown because it’s in the trunk of my car) I bought at the yoga studio. I also use the yoga towel from Veda Yoga too. A yoga blanket just adds support, plus in cold weather you can throw it over yourself in savasana. Sometimes it’s nice under the head or other bony areas that might feel uncomfortable on the floor. The towel wicks away sweat for vinyasa and ashtanga classes but also can serve as a mat when travelling. I like the towels for putting over the community mats at the gym/studio. If these aren’t in your budget then I’d suggest toe sox. I have a few pairs of these socks with the silicone grippy dots on the sole and they work great, plus my feet don’t get dirty from the studio floors!
So those are my 5 Yoga Props to Improve Your Yoga Practice
What yoga equipment do you use?
What are your yoga essentials?
What props do you want to get?
Oh man, I need these so badly! Having just started on the yoga journey (and being seriously out of shape) you may have just saved my life! My husband and children thank you. 🙂
I have never heard of yoga props before – other than a yoga mat. The others times are new to me. They would make yoga easier for me.
Definitely blocks make things much easier and poses more accessible.
What I don’t have is a bolster. That’s next on my list!
Definitely love having one at home!
Michelle @ Sunshine and Hurricanes.com
I’m not a yogi but these seem like useful ideas!
I really need to get into yoga and practice! I could so use it! lol
I’ve never thought about using some of these, other than the strap. I’ll have to revisit!
Blocks are amazing. Though I am LOVING my bolster, because its new I think 😉
I have straps and a mat – you’re right about using other people’s mats – icky!!
I never used blocks.
heck yeah! I really want to lie down in someone else’s sweat…. ugh
I’ve been meaning to resume doing yoga since I injured my back. I never thought about using any of these products during my yoga practice but I can totally see the benefits of using them, especially the bolster. Pinned 🙂
Thanks for pinning. Back injuries are no fun, but yoga has really helped my sciatica!
I enjoyed reading this. I don’t know a lot about yoga but I’ve been very interested!
You should definitely try it. Classes are a great way to go for proper instruction but there are so many dvds and even youtube videos.
I keep wanting to get into yoga! This makes me want to even more!
Do it! I’ve been doing it since I was 13, and have my teacher exam next weekend!
I tried yoga once. I wasn’t very good at it but I am open to trying it again.
That’s the thing about yoga, it’s YOUR practice. Drop the ego, honor your body, and be present, listening to your body and how it moves. It really connects you and your body.
Thanks so much for sharing this. I now know what I need besides a mat.
A mat is a start. I like buying one thing each month. Like my own gym membership fee 😀
Thanks for the awesome pictures! Yoga can be confusing to me, so these help!
Oh I plan on posting more about yoga in the upcoming months, so stay tuned!