What are yoga props?
Props are items that can support your body in a given posture in some way. As you become a more experienced practitioner, they might also be used to create more challenge.
Do I need them?
Props can be very helpful but also require financial investment. If you are interested in investing in your home practice, it is worth considering purchasing your favorite props as you familiarize yourself with each one's potential. There are wide ranges of quality and price, and it is ultimately up to personal preference.
Where can I get them?
When practicing outside of a studio, many props can be found around the home using a little creativity. If you'd like to purchase your own, most props can be found online on Amazon or websites that sell athletic gear. Below are ones that are most commonly used. Click on an image to learn more about why they are often used and for home alternatives.
Blocks shorten the distance between you and the floor. Alternative: It depends on what you are using them for. A solid shoe box will do if you do not lean into or on it. For standing or leaning, you can stack a few thick books on top of one another. Use caution and good sense!
This is often used to increase range of motion. Alternative: a long belt
These are often used in restorative or relaxing poses, or to assist in sitting upright. Alternative: Stiff pillow(s), rolled up blanket(s)
These are often used to soften contact points between your body and the floor, or simply stay comfortable in the final resting pose. Alternative: Any blanket will do, but many studios seem to have ones similar to the one pictured, as you can fold it various ways and for various thicknesses. Try to choose one that isn't made of slippery material.
Where do I even start?
Great question! As mentioned, there is a wide range of quality and price out there, and while I will always encourage you to do your own research, this can take time. If you need some help getting started, I suggest starting with two yoga blocks and a strap. They are sold together and reasonably priced, and you will get great mileage out of them. * Click on the image below to be directed to the product page on Amazon.
Next I would suggest investing in a bolster, particularly if you enjoy meditation and restorative yoga. Bolsters can be tricky because there are many variables based on preference: firm or soft, what fabrics do you like, how eco-friendly do you want to be, do you want to be able to wash the bolster easily, how big, how much you are willing to spend, etc. Oy! I hesitate to even recommend one because they are so variable. They mostly range from $35 to $90. I do recommend long ones (instead of circular) as their use is more versatile for both meditation and a physical practice. Below is a highly rated bolster by a reliable company.* The cover is not washable and it is in the high price range, but is otherwise the type of bolster that many studios invest in. Click on the image below to be directed to the product page on Amazon.
* I do not receive any compensation for posting these products on this website.