Login / Sign Up

How to use yoga props at home

April 22nd, 2019

In Education

Want to start a home yoga practice, but don’t want to invest a lot of money in buy a bunch of yoga props? Never fear! You can easily use common household items to support your yoga practice. Here are some easy to find substitutes for the props that you have grown to love in the studio.

1. Blocks

Contrary to popular beliefs, blocks don’t make the practice easier (in fact, it can sometimes get harder!), but they can help to improve alignment and make the yoga practice accessible to a wide range of body types and proportions. Blocks are commonly used to “raise the floor” and offer support. For example, you may put a block under your hand in a pose like side angle (parsvakonasana) in order to maintain even length in both sides of your torso, or put blocks under your hands in a forward fold (uttanasana) if you can’t easily reach the floor.   

Home option: in lieu of a block, use few thick books. Hard cover is best, but your favorite paperbacks can work too.

2. Straps

Straps are often used to help practitioners “make their arms longer” so that they can hold onto parts of the body that may otherwise be too far away. For example, you may put a strap around your feet when doing a seated forward fold, or put a strap around the lifted foot when doing a reclined leg stretch. By using a strap, you can maintain the length of your spine and open the hamstrings effectively, rather than hunching forward through the torso.

Home option: in lieu of a strap, you can use a necktie, scarf or hand towel.

One of the benefits of the yoga practice is that you don’t need a lot of fancy props or accessories to have a great practice experience. In fact, you don’t even need a yoga mat! If you don’t have a mat, simply make sure that you have a clean space on your carpet or floor for your practice, or use a towel as a mat substitute.   

3. Chip Foam Blocks

Chip foam blocks are thinner and softer versions of larger hard foam blocks. They are often used to cushion the body (for example, to add a layer of cushion between your knee and the floor in a low lunge) or give you a bit of height (for example, you can sit on a chip foam block when sitting cross-legged in order to help you have more lift through your spine).

Home option: in lieu of a chip foam block, a firm pillow or folded blanket can do the job. Folded blankets are wonderful and versatile props for home use, as you can tailor the height of the support by how you fold them.

4. Bolsters

Bolsters are firm, thick, oblong pillows that are often used to support the body in restorative shapes. They can also be used to lift the pelvis higher to facilitate sitting comfortably. Practitioners often use bolsters under the knees to support releasing the lower back in savasana, or lay on a bolster in order to create a supported, restorative backbend.

Home option: in lieu of a bolster, use firm pillows or seat cushion. Opt for firm pillows rather than soft pillows to get the optimal support.

5. Weighted balls

If you are taking a fitness class like Pilates or Barre, then you may be asked to have a weight or weighted ball available to add intensity to your work.  

Home option: Many household objects can substitute as weights. For example, you can grab a nice can of beans from your cupboard and immediately amplify the intensity of your workout.

One of the benefits of the yoga practice is that you don’t need a lot of fancy props or accessories to have a great practice experience. In fact, you don’t even need a yoga mat! If you don’t have a mat, simply make sure that you have a clean space on your carpet or floor for your practice, or use a towel as a mat substitute.   

Happy practicing!

Share this on: