B. K. S. Iyengar introduced props into the modern practice of yoga to allow all practitioners access to the benefits of the postures regardless of physical condition, age, or length of study. The central purpose of using yoga props is to address a need for support. Some people like to rename yoga props to sound more appealing, like yoga “toys” or “tools.”
It is supportive and helpful when facing obstacles on the mat because it helps to meet us where we are. That’s the job it is intended to do.
Props help practitioners at all levels gain the sensitivity of a pose while receiving the benefits over time without overextending themselves. They allow students to practice asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath control) with greater effectiveness, ease, and stability.
Blocks can be used to bring the floor to you to assist with flexibility or to wake up dull areas of your body. They also help to “reduce the reach,” access core stability, and provide unique leverage in far-reaching forward bends. Blocks are very versatile, and you will love them.
Yoga Blocks come in several sizes. I like the standard size, which is 4 x 6 x 9 inches. Having a few different sizes, however, is convenient. Sometimes a student needs a 4 x 6 x 9-inch block and another Block half that thick. Blocks can be placed in three different ways, resulting in three possible heights: they can be laid flat (lowest height), placed on edge (middle height), or stood on end (tallest height).
Mats can be used to bring the floor to you, to cushion hard areas, and to weigh down an area of the body to help it release. Rolled or folded, they provide excellent support for chest-openers, twists, and forward bends. Always roll and fold the Mats so they have clean edges as they are supporting your body weight. Mats fall apart when they are not carefully folded, and this will affect the level of support they provide.
Belts stabilize joints, encourage flexibility, support inflexible parts of the body, and create traction and space—two magic words in yoga therapy, as many suffer compression somewhere. Using a yoga belt can provide instant relief for some people.
In the Sanskrit language ‘Maala’ is the meaning for a garland of beads. Typically, it is used for mediation purposes, such as counting the mantra repetitions.One of the main spiritual meaning of yoga Bracelets is the way in which it helps with breathing. By focusing on each individual bead with every inhale and exhale, the yogi can develop a stronger focus.
The thumb and index finger (a symbolization of ego) should be perpendicular to one another, with the thumb pointing up and the index finger pointing away from you. Group the remaining three fingers together and position them perpendicular to the index finger, before placing yoga Bracelet beads (or Mala) on the middle finger. This is when the mantra chanting begins and once the Guru bead is reached, chanting should stop.