Yoga is all about stretching, poses and breathing. Some of us aren’t as flexible as others, and that’s okay. When I first started yoga, I couldn’t sit cross-legged and now I can. I feel that this is a HUGE win for me because I have hip dysplasia and I never thought I’d be able to sit cross-legged again. Part of my journey in yoga has been the inclusion of props, which, now, I cannot do without.
Really, you say, a blanket? Is that so that you can sleep through the yoga class? Not at all. A blanket is great to sit on to elevate your backside so that it is easier to sit cross-legged. Fold it up several times and put it under your sit bones. You will not believe how much easier it is to sit cross-legged when you do so.
You can also use a low bolster to sit on as you would a blanket. Other uses for bolsters are to prop up knees during savasana, place forehead on if you can’t get your forehead all the way to the mat, place head on during savasana, and the list goes on. Bolsters are used more during restorative or yin yoga, but they can be adapted into other forms of yoga also.
I just could NOT get through any yoga class of any type without blocks. Due to my hip issues, I often need blocks because I cannot reach the floor with my arms or forehead. Blocks to the rescue!! They are also great to help you transition from downward dog to a front lunge. You can also sit on them as you do a blanket or bolster. I also like one for under my head or knees during savasana.
Many people use straps to help them get into stretches and/or binds. But when you use a strap, it doesn’t automatically mean that you can do the pose in an instant. It helps you stretch farther, a little at a time, so that you can move safely into deeper stretches, poses, and binds. Sometimes you may start doing a pose using a strap and then after more practice, don’t need the strap anymore.
This is another item that is used more in restorative yoga, but I often use it during savasana or meditation. You take the therapy balls and put them on a block and then place your head, where your head and neck meet, on the therapy balls. It hurts so good to massage that part of your head. You can feel all the tension and knots being massaged out. You can also use them like you would a foam roller on other areas of the body.