How To Make Your Own Yoga Props
One of the reasons why yoga is so universally loved is that you can practice it anywhere you want and anytime you want. You don’t need to be in a studio or have tons of equipment to become a yogi. All you need is your body. But if you do want to use props to aid in your practice, the equipment can be surprisingly expensive. Making your own yoga equipment will help you save money and get you back to your poses without breaking the bank. Here are five common yoga props you can easily make by yourself.
Yoga blocks help stabilize you during difficult poses so you can hold longer. This gives you a better stretch as well as strengthens your muscles until they’re strong enough to hold the pose without assistance. Blocks also provide comfort and relaxation during sitting poses if you don’t use a bolster. Blocks made specifically for yoga practices are usually made from a compact foam material. But since blocks are used primarily for stabilization, you can usually find objects around your house that will easily work as well. Thick books like a dictionary, sturdy Tupperware, small furniture, and bricks will work perfectly to keep you stabilized in harder poses without costing you a cent.
Another popular piece of equipment you can make yourself are yoga belts. These belts — also called yoga straps — assist with deeper stretches. If you’re feeling like you’re spending enough time stretching but aren’t seeing improvements in your flexibility, having a yoga strap will help you get into a deeper stretch and help you hold it for longer. You can make your own yoga belt with things from around your house. Old neckties, bathrobe ties, pant belts, or scarves all work great. Make sure you don’t use something you want to keep looking nice though, since you’ll be stretching it out and wearing it down with use.
If your yoga practice is focused around improving flexibility and getting deeper stretches, sandbags are a great equipment addition. They usually weigh around 10 pounds and are placed on certain parts of the body in specific poses to assist in the stretch. The extra weight deepens the stretch and can add some much-needed resistance. Yoga-specific sandbags can be expensive, but you can make your own using materials around the house. You can fill your bag with anything you want, but sand, beans, or rice will all work perfectly. If you decide to use sand, make sure you’re using the right type of sand. Too fine a grain (like the sand you find on beaches) and it will leak from the bag and won’t be heavy enough to be effective. Coarser sand like the types used in construction will provide the weight you need to get a solid stretch.
For yoga practitioners who focus on more restorative practices instead of strength training or flexibility, bolsters are essential. These yoga-specific pillows provide extra support and comfort to poses—letting people perform longer and deeper holds. But bolsters can cost a lot more money than you’d first think. Instead of spending money for a yoga bolster, you can easily use a pillow from home or a rolled-up blanket and get the same results. You can also make your own bolster for cheap. Depending on the pose and hold, you’ll want to roll up the blankets differently to provide more or less thickness and density. Your DIY bolster may not look as professional as others, but they will still provide the same support and comfort as a store-bought one.
Yoga wheels are a relatively new prop in the yoga space, and most likely won’t be found in traditional yoga classes. But they are a great addition to your personal yoga practice and even for everyday stretching. Yoga wheels are usually around 10 to 12 inches in diameter and 4-inches wide and made from either plastic or wood. These wheels are used to assist in deep stretches and provide additional support in advanced poses.
Yoga wheels can cost almost $100—but you can easily make one yourself. All you need is some PVC pipe in the desired size (the larger the diameter, the deeper the stretch) and an old yoga mat or other comfortable material to place on the outside of the wheel. Cut the PVC pipe to your desired thickness and attach the mat to the outside of the wheel, and you’re good to use your DIY wheel whenever you need an extra stretch.
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