Yoga Props can be used for a number of reasons in our practice. Exploring and playing with props opens up endless possibilities to access new experiences, emotions and movements transforming your body and mind.
The use of props is often misunderstood, along with a stigma that if you’re using a prop you are struggling with a pose. Props are not a sign of weakness, but part of an intelligent evolving practice. This yoga prop guide will show you that through structured use of props you can elevate and support your practice regardless of your experience level.
We are here to clear up some of the myths and mysteries surrounding these tools. Whether these are your first steps into yoga or you have been practicing for years we hope this helps understanding what equipment is available to you at every stage of your journey. Read on to learn how to use yoga props.
Yoga Prop Guide: The Yoga Strap
The multi-purpose tool of yoga! Straps help yogis get deeper in their asana, create traction, extend or lengthen your reach and assist with balance. Providing yourself with extra space opens up possibilities and ranges of motion to all levels of yogi - from sinking further into a stretch to accessing an advanced bind you haven't quite been able to nail yet. Yoga straps are a practical tool when working to increase flexibility or opening up tighter muscles.
We offer 2 varieties of yoga strap - the AligN and the unfoLD. Both are with metal buckles - making them more secure and versatile than the looped ones you can find on the market - and come in various lengths, widths and colors.
How to use yoga props: Which length is best for me?
If you're using a strap to lengthen your reach in a pose where the final asana is just out of reach, the shorter length should suit you. If you're doing a restorative practice, then a longer strap will give you more options. If you are attaching your strap before moving into a pose a longer version will give you the ability to attach and move without losing hold of the strap. The straps come in lengths 182cm, 243cm and 304cm (6ft, 8ft and 10ft).
The AligN yoga strap is an advanced strap, modeled after the original strap design of the legendary BKS Iyengar. Equipped with a Manduka proprietary buckle and a secure interlocked system to eliminate slipping and provide support in even the most challenging positions. No time wasted - easy to buckle and unbuckle. Made with 100% natural, unbleached cotton for eco-friendly, comfortable grip and sturdiness. Offered in two lengths 243cm or 304cm. The Align strap is the widest of the two options at 4.5cm, this provides a larger surface area when pressing against your body and thus causes less digging into the body when pulling tight.
The UnfoLD yoga strap is a perfect entry level strap great for beginners who need help with flexibility or intermediate yogis looking to try new positions. Slightly narrower at 3cm and thinner than the more traditional AligN Strap, the Unfold strap is perfect for on the go. It’s a square profile strap with an innovative sure-secure buckle that holds tight. Made from 100% recycled polyester. Comes in two lengths 182cm or 243cm. The polyester blend is used to strengthen the tensile strength of the strap and ensure the cotton does not stretch when pulled. The Align strap is thick and wide enough that the 100% cotton construction does not stretch and thus is not required to have a polyester mix.
Benefits to using a yoga strap
- Improve flexibility and refine alignment & form.
- Help to stop you “overreaching” in poses and inadvertently tensing your body.
- With a strap, you can hold deeper into an asana without compromising your form, allowing you to release, relax and breathe into the pose.
Tips when using a strap
Be mindful that the strap is not there to help you pull your body further which will invite tension across the neck and shoulders. But instead it is there to give you stability and security in a position where you might lack a point of contact. Whatever the pose, try to maintain a soft grip keeping your shoulders and neck soft.
Yoga Prop Guide: The Yoga Bolster
Beginner yogis that are just learning how to use yoga props often wonder which prop to start learning to use first. For some the best and most loved prop of all is the bolster. This humble prop is the gateway to opening up a whole world of restorative yoga. Helping yogis to experience a deeper sense of release, relaxation and openness. Our bolsters are designed to provide superior support and comfort in restorative postures and deep breathing exercises. The support is softer than a lot of the traditional bolsters using buckwheat as the cushion. Through the medium firmness they also offer relief for stiffness, pregnancy aches and joint pain and can support very specific parts of the body, allowing the anatomy to function without strain or tension.
We offer three varieties of yoga bolster - the Enlight Bolster Family are coming in three different shapes and colors to fit your needs. All are made with a super soft and absorbent eQua recycled micro-fiber fabric cover to keep you dry and comfortable and easy to clean and are filled with a foam core and cotton fibre padding providing a soft to medium support.
How to choose between the shapes?
The Enlight Rectangular Bolster is great when you're first introducing a bolster into your practice. The wider, rectangular design which offers more coverage across the back when laying down and a flatter feel when being used under the wrists for support. Its lower height provides a more stable surface area when laid flat. You can also sit on it in seated postures and seated forward bends and it provides solid support in meditation postures. This is our most versatile bolster in the family. 71cm x 30cm x 13cm - 1.1kg
The Enlight Round Bolster has the traditional round shape that gives you the ability to go deeper into your open heart stretch. The curved, round design helps create a curve in the body to deepen natural arching and open the chest. It has a taller height than the rectangular, which provides more support for forwarding bends. 69cm x 23cm x 233cm - 1kg
The Lean Bolster is great for targeted stretches, and can easily be combined with other rectangular bolsters and blocks for customizable support. The lighter weight, hybrid-shaped bolster is both curved and flat for a variety of uses. 74cm x 18cm x 8cm - 0.45kg
Benefits to using a yoga bolster
- Relieves stress, tension and joint pain.
- Deep soothing effect on the mind and nervous system.
- Improves blood circulation and reduce inflammation.
Yoga Prop Guide: The Yoga Blanket
In your quest of learning how to use yoga props, yoga blankets seem like one of the easier props to learn. Despite their simplicity, yoga blankets deserve their own spot in this yoga prop guide due to their versatility. Blankets are a gentle source of warmth and support at times when a block or bolster seems to be too much. They are used for any postures relating to meditation and rest or refinement in poses, for support and alignment. Some yogis like placing it under their knees or back or wrapping themselves during Savasana for added comfort. Blankets can also bring the floor to you, purposely to soften up hard areas and weigh down parts of the body. Yoga blankets are loved for their versatility. Unlike other props, a blanket can be folded into a variety of shapes to suit different postures. Whether you need the blanket to be rolled, folded, or laid out flat, you can adjust the shape of it to suit your specific needs.
We offer two varieties of yoga blanket - a wool and cotton one. Both made with high quality recycled blends for durability and comfort.
What is the difference between the wool and cotton blankets?
The Recycled Wool Yoga Blanket is moldable and foldable to support your body in restorative and dynamic yoga poses. You can wrap yourself in ultimate warmth, comfort and versatility. Our recycled wool blanket is made of 75% recycled wool and 25% recycled synthetic fibers.
The Peruvian Recycled Cotton Yoga Blanket provides both versatility and coverage and is slightly larger than the wool blanket. You can fold, roll and stack it in any way that supports your pose - the luxe, rustic fabric moves the way you want it to. Our cotton blanket is made of the highest quality cotton blend blanket with an overlocked edge to prevent fraying.
Benefits to using a yoga blanket
- Help to stay longer and get maximum benefit from recovery poses.
- Prevent bad posture with subtle adjustment.
- Relieves stress, tension and joint pain.
Yoga Prop Guide: The Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks are one of the most all purpose props in yoga. An essential yoga prop, blocks bring the ground closer to you as well as provide deeper stretches. They can also help you with alignment in balancing poses or serve as a great platform for release tension.
They should be part of the foundation of any yogis practice regardless of their experience.
To keep all yogis supported we offer a variety of different shapes and size blocks that you’ll find in our Manduka Yoga Block Guide here. Check it out to find a deep dive into the world of yoga blocks, whether you’re just learning how to use yoga props or you’re an advanced yogi that’s perfecting their technique.