What are Yoga Accessories ?

Yoga Accessories

Yoga accessories are an innovation of the noted yoga guru BKS Iyengar. Those with physical limitations and others who are unable to do the poses properly can use props to get proper alignment, balance and stability. In this article, we look at a few common and popular yoga accessories and their benefits.

Yoga Accessories and Benefits

Yoga Mat
The yoga mat is a basic prop used by almost all practitioners, especially in the west. It provides a safe, non-slip surface for the student to practice yoga. Yoga mats can be most useful while performing the downward facing dog, triangle, warrior, bridge and shoulder stand poses. Buy a mat that is easy to fold and does not crease.

Yoga Blocks
These yoga Accessories are useful for many poses such as triangle, wide leg stretch, side angle stretch, bridge, downward facing dog, etc. Properly placed blocks can help to give good alignment and stability.

Sandbags aid in opening and strengthening tight areas. During Shavasana (corpse pose) place a sandbag on your chest to become more aware of your breathing. This will aid in deeper breathing. You can also use a sandbag to facilitate forward bends and reclined hamstring stretch. Buy a durable sandbag for lasting benefits.

Yoga Straps
These are useful for holding and extending during difficult poses. Use yoga straps for reclined hamstring stretch, hip opening poses, bound angle, forward bend, seated chest opener, etc. Straps enable you to push yourself to the limit and as a result your become a lot more flexible over time.

These are versatile props. You can use them for neck support in plough and shoulderstand poses. You can sit on them or use one to cover yourself during Shavasana (corpse pose).

Yoga Bolsters
These are favorite yoga Accessories used by many people. You can use them for support during Shavasana, child pose, reclined bound angle pose, reclined hero pose, backbend pose etc.

Guidelines for Using Yoga Accessories
Some simple yogis use only a mat, while others use a lot a more props. Read on to learn a few guidelines about using yoga Accessories effectively:

  • Do not use props mindlessly. Use them for a reason and be clear about it. At all times, try to lessen your dependence on external aids.
  • Innovate as you go along. If you feel the need for a prop during a pose, go ahead and use it.
  • Explore doing poses with and without props. Notice the difference and see if the props are really effective or not.
  • You don’t have to stick to the above mentioned yoga Accessories. Be creative and use props like neckties, socks, books, balls, tables and walls to help you do the poses more fully.
  • Don’t get attached to yoga props. If you are used to props, every now and then keep them aside and try to do the poses without any aid. And, if you normally don’t use any prop, add a few to your routine and check if they improve your performance. Keep your mind open to all possibilities and permutations.

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