Using “props” doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of specialized merchandise to duplicate what they have in your local yoga studio. In fact, for almost every prop we use at BendnMove for poses, there is something in your house that you can use in its place.
Blocks. In most cases, you can use a book or a stack of books in place of a block or a small stool or low chair. The only time you need to be careful about this is when you are placing both hands on a height (for example, in Downward-Facing Dog pose with hands on blocks). In this case, make sure if you use books are exactly the same height or stools or chair are secure and won’t slip.. And, of course, if you’re handy, there is no reason why you can’t make your own blocks out of pieces of wood you happen to have out in your garage. Just be sure to sand them well pr cover them with a towel so you don’t get any splinters.
Straps. For a yoga strap substitute, look no further than your closet. Depending on which pose you’re doing, you can use an actual belt (leather or cloth). The sash from a bathrobe works quite well. You could even use an actual tie. And, yes, it’s nice to have one of those yoga strap buckles when you want to make a loop, but you could always tie a knot in the belt for the same effect. Just make sure that the cloth isn’t stretchy, as it won’t provide the necessary support if there is a lot of give to it.
Bolsters. I’d say if there’s one prop it’s worth investing in and Milo has 2 round and two rectangular ones left, they can provide so much use and comfort…. That being said, you can “fake” a bolster by rolling a couple of blankets into a firm roll. Start with one single blanket that is folded into quarters. Then, from the narrow side, roll the blanket into a tight, firm roll. Then fold your second blanket into quarters. Finally, place the rolled-up first blanket on top of the flat second blanket, lining up the edges of both at narrow end, and then roll the second blanket around the first. Pretty close to a bolster, right? To keep it firm use bathrobe sash or belts to hold it together. Another possibility is to use a sleeping bag that has been rolled up inside its bag for storage. Milo also has two bolster covers with zippers that if stuffed with towels or a big blanket will make a great bolster. They are $7 @.
In many poses, the bolster doesn’t even need to be a round shape. In this case, you can fold some yoga blankets into long, thin rectangles and stack them on top of each other. This works well for savasana and Restorative classes.
Blankets. The blankets used in yoga studios are cotton. Because few people use real blankets any more, it’s a bit hard to find a substitute blanket in the house. The comforters and duvets we now use on our bed are too fluffy to provide any real support. However, when push comes to shove, a stack of towels can do the trick. Because towels are thinner than cotton blankets, you’ll have to use more to achieve. Beach towels also work great. Milo has 4 blankets left, one wool, 3 recycled materials, very fluffy and one cotton left. They are $10 and she will deliver.
Yoga Mats. If you’re practicing on a wooden or carpeted floor, you might not even need a yoga mat at all for your standing poses. Try it and see. If you are resting your head on the floor and you don’t have a mat use a towel or blanket under your head. You can also use a towel for cushioning your knees or any other part of your body. Milo has 6 mats for only $7 each still available. If you buy two you have very cushy support.
Eye Pillows. An eye pillow has two functions. The first is to block out the light. For this purpose, you can drape a silk scarf or any other soft fabric over your eyes. The second purpose is to add a little weight to your eyelids, which can enhance relaxation. To add a little weight, you could wrap the silk scarf around a folded washcloth or even a small baggie filled with rice, beans or lentils.
Sandbags. A bag of rice or beans works just as well when you want to place a 1 or 5 pound weight on your body. You could also put some small pebbles in a gym sock.
Miscellaneous Props-Be creative
Be creative! Sometimes you can use various pieces of furniture in your house such as benches, ottomans, and coffee tables for various poses. Even your couches can be used for “Legs on a Couch pose,” easy way of doing an Inverted pose even without a chair.
We hope this helps you in collecting props to make you practice more enjoyable. We want to support our community. Remember Milo will deliver items to you.