“Good props are like supportive friends–you can do so much more and feel so much better when they’re around.”
I always encourage students to develop a home practice to take the lessons of a class into their everyday lives. But living in this time since March 2020 of such uncertainty and isolation from others, it is now more important than ever to take the best possible care of ourselves at home. Good props are like supportive friends–you can do so much more and feel so much better when they’re around. Once you have these props and learn how to use them, you will wonder how you ever lived without them. I promise you, you’re worth the investment of time and money to assemble your collection. Buy good things now, and you’re done.
Here I make some specific recommendations for brands, but there can be plenty of other good brands. One thing you must do, though, is to make sure that you specify NON-TOXIC when you’re searching, as there are a lot of low-quality products out there trying to get their share of the Yoga market, many of which are manufactured with toxic chemicals you don’t want to breathe or touch. All items with a * indicates it’s a hyperlink.
- Sticky mat–Makes for a safe and stable practice surface. This Gaiam mat* is a great value and meets all my criteria. If you want to spoil yourself, a Manduka* is an investment for life. With both of these, the thickness keeps them from rippling and offers cushion, and the stickiness makes them much more stable than a cheap mat, and easier on the joints.
- Towels as Yoga Blankets–Towels work so well I see no need to purchase yoga blankets. Bath sheets or beach towels work best.
- 2 Foam blocks, 4″ wide. Gaiam is a reliable brand. See set below. NOTE: I have 3″ wide blocks as well because I prefer them for certain things. But 4″ blocks work best for most people. See block/strap set below.
- Yoga strap with metal double-D rings, 8 feet long, which works for most people. See block/strap set below. OR for those taller or broader you might prefer a 10-ft. strap––see THIS*
- HERE’S A STRAP/BLOCK SET AT A GOOD PRICE*: If you want 4″ blocks and an 8-ft. strap, this is for you.
- A Bolster*–This can be used so many ways to support your body to stretch, release, relax deeply. There really is no substitute for this bolster.
- A folding chair*. Chair yoga has a bad reputation as being only for the infirm, but trust me, so much fun can be had with a chair, and there are many things you can’t do without one! It’s important that the top of the chair back is fairly straight across instead of rounded. The link I’ve included is the best price I found on Amazon, but is for a set of 4, which I realize you might not need, unless you have some friends who need one to split the cost with. It’s silly to see how prices have gone up up up since chairs became popular as Yoga props. You might find one at a second-hand shop. Or you may have a kitchen chair that would work just fine, as long as it is stable and has a straight top on the back, as in the photo above.
- I’d love for you to add a set of YogaTuneUp balls* to your toolbox. (They come in a set of 2 in a mesh bag.) We can do amazing things with these rubbery balls to loosen up deep adhesions and as another self-massage tool. Tennis balls will do in a pinch, but they can just be quite slippery if your wall is painted with semi-gloss or glossy paint.
- For both Yoga and Foam Rolling students, see if you can set up your practice space near an open wall, one where you can lean your body against it without bumping into anything. Sometimes a set of double doors can work. A flat wall is best if possible.
Have fun choosing your colors!
**THESE LINKS WERE ALL GOOD AS OF JUNE 2020. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK THE ITEMS TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE WHAT YOU WANT.**