Something has been on my mind. It’s really bothered me lately. I’ve noticed something about yoga class that really does concern me: some people don’t want to use props in their yoga practice. I’ll admit it…I once felt that way too. But age and experience and changes in my body have changed my mind. You see, the ego gets the definition of prop mixed up with crutch all the time and then it’s on…reaching too far, risking injury, showing that we can do the full expression of the pose. ( I won’t even get started here about the other 7 limbs of yoga and how they are shoved elsewhere when we get competitive.) But it doesn’t have to be this way.
I wanted to dig a little deeper, maybe make it easier to pick up that block the next time you go to yoga class. So here you go:
1.a pole or beam used as a support or to keep something in position, typically one that is not an integral part of the thing supported.
“300 tubular steel props”
|synonyms:||pole, post, support, upright, brace, buttress, stay,strut, stanchion, shore, pier, pillar, pile, piling,bolster, truss, column
“the roof is held up by props”
1.position something underneath (someone or something) for support.
“she propped her chin in the palm of her right hand”
|synonyms:||hold up, shore up, bolster up, buttress, support,brace, underpin
“this post is propping the wall up“
noun: crutch; plural noun: crutches
1.a long stick with a crosspiece at the top, used as a support under the armpit by a lame person.
2.archaic/another term for crotch (of the body or a garment)
Did you notice what I did in those definitions? A PROP is a support. A crutch is a long stick blah blah blah. (And let’s not even discuss the archaic definition.) Support…Long stick. Now, if you use a long stick as a support, then a crutch would be a prop. But a prop is NOT a crutch. Let that sink in: a prop is not a crutch.
A prop is a tool for helping your body successfully get into the pose the way your body needs to! Our bodies are not put together the same way. Our joints are different sizes; our bones don’t match in length. I could go on for a while with this, but you get it. We are as different on the inside as we are on the outside.
I hope this helps. Truly. Yoga is about using your body and the tools you need to support it, whether you’re on the mat or off.
The next time you walk in the studio, grab a block or two. Grab a blanket. Maybe even a strap. And get comfy. Use them, and if you’re teacher isn’t and you’re not sure how…ASK! Or send me a message, and I’ll help you. These props are practice changers.
I hope you’ll try them, and that you have the same experience I did…and do. Every time I practice!
Here’s some inspiration from a recent practice…a block party.