Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Introduction to Props



Welcome!

I enjoy all the wonderful things yoga props have done for my practice, so I've created this blog to share them with the ether of the internet.  Almost everything I will ever post on here, I've learned from one wonderful teacher or another.  They may have created it themselves or learned it from one of their teachers.  When I can remember who I learned the use of the prop from, I'll let you know. 

I will focus on the following props: a strap (belt), block (brick), wall, mat, and/or blanket - unless I get so excited about a new thing I learn, I must share it with you.  

You could go to your local big box store and buy these props.  Or could could support a small business, like one of these:

Yoga Mart

or

Tools for Yoga


So let's get started talking about the different types of props.

Blankets:



You get what you pay for here.

The blue ones are superior because they do not have the ridge in the middle, the way the brown ones do.  This ridge is really annoying in sirsasana (headstand).



There are also smaller off white blankets, called "Pune" blankets.  They come from India.  I don't have any to show you.



Next are blocks.  There are three main types of square blocks: wood, cork, and foam.

 Wood are stable and durable.  When you get used the hardness these blocks, you may prefer them for almost everything.
 Cork is a compromise between the wood and foam.  It's more stable than foam and softer than wood.  A good choice for the beginner.
 I don't like these that much.  The ones pictured above are the skinnier ones.  Which just proves that skinnier isn't always better.  I wouldn't buy these again, although on a rare occasion foam is preferable.  The cats like to chew on them, if you're wondering what the nicks are in the blocks.


 Straps or belts.  The blue one is called a "D" ring belt, the white is a "Pune" belt.

I usually prefer the slimmer and faster Pune belt but both are useful.

Here is how to make a belt loop.  Start with the belt as shown above.  Then for the D-ring, place the tail through both loops.  For the Pune, place the tail through the inside of the clasp:

Then, for the D-ring, thread the tail over one ring and under the other.  For the Pune belt, thread the tail through the other side of the center bar:

Now you have a loop.  Loops are useful.  If you did it correctly, it should be easy to tighten but still hold it's shape when pulled.

If you're still confused, try a video:
Pune Belt



See you next time.


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