top of page
  • Writer's pictureChristie Hajduk

Common Yoga Props

And how you can use them to further your practice

Common yoga props

When getting started with yoga we are often not sure what we need to get started, or rather what we actually need.

On social we see plenty of fancy clothes and creative props being used, but as someone starting out, knowing what we actually need and why we use it our practice can help weed out unnecessary purchases that just sit and collect dust.

What are props?

Props are any object that help us with our practice. The most common props you will encounter in classes, depending on the class style, are mats, blocks, straps, blankets, and bolsters (pillows). Most studios have props available for use during classes. So as a new student there is no need to rush out and buy something you are not sure what to do with.

Why do we use props in a yoga practice?

First off, props are not a sign of weakness. Props can provide a space where we can surrender. They can provide security and a safe space. They can make us feel strong and they can make us feel able.

Props are not a shortcut, a weakness, or only for beginners. Props are merely an extension of our practice, they give us room and security to explore.

**Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This does not change or affect the price of the product in anyway.**

Common Yoga Props

Some common props you will use in a yoga class include:

  • Mats: We use mats to provide gentle cushioning as well as grip. There are different thicknesses and textures to explore. The yoga mat was not a common prop until the 1980’s and is not necessary for your personal practice. That is the beautiful thing about yoga, it can be done anywhere and all you need is your body. However, in a typical group yoga class a mat is a helpful tool to prevent slipping and create your own sacred space within the studio. This is also why you will see students weaving through mats, by stepping around and not on other students mats we saw respect for their space.

Purchasing tip: I often see first time yoga students opt for a thicker mat thinking they need to cushion more where in fact the thicker the mat the more unstable your base will be. If you will be moving a lot or testing your balance and stability, try a thinner mat that will not have as much give and allow you to firmly connect with the ground.

Purchase Options and Recommendations:

  • Blocks: Blocks can be used as an extension of the body, a place of surrender, or support, or even security so our bodies know they are in a safe space. There are several different types of blocks but the most common you will see in classes are foam and cork. Foam blocks are going to be more forgiving and are great for just about every form of yoga while cork blocks are great for stabilizing and creating an extension or surface that will withstand body weight.

Purchase Options and Recommendations:

  • Blankets: Blanket’s are a great way to add more cushion where you can surrender or provide support to an area. There is no one special blanket that has to be used in your yoga practice. A simple throw blanket can provide the benefits you need for your practice.

Purchase Options and Recommendations:

  • Strap: Straps are a great way to reach areas that are just out of reach (i.e. foot or hand), guide you into higher ranges of motion while still staying in control of your movements, as well as provide stability and surrender. Straps can be used in so many different and creative ways. I often use them for tactile feedback in classes so students can feel what their body is doing.

Purchase Options and Recommendations:

  • Bolsters: Essentially pillows and cushions, bolsters are more often used in restorative or yin classes where we are “melting” or “softening” into poses. Bolsters provide the support our body needs as we give it permission to surrender.

Purchase Options and Recommendations:

  • BONUS - Balls: Not often found in your everyday yoga class is the ball. While there are some classes that will focus on these uses and be used by yogis outside of their “class” practice, balls are an underutilized prop. Balls are a great way to ease into areas of tension that may be negatively effecting motion and mobility. I like to use a lacrosse ball to roll out the feet prior to a class that focuses on standing leg balances. There are so many different techniques and uses, check out Jill Miller’s book The Roll Model for inspiration.

Purchase Options and Recommendations:

I hope this breakdown helps you determine what props you need versus what you can wait on buying until it becomes a need in your practice. And, don’t be shy using props! Now that you know some of their uses you can start to determine what props you will need based on the class and more often than not your teacher will let you know what they plan on using throughout class.

Props are not just for beginners; they are not used because you are weak. They are merely an extension of our practice and can keep us safe, take us further, and provide an area of surrender.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page