Props

The use of props is a defining aspect of the Iyengar method for teaching yoga.  The various props in Iyengar yoga are all designed to give our stiff bodies an increased access to the various postures of yoga.

As we age we inevitably find ourselves with stiff bodies.  You wake up one morning and realize that those feet that you use to play endlessly with as a child are now out of reach, and by a long way.  You know that you should do something about your loss of flexibility.  A regular yoga class would help, but you worry you’re too far gone.  ‘I’ll never reach my feet again and I can’t fold in half like a circus performer” – why bother.

We fear that we’re so stiff a yoga class won’t do any good.  “I should have started yoga long before I got to this stage”.

But this isn’t the case and yoga and the correct use of props can really help you.  In truth you’ll spend half your time in your initial classes working out which props to use.  A bolster here, a chair there, a block for this, the belt for that.

Some schools of yoga thought say that props create an attachment and argue that this conflicts with the philosophy of yoga, regarding the relinquishing of our attachments.  However, yoga also strongly emphasizes health, and props offer support that enables us to achieve the correct alignment in the yoga postures - especially when you first start out on your yoga journey.  The correct use of props reduces the risk of injury by providing the student with greater access to the postures in a safe manner.  Iyengar certified teachers are trained specifically in how to use props effectively with their students.

Eventually, with continued practice, your dependence on props will diminish.  But from time to time you will find yourself going back to using a prop, especially if you have an injury from one of life’s activities, a sore back from gardening, wrenched shoulder from sailing etc.

Mats and props are all available at the studio.  Some practitioners bring their own mats and that’s ok as long as it is appropriate for yoga.

Mats and props are available for sale from the studio for you to continue your home practice between classes.  Find out more about props prices here.