In a yoga class, it is likely you will hear your teacher say something along the lines of “place a hand on a block if you can’t reach the floor” or “use a strap if you can’t reach your toes.”
When you hear this offering do you: a) accept that the prop will better support the pose, or b) decide that to use a prop would be a sign of defeat? It is true that we use props in yoga to prevent injury from pushing too far, but for beginners to advanced yogis alike, props offer so much more to your practice!
Blocks bring the ground closer to you in Half Moon which allows you to find better alignment and a chance to understand the targeted sensation. Straps help to stabilise your joints while in deep stretches (Miranda pictured using a strap in her practise at Sunset House with another stunning sunset over Cayman) , which allows you to stay in a forward fold for longer without over stretching. In Supported Fish Pose, the bolster underneath the back allows the heart to remain open while the shoulders and arms fall heavy to the floor from the weight of gravity. You'll hear these cues and many more in our Activ Life yoga classes.
When you let go of the idea that using props is weak or defeating, you find opportunities to use your surroundings as support when you need it.
This theme holds true off the mat as well. In your day-to-day life, to asking for support is not a sign of weakness. In fact, by asking for help, we end up accomplishing more! Support is all around us, we must practice accepting it.
Miranda Morris is a yoga instructor for Activ Life, a leading health and wellness company based in the Cayman Islands. If you enjoyed this article you may also like: Yin versus yang yoga and How to use yoga props effectively.