Why Modify Yoga Poses?
There are so many reasons your journey may lead you toward
yoga. You may be searching for a new
activity, relaxation, fitness, or your higher self. You may have a health crisis, a life change, or
an injury and yoga was recommended along the way. You may simply be curious.
Just as our reasons for coming to the practice of yoga are
different, our physical practice and what we get out of it are equally
different. We have all had different
life experiences, our bodies have had injuries and illness, have met physical
and emotional stress and tension, and pushed our bodies to the limit. Because of these unique experiences, no two
bodies look exactly the same in a posture.
We all have our own Mountain, Tree, or Triangle pose. Yoga meets us where we are, in this very
Yoga props, like blocks, straps, and bolsters, have many
uses in every pose imaginable. They help
us work up the flexibility and strength to advance our practice. They assist us in opening the body,
gradually, comfortably, and safely. The
use of props gives us the opportunity to modify poses, to adapt the movements
to each and every body, guiding each of us into better alignment for our unique
By opting to use props in class, you are not “bad” at
yoga. When your teacher offers you a
block, she is not correcting you. In
fact, when modifications and propping are offered in class, you are given the
opportunity to honor your body. We discover
our abilities and limitations, how they change from day to day, and learn so
much about ourselves. Props are tools
that guide your physical alignment in class so your mind can be open to the
deeper dimensions of the practice. A
block can bring the floor closer to your reaching finger tips and allow
extension through the spine. A strap can
allow you to practice a seated forward bend with less tension in your shoulders,
and therefore, less tension in your mind.
A bolster can make you feel relaxed and completely supported in child’s
pose for a profound sense of surrender.
How do props enhance your practice?
What is your favorite prop in yoga class?