The Props for Yoga series of guides document standard and innovative usages of props. Props are accessories used to enhance and improve the practice of yoga. The simple, standard props like yoga mats, blankets, belts, blocks, chairs, and bolsters are used extensively by yoga practitioners.
There are also unique props designed specifically for yoga practice.
The usage of props has to be understood in the framework of the yogic path outlined by sage Patanjali more than 2000 years ago and within the framework of Iyengar Yoga – a yoga style developed by Yogacharya (Yoga Guru) B.K.S. Iyengar in the 20th century.
Asana-s (postures) are an important part of the yogic path and are included as the third Anga (limb or element) in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga (the eightfold or eight-limbed yoga path). Yogacharya Iyengar developed the practice of asana-s to the level of art and science. He strongly believed that “Yoga is for all,” and that through asana practice one can realize the higher aspects of yoga.
This belief had motivated him to develop a wide range of props that has a variety of usages. Props enable every person to enhance his/her Sādhanā (study and discipline of yoga), regardless of physical limitations. By using props adequately one can:
- Perform āsana-s which are difficult to perform independently
- Achieve and maintain correct alignment during the practice
- Stay longer and relax in challenging āsana-s, thus attaining their full benefit
- Study and investigate āsana-s on a deeper level
- Continue practicing and improve her/his health condition even while suffering from chronic or temporary limitations and injuries.
The Props for Yoga series of guides document standard and innovative usages of props, many of which are documented for the first time. These guides are handy manuals for yoga teachers and practitioners alike. Practitioners can use them to enrich and deepen their practice, and teachers may use them to prepare interesting and enjoyable classes and workshops. The guides cover the “classic” Iyengar Yoga props, such as blocks, chairs, walls, bolsters, and ropes. They emphasize prop usages that direct awareness to different aspects of the āsana-s and to different parts of the body, in order to deepen and enhance the understanding of the āsana-s.
They are practical guides that contain detailed step-by-step instructions explaining the ways to use the props in different variations. Each guide contains hundreds of photos that accompany these instructions. In addition, these guides are enriched by:
- An introduction to each family of āsana-s, accompanied with excerpts from B.K.S. Iyengar and other important teachers as well as with Eyal’s own personal perspectives
- Comments on the physiological effects of the presented variations
- Tips for improving the practice.