A few weeks ago, a student came a bit late to my class and before she could sit down, I walked over to her to give her two blocks. Her reaction was phrased with only one word: “Why?” It took me off-guard and I only said: “You will find out.”. I had planned a few moves for the class where you were supposed to hold the block between your hands, and later on to lay on them for a chest opener. So everybody in class needed these props.

A few hours after class, I was still thinking about her questions and the dismissive facial expression coming along with it. I kept wondering if she might have seen it as a kind of insult. “Oh, you look very inflexible. Please take these blocks.” I still don’t know what the “why” was really for. But I show now even more in my class that blocks and belts are great and not a sign of being an inferior Yoga student.

So, here we go. Three reasons, why you should love your props.

  1. Actions speak louder than words
    Receiving the instructions to activate the inner thighs and rotate them back is way more difficult than giving someone a block between the thighs with the task to press into it and try to push it backwards.
    A specific task is easier than trying to activate certain muscle groups without a specific purpose – especially for beginners. The block will also give you constant feedback if you are still engaging or not.  For example I love to use a belt in crescent pose around the legs. I keep on pointing out to have a strong back leg in my classes, but I can see in the faces of the students that the true meaning of this is found once they press into the belt with their legs. And voila: the back leg is not just an accessory any longer.
  2. Every body and everybody is different
    Long arms but short legs, long legs but short arms, long legs but short upper body, etc. There are so many  variations in the human body. We are all shaped differently and there are certain bone structures we won’t be able to change. So this has nothing to do with being a beginner or an advanced practitioner. Just accept this and see belts & blocks as great tools to find your way around the limitation of bone structures.
  3. Make your practice safer
    For certain postures blocks and belts can be real life savers. Not every pose is made for everyone – not only because of bone structures. If you are having neck issues, for example, a headstand might be difficult. But a headstand with the shoulders on top of some blocks, so no pressure on the head and neck, can be a real relief for the same area. So there are always variations and the possibility to make poses more accessible with props. Just exchange a strong ego with a nice set of blocks 🙂 Props during class are better than probs after class.