Kelsey Ravlich | June 25, 2019
So, you've decided to start a yoga practice, and a home practice at that! First of all: high fives all around. A home practice can be rewarding on it’s own or as a complement to a studio practice. Being able to control the length, style, location and time of day you practice can be a real game-changer. It can be a solidifying force in making your yoga practice a lifelong dedication.
You've picked a location to practice, some tools to use (perhaps a Livekick yoga teacher?!), and/or a book to help guide you further, but maybe as you look around you’ve noticed that something is still missing. Props. All of those fun accessories seen and used in a studio to make poses more accessible in your body. Let me just pause here and say: I love props. Show me a yogi/yogini that doesn’t love their props, and I’ll show you a liar. That being said, when you are first getting started, props can be expensive. It can feel like a lot to invest in a ton of props when you're just getting started, not to mention a bit overwhelming. Rather than risk injury or experiencing poses, here are some fantastic ways to cheat real props with household swaps!
I love my blocks. In my personal practice I alternate between foam blocks and cork blocks, but that isn’t where I got started. My first “block” was a little step stool to help bring the ground to my hands in a simple forward fold. Other options would include but are not limited to, a big sturdy water bottle, an old textbook, or if your feeling crafty…fancy tape and a few DVD’s are a totally reasonable option. Are these perfect, no, but they will definitely help until you get the real thing.
Straps are one of the most underrated props for assisting with everything from seated forward folds and handstands, to backbends and beyond. They come in a variety of lengths, designs and materials but for now you absolutely have DIY home options. Without leaving your closet there are three accessible solutions; a belt, a scarf and a neck tie. This is an easy one to be creative with, maybe for a while you use a florescent pink leg warmer… no shame in that game!
As Yin and Nidra styles of yoga continue to gain popularity, the need for a bolster will become more prevalent in your home yoga practice. Oh and ladies, if you are planning to incorporate yoga into your pregnancy or moon cycle management, some cushy props are a must have. These can be big-ticket items and until you learn the love of a bolster, they can seem like a pretty expensive pillow. So here are some fixes from around the house; a few pillows, variable sized couch cushions, even rolled up towels or blankets. The great thing about these is that you probably bought them specifically to be cozy, now you can bring those warm and fuzzy feelings on to your mat.
This list is by no means an exhaustive one, nor is it inclusive of all the fun props and yoga toys you can find online. Hopefully, it gets those creative juices flowing to think about the items in your house and how they can assist you in your home practice. That is really the heart of it; it’s your practice. If your props keep you happy and healthy, that’s really what matters. If they happen to also make you smile, so much the better!
Kelsey Ravlich is a Livekick yoga teacher based in the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She has her 200-hour teacher training certification as well as her 85-hour prenatal teacher training certification, which she obtained while she was pregnant with her second baby. Off the mat, Kelsey is a proud mama to a spirited little dude, an angelic baby girl, and a sassy chihuahua named Patches. As a good Canadian, her winters are spent watching hockey, and summers spent enjoying the beautiful parks and mountains that her little corner of the world has to offer. Kelsey enjoys traveling, photography, and is a self-proclaimed "not-so-secret volcano nerd" - be sure to ask her what that means. Click here to sign up with Kelsey today, and feel free to use code KELSEY15 to score a great discount to get you started!