One of the main questions I’ve had lately is about where to source the best yoga props for a home practice.
Managing with pillows and towels is ok for a bit, but if we’re going to be indoors for a while, it might be an idea to treat yourself to some nice props.
Most of the props in my studio come from TheOMShop which is run by my friend Jenna. She is Avalon born and bred, so you’re supporting a local when you buy from her.
All of her products are divine. She has really done a great job sourcing eco-friendly and ethical mats, bolsters, blankets and more. I highly recommend Jenna and TheOMShop.
Now, let’s move on to which props do you really need?
Most studios will provide students with mats, bolsters, blankets, straps and eye pillows. Some will also offer sandbags and rollers, and maybe other stuff too. But is it all really necessary?
Here’s a list of the basic props I suggest, for doing my classes from home, in order of importance (according to me!):
If I was only going to buy one “proper” yoga prop, this would be it. For starters, they are versatile – use them to sit on, lie on, pop your legs over them, lean on… The options with bolsters are endless.
Plus, this is probably the hardest prop to emulate at home… pillows and cushions can be too squashy, and sometimes too wide or unwieldy.
Bolsters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For my classes, the key really is diameter. The ones I have in the studio are 23cm in diameter, and 65cm long.
Again, these are really versatile and as an added bonus, you can snuggle under them in shavasana. You can also roll up a couple of blankets, and use as a makeshift bolster.
I love an eye pillow for shavasana. I often use one in a yin pose too.
Mine are, of course, from TheOMShop but you can get them from all sorts of places.
I highly recommend treating yourself to an eye pillow…
These are also versatile, but you can manage at home well enough with a book or a Tupperware box. For some poses, you can use your bolster in place of the block.
However, if that’s getting a bit old, investing in a block is a good idea, and they’re not too expensive.
Here in Paradise we use the cork blocks from TheOMShop. They have anti-microbial properties, and are lovely to touch.
You can also get blocks made of foam, bamboo and even cotton.
It’s a funny thing about yoga mats…
The main purpose of yoga mats is to provide grip for feet and hands. Of course, back when yoga was developed and they were doing it in caves, they didn’t have fancy mats. They learned to strengthen their feet and hands instead of relying on the grip of a mat. (And we don’t move fast enough or get sweaty enough in my classes to worry about grip too much!)
Nowadays, it seems one of the main purposes of a mat is to claim your space in a group class. We go into a class, claim “our” mat and “our” space, and heaven forbid anyone else should enter that space!
So, if you want to skip the mat – you have my permission 🙂 UNLESS the floor is slippery – as it is in my studio – in which case a mat is recommended to prevent injured knees etc.
So if you want/need one – go for it. You can get some really lovely ones at TheOMShop (that’s where my cork ones came from, but I can’t see them on there now, you might need to ask Jenna about that).
Or you can go for plain and simple with one of the other online shops.
It’s so easy to manage with a makeshift strap at home, these come last on my list. You can use a scarf, tie, rolled up towel, even a pair of tights…
Plus, we don’t use the straps that often in my classes.
But, if you want one, they’re not too expensive and they don’t take up too much room either. The offering from TheOMShop is great, but other suppliers will also have plenty of options for you too.
Whatever you decide, investing in some yoga props is a good way to make a commitment to yourself about your home practice.
I’d love to hear about the props you have at home… Drop me a line in the comments below.
P.S. Why is the dog wearing gloves in the photo?!