Cushions, Blankets, Belts & Blocks
For more than a quarter of a century (gosh, sounds like a long time when put like that), I have been helping people â€˜get comfortableâ€™.
At first it was on a massage couch to prepare to receive a treatment, and then throughout the session, to ensure as best I could, they were able to really receive the benefit of the massage as fully as possible.
In yoga, the use of props was often linked more to the Iyengar style of teaching.Â However of late, the use of blocks, belts and chairs proliferates through many yoga styles.Â For years I have been the proverbial â€˜bag ladyâ€™ of yoga â€“ armed with bags of blocks and belts and encouraging students to bring not only a mat, but a blanket (so versatile) and in pregnancy, cushions / pillows too.
Itâ€™s quite difficult encouraging a student to consider anything more than a yoga mat as necessary equipment for a yoga session.Â The effectiveness of their practice can ultimately be measured by how comfortable they felt when being taken through 1.5 hours of movement, sitting and relaxation.Â Discomfort, if prolonged, can be the make or break of continuing with the practice.
In Women’s Wisdom Yoga, the use of supports and props is encouraged.Â As women, we all too often respond when asked if something feels ok with, â€œyes, itâ€™s fineâ€.Â In class we donâ€™t want â€˜fineâ€™, we want that â€˜ahhâ€™ moment, where a womanâ€™s body feels supported and held, therefore enabling her to â€˜let goâ€™.
Using props offers greater support and strength; the ability to understand the internal cues your body gives you and being able to respond to them; mental flexibility â€“ rather than avoiding certain elements, you can embrace them, as props create superb opportunities for adaptations and finally, the all-important nourishment from the time you have set aside for yourself.
Why do we put ourselves and our comfort low on the list of priorities?Â Consider your comfort right now as you read this…is it simply â€˜okâ€™ or could it be improved?
How wonderful when taking time for some all-important self-care, to treat yourself to a lovely blanket (or two), and to have cushions that ooze beauty and comfort merely by looking at them.Â How inviting this makes the practice before youâ€™ve even started.
Claire runs Women’s Wisdom Yoga on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm.Â More details can be found here