Using yoga props for private classes

Sometimes, it is difficult to use yoga props, like block, strap, gym ball and bolster even if the benefits of them are great. There might be not enough props or not enough time! Therefore, private classes are the great chance to use these props, especially if you teach therapy class. But, can you imagine yourself carrying two blocks, a big gym ball, strap and bolster in your yoga bag to your client’s house?
Maybe it is physically impossible. What should we do then?
There are two things I usually do to avoid this nonsense.
First, I try to look at the things in my client’s house that can be used as props for class. Everybody has chair, so I know that I always can rely on it. Chair can be great for warrior serious, and really useful for many modified poses. One of my students can’t reach her feet on floor with plow pose, so I just place her feet on chair. She feels much more comfortable with plow pose now and can hold pose for long time without stressing her neck. Towels can be used instead of yoga strap and cushions can be used instead of bolsters. Sometimes, thick books can replace yoga blocks. And, use the wall! Everybody has the wall and it is amazing for shoulder stretches, modified back-bendings. Of course, don’t forget to ask for your student’s permission first.
Second, instead of using many props for one class, I try to come up with one prop sequence for one class. Yoga props are used not to make class look fancy, but for students’ benefit. We don’t have to come up with fancy prop used poses all the time. Simple and small adjustments with one prop can make big change in class with simple sequence. For example, if you planned to use chair for warrior series, you also can do prasarita padottanasana, navasana, plow pose with chair.
As Ashtanga yoga practitioner and teaching power vinyasa for years, I wasn’t really a big fan of yoga props and didn’t even know how to use them. But by trial&error and experiments, I started to enjoy the benefits of these yoga props. Especially, learning how to use yoga props for pregnant women through pre/postnatal TTC became a great asset for me.
On more thing! Before trying them on your students, try to use them for yourself first and play with them to feel comfortable with them. Then, you will realize that you can bring much more angles to your class by introducing them to your students.
Jenna – pre/postnatal TTC

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