First of all, why do we use yoga props? That’s easy! Props help us have better alignment without hurting or forcing our bodies. Props are also a way to make yoga accessible to all practioners, regardless of experience and ability. In kids’ yoga, we can also use props for making activities more fun!
So imagine one day you forget to bring your bag of tricks to teach your children’s yoga class… Oh no! What can you do? Fortunately, we can use everyday objects we find around our houses and classrooms to create a fun, effective yoga class. For example:
- Blocks: If you need a block for some postures you can use a book (or more than one if its not very thick).
- Straps: Use a belt, a ribbon, elastics, a necktie, a scarf, or many other things that can help us find alignment in our postures.
- Pom poms: Kidding Around Yoga has a fun game with pom poms called Toega. If you don’t have pompoms, use cotton balls or crumpled paper. Another option is to make some pom poms with yarn.
- Hoberman Sphere: This one is a very useful prop to teach how breathing works. So maybe if you have Legos and you are a super-pro building things you can use them to create one. If you are really crafty, you make one with popsicle sticks. You can paint them and make it look great! Here’s a link to a tutorial.
- Bolster pillow: This is an easy prop to create on your own. You can just reuse an old pillow! Roll it up and put some rubber bands around it and cover it with fabric. The second bolster is made using towels and some ribbons. You just roll them up and tie them with the ribbon. The third method is using an old carpet, or a thick blanket. Just roll them up and secure it with a tie or belt.
- Yoga mat: The must-have prop for our practice! But if you don’t have a mat, you can also use foam play mats, like the ones people use in the nursery, or foam tiles, too. If your floor isn’t slippery, you can use a thick blanket or towel.
- Eye Pillow: This is an amazing prop, especially when meditation time arrives (we sometimes call this guided meditation time “Secret Garden”). Eye pillows are very easy to make. Here is what you need: rice or lentils, lavender oil or any essential oil you have, clean sock or piece of cloth, needle and thread (or if you are a crafty person you can use a sewing machine.
Step 1: If you have a piece of fabric, mark (on the non-printed side) and then cut four rectangles, large enough to cover the eye part of your face (about 6 x 2.5” or 15 x 6 cm). We need four rectangles because we are making two bags – one will be the pillow filled with rice and the other will be the case so you can wash it.
Step 2: Sew the seams of the pillow that will be filled by placing the two printed sides together, with the raw edges aligned. Stitch around 2 of the raw edges. Fill it with rice or lentils. Then sew the final side closed to seal it. On the other bag, just sew three edges, as one short side should remain open to slide in the rice-filled bag. You can stitch on a button if you want so that way you can open and close your case. If you don´t want to, or don’t know how to sew, you can use fabric or hot glue, instead. You can find tutorials online.
Finally if you do not have a piece of fabric, you always can use an old but clean sock. You just need to cut it to the right size, then fill it and sew the opening (or tie a knot). And voila! Instant relaxation!
As you can see, practicing yoga with props can be easy and inexpensive. You just need your imagination and some simple tools. So there is no excuse to postpone your practice, or your class!