Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ashtanga yoga and props

1. Traditional Ashtanga:
In classic or traditional Ashtanga no props are used, except a sticky mat and a blanket. In India I saw that yogis/yoginis put a blanket on their sticky mats when practicing the middle part of a series. It is because of the sweat, I learned. OK, I don't do it. I don't sweat so much and I am not sliding on my mats.
But that's it. No further props are used.

2. Ashtanga yoga with a twist:
- In Mysore classes there is a teacher walking around, giving adjustments, especially when a yogi/yogini is practicing one of the challenging asanas like karandavasana. But some classes are too croweded. It can be very helpful to use props even in classes, when adjustments cannot be given each time.
- Especially when practicing alone at home it is very helpful in order to learn an asana.

Props are: blankets, straps, blocks, a wall, even weights.

* When I do primary I often use a strap when doing urdhva dhanurasana. I put it around my thighs to keep them parallel. It shall help me to opne the front.
* When I do second series I need more support as I am learning many asanas.
I use a blanket under my heels when I do pashasana (see picture)
I use the wall when I practice kapotasana.
I use a strap when I practice tittibhasana B, because my fingers cannot always hook behind my back.
I use a block and a strap when I practice pincha mayurasana. The block is behind my hands, the strap around my upper arms to keep the arms parallel.
I use the wall when I do exercises for karandavasana (there is no pic available yet).

The goal is to do the series without additional help, except a sticky mat. Till then I appreciate to have an approach to asanas, that helps.

I want to buy weights. I will use them when I arch back. It shall help me to open my upper body. The back bending asanas like kapotasana need special attention.

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Anonymous said...

My favorite "prop" in my yoga room is my black kitty, Twyla. She is a great teacher of "be in the moment". She lays curled up next to me beathing softly and slowly while I do my practice, especially savasana. I love the energy of pets while practicing.

Ursula said...

I can imagine this. I'd love to have a cat around me when I practice, but it is too small here.


bindithug said...

i teach with props to give options for all body types.

however, i know the stories about guruji kicking props out of his shala when students would bring them. he was totally opposed. him & his pal bks would have tifts over this (or so they tell me).

no need, but we all need a little help now & then.

my only prop is a small towel. oh-i use the rug, but old school mysore prison rug. even though i own 5 yogitoes.

wall- meh

strong mind, strong body, simplicity. that's astanga.
to me.

no insult. i agree on having furry pals around. i have a dog & 2 cats & yoga is magnetic to them for some reason.