Yoga props aide in several therapeutic functions which includes emotional support. They offer a nurturing emotional support to the entire body and/or areas that need to be specifically nurtured, and are in need of rest. Often, the poses most beneficial for a particular condition may not be attainable due to physical limitations. However, these poses can become possible with props, while still allowing for any limitations or lack of strength. Consequently, without the use of props the speed of recovery would not be as apparent. In a therapeutic setting, the sequence of the poses and the amount of time each pose is held is as important as the pose itself. The supportive nature of props enable a person to remain longer in the pose comfortably, than without their support.
Another benefit of using yoga props is that they facilitate a person’s ability to overcome emotions such as fear, stress and anxiety. Without props, there may be a fear of falling, being unbalanced or there may be muscle contractions. Fear can stop the progress of healing and reinforce negative emotions which may impede recovery. It is not unusual due to fear, anxiety, or physical discomfort to hold the breath or contract muscles; muscles that should be relaxed during a pose, frequently the source of an imbalance. When a misalignment in the body occurs, it makes the body more susceptible to injury or delayed healing.
Props can create an innate, balanced, kinesthetic awareness of the correct structural alignment of the body. This is when props are strategically placed, correcting the body’s misalignment. This coming into a natural alignment will promote an emotional state of well being and nurturance. The use of different props may also facilitate an experience into a deeper sense of wellness that lies within the physical body. It is here when we can come into the moment, and allow ourselves to enjoy all the support and nurturing of yoga props. It is a wonderful gift.
By: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500
Founder: Breast Cancer Yoga
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