Yoga Prop: An Egg-ceptional Alternative to the Yoga Block
Posted Oct 01 2008 4:10pm
It took me quite a few years of regular yoga practice to truly appreciate the value of a yoga prop. Before I knew better, I would try to muscle my way into a pose -- not realizing that by forcing my body into the pose, I was hampering my progress. It's much better -- and smarter -- to gradually work towards achieving a pose. That way, your body's protective mechanisms don't kick in and your body learns to trust you -- which ultimately leads to more progress in your asanas. That's where the ever-handy yoga prop enters the picture.
In the past props have been limited to blocks and straps. Of course there are always blankets, which can be rolled and or stacked to suit. Just recently, an oddly-named prop has come on the market -- The Three Minute Egg. I've been working with these blocks for weeks now and I absolutely love them! Unlike their chunky and clunky predecessors, they are ergonomically designed to work with your body. Not only do they do a better job of providing support, but their design helps you achieve alignment with comfort (no more hard edges to dig into your body and cause an ouchie) and ease. Despite their rounded shape, the blocks are very stable.
I prefer to use 4, but you can certainly use 2 if you prefer (interestingly enough, the majority of the poses demonstrated in the DVD use only 2 eggs). After a bit of a learning curve (they take a little getting used to), I realized that the use for these amazing egg-shaped blocks is unlimited. If you order a set of 4, you'll get a 30-minute (approximately) DVD that walks you through a practice solely using the blocks. I highly recommend getting the DVD as it offers excellent instruction for how to use the blocks. When you're first starting out, it's helpful to have more than pictures to guide you. Click here for a preview of poses featured on the DVD.
Once you get accustomed to using the eggs, you can get creative and expand their use to include asanas not included on the DVD. While the DVD is an excellent resource, it only scratches the surface in terms of the potential use of the eggs. Some of my favorite uses for the eggs are:
Using 4 in Downward Dog -- the eggs near your hands take the pressure off your wrists and the eggs propping your feet give your hamstrings enough lift to lessen the strain
Using 2 in Savasana -- I'm usually a flat-on-the-floor kind of gal, but the eggs have spoiled me. Now I can't bring myself to lie in Savasana without an egg under each of my knees. Heaven!
Using 1 between my legs as I do bent-knee twists. One little block makes all the difference in this on-the-floor twist. My back practically sighs with pleasure when I use the egg.
Using 2 in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) -- if my hips are feeling particularly tight or I know I'm going to be sitting for a while, I'll use eggs to prop my legs and alleviate muscle strain.
There are too many to list here. In fact, I'm thinking up all kinds of new way to support myself with the eggs during asana. I've turned into a restorative yoga junkie because of these delightful eggs! I'm also using them when I work with clients and they love them. The name may sound like some sort of cooking invention (actually the three minutes is the length of time that's suggested you stay in a posture using the egg), but what it really means is -- super cool yoga prop.