We must create a marriage between the awareness of the body and that of the mind. When two parties do not cooperate, there is unhappiness on both sides.
Props help the student to execute asanas
They have revolutionised the concept of practising yoga.
BKS Iyengar first used a prop in 1965 when he discovered that he could not execute Baddhakonasana. To help his muscles stretch, he placed two stones on the thigh muscles. Iyengar found that students needed help to sustain postures and he physically supported them, when needed, at various parts of their body. This led to the creation of props which today have become quite sophisticated.
Props help the student do a pose that he/she may not normally be able to do – perhaps for the following reasons:
- the body may be stiff
- medical problems may not permit him/her to practise asanas in the normal way
- he/she may be aged
- Props will also help him/her execute the pose correctly and understand the mechanics of the pose.
Props do not tire or take the body beyond its capacity. They give rest to the body, allowing the pose to be done for a maximum period of time with minimum strain.
Pulse rate and blood pressure do not rise. Refreshment and rejuvenation come instantly.
The use of props should be controlled by a teacher. Do not attempt to use them unless your teacher has demonstrated their use and given approval.
A comprehensive list with props and photos can be found in “Yoga the Path to Holistic Health”, on page 166.
Props can be any of the following:
- wooden brick and foot rest
- slanting plank
- chair, stool, bench and box
- heart rack, ladder stool, drum
- bolster and pillow
- the horse