Do you use props in your practice? Do you feel like the props enhance your practice or do you equate the use to “cheating”?
The answer may depend on your Intention when you practice. Your reason for arriving on your mat. There are no right or wrong Intentions. All Intentions are to be respected. Perhaps you have never thought about your reason, or Intention.
My Intention, when I arrive is to continue to move well (as I age) and to feel as I land in a pose. This is the foundation of teaching Functionally. With this Intention, I am never thinking about how I look in a pose. Never trying to achieve the same shape as you see in the magazines. Each of us is unique, like our fingerprints and our DNA. Our skeletal makeup determines the shape that will be accessible to each of us.
I focus on the target area and feeling “moderate” sensation. No pain, but finding a place where you feel something. Teaching Functionally offers several expressions of the pose, so if one option does not allow you to feel, another shape will! Critical thinking!
In Yin we call this ” your edge” or the “Goldilocks position.” many thanks to my Yin teachers Bernie Clark and Michelle Finch.
Often we are guided by the magazines that suggest “Try these 5 best hip openers! When you teach yoga Functionally it changes the Intention of your practice. Instead of the focusing on how you look, or the shape, your instruction is to feel. So if feeling and connecting is your Intention, props will enhance your practice. They can bring the earth closer to you. Support you, ground , and assist you by making your practice more enjoyable. Props can be pillows, support and blankets you have around your home.
Over the next few weeks I will share props and how they enhance your yoga practice.