Using props in your yoga practice.

Most of the time people associate using a block or a strap in their practice as a negative thing, possibly thinking that its considered a crutch. The other common  association is blocks and straps are only for beginners, and if you have been practicing for a while you don't need them any more.

Many advanced practitioners use straps and blocks in their practice all the time. An advanced practitioner doesn't necessarily mean they can do all the really fancy poses, it is someone who is able to tune in and listen to what their body needs, and has the courage to modify or use props when needed, and also knowing when to challenge themselves in a safe way. 

Blocks and straps are amazing tools to help guide you deeper in to your practice. By using a block in uttita trikonasana (triangle pose) it allows you to create more space in your body. You can lift out of your waist making  it easier to find the length in the spine and side body, which also creates an easier path way for the breath.

Once you have the space and a consistent breath you are able to find the rotation in the spine and can then feel a deeper expression of the pose, and gain more benefits from it. If you don't use a block when needed, you are then collapsing into the side body, the air pathway is restricted, you round through the spine and create a higher risk of injury, not to mention the pose does not feel good in the body. 

So next time you think blocks and straps are only for beginners, think again. 

See you on your mat!