How to Make Your Own Yoga Props at Home
I hope you are doing alright in these strange and difficult times. For myself, I know it’s been tough trying to keep my mind calm and collected while still addressing what needs to get done. It feels like the situation changes every day and Verne and I are constantly scrambling to adjust how we have to do business.
The biggest adjustment has been the creation of our online store. Although it has been in the works since last year, we sped up the release when our showroom was forced to close by Coved-19. If you haven’t already, I definitely recommend you browse through the catalogue. https://www.greenstreetonline.ca/collections/yoga-accessories
While the online store is an exciting new development, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with so much going on. In addition to keeping our shop afloat it has also been important to keep ourselves centered. One of the main ways I do this is through yoga. Even just a short, 5 or 10 minute practice in the morning really helps me take on whatever challenges and tasks I have to face each day.
I’m lucky, in that having a retail shop has given me access to a lot of the props often found in a yoga studio. However, I know that not everyone has a full collection of accessories to accent their practice at home. Although, at its core, yoga really is just breath and mindfulness, I find props really do help support me in certain movements as well as help me to settle into longer, sustained poses.
For those of you trying to recreate the experience of a yoga studio in your own home, here is a list of props which you can recreate with items you might find around the house.
Of all the props, this is the one thing many people actually do already have already. If you do, that’s great! If not, perhaps try using a long blanket or rug. I like using a Baja blanket or woven rug as it has a bit of traction for my feet.
For poses like downward dog or the various lunges though, perhaps scoot to an area beside your makeshift ‘mat’. Floor or mounted carpet is going to be your best bet for grip and balance.
For this one, you’re going to want something with some density. A body pillow just doesn’t have quite the support we’re looking for here. I recommend bringing 2 bedroom pillows together and rolling them up with at least 2 towels plus a heftier blanket. Tie them up like a sort of log with twine, string or scarves. Maybe sit on it a bit before use to determine if it offers you enough support. If you need to you can always add more towels and blankets to increase the density.
You have a number of options for this one. A long belt can work well or maybe two belts strapped together. My preference would be to use a scarf or two as I tend to have more of those on hand.
Just make sure that whatever you use is going to be solid and not prone to rip as a good stretch may put a fair bit of pressure on the ‘strap’.
This was one of the tougher ones to figure out as you want something that is going to give you support but is easy to hang on to.
I came up with a few options.
The first would be to use a couple of garden bricks. Although this might not be available for some of you apartment dwellers, they are going to give you good support. Just BE CAREFUL not to get toes or fingers pinched if your brick decides it doesn’t want to support you anymore. Also I may not recommend this option on hard flooring or delicate carpet as it could cause contact damage.
The second option I found was using large-sized mason jars full of rice or legumes. If you’re like me and currently have a very well-stocked pantry, this was something I had pretty close at hand. Some cautions again, mason jars are made of glass and have a much smaller centre of gravity than your typical yoga block so DO practise caution here, use them more as aids for balance. We don’t want any smashed jars out there!
If all else fails and you just need something to help you go from floor to standing and back again, a full bottle of water will do the trick as well. I always like to have one on hand anyway just to stay hydrated.
For this prop you can go ahead and use just about any pillow that makes you feel comfortable and supported.
Personally, though I go for decorative pillows or even cushions meant for outdoor use. This is because they tend to be denser and offer the support I’m looking for in poses such as the lotus position.
These days, people seem to have a lot of options for music, from Youtube, to Spotify, to Soundcloud, to good "old fashioned" CDs. However if you’d like a tried and true playlist, here is one my daughter created on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4pHg28X6US33VNqAxnxnsD . I often use it in my classes.
If you don’t have a Spotify account I highly recommend creating one. There is a free version that works very well when you’re using a wifi connection but the premium version lets you download playlists to listen to on the go. I promise I don’t have stock in Spotify, I just really love their product.
Finally, for your home practice, it is a good idea to have a few extras of things like pillows, blankets or towels. You can have just as fulfilling a session with improvised props but it helps to have the option for extra support here and there when you need it.
I often say in my classes that if there’s something you can do to make a pose even 1% more effective for you, don’t hesitate to do it.
If a rolled-up towel feels good at the small of your back...
if a pillow and blanket make your savasana more enjoyable...
if essential oils are going to help deepen your breath...
then have them all at your fingertips. Even the smallest thing can make all the difference.
With any luck, this post has helped you think of a few ways to make this difficult time a little easier. Although a yoga studio full of props is a beautiful thing, there are so many ways you can practice mindfulness at home. Poses aside, even just taking 2 minutes for deep breathing every day is going to help you take on the challenges ahead. Verne and I often search out a meditation on YouTube before bed so we can go to sleep in a good way. It helps to soften the noise of the day and get the rest we need.
In the coming weeks, I am also hoping to produce some yoga and meditation aids for you to use as you navigate these strange waters. Stay tuned to our website and social media as I will post any updates on that front.
Hope you are staying well and feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about this post or anything else on our site.
Yoga Teacher and Co-owner of Green Street
PS- If you are indeed considering the purchase of some yoga props, I invite you to check out our online catalogue at https://www.greenstreetonline.ca/collections/yoga-accessories