You might already know that, among several other qualities, like precision and alignment, Iyengar Yoga is also characterized by the use of props.
Grippy yoga mats, bricks, blocks and books, bolsters and pillows, blankets or straps, are there to help you in your practice. They can make an asana safer, helping you to achieve with fewer risks of injuries poses that maybe are not yet available for your body.
Truth is that, also because of social media and easy comparison with super ultra-flexible yogis all around the world, it is always easy to feel shy using them. You might think it’s a beginner thing, that it’s a shame to use them and everyone will judge you if you do.
Guaranteed: props are VERY useful, and you will progress in terms of flexibility, balance, and alignment. With these supports, in fact, you offer your body the opportunity to improve little by little, without hurting yourself, until you reach goals that today seem far away.
Blocks can be a really great ally even to keep the different postures longer and allow breathing to do its work on your muscles.
REMEMBER: Flexibility is something that is achieved with time and with practice, nobody starts practicing Yoga being 100% flexible. Thanks to the props, it is possible to train flexibility in less time, reducing considerably the possibility of exaggerating and getting hurt.
Anyway, even if you choose to use any kind of prop during your practice, remember to always listen to your body and never force.
You’ll gain flexibility in respecting your physical condition and the time needed, which varies from person to person.
Listen to your body and do what feels good, day by day.
Flexibility is not necessarily a gift, and it is clear that we are not all starting from the same point.
Flexibility is acquired over time and with constant practice. In the meantime, even a very simple posture can be painful at first.
Besides, the joints do not really appreciate the new positions, the muscles do not stretch immediately and, inevitably, the body will try to find a posture that makes it suffer less. Unfortunately, this posture rarely matches the correct alignment but props will help you get there more easily and safely.