Have you ever been in a class where a strap was used, and you didn’t know to loop it? Embarrassing, isn’t it? Even more so is when the teacher demonstrates to the class how to loop a strap, and everyone seems to get it… except you. Well today we’re going to fix that!
In this video, I show how you can make a substitute yoga bolster using blocks and blankets.
In this video, I demonstrate a few options to make Yin Yoga Saddle Pose more accessible, using a blanket or towel, and optional block.
Many of the classes I teach involve the use of a strap or a belt. While they’re easy to buy, sometimes you don’t have an “official” yoga strap handy. Maybe you have a rope or a belt or something similar. This works for something you grip with both hands, but what if you want to tie a loop into it – and be able to untie it when you’re done? This calls for a noose knot. My plan had been to add photos and a video of tying a noose knot, but the folks at AnimatedKnots.com did a better job than I would, so I’ll link to them instead: How to tie a Noose Knot using Step-by-Step Animations
I like to use a strap in leg extensions, especially in long-held Yin poses. The problem? Holding the strap gets tiring! Looping it around the fingers can hurt after a while, and even if you hold it around the meaty part of the hand, it still takes some muscle power.
The solution? Loop the strap around both wrists so that it holds itself in place. Start by making a loop.
Take the bottom of the loop and lift it toward its center so as to make two smaller loops toward the bottom.
Slide your hands through the small loops.
Grasping the strap, loop it over your foot, so that your hands rest lightly on the strap and are held in place by it.
Recline, extend, and relax!
Here’s a video where I walk through the process.
Has this ever happened to you? You want to do a simple yoga sequence. You sign up for a class online or found your favorite teacher on YouTube. You settle in for a nice Yin or Restorative Yoga practice. The teacher says “for this practice, all you need is a block or two.”
And you have no blocks.
Don’t worry! For a less active practice that uses a block for low-to-the-ground poses, you can replace a block with a thick, tightly-rolled blanket or beach towel. Check out this video to find out how.
If you want to have a home yoga practice, having the right props can be handy. I have links to the ones I commonly use on my props page, but you can also improvise!
For example, a thick book could be used instead of blocks. I am a fan of beach towels instead of blankets. Pillows can make substitute bolsters. A belt or a scarf can make fine strap replacement. Feel free to get creative, but make sure any improvised prop you choose is safe. For instance, I would not use a stack of slippery magazines as a block replacement.
It’s also important to take into consideration your environment. Make sure you have enough room on all sides to practice comfortably. Be sure that you won’t knock over any decorations or accidentally tumble down a flight of stairs. In addition to safety, consider privacy. Even if you don’t mind having an audience while you practice, maybe your family/housemates/roommate doesn’t want to be part of your practice, so a little space may benefit everyone.
I hope to see you soon. Stay healthy, happy, and safe!
In light of recent events, most notably requests to stay at home and anticipated orders to shelter in place in Massachusetts, I am offering private yoga lessons over the Internet at steeply discounted rates from normal. Group lessons are also available. If you are interested, please contact me to arrange a free consultation to make sure the technology will support a session.
We will also be starting live streaming classes at The Corner Studio. I will be teaching Yoga for Runners starting Friday evening, March 27, 2020.
If you are interested in a home practice, you may benefit from having props. I have links to ones commonly used available on my Props page.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be free.
There has been a lot of concern about COVID-19 and the Coronavirus spread in the studios where I teach in the recent weeks. Some students have raised concerns over using shared props as that may result in the spread of the virus.
To this end, I am taking the following steps, and requesting cooperation from my students:
- Please stay home if you are sick. This is best for everyone and I will be glad to see you once you are feeling better. We each have a responsibility to do our part to protect each other during this time. Consider online lessons – see details below.
- Wash your hands prior to starting class and touching any props. Use soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Dry hands thoroughly. Consider anything you touch afterward (faucets, door handles, railings, props, cash, etc.) to be infected (so if you touch these after washing, your hand is now considered to be re-infected).
- Avoid contact with other people and your face. It’s okay – we won’t think you’re rude if you don’t shake hands.
- In private lessons and at Alpha Krav Maga Boston, please leave any props that you use out so that I can disinfect them prior to storage. At other yoga studios, please follow the protocols established there.
I will be offering alternative poses that do not require props in all classes that I teach, so if shared use of props concerns you, we can work around that. Additionally, if you would like to purchase props for your own use, I link to all of the props I regularly use from my website.
Additionally, I am now offering private, one-on-one yoga lessons over the Internet! If you are interested, please contact me for details to ensure you have the necessary technology and to arrange a free online consultation to test the connection.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I hope to see you on the mat soon!
Starting January 5, Peter will be teaching a series of Yin Yoga classes at Alpha Krav Maga Boston, Sunday mornings at 8:30AM. While not required, students are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats and pre-register to ensure enough other props are available. Pre-registration simply means contacting Peter to let him know you plan on attending.
The drop-in price is $20 per class, with a discounted price of $15 for students who purchase a block of 10 classes in advance.