Let’s talk about props baby! In many classical forms of yoga props are used as a “remedial measure”… this means that a student “can’t do” a particular pose, and so the teacher provides a “gap filler” in the form of a prop. An example is if a student can’t reach the floor in a standing forward bend, you can “fill in the gap” with a block or a chair under his or her hands.

In Deep Spinal Release Yoga, we use props to “fill in the gap”… but we also use props FREQUENTLY for a few key reasons…

  • To meet the body’s tensions where they are, and encourage release.
  • To allow the body to let go into support.
  • To HOLD the body in specific angles and target designated areas for healing change.
  • To quiet the mind – a result of the body being supported in general.
  • To protect joints by preventing over stretching.
  • To encourage deep relaxation.

But what if we use EXTRA propping beyond what is considered a basic necessity for a pose to be safe {to prevent injury} or effective {for a targeted purpose or release}?

I call this containment yoga, and I use it all the time with private yoga therapy students… to take them into deeper release and transformation.

Imagine being totally surrounded in a womb-like hug of yoga blankets, or being supported by firm and immoveable props that allow you to let go like a newborn being held in a parent’s arm.

There are times when we need to be “contained” in particular… here are a few times when “containment yoga” is especially helpful…

  • You are experiencing overwhelm in life.
  • The weight of the world is resting on your shoulders
  • Many responsibilities mean there it becomes nearly impossible to relax – even during sleep!
  • Your mind is especially restless or busy.
  • You are anxious and having trouble settling down.
  • Your body is experiencing increased pain, especially in your joints.
  • You have been undergoing lots of change and instability – internally or in life.
  • The weather is cold or windy, and you are feeling “bone cold”.
  • You have been traveling or on the move a lot.

The fall season, and moving into holidays is especially wrought with these characteristics, isn’t it?

What if your yoga poses could feel like a firm hug? You know the kind, where you feel loved, supported, stabilized.

What if, in your yoga practice, you could feel especially held, warmed, supported and contained? Let me use those words again to describe the feeling of extra propping in yoga poses…

Held. Warmed. Supported. Contained.

Right? Sound good? That’s why this November, as we move towards the election, the time change, the cold weather and the holidays, my classes will focus on poses with EXTRA PROPPING. It’s “Containment Yoga” season! Check out the schedule HERE and join me for yoga that feels like a hug. For you teachers and yoga nerds out there, here are some of the poses we will explore…

  • Mandukāsana {frog} Pose with Yoga Therapy propping {I RARELY break this one out, and it’s amazing for increasing feelings of security}
  • Supta Ardha Baddha Konāsana with Yoga Therapy propping
  • Supta Janushirshāsana at the wall
  • Upavistha Konāsana with extra Yoga Therapy propping
  • Pigeon Pose with Yoga Therapy propping
  • Matsyāsana {fish} Pose with Yoga Therapy propping

See you in class!