Most yoga studios provide everything that their yogis need, but of course it’s another story when we decide to practice anywhere else. When it comes to doing yoga at home, sometimes we find ourselves in lack of the props we need to make the most of our practice.
If you’re a yogi who practices at home or while traveling, you can always modify your practice so that extra props aren’t needed, but this may not be necessary if you get a little creative. Here are some ways you can improvise by taking common household items and turning them into functional yoga props!
Yoga blocks are typically around 9 inches in length, 5 inches in width, and 3 inches in height, but it’s not a requirement to get the dimensions exactly precise. A good place to start looking for substitutes is on your bookshelves and in your closet.
A stack of books wrapped in a towel may do just fine, or you could grab a shoebox and fill it up with items to make it solid. Just be sure you won’t mind if the pages of those books get a bit frayed or the items in your box get slightly crushed!
Yoga straps are wonderful for working on going deeper into your stretches, but not everyone has one lying around at home. Try looking for substitutes again in your closet and anywhere else you keep supplies.
You can easily use a belt, a men’s tie, or a piece of rope as a yoga strap. Just be sure to check that the fabric or material that it’s made of is strong enough to hold your stretch.
A bolster is really just a long pillow with more stuffing than most pillows for greater support. Head to your bedroom or linen closet for substitutes for this one.
Grab a bunch of bed pillows or a stack of towels and optionally tie them up with some rope to keep them together, or use them just as they are stacked on top of each other. Bolsters are often used to support parts of the body in restorative poses, so if you can stack some soft stuff up, you’re pretty much good to go!
In all seriousness, nobody really needs a yoga-specific blanket. All you really need is any type of blanket that you’re okay with potentially getting a bit sweaty.
Yoga blankets are often rolled up to support parts of the body, used to slide the knees or feet across hard flooring, or used to keep warm during savasana. You could even use a regular towel or a bed sheet.
If there’s one thing most yogis have, it’s usually a mat. There are, however, times when we forget where we put our mats, or we wash our mats and need to leave them out to dry, or sometimes we even leave our mats in the car on a hot day and ruin their stickiness.
When you want to get your practice in but are without a mat, try taking your practice to carpeted flooring or use a rug that has non-slip padding. You may be able to get away with practicing on a towel or blanket as a substitute for a mat, but carpets and padded rugs are ideal for being easier to grip and to avoid sliding around.
These yoga prop substitutes may work just as well as the real thing. Enjoy your practice!
Image (edited) via Rob Bertholf