Sometimes yoga props get a bad rep. This is not always the case, and it’s not true for all form of yoga. There are actually some styles that are built on the use of props. But sometimes in flow or power-style classes, props such as blocks and straps carry a “beginner” stigma.
I have an alternate view: Yoga props are awesome. They can make a huge difference in many poses and can actually make some more challenging. Aside from blocks and straps, there are many other props that can be extremely useful to a practice. Blankets, bolsters, sand bags, wrist supports, a dharma wheel and the TRX. Wait what? A TRX? Yes, my yogi friends. The TRX is an amazing tool for your yoga practice — I believe in the product so much that I'm actually a spokesperson for the brand. Here are four benefits of using the TRX for your practice:
1. Mental comfort
It’s no secret that fear is often what is really holding us back from attempting certain poses. Falling on our face in crow pose, for instance, isn’t the most appealing of thoughts. So sometimes we hold back or skip the pose entirely. Neither of which are helpful in progressing. Using the TRX can alleviate some of this fear and build the confidence that’s needed off the straps.
Most of us have a few poses where some extra support from our yoga teacher is much needed and appreciated. But, we don’t always have our yoga teacher in our back pocket.
The TRX straps can offer some support that you might not be able to get on your own when you aren’t with your teacher. Backbends are a great example of this. The lift and support from the straps in backbends allow you to melt while being held up so that you can really open and release. The straps also help you get used to headstand and handstand poses.
Sometimes we are ready to go a little deeper into a pose, but doing so without a teacher is daunting. The straps can assist beginners and the more advanced practitioner. Maybe you can do crow pose off the straps just fine without fear and without the need for support, but you struggle with taking a more advanced variation such as single leg crow. The straps can help in progressing you to the more challenging variation.
Then there are those times when you just want to build some strength. The TRX is amazing for building strength using your own body weight and, coincidentally, so is yoga. Using the suspension and resistance of the straps levels up the strength factor. Personally I really love the ability to activate the muscle memory needed to access some of the more challenging poses. It’s also great to strengthen the core in general, which is always useful.
Photo courtesy of Matt Roy Photography