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12 Mar 2004

bands and blocks
Hi C,
We are interested to understand why some people use bands (they look a little like webbing belts), wooden blocks and foam blocks - some people even have custom made structures.
When we started Ashtanga, our very first teacher (who was very strict indeed about posture and form) emphasised again and again that Ashtanga is not practiced with 'props'... but nowadays we regularly see people with bands and blocks in our class.
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Expert
Yoga
yoga

01 Jan 0001

Hey there 3p, historically it was Iyengar Yoga that was well known for its use of props - bands, blocks, chairs, and a variety of others. My understanding of there use in this style of yoga is to assist people to get the full understanding and benefit of a posture and also because the focus of this style is precision and accuracy in the postures as well as all of the remedial benefits of doing them. Developed by BKS Iyengar who is known as one of the leading thinkers on yoga (his book - Light on Yoga - is a bible to many teachers, even of different styles) - the style has grown enormously and is also recognized for its thorough teacher-training programme. Possibly due to its growth and popularity, and perhaps because of the teachers produced, more and more teachers use props to help explain, show or get people into postures. In Ashtanga yoga the focus is on the flow and breath so props would tend to impact negatively on the focus but I do know of teachers that use props to deconstruct postures in Ashtanga. It’s all good I think - just different approaches to a very open subject which is Hatha Yoga....
All the best and keep them coming.
Chris
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