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Props for Movement at Home

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

It's almost 3 months to the day into Stay at Home, Stay Healthy here in Washington State, and more specifically in King County (where Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond {Amazon, Expedia, and Microsoft} are located within for those not local to the PNW). The new normal of Zoom sessions are setting in more with me, how about you? I thought I would revisit what I've really found useful, and recommend props for your home movement space from the lens of a Pilates and Yoga teacher.

Items worth investing in | Ranked in Importance:

  1. Mat - Stickie mats are good for limiting slipping in certain poses. Thicker can help ease joints (wrists or knees for example). A basic mat will do just fine although they do wear down faster than a pricer one but, if you are just doing some gentle yoga you'll be fine. You can potentially upgrade once your practice and movement gets going! Then go crazy on all the varieties! I currently love my Hugger Mugger standard mat.

  2. Foam Roller - This is a versatile prop. It can be for rest, stretch and restore movement. Great for postpartum work. It's also great for more intense workouts. Then there is the price point! You can get these guys for cheep. There are some differences how hard or soft they are. Check out my video on my YouTube channel!

  3. Fitness Ball - Another versatile prop. Great for all bodies (prenatal and beyond). Balls can come in a variety of sizes (and colors!) to fit your unique needs. I love the 65cm one myself. Another tool to move and stretch, or help challenge balance and control. I have more videos using this guy on my YouTube Channel.

  4. Pilates Magic Circle or Ring - Great to turn up the heat on your workouts. It burns so good.

  5. Yoga Blocks (2x) - I'm a fan of cork. Cork blocks have weight to them, they are natural and eco friendly. It's recommended to have two so you can have them on either side of you. For example in a low lunge, you may find it helpful to rest your hands on the blocks vs the floor. There are also several restorative poses you can use 2 blocks in. You can purchase foam blocks - I find these a little too soft for folks that have wrist issues but, you may feel like you need a softer support than the hard cork blocks.

  6. Theraband - Resistance! We can do a lot with this guy! Colors have different degrees to resistance so if you can get a pack of a couple options. Relatively inexpensive. If you've done PT, or currently working with one - I bet they'd give you a piece to utilize at home. I like the long band vs loops. Don't get me wrong - loops are bad ass too but, I have a strong preference .. Hehehe.

  7. Small ball - like that of in a barre class. This gives really good feedback and can turn your workout up a notch or two. I am not that picky on these bad boys, just that I prefer them a little deflated. I'm a fan of the Coregeous Ball from Yoga Tune Up.

  8. Bolster - If you are loving your restorative yoga and yin like yoga it may be time to invest in a bolster or two. It's just yummy. One is great but two can open up to even more delicious shapes. A pillow may do the job well too depending on the size, how firm, and your personal preference.

Items you may already have around:

  1. Blankets and Pillows - For your restorative, yin and Nidra yoga.

  2. An old tie, scarf - use these instead of a yoga strap for stretching - commonly used for those tight hamstrings we are all getting with all this sitting at home.

  3. Soap cans, jugs of water, etc - use these in place of weights. Pilates uses 2lb-5lb weights at times to add variations. Pick up a bottle of wine, a galloon of milk will also do. Maybe it can be a source of a giggle. Who doesn't need more laughter during these uncertain times. I do!

  4. Tennis Ball (2x) - maybe you have a dog that you can share your tennis balls with. :D Great for myofascial release. There are also a ton of options to purchase. I am a fan of the Yoga Tune balls. Balanced Body also has some great options.

Extra Yummies:

  1. Lavender Eye Pillow - because yum

  2. Sandbag - for really yummy restorative yoga work - can be placed on shoulders, or pelvis for several minutes. Some days it's like a weight literally lifts off of you.

  3. Essential Oils - because there are all sorts of healing properties that can support you. I'm a big fan of Young Living's Valor oil. It's magic at soothing my frayed nerves.

  4. Yoga Blanket - if you want that yoga studio vibe in your home space. I do love mine. The dimensions are just so good to be perfectly aligned with the stickie mat.

  5. Crystals and stones - It wasn't until the birth of my daughter I went down this path and I only wish I went down it earlier. Start out with the basics, rose quartz and selenite. Or let the stones pick you!

I do recommend carving out a corner or room for your practice.

Make it an inviting space. I heard those two sentences over and over again since I began my yoga practice but, I never really did it. I lived in apartments, shared space, had a big doodle in my space and didn't find it practical. In this historical pandemic, a light faded on, and I was like, "oh, yeah, I see that now". I have swung in the complete opposite direction. This is my profession, right? I needed some confidence I guess in this is what I do, I still do it, even when the studio is closed. So, I cleared out the couch in the living room. The living room is now my (and my toddler's) movement space. I have all the above in baskets and accessible. I have the floor open and normally there are two yoga mats out to do toddler yoga with my daughter, dance parties, and hopefully a little bit of movement for mama. My daughter also loves to bounce on the fitness balls and play catch with the variety of myofascial tools over the years.

Make it you own though. All the above is not necessary. I love props myself but, the beauty and accessibility of yoga is you just need mat. Meditation you can do anywhere. Nidra you could totally do in bed. Please don't get caught up with the stuff. If you have the means, these are what I'm finding helpful. I'm feeling like I need a lot of support to get back on track and I get bored easily. :) Sending you all wishes of health. Take care, and take care of each other.

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