New yoga props help yogis reach namaste


Emily Walks stretches her back on her wheel in front of Lake Powell’s Rainbow Bridge. (Annie Hansen)

The world of yoga is changing as yoga props are becoming more accessible to help aid or improve yoga poses.

Yoga props such as the yoga wheel, yoga straps, yoga blocks and handstand canes are utilized to help enhance the yoga experience.

Yoga Wheel

The yoga wheel started to become more popular in the last year once numerous companies started appearing on social media and Amazon. The explosion of this product has been mainly due to Instagram users spreading the news of a new yoga product.

Local Provo yoga wheel company Revolution Wheel began because a husband and wife realized the wheel helped them in their practice.

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The Revolution Wheel site states that people will “notice improvements in flexibility, mobility and overall strength” with the wheel.

BYU alumna Angie Woods bought a revolution wheel when her physical therapist recommended it with her yoga practice.

“I love yoga, but my back and knees sometimes hurt with some of the poses I would try,” Woods said. “Once I bought a yoga wheel it helped give me the support that I needed to continue my practice.”

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Yoga Straps

Yoga straps are also in the trending market of yoga props because they help aid beginner yogis complete poses they normally would be incapable of performing, according to yoga instructor Melissa Burch.

Burch teaches yoga at Utah State and at Tanaka Balance Studio and has seen many yoga props enter these studios.

“Most of the yoga classes I teach I will see at least a few people using a yoga strap,” Burch said.

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The straps are helpful for people who are generally less flexible and need help. They are a great resource as an instructor, according to Burch.

“A great example is in postures. When my students’ legs are stretched out, like in the big toe pose, and they are finding it difficult to reach their toes all the way,” Burch said. “The straps help my students reach their toes and complete the pose.”

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Yoga Block

Yoga blocks aren’t new to the yoga industry and have been around for many years. They are popular within the rising yoga products even though they’ve been around for some time.

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Burch said the yoga block has been the most used prop since she began teaching yoga. Its versatility has provided many beginner yogis the opportunity to accomplish poses with the support of a prop.

“The yoga block is used to normally ease off the tension on your poses,” Burch said. “For example if your hamstrings are a little bit tighter in some of the poses that require you to reach to the floor and balance on one leg, rather than needing to go down all the way to the floor, you can rest your hand on a block.”

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Handstand Cane

The handstand cane has just launched in a few companies such as Dharma Yoga Wheel and Yoga Wheel in the last few months and are becoming especially popular among male yogis.

“The taller the cane, the more intense the challenge,” according to yoga prop company Yoga Wheel’s website. “They will help you gain strength, precision and balance in your handstands and arm balances.”

Burch said the cane is placed on the floor and palms are placed on the top of the blocks. The yogi can then raise his or her body in a handstand or stall pose using core and arm strength.

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“The handstand cane is for more experienced yogis that are physically able to hold their weight,” Burch said.

Some people think yoga props may take away from the wholesome experience of yoga, according to Burch. She disagrees on the matter.

“I believe that yoga props have only enhanced yoga by making it more available in aiding those that need the assistance,” Burch said.

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