Karma is known for its nomadic tribe take on yoga, but without a studio, we are limited when it comes to teaching our students about the use of props to help get deeper into a posture or make a challenging pose more obtainable. The Karma Dama blog will show you ways to guide your body into postures you can practice at home.
Props are expensive and before I invested the money in them myself, I got creative and found household items that I could utilize as props, plus it fuels this fun idea of a home practice. Here are some of the things I use:
Block- thick hardcover book, I usually put a rubber band around the book so it doesn’t come open mid-use.
Strap- If you aren’t a tie wearer, a belt also works. I personally prefer a tie because if I need a long strap, I can tie multiple of them together.
Blanket- you don’t need a fancy yoga blanket to utilize a blanket in your practice, your favorite one around your home would do just fine.
Bolster- Bolsters come in many different sizes, luckily so do household pillows, find a pillow (or 5) that you like and can use for a bolster.
Chair- many people may not be familiar with yoga chairs but you can utilize them for inversions and arm balances. Find a sturdy chair in your home and ONLY PRACTICE WITH IT ON CARPET or all chair legs on the mat. No yogis sliding around on tile or wood floors.
Today, I will demo for you how to utilize a blanket, 2 blocks and a bolster to allow you to get into full splits without pulling a hamstring or tension on your knees. This supported pose works best on tile or wood floors.
A suggestion of doing a few forwards folds, hip circles and other hamstring/hip opening warm ups is advised prior to getting into this posture.
Start in a low lung, placing a blanket under your front foot, a block for each hand and your back knee on a bolster, like so…
Hang out here for a moment, maybe rock back and forth for a moment to warm up the hip and hamstring.
Next, bring your hands on top of the bent knee and breathe deep into the front of the back hip.
Once you feel comfortable in your front hips stretch, shift your hips back coming into half splits. Flex your front foot and try to bring your heart to your toes, not your head to your knee. Allow adequate time to breathe and let your hamstring release.
Once your hamstrings have given you some space, allow your front foot (on the blanket) to slide, slowly, allowing yourself to come into full splits.
Hang out here and breathe for a few breathes and then switch sides.
Go forth and play yogis!
-Namaste, Michi P.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER
This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.