Vasisthasana (Side Plank)
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.
Hello, yogis! Many times we use props as a way to back out of a posture or to get correct alignment. Today’s prop use was requested from some instagram followers after I posted the assist on my personal instagram. I personally dedicate this month’s pose to Jessica, because we all know she’s a plank goddess. Using a chair, you can rewake your core to help support you half way through your work day. Some great warm up postures for this would be core work on your back, plank, side bends, down dog, low lunge, half splits.
To start, pick you weak side (you know, get it over with first) and come down to your forearm parallel to the top of your mat and slide your legs under the chair about to the knee (this is easier) or half way to the shin (this makes it harder).
Now bring your top leg up onto the chair, either to the shin or up to the knee depending on your preferred challenging level.
Now use that core and lift those hips. The goal is to be a straight line, straight spine. Elbow should be under the shoulder. Don’t. Forget. To. Breathe. Flex through the feet and squeezing the thighs together will allow you to get a leg workout as well.
Now, if you find this easy (bravo) you can play with adding movement to work yourself a bit deeper. Move your lower left behind the chair. Remember to keep the hips lifted and Don’t forget to breathe!
Maybe now you bring the foot in front of you. The higher you lift the leg the more challenging this will be. You can even add circles with those toes, figure 8’s or bend the knee and bring it into your chest. Do whatever you need to make this playful and organic.
Go forth and play yogis!
-Namaste, Michi P.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (They/Them)
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.