How to Use Yoga Props - Blocks, Mats, Straps, with Workout [VHS] by Gaiam
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If you're someone who wants to get into yoga but are so stiff that even touching your toes is a struggle, then this tape will help. Unlike its companion tape, How to Use Props: Bolsters, Blankets, Pillows, which focuses on the passive, "restorative" yoga style, this one employs props with a variety of more active poses, using them specifically to promote correct alignment and support and thus enable the user to feel the full benefits of a given posture without unnecessary strain (not to mention the frustration that often accompanies it). The non-stick yoga mat is the sine qua non of props--whether you're on a bare floor or a carpet, it's almost impossible to practice satisfactorily without one. But even experienced yogis may be unaware of the virtues of a strap (for tight hamstrings, hips, and shoulders) or blocks (also for hips and hamstrings, especially in standing positions). Simply using a strap as an arm extension in a basic seated forward bend, for instance, straightens the back for a proper stretch and better circulation. After explaining the props, instructor Suzanne Deason finishes up with a brief (about 10 minutes) practice, using the strap or blocks for a shoulder stretch, the upward- and downward-facing dog poses, the triangle, the warrior and extended warrior, and a couple of forward bends. Not bad, and all to the accompaniment of genuine French impressionist music instead of the usual New Age wallpaper. --Kelly Welldon