Yoga is a great way to stay fit and healthy, and practicing on the sand can add an extra challenge. To make your practice more accessible and enjoyable, you can use props and modifications. Common yoga accessories such as blocks, straps, and reinforcements can help you customize each posture to gain flexibility and strength. Contrary to popular belief, these accessories are not just for beginners who “can't do certain poses” – they can be used by all students, regardless of their body shape, experience level, or physical capacity.
Blocks are a great way to deepen your practice. Place your hands behind the blocks and step back into Plank (or modified Plank with your knees down) with your shoulders on your wrists. You can also use blocks to create more space in your body by applying stress intelligently. To build strength, press your hands and lift your head from your shoulders back an inch or two from the blocks, or try hovering just above them without touching them with your shoulders.
Straps are another useful tool for deepening your practice. If you're having trouble getting into a pose, you can use a strap to help you get into the correct position. For example, if you're having trouble getting into a reclining twist, you can place a sandbag on your knee to anchor it, even if you already have a cushion below it. Boosters are another type of yoga accessory that is often overlooked but can be very helpful.
They provide additional support and can help you get into the correct position for a pose. For example, if you're having trouble getting into a pose because of stiffness, resting on a cushion can change your orientation enough that you can relax and let gravity do its work. Finally, watch the video at the top of this page for more tips on how to use props and modifications in Yin Yoga asanas. Diana Batts will help explain the different ways in which accessories can be used to enhance your practice.