How To Use Yoga Accessories

Yoga accessories are useful for beginners because they aid in alignment and provide support while the poses are being learned. Even experienced yogis benefit from the added depth and complexity that accessories bring to their practice. While the basics of yoga are easy to learn, certain accessories can enhance your practice and make it even more enjoyable.

Yoga accessories like mats, straps, bolsters, blankets, and blocks have specific applications and proper usage in the practice of yoga. Making the best use of these props can help facilitate the correct execution of the asanas during yoga sessions and deepen the pranayamas towards achieving the balance of body and mind.   

Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished yogi, these accessories are sure to take your yoga practice to the next level. Keep reading to learn more.

A yoga mat

How to Use Yoga Accessories

One can’t do good yoga without a good yoga mat. It should provide cushioning and support for the body, protect joints and prevent slipping. When choosing a yoga mat, look for one that is thick enough to provide cushioning but thin enough that it’s not heavy and doesn’t take up too much storage space. 

To use a yoga mat, simply lay it out on the floor. If the mat has bumps on both sides, the side with the more pronounced bumps is the right side up. Some mats, however, have both a nubby rubber side and a microfiber towel side. Use the towel side up for practice; a light spray of water may help get a firm grip. On any surface other than carpet, the towel side of the mat can cause it to slip and stretch out of control during work out. 

At the end of the class, clean the mat with a damp cloth or a natural cleaning spray, allow it to dry, and then roll it.

A strap

A yoga strap is a great tool for stretching, allowing you to extend farther than you normally would without straining your muscles. You can use it to help deepen your stretches, increase flexibility, and open up tight areas of your body. It’s also a helpful tool for learning how to move into certain postures and poses, such as Triangle Pose and Seated Forward Bend.

To use a strap in your practice, first identify the area of your body that needs stretching. Place the center of the strap around that area, then grab each end of the strap with your hands. Gently pull on the ends of the strap as you stretch, allowing yourself to go deeper into the pose. If you need more length, simply hold onto the same part of the strap and move your hands further apart. 

Make sure to be mindful of your body and don’t push yourself beyond what feels comfortable. With practice and consistency, you should begin to feel the benefits of using a strap in your yoga practice.

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A bolster

How to Use Yoga Accessories

A bolster is a long, cylindrical cushion that is great for yoga and meditation. It is often used to support your body in various poses and can be placed between your knees or ankles to promote alignment and relaxation.

It can also be used to prop yourself up in reclined poses, such as Supta Baddha Konasana or to elevate the hips in a supported Bridge Pose. Bolsters are also useful for those with tight muscles or who need extra support when doing restorative poses. 

To use a bolster, place it under the spine and then adjust the position of your body accordingly. You can even use two bolsters for extra support. For example, if you’re practicing seated forward folds, you can place one bolster behind your back and another under your knees to help you go deeper into the pose.

A blanket

A blanket can be a great addition to your yoga practice. It can help you stay warm during more restorative yoga postures and can provide cushioning for more active poses. Blankets can also be used as support during seated poses, providing a comfortable and stable place to rest your legs or back. 

For even more stability, fold the blanket and place it under your hips when doing poses like a bridge or supported fish. You can also use it to wrap yourself in Savasana for extra warmth and comfort. When doing poses that require kneeling, just fold the blanket and place it under your knees. You can also roll the towel and sit on it for further elevation and comfort while in the Easy pose.  

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A meditation cushion
How to Use Yoga Accessories

Meditation cushions, also called zafus, are a great yoga accessory for anyone looking to deepen their meditation practice. A zafu is a round cushion filled with organic materials like cotton, buckwheat hulls, or kapok fibers that provide a comfortable and stable seat for your practice. 

When seated on a zafu, you’ll be able to sit in a more upright and relaxed position, allowing for better energy flow and posture. Using a meditation cushion can help increase your focus and concentration during meditation, as well as improve your breathing technique. It can also help reduce any tension in the body caused by long periods of sitting in one position.

Meditation cushions are usually placed on the floor, but can also be used in a chair if necessary. The cushion should be placed so that your knees can rest on the floor, while your hips and lower back remain slightly elevated. If you’re sitting in a chair, you can place the cushion on the chair seat and lean forward to support your lower back. When sitting on a zafu, make sure to keep your spine straight and relaxed.

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A set of blocks

Blocks deepen your yoga practice and make some poses easier. They can modify poses to improve alignment and balance. Use blocks to open your chest and increase shoulder flexibility. Using them can also help you move deeper into a pose. When choosing blocks, look for ones that are sturdy and durable,  and large enough to fit your hands or feet comfortably.

There are several ways to use blocks. Since backbends require extra support from blocks, place them on the mat then position your hands on the blocks while in the Updog position.   Blocks are good for restorative poses. In the supported Bridge pose, use one or two blocks for extra support. In supine positions, place them under your knees to relieve lower back pressure. 

An eye pillow
How to Use Yoga Accessories

An eye pillow is a great accessory for yogis who want to relax and meditate. It can be used to create a dark and comfortable environment in which to relax, de-stress, and just be. The eye pillow helps to block out light and provide a sense of peace and relaxation. It can also help reduce headaches, as the soothing pressure on your eyes can help alleviate tension.

To use an eye pillow, place it over your eyes and rest for as long as you need. You can place it over your forehead or cover both eyes if you prefer. To increase the effect of relaxation, consider adding a few drops of lavender oil to the pillow before you use it. This will create a calming aroma that will help soothe the mind and body.

When done using the eye pillow, store it in a clean dry place away from heat and direct sunlight. This will ensure that it lasts longer and remains effective.


Yoga has become an increasingly popular form of exercise over the last few decades, and with its increasing popularity comes a wide range of accessories to make your yoga practice easier and more enjoyable. These props have specific applications and usage in the bending, stretching, and posing routines of yoga. Whether you’re just getting started with yoga or you’re an experienced yogi, using a yoga mat, strap, bolster, blanket, meditation cushion, blocks, and an eye pillow can make a world of difference in your practice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does yoga take to increase flexibility?

There is no specific timeline for when you will begin to see results, as it depends on your practice frequency, age, and consistency. Most people see results within three to six months, and the more you practice, the more your body will open up and become more flexible.

What is the most common injury associated with yoga?

The most common complaint in the yoga community is lower back pain, which is caused by rounding the spine in poses such as downward dog, and forward folds, and keeping the legs too straight when entering a pose.

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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.