One of the great things about the advent of yoga props is the myriad of ways that they can be used. We’re often taught that blankets can provide cushion and support in restorative postures, or help pad the knee or spine in poses that contact the mat. Yet, what about thinking beyond padding and getting creative? The humble blanket offers a host of ways to get curious about dynamic movements (rather than static poses) and get sliding off the mat in new and challenging ways.
Pulling postures are all movements that use the strength of the body to pull the body in space. Traditional yoga asana does not often target this muscle groups, and a few of these poses in succession will change your change and proprioception in new ways!
-Bodysurfing: Start on your belly on a blanket, with your head to knees on the blanket atop a sliding surface. Pull your arms overhead to propel your body in space while also strengthening often missed muscles!
-Walk the plank (or megaplank!): Challenge your proprioception and skills by making plank (or megaplank) a more dynamic pose, with your feet on the blanket and your arms propelling you forward. See if you can walk your plank forward, to the side, and all around.
Moving in Place
These movements combine reciprocal actions to keep the body moving fluidly in one position.
–Sidewinder (and sidebending savasana): In this video, Jill Miller shows the classic YTU® pose of sidewinder to strengthen your lateral core muscles and back muscles, all while having fun.
Replacing a strap with a rolled or folded blanket increases the difficulty of the pose, but gives a good stepping stone to increasing strength and challenge.
Whether you are a traditional yoga instructor or a Yoga Tune Up® instructor, it’s good to get creative and think outside the box(ana). How can you challenge your students and yourself in new ways with props you know and love?
Come back on Friday for suggestions for novel uses of the yoga block!