Accessibility: 5 Ways Yoga is for Everyone
5 household items to help you start yoga.
Yoga 11th Jan, 2021
Accessibility to Yoga to anybody, regardless of age, fitness level, size, flexibility, or financial situation is an absolute must. While a lot of yoga practice uses nothing except a comfortable surface, often a mat, there are also common household objects that allow you to try poses (asanas) that you might otherwise be unable to do. Many yoga practitioners use tools such as a chair, or a wall, to perform anything from beginners to advanced positions.
There are also alternatives to the equipment you can buy in your cupboards and drawers, which means you can try new poses, without spending any money. This ensures that you can practice yoga at any time, not just during in person, or online, classes.
When you think of yoga do you picture young, fit people, who are incredibly flexible? This is an unfortunate stereotype, as yoga is truly accessible to all. Chairs allow you to practice yoga when you have limited mobility, stiff joints, or problems with balance. It can also be helpful when you are recovering from an injury. You will either sit in the chair, or stand and use it as an aid. Chair yoga can help you improve flexibility and ease aches or pains, no matter what your age, or ability level. This also means you can fit yoga around a busy schedule, as you could try these poses at work, in your lunch hour.
You can use a wall to stabilise a pose while you are learning it, or when it is something you could not achieve without support. This enables you to modify positions to your ability level, with the help of your teacher, or in solo practice when you feel comfortable. You can also use walls to help deepen poses, if, or when, you choose to do so. Finally, wall support can help you to open your body, if this is something you are finding a challenge.
Yoga blocks, or bricks, can help support, stabilise and align your body into the correct positions. They are often used as teaching aids, however, you do not need to buy them. It is entirely possible to use plastic Tupperware from your kitchen, or folded blankets, as a substitute.
A bolster is often used for restorative yoga, where you hold poses for longer than in other yoga classes, frequently with the support of props, to relax your body. You can use a folded blanket, cushions and pillows to achieve the same effect as a yoga bolster, to find the comfortable support you need.
As with a wall and sometimes used in conjunction with wall poses, straps help you try new positions as well as providing support and aiding balance. This can be done with towels. You do need to ensure a strap holds you securely, so you may need to consult your teacher.
Overall, yoga is an incredibly accessible exercise for your body and mind, both financially and physically. There is nothing to hold you back. The use of household objects as tools ensures that anyone can practice at home, preferably with guidance from a weekly class, at least as a beginner.
In addition, the classes themselves are not generally expensive, however, there are many free training videos online, ensuring you do not need to spend money on lessons, or tools, to try yoga.